Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thursday Wrap: Trout-tastic, Miguel Cabrera is good, James Shields officially hates his teammates and welcome to The Show Jurickson Profar

Quote of the Day:

"I didn't really think about it until about the eighth inning. And when I got on deck, I started feeling it a little bit. To be honest, I thought Josh was going to hit for the cycle after his those first two at-bats. I wasn't thinking about myself."

-- Mike Trout

Happy mid-week baseball freaks, it's that time where I stop by and instead of doing my work because I'm bored in a cubicle use my free time, to recap everything that's been going on in the wide world of baseball.  If you're in Chicago, take a bit of time to see where you're favorite player will be traded (via Tommy's post yesterday).  If you're anywhere else in the world, take time to move to Chicago.  

Today we've got the youngest player to hit for the cycle (can you guess who it is? Can you?), tell you why Miguel Cabrera is pretty good, Zack Greinke returns to the 4-1-4, and why James Shields won't be taking his teammates out to dinner anytime soon.  .  

Also on the menu, we've got Jurickson Profar's debut, an injured Giant, Don Mattingly potentially on the hot seat, and why does Barry Bonds need to keep being a d****?  

Let's get it started.  

Mike Trout stepped up in his first at-bat against the Seattle Mariners last night and struck out.  It would be the only time in the evening that Trout wasn't simply spectacular.  After a single in the third, a triple in the fourth and a double in the sixth, Mike Trout took a pitch into the rightfield seats for a home run and into the record books as well, making MLB history by hitting for the cycle at age 21... the youngest ever to do it in the history of baseball.  

Trout ended up driving in five runs and pacing the Angels who have now won three straight and get was the first time all season that they gained a whole game on the AL West leading Rangers.  If some of their big names (Pujols, Hamilton) can get their act together, look for the Angels to keep creeping up the standings.  

Miguel Cabrera shined in the national stage, smashing three home runs on ESPN's Sunday Night baseball against Texas.  Even that was not enough to beat the red hot Rangers.  Two nights later, though, Cabrera went deep again against the Indians in a Tiger's win to pull within a game and a half against the just-as-red-hot Tribe.  Boo-ya.

Right now, Cabrera's the talk of the league, thanks to his performance on national television Sunday night.  Miggy has a MLB leading 49 RBI, leads the majors in batting average at .384 and his 12 home runs are second in the AL.  Could another Triple Crown be possible?  Probably not.  No one has ever won the Triple Crown in back-to-back years.  Having said that, though, we are watching possibly the greatest hitter in baseball in the middle of his prime.  If anyone can do it, I would say it's Cabrera.

Sunday night.  Cabrera's second home run is a line shot, straight to dead center.  Here's how fast it got out...3.7 seconds.  

In comparison, let's cut off a clip of a home run after 3.7 seconds of a shot by Mark Trumbo against the Astros...

Pretty wild.  Moving on...

Greinke returns to Milwaukee...Dodgers still suck

The Brewers scored four runs in the fifth inning to beat the reeling Dodgers and handing fresh of the DL, Zack Greinke his first ever loss at Miller Park.  Greinke, who had previously pitched for the Brewers, was 15-0 at home during his Milwaukee career.  

Zack struggled with his command in a very un-Greinke like performance, at one point having thrown 30 balls to 30 strikes on 60 pitches.  Carlos Gomez continues to smoke the ball, hitting a two-run double to pace the Brew Crew. 

What's the best cure for a losing streak? Play the Astros...maybe?

Expectations were sky for the Royals when they basically traded their entire touted farm system for James Shields (I guess when you haven't sniffed the postseason in over a decade, you start to have strange expectations) but entering this week, they had lost three straight and had fell to third in the AL Central.  

Enter the MLB worst Houston Astros.  Just barely keeping above the 1969 Mets pace, the Astros then promptly went out and beat the Royals in the opener.  Losing streak at four.  Then on Tuesday night, the Royals went out and scored seven runs against the atrocious Astros' bullpen, aided by some equally atrocious Astros' defense.  Losing streak snapped!  Yay!  And then last night, they promptly went out and lost to the Stros again with James Shields on the mound.  Shields has now received a total of five runs in his last four starts which is like, terrible.  Shields is now 2-5 with a 2.47 ERA.  Welcome to Kansas City.  Apparently, you lack the will to win.  

Barry Bonds to Miggy: "You ain't as good as me!"

Barry Bonds, who I personally hoped would just leave forever and never resurface as long as I live, is in the headlines again, talking about, who else?  Miguel Cabrera.  Bonds gave Miggy a sort of backhanded compliment in a USA Today Telephone interview:

“He’s definitely the best, it’s not rocket science here.  He’s the best. By far. Without a doubt. The absolute best.”

But then, Bonds goes on to add the caveat...

“I don’t try to compare me to anybody, I was the best on the field. I did more things than he did. My game was different than his game. So comparing him, to me, there’s no comparison.  He doesn’t have my MVPs. He doesn’t have my numbers. Well, not yet, anyways."

