Bill Baer

TAMPA, FL- MARCH 03:  J.P. Crawford #77 of the Philadelphia Phillies in action during the game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 3, 2016 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Phillies promote shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford to Triple-A

8 Comments

The Phillies announced on Friday morning that shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford has been promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Crawford, 21, hit .265/.398/.390 with eight doubles, three home runs, 13 RBI, 23 runs scored, and five stolen bases at Double-A Reading. He came into the season rated as the Phillies’ best prospect and #3 overall in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline.

Crawford will likely make his major league debut at some point this season, but the Phillies don’t have any reason to rush him. Despite the club’s surprising success — they’re 24-17 — it is still technically rebuilding. Freddy Galvis is currently handling the shortstop position at the big league level, but he has a meager .639 OPS while playing inconsistent defense.

Mets could skip Matt Harvey’s next start

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 19: Pitcher Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets stares at the ball as manager Terry Collins #10 comes out to relieve him during the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on May 19, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Rich Schultz/Getty Images
6 Comments

Update (4:44 PM EDT): Harvey told the Mets he wants to pitch, so he’s going to pitch on Tuesday, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

*

Mets starter Matt Harvey was trounced in Thursday night’s start against the Nationals, yielding nine runs (six earned) on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. As he walked to the dugout after being taken out of the game by manager Terry Collins, the home crowd at Citi Field booed him.

Harvey, who became the face of the new and improved Mets and helped the team to the World Series last year, currently sits with a 5.77 ERA in nine starts. Collins is considering skipping Harvey’s next turn in the rotation, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. He would face the Nationals once again next Tuesday.

Harvey is two and a half years removed from Tommy John surgery, but there is some worry that his elbow could be the culprit. This chart from Brooks Baseball shows that Harvey has lost a significant amount of velocity on his pitches:

Brooksbaseball-Chart

FanGraphs lists Harvey’s fastball averaging 94 MPH, down from 95.9 MPH last year. His slider has dropped from 89.7 MPH to 87.9 MPH, his curve 83.9 to 81.9, and his change-up 88.4 to 86.4. Velocity doesn’t necessarily portend injury, but it at least supplements the concern many have over Harvey’s awful start to the 2016 season.

Video: The White Sox turned their second triple play of the season

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 09:  Todd Frazier #21 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates after hitting a grand slam home run in against the Texas Rangers in the top of the twelfth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
5 Comments

The White Sox turned their second triple play of the season on Wednesday night against the Astros, and it came in an important situation. The Astros, ahead 5-3, had runners on first and second with no outs in the eighth inning against reliever Dan Jennings. George Springer swung at the first pitch he saw and hit a grounder right to third baseman Todd Frazier. Frazier stepped on the bag, whipped the ball to second baseman Brett Lawrie, who relayed the ball to first baseman Jorge Abreu to complete the triple play.

Despite the triple play, the White Sox dropped the contest to the Astros by a 5-3 score, but it could’ve been a worse loss if not for the triple-killing.

The other triple play the White Sox turned this year occurred on April 22 against the Rangers. Here’s video of that.

The White Sox last turned two triple plays in the same season in 2006.

Hal Steinbrenner gives a vote of confidence for Joe Girardi

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: Hal Steinbrenner, Managing General Partner of the New York Yankees is seen during a press conference to announce the New Era Pinstripe Bowl's eight-year partnership with the Big Ten Conference at Yankees Stadium on June 3, 2013 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jason Szenes/Getty Images
Jason Szenes/Getty Images
30 Comments

The Yankees entered play Wednesday with a 16-22 record, sitting the cellar of the AL East. Their slow month and a half to begin the season has many culprits, and team owner Hal Steinbrenner does not believe that manager Joe Girardi or his coaching staff are among them.

Per ESPN, Steinbrenner said, “The coaches are doing a good job.”

Steinbrenner did single out Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda, and Luis Severino. Headley didn’t register his first extra-base hit of the season until recently while Teixeira entered play Wednesday with a 6.30 OPS. Meanwhile, both Pineda and Severino have ERA’s above 6.00 in 15 combined starts.

Despite entering the season with a $226 million payroll, the Yankees haven’t been signing free agents as wildly as they have in the past. Most of the active payroll is taken up by contracts signed years ago, including CC Sabathia‘s $25 million, Teixeira’s $23 million, and Alex Rodriguez‘s $21 million. It’s tough to say if spending more money would have actually changed the Yankees’ fate.

Geovany Soto to miss four to six weeks with a torn meniscus

TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 26:  Geovany Soto #18 of the Los Angeles Angels poses during a spring training photo day on February 26, 2016 in Tempe, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
3 Comments

The Angels continue to be ravaged by injuries. MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that catcher Geovany Soto will miss the next four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn right meniscus. The club has called up Jeff Bandy from Triple-A Salt Lake to bolster their catching corps.

Soto will be the 10th Angel concurrently on the disabled list, joining Craig Gentry, Andrew Heaney, Daniel Nava, Cliff Pennington, Cory Rasmus, Garrett Richards, Andrelton Simmons, Huston Street, and C.J. Wilson.

Soto, 33, was hitting a solid .283/.338/.483 with three home runs and seven RBI in 67 plate appearances. He was sharing catching duties with Carlos Perez. Perez will grab the lion’s share of starts now that Soto has hit the DL.