Tag: New York Yankees


Believe the hype: Carlos Correa is already a superstar


Carlos Correa is living up to the hype.

Called up on June 8–almost exactly three years after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Astros out of high school–the 20-year-old shortstop has played at an MVP level for two months despite being the youngest position player in the entire American League.

Correa homered Monday night for the fourth time in four games, giving him a total of 13 homers in 48 career games along with a .297 batting average, 14 doubles, 14 walks, five steals, and a .917 OPS. And he’s looked good defensively, too.

Here are the top OPS totals by shortstops this season:

CARLOS CORREA       .917
Troy Tulowitzki     .835
Brandon Crawford    .819
Jhonny Peralta      .804

And as impressive as it is to sit atop that list, it probably short-changes just how rare it is for a shortstop to be hitting this well while being this young. In the entire history of baseball here are the top OPS totals posted by 20-year-old shortstops with at least 150 plate appearances:

Alex Rodriguez     1.045     1996
CARLOS CORREA       .917     2015
Arky Vaughan        .787     1932
Jose Reyes          .769     2003
Jim Fregosi         .761     1962

I’m sure Correa will come back down to earth at some point or at least experience a slump, but for now he’s leading all MLB shortstops in OPS and the only 20-year-old shortstop in MLB history to out-hit him is Alex Rodriguez.

Everyone knew Correa was going to be good–he was a No. 1 pick and a consensus top-five prospect this season and last season–but for him to be this great this soon is a surprise. And really, that’s the story of the entire Astros team that sits atop the AL West at 60-47.

Mike Matheny admits that players’ contracts matter when it comes to assigning bullpen roles

Trevor Rosenthal

We’ve talked a lot in the past about how the save is one of the only if not the only statistic which dictates how the game is played instead of the other way around. Closers get saves, saves are considered valuable, so you make sure your closer gets his saves, regardless of whether or not that pitcher may be better-used in a non-save situation.

Everyone knows how this works, but rarely do you hear a manager actually come out and admit that saves — and the nice fat closer contracts for which they form the basis — come into play when it comes time to decide how to use a reliever.

Mike Matheny of the Cardinals said it, however, when talking about internal discussions the Cards have had regarding maybe using the closer in non-save situation. From Derrick Goold’s column at the Post-Dispatch:

Matheny said Sunday it’s appealing, but the save stat cannot be ignored.

“You want to be respectful, too, to what these guys are trying to do individually,” Matheny said. “For us as a team to move forward certain things need to happen and a lot of times it’s trying to create an atmosphere where each of these guys are able to achieve everything, and there are contracts involved. There are personal statistics that help drive personal achievement as far as salaries go. For us to be completely oblivious to that, I think is a mistake as well.

“Then you start having some friction,” Matheny continued. “There are outside influences that are constantly pushing these guys toward the statistics that are going to get them paid someday, right?”

Matheny admits, however, that the save is, in fact, an arbitrary stat and that maybe it’d be better if salaries aren’t based on it so much.

For what it’s worth, we’ve seen several relief pitchers get big deals because they have great stuff, not just great save stats in recent years. Our Drew Silva notes on Twitter that Andrew Miller had one career save entering free agency last winter and still got a four-year, $36 million contract. Likewise, Ned Yost chose a few non-closers for the AL All-Star team this year. Managers and front offices are smart enough to know where real value is in a relief pitcher. That said, arbitration panels may not be, and then there’s the whole idea of ego and “role” that Matheny alludes to complicating it.

Still, some pretty notable candor from Matheny here. Thoughts on this, Huston Street?

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Nationals 2: Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy went back-to-back in the third inning and then Lucas Duda added one more. That was more than enough for Noah Syndergaard, who went eight innings allowing only two runs and putting the ball more or less wherever he wanted to. The Mets win the biggest game in the history of Citi Field and move into a first place tie with the Nats after the sweep.

