George Bissell

Baseball Daily Dose

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Dose: Near No-Dorizzi

Thursday, September 13, 2018


Minnesota may be the land of 10,000 lakes, but it was nearly the land of zero hits on Wednesday night. Jake Odorizzi carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against a potent Yankees lineup and fell just five outs shy of joining southpaws James Paxton and Sean Manaea as the only pitchers to throw a no-hitter in 2018. Ironically, it’s the second time in less than a week that Target Field has been the epicenter of an unlikely no-hit bid. Royals rookie right-hander Jorge Lopez came within three outs of recording the 24th perfect game in major-league history against Minnesota last Saturday. In eerily similar fashion, Odorizzi saw his potential no-hitter extinguished on a one-out RBI double by Greg Bird in the eighth inning.

 

The 28-year-old veteran right-hander was in complete control of his five-pitch repertoire, yet threw just 69 of his season-high 120 pitches for strikes over 7 1/3 innings of one-run ball. He was effectively wild, issuing three walks, but managed to avoid the middle of the plate (and hard contact) in the process. He threw an astonishing 34 sliders and season-high 27 splitters, which generated an eye-popping 10 swinging strikes combined. Odorizzi, who was acquired from Tampa Bay in exchange for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios back in February, remains extremely unlikely to ever develop into the potential fantasy ace that many fantasy analysts envisioned earlier in his career. However, he’s evolved into a durable workhorse, who offers enough strikeout upside to remain a viable mixed league rotation arm for years to come. He’s struggled through an unremarkable Twins debut, going 6-10 with a pedestrian 4.41 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 153/64 K/BB ratio in 30 starts. However, he’s put together a strong second half, posting a 4.17 ERA and 48/19 K/BB ratio in 10 starts since the All-Star break. Obviously, Odorizzi lacks the tantalizing top-of-the-rotation upside fantasy owners typically covet. However, if he continues to limit the walk and home run issues, which have negatively impacted his performance in the run prevention department, he’s going to be an intriguing mid-to-late round rotation depth target for savvy owners in fantasy drafts next spring.

 

Double Trouble

 

Alex Bregman went 2-for-5 with three RBI to lift the Astros to a 5-4 comeback win over the Tigers and complete a sweep of the three-game series at Comerica Park. Houston has won 10 of 11 games since September 1 and has roared back to take a three-game lead over the Athletics in the American League West division. The 24-year-old shortstop/third baseman recorded his 50th double, 100th run scored and 100th RBI in the fifth inning on Wednesday, becoming the first major-league hitter to eclipse each of the 30-homer, 50-double and 100-RBI plateau’s in a single-season since Albert Pujols accomplished the feat back in 2012. It’s an extremely rare milestone, which requires a unique blend of power and speed. It’s worth noting that Bregman, who owns a major league-leading 81 extra-base hits this year, got off to a rather slow start, hitting a meager .262 with 18 doubles and five homers in 56 games to open the season. Since June 1, he’s hitting .318 with 72 runs scored, 32 doubles, 25 homers and 77 RBI in 87 games. He’s reached base safely in 39 consecutive games and is a dark horse American League MVP candidate. The only question is whether he’s a consensus first-round selection in 2019 fantasy drafts?


19 For 19

 

The term “historic” gets thrown around with reckless abandon these days. Certain buzzwords, which serve as heuristic shortcuts, have permeated the fantasy lexicon in recent years and it certainly feels like “historic rookie campaign” is one of them. However, when it comes to the exploits of Nationals 19-year-old rookie slugger Juan Soto, it’s the only worthwhile adjective to describe his truly stratospheric levels of production. Less than 24 hours after launching a pair of homers to propel the Nationals to a victory in the tail end of an afternoon doubleheader against the Phillies, “Childish Bambino” belted a towering solo homer -- his 19th of the year -- in the sixth inning of the Nationals’ 5-1 win on Wednesday. He’s recorded a hit in 17 of his last 20 games since August 21. He’s batted an astonishing .359 (28-for-78) with four homers and 17 RBI over that 20-game span. According to the Baseball-Reference Play Index, Soto is now tied with Hall of Famer Mel Ott for the third-most homers (19) by a teenager in MLB history. He trails only Bryce Harper (22) and Tony Conigliaro (24) for the record. For the record, Soto turns 20-years-old on October 25.



