March/April MLB game thread

YTF

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Great. He used an approved substance but applied it a few feet away from where he was supposed to. It gives the league cover to enforce but doesn't mean the rule isn't idiotic.


No. There is no standard for how sticky the pitcher's hand can be other than an umpire can't find it "too sticky" ...whatever that means. This is obviously a dumb rule destined for arbitrary enforcement by umpires who routinely feel the need to become the story at any given time.
Might being found to be stickier than he was after first being told to clean up constitute being too sticky?
 

E5 Yaz

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It is legal to use rosin, and especially with the pitch clock now, it makes sense to apply it in the dugout so you can save time between pitches.
This is true, but if it's being cited as a reason Scherzer won't avoid suspension, some clarification needs to be made
 

jon abbey

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This is true, but if it's being cited as a reason Scherzer won't avoid suspension, some clarification needs to be made
Like the balk rule? That one is still pretty arbitrary and has been on the books forever.
 

uncannymanny

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Plenty of info in the original ESPN article:
In a pool report after Wednesday's game, Bellino said that the stickiness on Scherzer's hand during the fourth-inning inspection was "much worse than it was even in the initial inspection."

"As far as stickiness, this was the stickiest it had been since I've been inspecting hands, which goes back three seasons," Bellino said. "Compared to the first inning, it was so sticky that when we touched his hand, our fingers were sticking to his hand. Whatever was on there remained on our fingers afterwards for a couple innings. It was far more than we've ever seen before on a pitcher during live action."

Cuzzi and Bellino both said afterward that they didn't know specifically what substance was on Scherzer's hand.

"I said this to Buck and to Max, it really didn't matter to us what it is," Cuzzi said. "All we know is that it was far stickier than anything that we've felt certainly today and anything this year, and so in that case, we felt as though he had two chances to clean it up, and he didn't."
They (and we) don’t know if it’s just rosin. That’s surely a reason they don’t want players and teams using a dugout stash.

Lots of guys who’d have been “crazy to cheat” did anyway.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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They (and we) don’t know if it’s just rosin. That’s surely a reason they don’t want players and teams using a dugout stash.
That's exactly it. There is league approved rosin on every mound that pitchers are welcome to use. When they start applying away from the mound, it opens the possibility of foul play. Doesn't matter if the player is actually using the same stuff as what's on the mound, if the umpires/league can't confirm that, it's at the very least hinky.
 

LogansDad

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I expected Arizona to be fun this year, I didn't really expect them to be good, and they might not be. But they killed the Padres tonight, 9-0, and are currently atop the NL West.

Their run differential is 0, but I'm getting early 2021 Mariners vibes from them. I think they are a team that isn't quite there yet, but could turn this early season success into something really interesting the rest of the season, especially since the kids should only keep getting better, and the vets can't really be much worse than they have been.

Meanwhile, Miami is above .500 with a -26 run differential. Baseball is weird.
 

grimshaw

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In 185 team innings, the Oakland A's ERA is 8.08 after tonight's drubbing. 60.4% of all batters are left on base vs that staff. Typically in a season, the number is between 65 and 75% of league worst to best.

They are essentially trotting out collective AA talent level guys against big leaguers.
 
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Sad Sam Jones

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The good Logan Allen (not the former Red Sox farmhand who's now a AAA reliever with the Rockies) made a stellar MLB debut today allowing just one run in six innings. He only walked a batter in his last inning and struck out eight. It will be interesting to see him adjust to some gamesmanship his next time out, since I'm sure his next opponent will try to slow his pace – he was usually releasing the ball with 9+ seconds still on the clock – but the Marlins batters let him dictate pace today.

Technically, Cleveland could send the lefty back to AAA and continue as is with a day off later this week, but he's more likely a permanent member of the rotation than either Hunter Gaddis or Peyton Battenfield, who have been filling in for McKenzie and Civale.
 
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simplicio

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In 185 team innings, the Oakland A's ERA is 8.08 after tonight's drubbing. 60.4% of all batters are left on base vs that staff. Typically in a season, the number is between 65 and 75% of league worst to best.

They are essentially trotting out collective AA talent level guys against big leaguers.
And on pace for 29 wins, which would be the worst win percentage since the 19th century.
 

Ale Xander

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They have a -100 run differential on the season. Next worse team is -50.
To put it in perspective, only 7 teams finished with negative triple-digit RD for the entire 2022 season
Nats finished with worst, at -252

A’s on track to more than double that
 

DeadlySplitter

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Brent Rooker and Jesus Aguilar went back to back all in the first three innings for the A's. Just Angel things.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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I know not all things are equal because of the number of games played...but the A's have given up 180 runs. That is 56 more than the next worst. (KC at 124). The 56 difference is the gap from #2 (NYY) and KC at 29.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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That was what Bibee can do when it takes him a few innings to locate his fastball. Plesac and Quantrill should take notice. When McKenzie and Civale return to slot in behind Bieber, with Bibee and Logan Allen good to go and Gavin Williams not far behind, mediocrity won't hold down a rotation spot.
 

Marciano490

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Was Gallen the dude with the long scoreless streak last year, because he’s got another going again now.
 

Wingack

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That was what Bibee can do when it takes him a few innings to locate his fastball. Plesac and Quantrill should take notice. When McKenzie and Civale return to slot in behind Bieber, with Bibee and Logan Allen good to go and Gavin Williams not far behind, mediocrity won't hold down a rotation spot.
Battenfield's gotta be out ASAP right?

He also shouldn't have given up any runs today, Gonzalez should have made that catch.
 