Astros 4, Diamondbacks 1: New Astro Carlos Gomez hit a two-run, go-ahead single in the fourth and Colin McHugh allowed one run on eight hits in seven innings. More hits than innings = “scattered” hits. If there are mushrooms on the hits, they’re “capped.” It’s all on the Astros’ secret menu.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 2: I said this after the Cardinals picked up Brandon Moss on Thursday:

[Moss is] hitting just .217/.208/.487 this season and perversely, is hitting lefties better than righties — but he has a line of .254/.340/.504 over the previous three years. And of course, the Cardinals and their devil magic tend to turn everyone into a near-superstar as soon as they’re acquired. If they didn’t get Moss they could’ve probably signed Will Clark out of retirement again and have him hit .280/.340/.500. That’s just how they roll.

So of course Moss hits a pinch hit walkoff RBI single in this one. Hail Satan.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 2: Things got chippy here, with Royals starter Edinson Volquez pitching inside to Josh Donaldson,  eventually hitting him with a pitch in the third inning. Then came retaliation later in the game, and benches-clearing incident. Which wasn’t a brawl because guys just don’t brawl these days. Of course the silliest thing here is that after all of the Royals throwing at Jays, — including Ryan Madson pitching inside to  Troy Tulowitzki and Donaldson in the seventh inning — umps eject Aaron Sanchez and DeMarlo Hale for hitting Alcides Escobar in the bottom half of the seventh. So, if you’re the aggressor in a plunking war, you get three or four chances but the first time you plunk back, you’re outta here. I’m sure that’s not written someplace in the unwritten rule book.

Pirates 3, Reds 0: Benches cleared here too as a plunking of Marlon Byrd on Saturday carried over to Sunday with Pedro Villarreal hitting Andrew McCutchen with a pitch followed by Tony Watson hitting Brandon Phillips. Finally, for good measure I guess, Mark Melancon hit Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart. Wheee! Oh, both here and in the Jays-Royals game there was actual baseball played too. Click the box scores for that. We’re just here for the fighing.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3: The Dodgers got something of a mixed bag from their recent acquisitions, with Mat Latos giving up only one run on four hits over six innings and leaving with a 2-1 lead. But Jim Johnson, who came over in the same trade, gave up a tying homer by Kole Calhoun with one out in the eighth. Onto extra innings where Andre Ethier ended it with a two-run homer. It was his second one of the day, and both times he put the Dodgers in the lead. That’s some serious takin’ care of business.

Marlins 5, Padres 2: Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off three-run home run off Padres reliever Brandon Maurer. That helped the Fish avoid a sweep. Which really is bad for them because they’re totally in the race with the Phillies for the top pick in the 2016 draft. So, yes, quite the setback.

Tigers 6, Orioles 1: Welcome to Detroit Daniel Norris. The Tigers’ acquisition in the David Price deal went seven and a third innings allowing one run on four hits. J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the first and the Tigers would never trail.

Rays 4, Red Sox 3: The Rays avoid a sweep thanks to a late rally keyed by an Asdrubal Cabrera double followed by a James Loney single in the eighth. Which reminds that James Loney played 30 games for the Red Sox back in 2012 which seems like a dream.

Braves 6, Phillies 2: Atlanta avoids the sweep at the hands of the Phillies. I got all sad that the Braves traded away prospect Jose Peraza, but that sadness is tempered by things like Jace Peterson having three hits, including a three-run home run. I mean, he’s nothin’ special, but the Braves have a long and rich history of winning with kind of crap second baseman so they can do it again a year or two from now, right? Think of it as a tribute to Keith Lockhart. Julio Teheran pitched well on the road. That does not happen very often.

Yankees 12, White Sox 3: Jacoby Ellsbury and Mark Teixeira homered and Stephen Drew had three hits and four RBI. This against Jeff Samardzija of all people, so not bad at all. The bottom three in the Yankees order, Chase Headley, Didi Gregorius and Drew, combined for seven hits, six RBI and eight runs scored.

