News and Notes for Thursday August 17, 2023
The Guardians split a series with the Cincinnati Reds, playing sloppy on their way to a 7-2 loss. Noah Syndergaard didn’t play particularly well, but no one feels worse than him, so let’s take it easy on him. We appreciate the entries you’ve had, Noah, and hope for better days ahead for you.
I was encouraged that Terry Francona was able to get all three of Gabriel Arias, Brayan Rocchio and Tyler Freeman in the lineup.
Arias hit another nuke (from a lefty this time!), going 1-3 with a strikeout and groundout into a double-play and a .550 xBA while playing first base.
Rocchio collected three singles in four at-bats, had an xBA on the day of .380 and committed an error at short.
Freeman played solid defense in place of Jimenez, but went 0-4 with a hit, hit into a double play and didn’t hit a ball faster than 96 mph.
Each game is a data point closer to helping the team figure out who Gimenez’s double play partner is going forward.
For those of you still holding out hope for the division race, the Twins lost to the Tigers, keeping the Guardians 4.5 games back.
Tonight, the Guardians face another tough left-handed pitcher in Tarik Skubal for the Tigers as he continues to return to form from an injury, while Xzavion Curry will go for the Guardians. Skubal has had a good start and then a bad start recently, so we’ll see which version Cleveland players see tonight.
Cal Quantrill went 3 and 2/3 for Akron and allowed four hits, a walk and a run and struck out 4. Now the Guardians will have to decide whether he will make another rehab appearance or return to the big league team. Could they send one of their standout rookies out for a rest period and rile up their fans? It may be a necessary evil, unfortunately, to protect the incredibly valuable young arms of Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen.
Minor League Summary
The Columbus Clippers lost 7-3 and James Karinchak continues to struggle giving up 2 runs on two walks and a wild pitch, but Joey Cantillo had five hits in 5 innings, giving up 1 earned run on five hits and two walks and George Valera had two hits including a double. The Akron Rubber Ducks lost 7-6, but Juan Brito had two more hits, Petey Halpin hit a leadoff home run and right-handed reliever Franco Aleman had two more no-hit, no-walk, scoreless innings, striking out five. The Captains swept a doubleheader 5-1 and 2-0. In the early game, Trenton Denholm pitched four innings and Chase Delauter and Dayan Frias had hits. In the nightcap, Delauter had 2 hits, Kahlil Watson, Jake Fox and Frias each had a hit, and junior left-hander Steve Hajjar looked very good in six innings, allowing 2 hits, 3 walks, a run and 8 strikeouts . The Lynchburg Hillcats won 4-0 behind a good outing by Adam Tulloch and two hits by Wuilfredo Antunez and a homer by Jose Devers, his 9th of the season. Finally, the Guardians Blue went 4-3 in the Dominican Summer league, and it might be a good idea to keep an eye on Luis Merejo, a 17-year-old third baseman there who has an OPS over .900
Around the MLB
Shohei Ohtani hit another mammoth home run. Ha buzz.
Fernando Tatis Jr. Jose Ramirez made the best impression and stole home.
The Dodgers have won 10 straight.
Rob Manfred talked about the state of the game of baseball, frantically trying to figure out how he can claim the game is as healthy and profitable as ever while preparing to tell the players that the owners are practically broke in the next round of CBA negotiations.
Christopher Morell performed an incredibly entertaining celebration for the Cubs beating the White Sox.
FanGraphs writer Ben Clemens makes his case for Win Probability Added as a useful statistic to use when voting for MVP awards.
FanGraphs writer and occasional Covering the Corner guest Dan Szymborski noted the only real fact for Kansas City Royals fans in 2023, Bobby Witt Jr.’s first season.
Similar to the situation with Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco It’s not goodas it is in the hands of law enforcement to figure out what happened and make sure any victims get justice.
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