Must-click link: the politics of the Japanese home run record

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We’ve talked a lot lately about Wladimir Balentien’s assault on the Japanese home run record. And in the course of that talk we’ve made passing mention of how previous challenges to the record — held by the great Sadaharu Oh — have been met with hostility and many, many intentional walks.

Today the Japan Times has an in-depth story about that. They talk to Randy Bass, who challenged the record in 1985. They talk about Tuffy Rhodes’ and Alex Cabrera’s run at 55 as well. The mark has been tied but not surpassed, and the story spends a lot of time talking about the hows and the whys of it all.  It’s a fascinating read about a fascinating, albeit at times frustrating, baseball culture.

Braves call up prospect Bryse Wilson to debut vs. Pirates

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The Braves announced that pitching prospect Bryse Wilson has been called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Monday night’s game against the Pirates. Infielder Ryan Flaherty was designated for assignment and pitcher Chad Bell was outrighted to Gwinnett.

Wilson, 20, was selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. This season, between High-A Florida, Double-A Mississippi, and Gwinnett, the right-hander compiled a 3.27 ERA with 139 strikeouts and 35 walks in 123 2/3 innings. MLB Pipeline rates Wilson as the No. 13 prospect in the Braves’ system.

As the Braves’ Twitter notes, the club will have had three different pitchers appear in a game this season prior to his 21st birthday. The others are Kolby Allard and Mike Soroka. The last team in franchise history to do that was the 1910 Boston Doves, which had Lefty Tyler, Billy Burke, and Chick Evans each pitch prior to his 21st birthday.