Say Hey, Baseball: Column Archive

2015

  1. May 31, 2015: Ramon Flores gets MLB debut after years in minors
    • “Ramon Flores may be a newly-minted major leaguer, but he’s no spring chicken.”
  2. June 13, 2015: Say hello, goodbye to switch pitcher Pat Venditte
    • “Only a week after MLB was introduced to Oakland Athletics’ switch-pitcher Pat Venditte, the 29-year-old landed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder.”
  3. June 24, 2015: Cole Hamels would refuse trade to Astros
    • “Cole Hamels has had a long time to consider his next career move, and while he’s still a ways away from deciding on a new major league membership, he is adamant about one thing: he will not be suiting up for the Houston Astros.”
  4. June 28, 2015: Stanton’s injury gives Marlins a chance to rebuild
    • “A team without Giancarlo Stanton is a sad team indeed.”
  5. July 11, 2015: Denard Span joins a star-studded disabled list
    • “From Jayson Werth to Stephen Strasburg, the best and brightest on the Nationals’ roster are currently sitting on the disabled list. On Friday, that list expanded to include center fielder Denard Span, who succumbed to lingering back tightness that had been bothering him since June.”
  6. July 26, 2015: Cole Hamels no-hits Cubs, ups trade appeal
    • “The impossible has been made possible for a third time in 2015: Cole Hamels threw his first career no-hitter against the hapless Chicago Cubs on Saturday afternoon.”
  7. August 8, 2015: Red Sox deal Mike Napoli to the Rangers
    • “Rangers general manger Jon Daniels knows exactly what he’s getting with the veteran infielder. “He is a guy who always hits lefties,” Daniels told ESPN on Friday evening. “He is a guy we know. We know he’s going to fit our culture. He has a winning makeup.” If Daniels’ intuition is right, Napoli could be the different maker on yet another playoff-contending club.”
  8. August 23, 2015: MLB needs to address fan safety regulations
    • “Even if MLB doesn’t instate a leaguewide policy on fan safety, it shouldn’t take more accidents to prod teams into making necessary changes on their own.”
  9. September 5, 2015: Yankees could be playoff-bound with Luis Severino
    • “It’s no surprise that Girardi envisions his filthiest pitcher in a playoff spot, despite his relative inexperience. Severino has proven that he is capable of handling high pressure situations so far, whether he’s debuting against the perennial rival Red Sox in Boston or striking out nine of the division-leading Blue Jays.”
  10. September 19, 2015: Subway Series matters equally for New York teams
    • “It’s a good time to be a baseball fan in New York City. The Mets are sitting atop the National League East division with an eight-game lead, while the Yankees are scrambling for a division title — or, at least, a Wild Card berth — in the American League. For the first time in 15 years, the annual Subway Series carries hefty consequences for both teams.”
  11. October 3, 2015: Hurricane Joaquin could derail postseason schedule
    • “Unless the Dodgers play host to the NLDS in drought-ridden California, MLB will have to engineer a way to keep the postseason on track while the Mets mop up Citi Field.”
  12. October 18, 2015: Cubs ready to even Championship Series
    • “Arrieta may be the Cubs’ best chance of getting back on their feet — that is, if he can replicate his dominant regular season numbers.”
  13. October 31, 2015: Mets will not get swept out of the World Series
    • “Now this is a World Series worth watching. The Mets got back into the race for the Commissioner’s Trophy on Friday night, in a game that flip-flopped three times before settling in the Mets’ favor, 9-3. Rookie starter and Asgardian deity Noah Syndergaard got off to a rough start, but settled down to strike out six batters while the Mets orchestrated an explosive, four-run rally in the sixth inning.”
  14. November 15, 2015: Matt Klentak makes first big move as Phillies GM
    • “With three bounce-back candidates in his pocket, however, Klentak is still one or two pieces away from a working rotation. He may not be done making offseason moves, but he’s already ahead of the game.”
  15. November 18, 2015: Cubs will try to recruit players by not winning
    • “No matter which route Maddon and the Cubs take, they have two things working to their advantage: time, and a 97-win record. Free agents may be attracted by the idea of being the first to bring a championship to Chicago in 107 years, but only because the Cubs are actively positioning themselves to compete for another postseason berth in 2016. Of course, the outfield petting zoo and onesie road trips don’t hurt, either.”
  16. November 29, 2015: Zimmerman could pull the Tigers out of a rut
    • “For any club hoping to contend in 2016, Zimmermann’s cost-effective contract, good health, and top-shelf status should attract plenty of interest.”
  17. December 13, 2015: The Phillies just traded for all the pitchers
    • “The Phillies are going to get better next season, and they’re going to do it by collecting all of the pitchers MLB has to offer.”
  18. December 19, 2015: Vogelsong gets another fresh start with Pirates
    • “Veteran starter Ryan Vogelsong, who debuted with the Giants, peaked with the Pirates, declined with the Pirates, resurfaced with the Giants, then regressed with the Giants, is headed back to Pittsburgh at long last.”
  19. December 26, 2015: The Nationals got a Daniel Murphy for Christmas
    • “While you were eating Christmas turkey, unwrapping vintage baseball cards, or perhaps just seeing Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the fifth time, Daniel Murphy spent the holidays rolling in a $37.5M, three-year contract with the Nationals.”

