J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reported on Saturday that the Dodgers are considering promoting pitching prospect Julio Urias to work out of the bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts said, “We’re looking through options and Urias is definitely at the top of the list.” Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times added that the club is also considering Jharel Cotton and Jose De Leon, but Urias is “leading discussions.”
Urias, 19, is considered by MLB Pipeline — and many others — to be the Dodgers’ best prospect. MLB Pipeline ranks Urias second among all prospects behind only Lucas Giolito of the Nationals.
In four starts and one relief appearance with Triple-A Oklahoma City, Urias has a 1.88 ERA with a 29/3 K/BB ratio over 24 innings. He’s considered to have plus stuff across the board and is believed to be close to major league ready despite still being a teenager.
If Urias does get the call, he would become the first teenager to debut in the majors since 2012 when Dylan Bundy, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar each made their debuts.
Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman is set to return on Monday from a 30-game suspension handed down from Major League Baseball. Chapman was disciplined under MLB’s domestic violence policy for an offseason incident in which he allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend, then fired off a gun in his garage at least eight times.
Even after sitting out the first five weeks of the 2016 regular season, Chapman doesn’t sound apologetic, according to Billy Witz of the New York Times. He maintains his innocence, saying, “We make a lot of money, everyone wants a piece of it, and we end up looking bad. When I had the problem, everyone thinks I did something wrong; in social media, people are saying I hit my girlfriend.”
Chapman continued, “It was just an argument with your partner that everyone has. I’ve even argued with my mother. When you are not in agreement with someone, we Latin people are loud when we argue.”
As the Times describes, however, Chapman’s girlfriend called 911 while hiding in the bushes out of fear. That sounds like the altercation escalated far beyond “loud”.
Prosecutors declined to file charges in part because Chapman’s girlfriend was uncooperative. It is not unheard of for victims of domestic violence to be uncooperative because they fear further potentially physical repercussions from their partners, or for myriad other reasons.
Chapman also implied that Latin players are targets because they make money and aren’t familiar with how things work in the U.S. He can absolutely be right about that without it, in any way, excusing what he allegedly did during the offseason.
Facing the Padres on Saturday night, Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon slugged the first home run of his 19-year career. It was a majestic 365-foot shot down the left field line at Petco Park off of a James Shields fastball.
One knew it was a big deal simply from the excitement in SNY broadcaster Gary Cohen’s voice. Colon, a veteran of 19 seasons, turns 43 years old later this month. He’s taken 249 plate appearances in his career, 145 of them coming within the last three years with the Mets. With the exception of 2002, when he spent half the season with the Montreal Expos, Colon didn’t take regular at-bats until he was 40 years old.
Colon’s lack of hitting prowess has often been a punchline, even here. We spoke of it as if we would never see him hit a home run during a regular season game. We settled for a batting practice home run, and a line drive foul ball. And yesterday, Christmas came early.
This is why pitchers hitting makes baseball so fun. We expect a bona fide slugger who can’t field at any position to have skill at the plate. Nelson Cruz or Prince Fielder slamming a baseball 450 feet isn’t novel. Colon homering is novel. How about the time in 2012 when then-Phillies ace Cole Hamels and Giants pitcher Matt Cain traded home runs off of each other?
How about Joe Blanton‘s World Series home run? Or Madison Bumgarner outclassing many hitters who are paid to do just that?
Pitchers make outs approximately 85 percent of the time they come to the plate. The other 15 percent makes it all worth it, as does the half a percent chance that the pitcher hits one out of the park. When we go to the ballpark, there’s always the chance we’ll see something that’s never been done before. During Colon’s 473rd career start — most among active players — he did something he’d never done before in his career.
Update (12:01 AM EDT): And it’s over. Yoenis Cespedes drove a ground ball single to right field with two outs in the seventh inning to end Rea’s no-hit bid.
Padres starter Colin Rea has tamed the hot-hitting Mets lineup so far this Thursday night. The right-hander has walked only one, the lone batter above the minimum he has faced. Rea has also struck out three while accumulating 76 pitches.
The Padres’ offense provided Rea with five runs of support, scoring once in each of the first, second, and third, as well as twice in the sixth. Wil Myers smacked a solo homer off of Jacob deGrom in the first inning. Rea helped himself with an RBI single in the second, Alexei Ramirez brought in a run with a double in the third, Derek Norris drove a solo homer in the sixth, and Jon Jay shortly thereafter hit an RBI double.
The Mets entered play Thursday tied for the National League lead in home runs hit as a team with 40. Rea, meanwhile, came into Thursday’s action with a 4.61 ERA and a 22/13 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings spanning five starts and one relief appearance.
If Rea is able to complete the job, he would become the first pitcher in Padres history to throw a no-hitter. Jake Arrieta threw the first no-hitter of the 2016 season on April 21 against the Reds.
We’ll keep you updated as Rea attempts to navigate through the final three innings.
Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward hasn’t played since Sunday due to a sore right wrist, but he’s hoping to be included in his team’s lineup on Friday, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Matt Szucur, Ben Zobrist, and Kris Bryant have handled right field while Heyward has been out.
Heyward, 26, has gotten off to a disappointing start, as he’s batting .211/.317/.256 with only four doubles, no home runs, and 13 RBI in 104 plate appearances. He signed an eight-year, $184 million contract with the Cubs back in December.
Heyward said he hurt his wrist putting emphasis on it during hitting drills. He said, “I was doing some work off the tee and doing a drill with a donut on the bat, swinging, trying to stay through the middle, and I put more emphasis on [his wrist] and strained it from that.”