Aaron Judge’s Injury History Is Concerning, But His Baseball Talent Is A Nightmare For Opponents

Aaron Judge’s Injury History Is Concerning, But His Baseball Talent Is A Nightmare For Opponents

Aaron Judge is a gift and a curse for the Yankees. He’s a gift because rarely do we see Paul Bunyan wielding a Lousiville Slugger. He’s a curse in some ways because we’ve only seen him at his best for one season. . Judge’s injury history is well noted and every time he steps on the field Yankees fans hope and pray that he doesn’t return to the IL.

A brittle body doesn’t change the fact that he’s a five-tool beast when that 6-foot-8 frame is functioning on all cylinders

With his free agency pending, some have questioned whether or not the Yankee should invest the $275M or so it will take to keep Judge in Pinstripes. On the other hand, days like Wednesday — when he bashes two mammoth shots in his first two at-bats against the team that feels it can hang with the Bronx Bombers in the AL East — make the decision pretty simple.

The second homer had an exit velocity of 111.9 MPH, way above the league average of 103.6

 

 

Even with Judge’s heroics, the Yankees lost the game 5-4. They won’t win it all without him, so they have to manage him delicately.

“I know in Aaron’s case, and pretty much all of our guys, they want to go out there all the time and they want to be there for their teammates,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said in a SI article. “So anytime I’m holding a guy out of the lineup, or they’re not able to go out there, I think that’s probably a little frustrating for everybody. But that’s also part of sport and part of what we have to manage on a daily basis.”

Since Judge smashed a rookie record of 52 homers in 2017, he hasn’t played more than 112 games in a season. The big knock on Judge entering 2021 was the fact that since the beginning of 2018, the lethal slugger had appeared in only 242 of a possible 384 games (63 percent)

He’s already missed time this season with soreness. Honestly, though, that’s the risk you take with a player of Judge’s game-changing potential. In that limited time, he’s also produced 11 multi-homer games.

He’s set to become a free agent following the 2022 season. That means Judge will be entering his age-31 season after that winter. He’s no Spring chicken, but at the same time, the Yankees certainly don’t want to be facing a healthy Judge playing for the competition in a playoff situation.

 

 

There will be a line of suitors around the corner if this guy hits the free agent market. He might not command the money that younger superstar like Tatis is getting, but when Judge is healthy, he’s every bit as good. You have to believe that he’s going to catch a hot streak of three or four years where everything just falls into place again. The Yankees don’t want to bail out too early.

Wednesday’s performance was another example of why you don’t relinquish talent like that. Even if you’re only going to have it for 100 games a season.

Brown On The Mound: Taijuan Walker & Marcus Stroman Black Ball Phillies 

Brown On The Mound: Taijuan Walker & Marcus Stroman Black Ball Phillies 

MLbbro.com told you early in the season to keep an eye on the New York Mets rotation and the squad’s melanated mound marauders; Taijuan Walker and Marcus Stroman. The team from Queens is one of just two MLB rotations with two Black starting pitchers.

(Seattle Mariners pitchers Justus Sheffield and Justin Dunn comprise the other Black starter tandem) 

On Tuesday, both pitchers carried their whole weight in leading the Mets to a sweep of NL East rival Philadelphia.

It was exactly the kind of performance that Mets brass hoped for when they decided to bring these two potential Black aces into the fold to round out what could eventually be the best pitching staff in baseball. 

 

 

Both pitchers have basically been lights out. Stroman has a 0.37 ERA  and in 12.1 innings pitched he’s given up just 1 run on a homer and eight hits.

He wants all the smoke. At 5-foot-7 he’s a walking billboard for his branded HDMH slogan: “Heart Don’t Measure Height.”  Let’s not forget he’s doing all this while fighting social justice causes and responding to idiots all day long on Twitter, 

That heart was on full display.  After getting his start cut short during a nine-pitch rainout on Sunday, instead of waiting his normal five days to start again, Stroman went Rough Ryder DMX on em’ and came back on one day’s rest to hurl 6 innings of no-run, four-hit ball, in a performance fit for framing. 

He was efficient, throwing 86 pitches to lead the Mets to a 4-0 shutout win over the Phillies. 

Stroman’s outing followed a spicy effort by Walker, who set the day off like Queen Latifah with the semi-auto, hurling 4.1 innings of 1-run, 3-hit ball with a whopping 8 strikeout. Yeah, he was throwing ched, 

 

This short, but masterful outing follows Walker’s first Citifield start in which he surrendered just two runs in 6 innings. Both of Walker’s efforts ended in a no-decision, but he pitched more than well enough to win. 