2016

  1. January 10, 2016: Charlie Blackmon could solve Angels’ outfield woes
    • “In order to net a player as well-rounded as Blackmon, the Angels might have to sacrifice some of their pitching depth. Beat writer Jeff Fletcher mentioned right-handers Nick Tropeano and Cam Bedrosian as potential returns, both of whom exceeded their rookie limits in 2015 and will remain under team control through 2020. Neither pitcher has tossed a season’s worth of outings yet, but Tropeano has a polished repertoire that would mesh nicely with the back end of the Rockies rotation, and Bedrosian would be a boon in the bullpen if he cleaned up his control issues.”
  2. January 23, 2016: The DH is on its way to the National League
    • “It all boils down to one question: Do you want Felix Hernandez’s grand slams or David Ortiz’s .284/.378/.547 career batting line?”
  3. February 7, 2016: Tyler Clippard is drawing major league interest
    • “Relief pitcher Tyler Clippard may have a new MLB stadium to call home — and not a moment too soon. Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks, putting pressure on clubs to round out their rosters before the frenzy of Spring Training competition begins.”
  4. February 20, 2016: The Dodgers pitching staff has seen better days
    • “It’s not an ideal way to begin a new season, but it will take more than a couple of injured pitchers to keep the Dodgers out of the running for the NL West title. What they lack in Zack Greinkes, Brandon McCarthies and Hyun-jin Ryus, they make up for in roster depth — enough depth, Adrian Gonzalez claimed, to cover any potential injury the team might face in 2016.”
  5. March 6, 2016: Tommy John study could help Yankees’ pitching staff
    • “Spring training comes with a lot of warnings, but they all boil down to the same basic message: Take everything you see and hear with a grain of salt. For the Yankees, these precautions land on a much more serious note. According to new research conducted by Bradley Woodrum and Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, the three New York pitchers mostly likely to undergo Tommy John surgery in the future also happen to be three of their most potent hurlers: Nathan Eovaldi, Masahiro Tanaka, and Luis Severino.”
  6. March 19, 2016: Wright’s spring debut bodes well for MLB return
    • “If his performance in the 2015 postseason is any indication, Wright is more than capable of working through his injuries to deliver big results. The key for both parties in 2016 will be a slow, steady approach — and hopefully one with a satisfying payoff at the end.”
  7. April 3, 2016: Welcome back, baseball!
    • “Happy Opening Day, baseball fans! All the vague hot stove tweets, the rumors confirmed and denied, the spring training over-analysis and the agonizing will-they, won’t-they of roster construction can finally be laid to rest for another six months. The playing field is even again, and your team could probably win the World Series this October!”
  8. April 16, 2016: Braves, Twins win baseball games
    • “Both teams displayed some fortitude in their last performances, rallying to gain and preserve narrow leads over their competition, but the stuff of true dominance was lacking — and that’s something they’ll have to find if they’re serious about contending during the rest of the season.”
  9. May 1, 2016: The Mets can’t stop winning
    • “While there’s always room for improvement, and the pint-sized statistics we love to tout in April still haven’t begun to stabilize, the Mets appear to be pacing themselves for another appearance in October.”
  10. May 14, 2016: Matt Bush returns to MLB after 12 years
    • “During the 2015 offseason, Bush completed his three-year sentence and signed a minor league deal with the Rangers after his release from prison. Minor league coach Roy Silver, who also worked closely with Josh Hamilton during his rehab process, assisted the Rangers in implementing strict measures to keep the 29-year-old clean and sober as he worked his way back up to the big leagues.”
  11. May 29, 2016: Yu Darvish is back, maybe for good
    • “Is it too early to predict another 200-strikeout, Cy Young-contending performance for Darvish? Probably, but with a 95 mph fastball and Adrian Beltre dishing out run support right and left, all signs are pointing up.”
  12. June 11, 2016: It’s MLB Draft day! (Day 3!)
    • “At this point, the draft becomes a trade chip and farm system filler free-for-all. In other words, it’s unlikely that anyone will stumble upon the next Mike Trout here.”
  13. June 25, 2016: Giants are riding the best win streak in SF era
    • “If 48 wins seems like a lot — if, in fact, you can’t remember a time when the Giants lost two consecutive baseball games — you’re not alone. They’re 31-9 over their last 40 games, a streak so magnificent that you’d have to go all the way back to the 1954 New York Giants’ 33-7 record to find a better one.”
  14. July 10, 2016: Yoan Moncada, Dansby Swanson headline Futures Game
    • “For those participating in the midsummer showcase, it’s not a question of whether or not they’ll land in the majors, but how soon they’ll be able to make their presence felt.”
  15. July 13, 2016: The Royals are hoping for a strong second half
    • “The contrived melodrama of the MLB All-Star Game is a far cry from the pomp and circumstance of the World Series, but the Royals didn’t need a big stage to perform like defending champions on Tuesday night.”
  16. July 23, 2016: A Rangers-White Sox trade might make sense
    • “Whether or not the front office is open to a full-scale rebuild is uncertain, but it might seem imprudent to start dismantling the rotation without a plan in place.”
  17. August 7, 2016: Mariners trade for Caminero and Venditte
    • “Neither Miranda, Caminero, or Venditte are likely to give the Mariners the big push they need to lock down a wild card spot, let alone the division, but diversifying their pitching staff should help them stay competitive as the season winds down.”
  18. August 20, 2016: Indians hit a walk-off inside-the-park homer
    • “There’s no doubt that the Indians have earned their spot atop the AL Central division, but sometimes it takes a breathtaking play to remind us just how good they are.”
  19. August 22, 2016: Julio Urias is the pitcher the Dodgers deserve
    • “If Kenta Maeda and Scott Kazmir manage to stay healthy, the offense pulls itself up from league average production and Urias continues to channel Kershaw in each of his outings, maintaining first place might not be as impossible as it seems.”
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