Sad Sam Jones

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Boston should see Bieber, Plesac and Allen this weekend, so my guess is that Battenfield already made his last start for the foreseeable future (although he was good in his first two starts). By the start of next week, Sam Hentges should be back from the IL which eliminates any opportunities for Battenfield or Konnor Pilkington in the pen, so they return to the AAA rotation with Allen and Bibee continuing to see what they can do in the rotation.

Battenfield, Pilkington, Gaddis and Curry had gotten the opportunities to fill in for injuries up until this week, but those are the guys with the lowest ceilings on the 40-man roster. I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of them make a successful transition to the bullpen (see: Eli Morgan), but Cody Morris should also be healthy by summertime and I'd be surprised if we don't see Gavin Williams sometime this season. Williams doesn't need to be on the 40-man roster until they're certain he's ready to join the MLB rotation though.

Cleveland often acts as both a buyer and a seller at the trade deadline, and they have so many starters and middle infielders at AAA that they almost have to deal a couple of those guys or one or two of Zach Plesac, Cal Quantrill or Amed Rosario. They'll also want to keep some healthy competition though, because Shane Bieber most likely gets traded prior to his walk year in 2024.
 

LogansDad

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The Pirates are so much fun. I expected them to get better soon, I did not expect them to be this good, this fast. 4th in MLB in run differential. Relentless offense, good defense, good pitching. The NL Central should be on notice.
 

Scoops Bolling

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Boston should see Bieber, Plesac and Allen this weekend, so my guess is that Battenfield already made his last start for the foreseeable future (although he was good in his first two starts). By the start of next week, Sam Hentges should be back from the IL which eliminates any opportunities for Battenfield or Konnor Pilkington in the pen, so they return to the AAA rotation with Allen and Bibee continuing to see what they can do in the rotation.

Battenfield, Pilkington, Gaddis and Curry had gotten the opportunities to fill in for injuries up until this week, but those are the guys with the lowest ceilings on the 40-man roster. I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of them make a successful transition to the bullpen (see: Eli Morgan), but Cody Morris should also be healthy by summertime and I'd be surprised if we don't see Gavin Williams sometime this season. Williams doesn't need to be on the 40-man roster until they're certain he's ready to join the MLB rotation though.

Cleveland often acts as both a buyer and a seller at the trade deadline, and they have so many starters and middle infielders at AAA that they almost have to deal a couple of those guys or one or two of Zach Plesac, Cal Quantrill or Amed Rosario. They'll also want to keep some healthy competition though, because Shane Bieber most likely gets traded prior to his walk year in 2024.
Speaking of Gavin Williams, he debuted in AAA to the tune of 5.1 IP, 3 hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks, 30% whiff rate...and his stuff is just insane. So long as he stays healthy, I'd be shocked if he doesn't break into the MLB this summer.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Ohtani playing against the historically awful A's and it's going pretty much how you'd expect thus far:

9 up, 9 down with 5 K's on the mound
2-2 with an RBI double at the plate

This will be a fun one to watch in the same way the Dream Team playing against Angola was.

Edit: Maybe I'll just shut up and stop jinxing him.
 
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NYCSox

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Waldichuk, Medina and Sears lit up like Roman candles this week. Maybe stop buying the ridiculous hype for MFY prospects especially on the pitching side.
 

jon abbey

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Waldichuk, Medina and Sears lit up like Roman candles this week. Maybe stop buying the ridiculous hype for MFY prospects especially on the pitching side.
Uh, they are all under control for a long time and are currently taking their lumps in MLB to see if they’re legit, but more importantly the two guys NY got back for them (Montas/Trevino) will likely end up giving NY close to nothing, both have been hurt all of 2023 so far and aren’t coming back anytime soon.

I genuinely admire the depth of your bile, though. :)
 

NYCSox

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Ohtani playing against the historically awful A's and it's going pretty much how you'd expect thus far:

9 up, 9 down with 5 K's on the mound
2-2 with an RBI double at the plate

This will be a fun one to watch in the same way the Dream Team playing against Angola was.

Edit: Maybe I'll just shut up and stop jinxing him.
He just literally fell apart against a bunch of guys who should be playing in Stockton. Insane.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Well...Ohtani followup. He just completely fell apart. He looks like he's learning to pitch out there.

1 BB, 2 HBP, 2 wild pitches, 2 HR and a double allowed with no outs recorded. Gave up a 5-0 lead before retiring a batter.
 

NYCSox

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Uh, they are all under control for a long time and are currently taking their lumps in MLB to see if they’re legit, but more importantly the two guys NY got back for them (Montas/Trevino) will likely end up giving NY close to nothing, both have been hurt all of 2023 so far and aren’t coming back anytime soon.

I genuinely admire the depth of your bile, though. :)
Only saving grace really. Also should add Kaprielian though Gray was a failure too so ....
 

jon abbey

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Only saving grace really. Also should add Kaprielian though Gray was a failure too so ....
NY would undo the Montas deal in a second right now if they could, OAK most certainly would not (Montas a FA after this season, Trevino after next).
 

Sad Sam Jones

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The whole notion that other teams are making bad trades with the Yankees (or any team) because their prospects are overhyped is pretty funny. Do people think that when Cashman calls another GM that guy immediately opens a tab on the laptop to Baseball America or Baseball Trade Values?
 

E5 Yaz

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Gdiguy

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I saw that; the part that I find really interesting there is that MLB appears to have immediately thrown New Era under the bus, which makes me think MLB agrees that it's a stupid request but feels like they contractually have to do it
 

Comfortably Lomb

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I saw that; the part that I find really interesting there is that MLB appears to have immediately thrown New Era under the bus, which makes me think MLB agrees that it's a stupid request but feels like they contractually have to do it
New Era couldn't be bothered to make a giant hat for the Braves? They churn out mountains of shit. Someone couldn't spend a few minutes slapping something together with a New Era logo on the side?