Rays’ lefty reliever Jose Alvarado tossed an immaculate inning on Friday, becoming the seventh Major League pitcher to do so in 2017 and the 83rd in MLB history. Better yet, he’s just the fourth rookie pitcher to record an immaculate inning, joining the likes of Sloppy Thurston (1923), Nolan Ryan (1968) and Wade Miley (2012).
You already know the script for this one: Alvarado threw nine pitches to retire the side, whiffing Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar and Hernan Perez in the ninth inning of a 2-0 loss to the Brewers. He went to his changeup to catch Shaw swinging for the first out, then used his curveball to retire Aguilar and blew past Perez with three straight fastballs for the final out of the inning.
It was quite the comeback for the Rays’ reliever, who made his big league debut in May and struggled to a 5.89 ERA before getting demoted to Triple-A Durham. The same couldn’t be said for the Rays, however, who were stymied at the plate in the bottom half of the inning, leaving Daniel Robertson stranded to preserve the Brewers’ shutout and take their first loss of the month.
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.