This is fun. It’s in Japanese, but you don’t need to speak Japanese to get what’s going on here. A special pitching machine that can fire a 186 m.p.h. fastball + an NPB hitter trying to square up. He does not succeed. Partially because he appears to be totally unaware that the pitch is going to be that fast.
Go to the 3:29 if you want to see his first effort.
Afterwards, the pitching machine talked about wanting to work on his offspeed stuff because all big league hitters can turn on a fastball.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”
You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.
Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.
Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.