Did Ryan Braun taunt the Phillies fans last night? God, I hope so.

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Ryan Braun continued to own the Phillies yesterday, hitting a big RBI triple the day after hitting three homers. When he got to third base he made a gesture of sorts. A gesture he claimed was aimed at his dugout but which, I dunno, may have been a taunt of the Philly fans. The 700 Level investigates with video and GIFy evidence.

I’m gonna say it’s a taunt. Partially because Ryan Braun has pretty much forfeited the benefit of the doubt on any subject whatsoever, partially because I really, really want it to have been a taunt. Baseball and its code of professionalism and humility gets so old sometimes. It could use some arrogant villains. Like, real ones, who embrace their unpopularity, not imaginary villains like Puig.

Go full-heel, Ryan. Go full-heel.

Pirates set to promote top prospect Mitch Keller

Mitch Keller
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MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo reports that the Pirates will promote top pitching prospect Mitch Keller in advance of their doubleheader against the Reds on Monday. Confirmation of the move is still pending an official announcement, but Keller will reportedly face off against Sonny Gray in Game 2.

Keller, 23, is currently listed as the Pirates’ no. 1 prospect and the no. 16 overall prospect in the league, per MLB.com. He was selected in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft and has spent the last six years refining his technique in Pittsburgh’s farm system, where he recently made the jump to Triple-A Indianapolis in 2018. So far this season, he’s 5-0 in nine starts with a 3.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, and 10.7 SO/9 through 47 innings.

It’s not clear how long of a leash the Pirates will give Keller, though given the current state of their rotation — down to four serviceable starters with Jameson Taillon on the 60-day injured list (right elbow flexor strain), Trevor Williams on the 10-day IL (right side strain), and a handful of replacements yet to impress — they may be inclined to keep him on a little longer than his spot start requires.