Welcome back to another MLB Blog! Let’s hop right into it:
- Major League Baseball announced yesterday that it will stream a free game on Facebook Live each Friday night. This partnership is awesome for the sport, as it will allow fans to interact with all their Facebook friends over a baseball game, which I think is such a cool idea. No blackouts, too. I like it.
- Blue Jays OF Kevin Pillar was suspended 2 games for using a homophobic slur towards Braves reliever Jason Motte on Wednesday night after Motte quick-pitched him. Pillar apologized, and will give his salary for the 2 games to charity.
- As I’m sure you know by now, it was announced yesterday that Braves 1B Freddie Freeman will miss at least 2 months with the left wrist injury he suffered after being hit by a pitch Wednesday. Not only is this a brutal loss for the Braves, as Freeman was having a season worthy of MVP consideration, but it’s a real shame for baseball. Already this year, we’ve lost some of the most talented players in the game for extended periods of time: Freeman, Noah Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner.
- The Angels bolstered their rotation yesterday by adding free agent Doug Fister. Fister started 32 games for the Astros last season, but hasn’t been signed since. It’s clear teams are highly skeptical about his ability to produce on a big-league level nowadays, as it’s surprising considering all the rotation injuries and struggles across baseball that it took him this long to find a job.
- Don’t look now, but those Texas Rangers you wrote off a few weeks ago? Yeah, they just finished an 8-0 homestand and have won 9 in a row total. I still don’t think Texas has the pitching to beat out the recently untouchable Astros for the division crown (they have gained just one game on the ‘Stros during this streak) but at least they’re back in the picture.
- Julio Teheran had another clunker at SunTrust Park yesterday, giving up 9 runs. Teheran’s ERA at his team’s new home is now 10.50, and he has a WHIP of .200. On the road, however, Teheran has a 0.71 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. It’s the weirdest thing.
Discussing the James Loney signing
Shortly after it was announced that superstar Freddie Freeman would be out for approximately 10 weeks, the Braves agreed to a minor-league deal with first baseman James Loney.
Loney, an 11-year veteran, played for the Mets last season. He’s spent most of 2017 with the Tigers’ organization, where he hit .229 for the team’s Triple-A affiliate. He was released on May 7.
Loney’s value lies in his fielding ability and experience, especially in this situation. This is hardly his first time filling in for a big-name first baseman – he took over at the position after the Red Sox traded Adrian Gonzalez all those years ago, and more recently started for the Mets after Duda went down in 2015.
He won’t offer much at the plate, but this was the obvious move for the Braves’ brass. Don’t be certain it’s the last concerning the sudden vacancy at first base, though…
Play of the Day
American League pitchers hitting is always fun, but this was especially awesome (as much, in this case, as it pains me to admit):
Stat of the Day
Julio Teherán's pitch to hit Bautista was 95.6 MPH. It was his fastest since 2015.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 18, 2017
Not sure how I feel about that.
Fact of the Day
There have already been as many cycles this year as there were in 2016. (Three)
— BaseballFact (@BaseballFact) April 30, 2017
(As always, remember to go give those guys a follow.)