Walker’s a live arm that the Mets signed to shore up the rotation. At just 28 years of age and having pitched for some pretty average to bad teams in his career, there was much optimism that Walker could really turn up this season on a Mets team that has the pieces to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.

These Black Knights are what we would call X-factors for the Mets this season. How far the Mets advance will strongly depend on the performance of their bros in arms. Both are playing on the best team of their career and if they pitched to their abilities, both could easily have career campaigns. It really comes down to staying healthy. 

Walker’s durability is always in question. Entering the season the 6-foot-4 heat hurler had started just 15 MLB games since 2018.

There were skeptics who suggested that Stroman was more bark than bite based on the fact that he hasn’t had a winning record since 2017 and his ERA has fluctuated dramatically. Stroman knew better and entered the season healthy, confident and anxiously waiting for a team to explode on. 

 

 

The Mets already have a formidable staff with the best pitcher in the game (Jacob DeGrom) leading the way,  To have two other pitchers capable of dominating at times comes in handy for the Mets, who currently have two key starters missing. Noah Syndergaard is on the shelf and No. 2 starter Carlos Carrasco is on the IL with a bad hammy. 

Give it up for these brothers who continue to dismiss the myth that Black men don’t pitch…anymore.

Minnesota Twins vs. Red Sox Game Postponed Following Daunte Wright Killing By Minnesota PD

Minnesota Twins vs. Red Sox Game Postponed Following Daunte Wright Killing By Minnesota PD

Daunte Wright was stopped by Minnesota Police for having air fresheners in his window after his mother gave him $50 to get a carwash on Sunday. That simple stop resulted in Wright’s death. In the wake of another egregious shooting of an unarmed Black man, the Minnesota Twins organization has postponed today’s game against the Boston Red Sox. 

 

 

The decision was made by the Twins after meeting with MLB hierarchy and local and state officials who reportedly were concerned about riots that were brewing and the complications of functioning while a state-mandated curfew was in effect. 

On top of that, I’m sure that Black players such as Twins star Byron Buxton would not be up to the task of playing under such circumstances. 

Minnesota Twins officials Rocco Baldelli and Derek Falvey said in a press conference on Monday that, “the decision was made with respect for the Wright family but also rooted in safety.”

“We came to the ballpark anticipating that we would play,” said Falvey, Twins President of Baseball Operations. “Over the course of the morning into the early afternoon, we received additional information about what happened at Brooklyn Center…We were able to come together as an organization to make the decision we made… We’re rooted in trying to do the right things by the Twins and also our community in our the city.”

Wright, a 20-tear-old father, was blasted by Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran who now claims it was an “accidental discharge” from her gun. According to Police Chief Tim Gannon, the female officer apparently meant to fire a taser but couldn’t tell the difference between the two weapons. 

“I’ll Tase you! I’ll Tase you! Taser! Taser! Taser!” The officer is heard shouting on her bodycam footage released at a news conference. She draws her weapon after the man breaks free from police outside his car and gets back behind the wheel.

After firing a single shot from her handgun, the car speeds away, and the officer is heard saying, “Holy (expletive)! I shot him.”

Seems far-fetched, but that is the information MPD is putting out to the public. 

The reaction to the killing by the Black community has been understandably angry, as the incident occurs in the middle of the Derek Chauvin Trial, one of the most high-profile police killings of a Black man in American history. 

 

 

Chauvin is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd, whose neck Chauvin remorselessly kept his knee on for more than 8 minutes as the life left Floyd’s body. During the torturous ordeal, Floyd called for his mother and screamed those infamous and bone-chilling words, “I Can’t Breathe.”  Horrified bystanders pleaded for the cops to let Floyd live, but to no avail. 

The trauma experienced by the residents of that state is at an all-time high, as they haven’t had any time to heal from the George Floyd tragedy. 

“Nothing has fundamentally changed since the killing of George Floyd. Nothing,” Jaylani Hussein, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations told The Washington Post Monday. “Police officers can still do whatever they’ve been doing without any measure of accountability.”

Daunte Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told the Star-Tribune that her son had called her after being pulled over and that she heard a commotion and then someone yelling “Daunte, don’t run” before the line disconnected. Moments later, she said, her son’s girlfriend, who was in the car, called back and said he’d been shot.

