“He’s really athletic,” Toronto Blue Jays skipper Terry Francona said May 5 before the Guardians hosted the Toronto Blue Jays at Progressive Field in the first of a four-game series.
Triston McKenzie is 6-foot-5 and listed at 165 pounds. The body-frame of McKenzie will only develop over time and improve but the Guardians brass isn’t worried. When asked about his size and if that would matter, McKenzie responded:
“I don’t know how I stay so slender. I feel like I eat a decent amount. I think it’s just how my body works……I believe baseball is very taxing. I feel like I burn through a lot of what I eat. I’d say throwing the way I do is me learning my body and learning what makes me feel good and being consistent day in and day out.”
McKenzie’s had somemore gems since that near no-hitter in 2021. Dr. Sticks (1-2) threw 6⅓ scoreless innings in his last game against the Oakland A’s.
McKenzie, held the A’s to three hits, struck out seven and walked one as Cleveland swept a series at the Oakland Coliseum for the first time since April 10-12, 2000.
McKenzie spoke to the media after the A’s game and said, “For me to be successful, a lot of it is mixing my pitches up and keeping guys guessing. We stuck to the game plan really well today.” Short and simple for the laid-back Guardians ace. “Coming up here in 2020 when stuff was a little weird (because of COVID) and evolving through last year, coming into this year, I feel a lot more comfortable,” McKenzie said. “I feel the team aspect has grown on me. I know a lot of the guys really well now.”
McKenzie made his debut in 2020.
After a rookie season where he said he didn’t feel comfortable asking certain questions around the veterans in the clubhouse, McKenzie is happy with his teammates and their bond as it continues to get better.
Guardians catcher Luke Maile has high praise for the star MLBbro young pitcher.
“Really powerful stuff, really violent,” Cleveland catcher Maile said about McKenzie’s outing. “To call pitches for a guy like that is awfully fun because even when he’s got something else in mind, you really can’t go wrong when he executes well.”
Guardians skipper Terry Francona spoke about McKenzie, saying, “He didn’t give up much. There were times where he lost the strike zone, but he reeled it back in in a hurry, as opposed to 3-4 hitters.”
McKenzie’s next start will be against the Toronto Blue Jays who have lost three of their last five games.
The MLBbro pitching phenom has an impressive resume so far in 2022, including a 2.70 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 24 strikeouts over 23 1/3 innings of work. He will face the Blue Jays next time out. This will be a tough task as the Blue Jays have a stacked batting lineup that includes our very own MLBbro, George Springer.
Don’t let the smile fool you, this MLBbro is always locked in.
The 32-year-old MLBbro Center fielder George Springer has been playing well for the Toronto Blue Jays. After a scare getting hit in the forearm against the Boston Red Sox, Springer has been good and there’s no doubt about it. Springer has a batting average of .286 with 10 RBI, .847 OPS, and one stolen base.
The Blue Jays sit one game behind the New York Yankees in the AL East standings with a 13-8 record before today’s matchup against the Houston Astros as they look to bounce back falling to the Astros, 11-7. On Tuesday night against the Boston Red Sox, Springer came up clutch hitting a two-run homer to tie the game up in the ninth inning. This was Springers’ 200th career home run and he celebrated it by pumping his fist up in the air rounding first base.
Springer has a bright personality not only in the clubhouse with teammates but on the field playing the game with fun and thrill. As Springer did with the Astros for years, he loves pressure situations. Whether it’s during the World Series or a late May game it matters no different.
Blue Jays Manager Charlie Montoyo on George Springer heroics late in the ninth inning, “That was special what Springer did, You don’t teach that. He wants it. He’s one of those guys, and that’s why he does so good in the playoffs. He’s one of the best players in playoff history because he’s waiting for those moments to happen.”
The Blue Jays went on to close out that game with a walk-off win 6-5 over the Red Sox and Springer finished with 3 RBI. Since sitting out Friday’s game with a forearm bruise, Springer has hits in four straight contests and has gone 6-for-17 with a double and two homers.
This is what the Blue Jays were hoping for after inking him to a six-year, $150 million deal in 2021. Springer is in the top-five all-time with 19 postseason home runs. Having led the Astros to their World Series win, Springer took home the World Series MVP award. He hit five home runs for the Astros in the seven-game long World Series.
Springer is looking like he’s fully healthy and the Blue Jays will finally get to experience his full value. The diving plays catching balls that are hit in between gaps outfield, having a calming presence in the clutch moments, and being a fun teammate in the clubhouse. That’s all the Blue Jays need from Springer as they have a stacked batting lineup that includes Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Bo Bichette , and Raimel Tapia.