Cubs 4, Brewers 3: The Cubs win their fifth straight, but it was costly as Kris Bryant leaving the game following a headfirst slide into second in which Jean Segura’s glove hand came down kind of hard on Bryant’s head. He sort of slid into Segura’s leg too, as he was really moving. He was woozy after the game and went through concussion testing. Joe Maddon thinks he’ll be fine, though.

Mariners 4, Twins 1: Logan Morrison hit an RBI double in the M’s three-run 11th inning. Nelson Cruz hit a 440+ foot homer earlier in the game.


Rangers 2, Giants 1: Mike Leake allowed two runs in six and a third in his Giants debut but that’s not good enough when your boys only score one. Martin Perez — who got destroyed by the Yankees his last start out — allowed only one run while pitching into the ninth. I think we all have days we just pretend never happened. Perez’s was last Tuesday. “What happened last Tuesday?” Perez asks. “I don’t think anything happened. Was there even a last Tuesday?” He continues.

Athletics 2, Indians 1: Another walkoff. Sure has been a lot of them lately, it seems. This one courtesy of Mark Canha’s two-out double in the 10th. He wasn’t even supposed to be there yesterday, but he took over for Josh Reddick, who suffered lower back tightness after chasing a foul ball in the Indians bullpen earlier in the game.

Zack Wheeler called Mets GM Sandy Alderson to express his desire to stay with the team

Zack Wheeler Getty

We’ve understandably heard a lot about Wilmer Flores since the failed Carlos Gomez trade on Wednesday, but right-hander Zack Wheeler was the other player who was supposed to be sent to the Brewers. His name was surfacing in rumors again yesterday, most notably as part of a proposed deal for Reds outfielder Jay Bruce, but Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Wheeler reached out to Mets general manager Sandy Alderson to express his desire to stay with the team.

While the Mets managed to keep Wheeler while also picking up Tigers slugger Yoenis Cespedes, Alderson said that the phone call didn’t sway the team’s trade talks. However, he appreciated Wheeler reaching out to him.

“(It) actually had quite an impact,” Alderson said. “Really expressed his desire to remain a Mets, his excitement for being part of the organization and being part of what is happening here. Acknowledged it was a business but at the same time wanted to express his feelings to me. I can’t say it was dispositive of what took place because I acknowledged back to him yes it’s a business.

“Again, if you go back to Wednesday and even this conversation, we’re talking about human beings. We all develop an attachment to each other and whatever capacity we serve so it’s hard. Anyway, I appreciated the fact Zack reached out.”

Of course, Alderson acquired Wheeler for Carlos Beltran in a deadline deal with the Giants back in 2011.

Wheeler, 25, underwent Tommy John surgery and flexor pronator surgery in March. He resumed throwing this week, but isn’t expected to pitch in the majors again until around midseason next year.

Adam LaRoche pitched a scoreless inning of relief last night

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: Adam LaRoche #25 of the Chicago White Sox during batting practice before the game against the Houston Astros at U.S. Cellular Field on June 10, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago White Sox won 4-1.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

With the White Sox losing in a rout to the Yankees last night, Adam LaRoche got a chance to pitch for the first time in his major league career. And he was pretty good too, retiring the side in order.

You can watch the video here, which isn’t embeddable for some reason. LaRoche needed just 12 pitches to get through the frame. He got Stephen Drew on a pop up and John Ryan Murphy on a ground out before striking out Brendan Ryan swinging.

The Ryan at-bat was especially entertaining, as LaRoche tried to throw a “LaLob” pitch (hat-tip to Mike Ferrin for the video) in honor of his dad, former major league left-hander Dave LaRoche. It didn’t make it to the plate. However, he recovered and threw an 85 mph fastball past Ryan for the strikeout. Even Ryan had to smile through it all.

Oh, and by the way, LaRoche also had four hits. Quite a night for him.