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MLB News Notes and Mailbags: Week of 5/11-5/17

Another week into the MLB season and all new headlines to cover throughout the Majors. And don’t forget to take a look back at last weeks MLB News Notes and Mailbags.

  • Strange Shift Grounds Gallo

Innovative thinking has been the model for the Houston Astros when it comes to shifting, for a few seasons now. But this year they have amplified that strategy to another level. The “Joey Gallo Shift” is like nothing we have witnessed in recent memory. It will be interesting to see if Gallo decides to change his “Three True Outcome” approach and go the other way.

  • Shaq’s First Pitch And Made A New Friend

Shaq made a name for himself on the hardwood court but graced us with a ceremonial first pitch at a Miami Marlins game.

  • Ziegler Gets 100

Brad Ziegler gets his 100th career save. Zigler has spent much of his career as a setup man in the bigs. But has found his way into more saves in Miami.

  • The Dark Knight Rises?!

Matt Harvey has been the focus of much scrutiny and discussion over the last few seasons. To the point that he was removed from his team in “Gotham” (New York Mets). But in his brief time with the Cincinnati Reds (just two starts) Harvey has posted an ERA of 3.38 with 7 strikeouts, and no walks over 8 innings of work.

  • Just Votto Being Votto

Joey Votto is more than just an On Base Machine, he also has a mischievous side that is always at work with fans, teammates and opponents alike. Just enjoy Joey bein Joey.

  • Fowler Flew All The Way Back

In what was one of the most gruesome sights on a baseball field Dustin Fowler (then of the New York Yankees; now of the Oakland Athletics) was chasing down a fly ball and crashed into the low fence at Guarantee Rated Field in Chicago. Fowler had to have surgery on his knee, and it was questionable if he could ever make it back to the Major Leagues. Well, Dustin returned to the Bronx, the home of the team that drafted him and picked up his first Major League hit.

  • Don’t Fret It’s Just a Little One

During the San Francisco Giants game with the Cincinnati Reds the world shook, literally.

  • 40 In 40

The New York Yankees are the first team since 2003 to have four players reach the 10 home run plateau in their teams first 40 games. Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton have combined to hit 41 home runs so far this season and it will be very interesting to see just how many home runs this quartet ends up with at season’s end.

  • Oh No Not Cano; Injured and Busted

Seattle superstar second baseman Robinson Cano got dealt two huge blows over the past week. First, he was hit by a pitch on his right hand and broke it, leaving him sidelined on the DL for at least 6-8 weeks. The second blow was dealt when MLB announced that Cano was being suspended 80 games for testing positive for a banned substance under the Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The Diuretic that was found in his system before the season is often used as a masking agent for other Performance Enhancing Drugs. The question now becomes when Cano returns to the Mariners lineup just what type of player will Seattle be receiving.

  • Oh, K Tani, I See You

Shohei Ohtani has been and rightly so the talk of Major League Baseball all season long. Ohtani is doing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim what no one thought possible, he truly has been showing that the two-way player is more than possible. Shohei current has 43 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched. Along with 5 home runs, 16 rbi’s and a slash line of .325/.366/.597. Let’s put this into perspective Shohei Ohtani is currently 11th in all of Major League Baseball in Slugging Percentage (min. 80 PA). And Ohtani is 6th amongst pitchers in K/9 with 11.85 (min. 30 IP).

  • Get The Brooms

Over the weekend a couple of ballclubs brought out the brooms to sweep their opponents. The Washington Nationals in a four-game set outscored the Arizona Diamondbacks 13-7. The Diamondbacks are in the midst of a 3-7 stretch over their last 10 games but still find themselves first in the NL West by 2 games over the Colorado Rockies.

Second of two sweeps was the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds. The winner of the series outscored the loser 20-9 and won all four games. One would think that the winner of the series was the Dodgers right? Well, one would be wrong as it was the Reds who swept the Dodgers in LA. The Dodgers are in the midst of their worst start to a season since 1929.

  • Peralta Fans 13 in De-Brew

Freddy Peralta of the Milwaukee Brewers makes his MLB debut and strikes out 13 Rockies in the process. Peralta became just the fifth pitcher since 1908 to strike out 13 or more batter in his Major League debut according to Baseball Reference.

  • Piscotty Delivers Big

Stephen Piscotty lost his mother recently to ALS better known as Lou Gehrig‘s disease. And in his first night back in an Oakland A’s uniform Stephen received a standing ovation. And then, later on, he delivered the most impactful home run of his career. And in a fitting tribute, as he touched home plate, he placed his hand over his heart looking to the sky to his mother. #TeamGretchen

  • Cutch Coming Clutch

Andrew McCutchen has been a star in the MLB for a long time and reached the 1500 career hits mark.

  • Keynan Middleton To Have Tommy John

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim received some bad news as the closer Keynan Middleton is done for the year as he will need to have Tommy John Surgery to repair the torn UCL in his elbow. A big blow for a team that is looking to compete for a playoff spot all season.

  • 2,500

Justin Verlander found the fountain of youth in Houston. As since the trade that made him an Astros Verlander has an ERA of 1.06 and a WHIP of .69. Verlander also notched the 2,500 strikeouts of his career.

  • Big Belly Block

Bartolo Colon of the Texas Rangers continues to defy the odds, The 44-year-old has been remarkably durable and effect even late in his career. But as is always the adage in baseball if you watch long enough you will see something you have never seen before. And that was the case as on a comebacker to the mound Bartolo was hit in his belly and stopped the ball and got the out at first. Bartolo was fine and remained in the game.

  • Mann Makes It

Brandon Mann after a long road in the minors final makes it to “The Show”.

  • Witnessing The GREATEST OF ALL TIME

It is being written about more and more with each passing day. Mike Trout is the greatest player that has ever played the game. This season is pacing to be Trout’s best season. If he can keep up this pace (which is no easy feat), he will end up with the greatest WAR (Wins Above Replacement) season according to Baseball Reference in the history of the game. Babe Ruth currently holds the record at 14.1 WAR in 1923.

  • He’s No Ohtani

I would classify myself as an American League fan through and through. So other than Shohei Ohtani, maybe Madison Bumgarner and Bartolo Colon (for the hilarity of it) I don’t to see pitchers hit. It’s a noncompetitive at bat and doesn’t help with the lack of action in the game. Anytime an American League pitcher has to hit for interleague it is just sad. As evidenced below.

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