Springer has played in less than 100 games for the Blue Jays but he’s already in their record books. He’s one of only six players with an OPS above .900 in their first 95 games and trails only Jose Canseco with 26 home runs. The Blue Jays who have championship aspirations need Springer to stay on the field, the team is better when he’s playing. Blue Jays have a record of 59-37 when Springer is playing for the past two seasons and 44-41 when he doesn’t suit up for the organization.
Look for the Blue Jays to continue to climb up MLB power rankings and stay there as the season progresses forward. While they’re sitting there at the top, just know that more than likely George Springer will have something to do with the success of this 2022 Blue Jays’ team.
Cincinnati Reds’ MLBbro pitcher Hunter Greene is off and running in the Majors. After an impressive debut against the Atlanta Braves Last Sunday, Greene showed his enthusiasm to finally play at home in Los Angeles. The Sherman Oaks phenom used to attend Dodgers games consistently as a kid. On Saturday night, he introduced LA’s star-studded lineup to his generational heater.
Greene started in front of a large contingent of familiar faces and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 Draft didn’t disappoint, tossing a super lit five innings against the Dodgers on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Greene’s 34th pitch of 100+ miles per hour set a new MLB record for a start. He added five more to bring his total to 39, before exiting the game with one out in the bottom of the 6th inning, having thrown 80 pitches. The future Black Ace struck out six and allowed two runs – on a two-run Trea Turner home run in the 6th.
It Was Written…
Greene’s journey to becoming a professional pitcher began in 2007, when he first stepped into the Compton Youth Academy as a 7-year-old. Greene was introduced to the Urban Youth Academy, the Elite Development Invitational (Now called Hank Aaron Invitational), and the Dream Series as a young ball player.
“For me, opportunities that were given to me at such a young age, like the Urban Youth Academy, the Elite Development Invitational, the Dream Series … just being around the people and the event meant a lot to me,” Greene said during an interview with MLB Network in 2017. “It’s all about the opportunities. I really think that the people here, the players that are here can get that opportunity, that exposure, it’s definitely going to change their lives. Not just on the field as a baseball player, but as a person.”
Though early in his career, Greene has assumed the responsibility of connecting young Black athletes to the game of baseball. Greene spoke with media members before Dodgers Stadium debut: Not only about how special pitching in LA is, but how he’s invested in helping other Black kids from underserved communities.
“Obviously I came here as a kid to a lot of games. I was just talking to our infield coach and first base coach about how I would sit down the third-base line, watch Rafael Furcal and the amazing player he was. Just a beautiful experience to be here and to pitch on Saturday will be pretty special.”
Hit The Mound Running
The Reds’ No. 1 prospect won his MLB debut and turned heads as he’s done for most of his baseball career. He struck out two batters in each of the first three innings. He allowed one run and two hits in the fourth inning, and two solo homers in the fifth to finish with a stat line of three earned in 5 innings.
Out of 92 pitches, thrown he threw 56 for strikes. Over 20+ of his fastballs hit over triple digits, and in the fifth inning before being pulled he was still throwing upwards of 101 MPH which is pretty impressive. Greene is showing with his pitches a lot of enticing mix of speed and movement. He was even better on Saturday and had the gas flowing. The support from friends and family definitely heightened the intensity of the moment.
Prior to the game Greene was asked who would be in attendance.
“I don’t even know who’s going to watch me,” Greene said. “I know my immediate family is. There are obviously some great past players that work here for the Dodgers and are on the field pregame and postgame. So it’ll be pretty special to pitch in front of them…….I know a lot of people here, just being from here. There will be a lot of players and past kids that I played with, friends of mine. So just to have them here for them to see that I made it. And you know, there’s also a lot of haters out there. People that said I would never even get past high school baseball. So they’re going to see the game on Saturday, I’m sure.”
The 75th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier for baseball was on Friday, April 15th thus Major League Baseball deeming it Jackie Robinson Day. Greene, spoke about the importance of it to him,
That’s a heavy question,” Greene said, when asked how he potentially could mirror Robinson’s legacy as a Black player.
“To be out here as a Black player and as a young man, to represent him and what he stood for is super important. And to shed that light on our community as well and to let these kids know that they can do it…….And to do it with grace and to always be poise and just represent. It’s not just about yourself, but it’s about your family and the next generation that follows.”