 

 

Aubrey Wright, who was at a grocery store, said his wife called him around 2 p.m. with the news. “She was screaming over the phone. She was saying, ‘Daunte was shot!’” he said.

When Aubrey Wright arrived at the scene less than 10 minutes later, he said, he saw his son’s 2011 Buick LaCrosse partially destroyed and his son’s body covered with a white sheet on the sidewalk, where it remained for 8 hours, according to Duante’s distraught mother. 

Protesters stormed the city last night as angry people took to the streets, clashed with law enforcement, began jumping on police cars and ascending on the Brooklyn Center Police Department, where rocks and other objects were thrown at officers, authorities said. The National Guard was called in to “keep the peace.” 

 

Stay tuned for more updates on how MLB and other sports leagues respond to this latest unfathomable police shooting of a young, unarmed Black man. Another young child who lost a parent for absolutely no reason. 

 

 

Kudos to baseball for understanding the magnitude of the situation and making the right call. It’s all about Duante Wright.  Another bro gone too soon.

Taylor Trammell Is Quickly Getting The Hang Of This MLB Thing

Taylor Trammell Is Quickly Getting The Hang Of This MLB Thing

Contributor | Kevin Moore

Taylor Trammell got an opportunity to take center stage in centerfield for the Seattle Mariners when a deep bone bruise landed AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis on the 10-day IL to start the 2021 season. With Lewis reportedly out two more weeks, Trammell will continue to fill in.

  

If anything, Trammell’s flashes of potential have Mariners fans envisioning a Soul Patrol for the ages when Lewis returns. The 23-year-old outfielder has belted two home runs in eight games and has a total of five hits.

Though his batting average is below .200 currently, he’s already had some clutch at-bats for the Mariners. It’s clear that his bat has some major pop. The rookie outfielder is not letting his slow start to the season stop him from becoming a player baseball fans should keep their eyes on.

 

Trammell’s first major league home run came on April 10, 2021, off of Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda. He also scored the winning run in extra innings as the Mariners defeated the Twins 4-3.

In an article from The Seattle Times, Trammell talked about how it felt hitting his first home run. “It was great,” Trammell said. “Just to hear (teammates) say, ‘Hey, congratulations, we’re proud of you,’ it means a lot to me because I did grow up watching some of these guys. So to hear them say that meant a lot to me. It was pretty special.”

He made his major league debut on April 1, 2021, and his first big league hit came on April 3rd.

The Georgia native was the 35th pick in the 2016 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds after a stellar high school career. Trammell spent a few years in the Reds farm system and blossomed into a top prospect. In 2018, Trammell represented the Reds in the All-Star Futures Game and was named MVP after hitting a go-ahead home run along with a triple.

 

Trammel was invited to Spring Training by the Reds in 2019 as a non roster player. He spent the first half of the 2019 season playing with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Class AA Southern League.

The Reds traded Trammell to the San Diego Padres in a three-team trade on July 30, 2019. When Trammell joined the Padres, he was assigned to the Amarillo Sod Poodles of the Class AA Texas League.

Trammell had a brief stint with the Padres as he was traded to the Mariners on August 30, 2020. In November of 2020, he was added to the 40-man roster. Going into spring training, Trammell was determined to make a name for himself and he did just that.

He finished Catcus League play batting .302 with five doubles, three homers and 11 RBI. His performance earned him the starting spot in left field going into the 2021 season.

 

In his recent game against the Twins on April 11th, Trammell went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run scored. There’s a reason why the Mariners added Trammell to the 40-man roster and every game he’s improving and becoming more comfortable handling major league pitching. Trammell has the ability to make an impact on this Mariners team.

Top Prospect CJ Abrams Can Boost Padres Offense

Top Prospect CJ Abrams Can Boost Padres Offense

Heading into Saturday’s interleague matchup with the Texas Rangers, the San Diego Padres were off to a 5-3 start, just a game behind the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

The team’s winning record can largely be attributed to some great pitching.

Before exploding for 14 hits and seven runs on Saturday night, the Padres offense had been underwhelming.

The absence of Fernando Tatis Jr., for more than one-third of the schedule is a big reason, but that doesn’t explain why a team with so much talent struggled to scratch out only 30 runs over the eight games played prior to Saturday’s breakout.

If they’re going to unseat the Boys in Blue 121 miles up I-5, the Padres have to be able to put crooked digits on the board. LA is second in the NL in runs scored and San Diego likely won’t have a 1.73 team ERA come September.