American League Quick Hits: Chris Sale (shoulder) is scheduled to go around three innings in his next start Sunday against the Rays … Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he's hopeful Aroldis Chapman (knee) can return "sometime next week" … James Paxton (illness) will not travel to Anaheim for the Mariners’ weekend series … Jean Segura (illness) remained out of the Mariners' starting lineup Wednesday versus the Padres … Trevor Cahill may be skipped from his scheduled start Saturday against the Rays due to a back issue … Niko Goodrum (quad) is likely to be out for at least the next several days after a collision with teammate Christin Stewart on Wednesday … Blue Jays first baseman Rowdy Tellez became the first player since 1913 to record seven doubles in his first seven major-league games … David Price struck out seven over seven innings and Craig Kimbrel recorded his 39th save of the year in the Red Sox’ win over the Blue Jays … Blake Snell whiffed nine batters over seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Indians … Jose Ramirez slugged his 38th homer of the year in that contest … Ji-Man Choi went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and Mallex Smith stole a pair of bases, putting him in a tie for the American League-lead with 33 on the year, in that one as well … Alex Bregman went 2-for-5 with three RBI to help the Astros’ edge the Tigers … Nicholas Castellanos slugged his 21st long ball of the year in the loss … Nelson Cruz swatted his 35th homer of the year in the Mariners’ loss to the Padres … Matt Olson went 2-for-4 and drilled a three-run homer to life the Athletics to a blowout win over the Orioles … Tim Anderson hit a two-run homer in the top of the 12th inning to lead the White Sox past the Royals … White Sox manager Rick Renteria told reporters on Wednesday that Yoan Moncada is dealing with a sore hip … Lance McCullers (forearm) will throw another bullpen session on Saturday … Alex Cobb will not start on Sunday against the White Sox because of a blister on his right index finger … Luis Ortiz will make his first major league start on Friday against the White Sox … Joe Mauer is considering retiring at the end of the 2018 season.

 

National League Quick Hits: Yu Darvish underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his right elbow Wednesday … Gregory Polanco underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a dislocated left shoulder … Johan Camargo (groin) remained out of the Braves' starting lineup Wednesday against the Giants … Kyle Schwarber (back) is aiming to return to the Cubs' starting lineup on Friday … Justin Turner went 2-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored in the Dodgers’ victory over the Reds … Bryce Harper went 1-for-4 with a two-run homer and Stephen Strasburg whiffed nine batters over seven innings of one-run ball to lift the Nationals to a win over the Phillies … J.P. Crawford went 3-for-4 with a solo homer in the loss … Lorenzo Cain went 3-for-5 with a stolen base to lead the Brewers to a victory over the Cubs … Christian Yelich swiped a pair of bases, giving him 19 on the year, in that contest … Nolan Arenado went 3-for-4 with his 33rd homer of the year in the Rockies’ comeback win over the Diamondbacks … DJ LeMahieu swatted a two-run walk-off dinger, his career-high 15th of the year, in that one … Zack Wheeler threw eight shutout innings in the Mets’ blowout win over the Marlins … Jeff McNeil went 3-for-5 with a triple and two RBI in that contest … Jameson Taillon allowed two runs over seven-plus frames and Felipe Vázquez notched his 32nd save of the season in the Pirates’ narrow win over the Cardinals … Daniel Poncedeleon whiffed seven and tossed five innings of two-run ball in that contest … Jonny Venters earned his third save of the season in the Braves’ win over the Giants …Cardinals activated 3B Jedd Gyorko from the 10-day disabled list … Alex Wood will not start on Sunday against the Cardinals … Brandon Morrow (elbow) is hoping to return to the Cubs' bullpen by the end of next week … David Wright (shoulder) will meet with chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon to discuss his next steps and when a possible return to the Mets can take place.






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