MLBbro Hunter Greene acknowledged the major legacy of Jackie Robinson and what it meant to play a day after his Day.
“I’m starting my own legacy now. I would like to think that I’ll be here for a long time. My goal is to play 15-20 years in this game. But to touch on Jackie’s legacy, what he endured as a player, as a man, is unbelievable to see the grace that he played with every day on the field, the amazing teammate he was….I always get emotional talking about it. To be here at Dodger Stadium and to be here for the 75th anniversary is pretty special. I miss Jackie Robinson day by one day. I’m pitching, so kind of bummed about that. But I’m sure one of my starts will fall on Jackie Robinson day down the line.”
The MLBbro stud seems to have his legacy set on being great. All the fans in Cincinnati should be ecstatic to have a dominant pitcher for years to come. `
Ke’Bryan Hayes is expected to return to action on Saturday.
And when the Pittsburgh Pirates’ star third baseman does return from his left foreman spasm that knocked him out of the opener, Hayes will have a big bag with him.
The MLBbro reportedly has reached an agreement for a long-term contract extension that’ll be the richest in the organizations’ history, according to Robert Murray of Fansided. The contract extension is for eight years and will pay Hayes’ $70 million with the Pirates having the club option for Hayes’ ninth-year. Hayes can remain with the Pirates through the 2030 season.
Today was surreal for the Hayes family! 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾💯💯💯
Congratulations @KeBryanHayes you deserve everything that you’ve accomplished. Keep climbing up the ladder, if they mad make ‘em madder!
Hayes spoke to the media about Opening Day and what the contract meant to him, “I’m just thankful for this opportunity, for them believing in me for a long-term deal,” said Hayes before the Pirates took on the St. Louis Cardinals. “I’m very committed, as I’m sure they’re committed for this partnership. I’m excited to get back to work this year….It shows how much they believe in me. With the little time that I have in the big leagues, it’s a huge confidence boost, showing they want me to be a guy who’s here for a long time and helps lead the way. It’s very humbling.”
This new deal surpasses the Pirates’ previous largest deal ever with Jason Kendall’s six-year, $60-million guaranteed deal contract back in 2000.
Hayes, 25, struck out in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Cards and then sustained an injury in the bottom of the inning.
It was called a cramp or spasm around his left wrist going up into his forearm. The Pirates and Hayes are pleased to hear that it wasn’t anything too serious as he’s listed day-to-day on the injury report, and should be good to go for the second game of this series against the Cardinals on Saturday.
“I knew it wasn’t an injury….I knew it was a cramp,” said Hayes, son of former MLB third baseman Charlie Hayes. “I was trying my best. There were like two or three pitches I didn’t even have my glove on. I was trying my best to get that thing to loosen back up. I just didn’t have the time to do it.”
Hayes, who played in only 96 games in the MLB’s 2021 season due to a lingering left wrist injury, scored 49 runs and had 38 RBI in that time. In his 2020 campaign, Hayes was on fire in 24 games, Hayes hit .376 with a 1.124 OPS and instantly thrust himself into the National League Rookie of the Year conversation.
In the offseason, Hayes tried to change up his batting mechanics, specifically his follow-through swing to help not aggregate the same injury again. That’s why when he sustained the scare during the opening game, it made his teammates worrisome.
“We were all holding our breath a little bit,” Pirates’ shortstop Cole Tucker told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Very up-and-down day for him. We were just kind of confused. Glad to know that it sounds like it’s nothing major.”
The Pirates finally paid the MLBbro what he rightfully deserved and locked up Hayes for the long-term, giving him the keys to leading the franchise going forward. He’s their future no doubt about it. The organization has had its share of Black talented players who’ve played for them, including Dave Parker, Willie Stargell, and last but least, the great Barry Bonds.
It was said that Parker was the first “Richest Man in Team Sports” as the Pirates gave him a $1 million per year contract that actually never came to fruition as the franchise pushed back payments over years as he played there after its World Series win in 1979 over the Baltimore Orioles. Stargell, the 1979 World Series MVP, played his entire career with the Pirates. But players didn’t make the kind of money they make now.
Bonds won the NL MVP Award in 1990, but was frustrated with the organization as he was one of the lowest-paid players in the majors during this time. Ultimately, he left for San Francisco.
The Pirates didn’t make the same mistake this time around with our MLBbro. Hayes deserved to get paid and will endure some tough times as the team goes through the rebuild phase. But there’s one thing for certain, he can AFFORD mostly anything through these times.