A big problem for San Diego has been the play of centerfielder Tommy Pham. Playing in all nine games so far, he ranks last or next to last on the team in batting average, on base percentage, runs, hits, and RBIs. He hit into two key double plays on Saturday

Let’s put it like this…He’s neither batting nor pulling his weight right now.

The solution to the Padres’ woes may be a 19-year old who doesn’t have 50 minor league games to his name yet.

Currently working at San Diego’s Alternate Training Site, CJ Abrams is one of the top prospects in baseball for a reason. He came into the season ranked ahead of rookie standout Ke’Bryan Hayes by MLB.com because of his “elite blend of athleticism, speed, and pure hitting ability.”

Athleticism?

Check.

Speed? Okay, let’s pause for a moment on this one. Abrams has an 80 grade for speed from scouts. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Check. Check.

And yes, he can hit too. At 6’2” and 185 pounds, Abrams hasn’t filled out yet, but he can produce some pop.

In 32 games of rookie league ball in 2019, he batted a mere .401 with 23 extra-base hits while grabbing 14 stolen bases. After spending the 2020 season at the alternate site, he showed up and showed out during Spring Training; outplaying some of the veterans who made the Opening Day roster.

“Playing against the higher level, you’re obviously going to get better faster,” Abrams said this Spring. “It’s just a lot of fun playing against good competition.”

Check. Check. Check.

Though he was drafted as a shortstop, Abrams has spent time at second base and in the outfield. With his ability to cover ground, his strong arm, and solid veterans surrounding him, it shouldn’t take long for CJ to make the adjustment.

“We think he’s a shortstop,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “The development of that — what we believe is that shortstops can play other positions.”

So, it already appears that San Diego has some alternate plans for Abrams. With Tatis locked in for the next 14 years, it’s not likely that there will be a hole at short anytime soon.

But there is one in centerfield, right now. If it gets too much larger, CJ Abrams could be a full-time big league bro very soon.

 

 

Taijuan Walker Was Catching Bodies In His First Mets Start

Taijuan Walker Was Catching Bodies In His First Mets Start

Taijuan Walker earned every penny of his two-year, $20 million dollar deal he inked with the Mets in February. The 6-foot-4 Walker was dominant for 6 innings in his Citifield debut. 

 

He didn’t get the decision, but his energy and quality start paced the Mets to a controversial walk-off win in their home opener.

The lights are always brighter in New York, especially when fans haven’t seen baseball live since 2019 when Walker’s teammate and fellow MLB Bro Dominic Smith hit a walk-off homer in the team’s season finale.

 

 

The 28-year-old native of Shreveport, Louisiana wasted no time as he attacked the zone from the first pitch.  He threw three fastballs at 96, 96, and 97 to strike out the leadoff batter on consecutive pitches. He then fielded a comebacker and picked off Starling Marte after walking him.  

You knew from the gitty that he didn’t lace up cleats this morning to mess around. 

 

 

Walker went 4 ⅓ innings without allowing a hit in his first game in a Mets uniform. It was the second-longest a Mets pitcher has gone without allowing a hit in their team debut.  He finished his day going six innings, striking out four and allowing four hits. 

He had a 1-0 lead for a majority of the game but ended up giving up two runs in the 6th, putting him in line for the loss.  His teammate Jeff McNeil hit a 9th inning home run to get Walker off the hook. The Mets ended up winning the game with a walk-off, hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded.

The former 43rd pick of the 2010 draft has bounced around a few times in his young career, but the team remains excited by his potential. He began in Seattle and was sent to the Diamondbacks in 2016.  After having Tommy John surgery, he ended up back with Seattle for a second time before being traded to the Blue Jays last season.  

 

 

 

 

Walker became a key part of a rotation that bolstered a late Blue Jays playoff push in the American League last season. He had a 1.37 ERA in six games with Toronto striking out 25 in over 26 innings pitched, easily the best stretch of his career. 

Walker is a part of only two pitching rotations with multiple black starters in the Major Leagues, the other being his former team the Seattle Mariners (Justus Sheffield & Justin Dunn). 

Walker and No. 2  starter Marcus Stroman have been lights out in consecutive wins for the Mets. They have combined to go 12 innings allowing 3 runs and striking out 7.

 

 

 

It looks like Walker is ready to piggyback off his strong 2020 campaign and be a golden-armed force in the Mets owner’s promise to bring a World Series Championship back to the city.