Okay Barry Bonds.  You got your piece in, now please go away.  Do we even have to bring up the Balco thing before we talk about your accomplishments?  That's like Bernie Madoff coming out and saying, 

"Yeah, the Ricketts family is rich....but no one made money like I did." 

Hopefully this will be the last time that Barry Bonds is mentioned in this blog until Miguel Cabrera breaks all of his records.  

Moving on...  

Ryan Vogelsong hurt swinging a bat. How do you like the DH rule now, Giants?

Bad news for the Giants as pitcher Ryan Vogelsong fractured his pinky on his pitching hand and underwent surgery this week.  The worst part was how it happened...swinging at an inside pitch.  The ball dislocated Vogelsong's pinky and broke it in two spots.  That means a DL trip for the resurgent right-hander, while the Giants also put reliever Santiago Casilla on the DL with right knee discomfort.  

Casilla was part of the dominant Giants bullpen that helped guide them to a World Series title last season.  He had only pitched twice since May 8.  Chad Gaudin will replace Vogelsong in the rotation while the Giants recalled Sandy Rosario to fill Casilla's spot in the bullpen.  San Fransisco currently sits in a three-way tie with Colorado and Arizona, atop the NL West standings.  Ahead of the Padres and the sucky Dodgers.  

Don Mattingly's seat on the Dodgers bench grows increasingly warm...

And it's not because of the hot temperature in LA.  Speaking of the sucky Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly is sounding more and more like a dead man walking with recent public shots at both Dodgers players and Dodgers management.  Some of the quotes aren't so nice....


“Too many walks. Too many free runners. And we have to catch the baseball, that’s all there is to it,”
-- Mattingly, on Dodgers recent play. 

“Guys in the big leagues make that play all day long.” 
-- Mattingly on Luis Cruz's dropped line drive.

“Matt Kemp's at the plate. Come on, Dee, we've been there. There's no real upside to stealing the base.”
-- Mattingly on Dee Gordon getting thrown out at third on a stolen base attempt (which, c'mon Dee, NEVER be the first or final out at third)

"It’s not just all, ‘Let’s go put an All-Star team out there and play games, and the team with the All-Star team wins.  All grit and no talent is not going to get you there, and all talent and no grit is not going to get you there. There’s got to be a mixture of both.”
-- Mattingly on the roster he was given. 

“If we don’t win, and we’re healthy, they really should look at it. This team has a lot of talent. My job, and my coaches’ job, is to get them to play the game right. If we can’t get them to play the game right, they may have the wrong voice.”
-- Mattingly on his future as Dodgers skipper.

"For me, today, I’m putting out my lineup that I feel is going to be the most competitive and going to compete the hardest.”
Mattingly on benching Andre Ethier

“We had guys get away early who seemed to fit,"
-- Mattingly on losing veteran relievers because management insisted keeping a surplus of starters.  

From the sounds of it, Don Mattingly's must have a weirder plan to keep his job than Kevin Spacey in American Beauty.  You don't talk that way in public about your team and management unless you want to get fired...which is exactly what one NL executive said: "It sounds like he wants to get fired."  

Look for Mattingly to next say that Matt Kemp never should have given his jersey to that punk ass kid.  


Is Don Mattingly on his way out as Dodgers manager?


Let the Jurickson Profar Show begin! 

Rangers called up the top prospect in baseball when Ian Kinsler went to the DL this week.  While it appears to only be a temporary time in the majors for Profar, you never know when this year's first Trout/Harper rookie will hit the Show.  Fantasy owners be on alert.  

This is actually not the first time that Profar had to come to the rescue after a Kinsler injury when Profar became the 113th player to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat last August.  While he'll probably head back to Triple-A Round Rock when Kinsler comes back, you never know what kind of production guys like this have during their "stints."  It may just be enough to make Ron Washington find a place for the kid.  Keep an eye out and welcome back Jurickson Profar!  

And finally, no Thursday Wrap would be complete without our traditional....


Today's theme is "TRADE FOR WHO!?!"  

Let's roll...

Red Sox GM not going to talk to Ellsbury   ●   But Theo might   ●   No offense but Jesus is not good enough (before you gasp, read first)   ●   Chase Utley is scared swinging   ●   One Opening Day starter down, 29 to go (ps - we want Ben Revere back - MN fans)   ●   You know you're struggling when John Danks coming back sounds awesome   ●   Joey Bats does baseball-ish things that are good   ●   Gary Carter Street in Canada sounds good, hopefully sounds better in French   ●   When Max Scherzer is on, he's really f----g on   ●   Stanton takes live batting practice (and knocks satellite out of sky?)   ●   Kuroda will not miss a start, Phil Hughes spot start averted

Thanks for tuning in baseball freaks, catch you this weekend...

Oh and Kate?  

Yeah Kate!