Tuesday night marked the return of Toronto Blue Jays high-priced outfielder George Springer. As planned, Springer played five innings out at center field and went hitless in four tries at the lead-off spot with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
Check out the new guy right at the top of our lineup tonight. Welcome the Herd on an MLB rehab assignment George Springer! pic.twitter.com/ApmKvw7BOY
Activating the nitrous boost out the box brought a sigh of relief for both the Blue Jays execs and Springer as doubts usually loom once a player comes back from a long injury designation.
His return marked the second time for Springer after missing the first month of the season due to right quad and oblique injuries. His first attempt happened in late April/early May, where he played in four games as the designated hitter before the Bluebirds placed their million-dollar man on the injury list.
Springer hit three times out of 15 attempts in those four games with three RBI, two bases on balls, and two home runs.
Can you imagine adding a bat of this magnitude back in the lineup for the already stacked Blue Jays, who currently have a top-three offense in baseball? They recently had eight homers in a single game vs. the Boston Red Sox, the most ever by an opposing team at Fenway Park.
When healthy, Springer is a monster. Adding him to an already stacked Toronto offense will be a game-changer.
In his final two seasons with the Houston Astros during the 2019-2020 seasons, he combined to hit .284/376/.576 for 133 runs, 128 RBI, and 53 home runs in just 173 games.
Those numbers were the reason the 31-year-old three-time All-Star was the Blue Jays’ number one target during free agency for the former World Series MVP, who went on to sign a six-year, $150 million contract this past winter.
Springer’s time in the minors is unknown, as the Blue Jays want to protect their prized acquisition and have him return to centerfield for their centralized location in Buffalo as soon as possible.
Blue Jays analyst for SportsCenter Scott Mitchell tweeted a quote from manager Charlie Montoyo who said, “It could take one game, it could take five, it could take 10. We are going to communicate with him every day to see how he feels.”
George Springer starts rehab assignment Tuesday with Triple-A Buffalo in Rochester.
Montoyo on timeline: “It could take one game, it could take five, it could take 10. We’re going to communicate with him every day to see how he feels.”#BlueJays
Coincidentally, the destination between Triple-A Rochester, New Jersey, and Sahlen Field, where the Blue Jays play, is only a 75-minute drive, so his call to the show should be in a scintilla of a second.
Look for Springer to get back in game shape, as his Bisons take on the Redwings, including Tuesday night in a six consecutive game battle.
The Baltimore Orioles may finish with the worst record in baseball this season. Still, the organization has a player on their roster worthy enough to send to Denver next month for the Midsummer Classic.
His name is Cedric Mullins AKA CM Storm.
Through the first week and a half of the season, the Orioles outfielder had a batting average of .459, an on-base percentage of .512, and a slugging percentage of .676.
Although still impressive, Mullins’ numbers took a hit at the plate in May as he slashed .255/.366/.396. When you’ve placed such a high bar on yourself, like most players, eventually, your numbers will begin to drop.
Some blame the dip in production on the switch hitter’s batting from the right side of the plate.
Numbers indicate he would have a better chance at longevity if he eliminated one side of the dish by batting southpaw, and the stats have shown that batting lefty is ultimately his best side.
With the change, through the first 29 games of the season, April statistics indicated that Mullins led Major League Baseball in home runs and hits.
As the calendar transitioned from spring to summer, his bat and mental focus became impenetrable as pitchers could not cool him off.
Through the first two weeks of June, Mullins has 12 hits out of 20 tries, totaling seven runs, four RBI, four walks, three homers, and zero strikeouts.
As of June 7, Mullins led the American League in hits after his previous two-game performance, where he went eight for nine with five runs, four RBI, and three home runs.
The man’s bat is hotter than fish grease.
Mullins continues to prove that his skill set is not one-dimensional, as his glovework has been astonishing in center field. Per Statcast, his Outs Above Average are top 10.
Fangraphs.com has him ranked as the best center fielder regarding wins above replacement. Fellow MLB bro Byron Buxton is second on the list, followed by Mike Trout, putting Mullins in good company.
Let us not forget about his work on the bags as he currently has 10 stolen bases on 14 tries, tied for tenth in the big leagues.
Teammate John Means told “The Leadoff Spot” on MLB Network Radio that Mullins is one of the most entertaining players to watch when he is on as he does everything so well.
Means said, “He will bunt, hit for power, plays defense, he is a gold glove caliber center fielder, it is incredible.” He continued, “I saw this coming up in the Minor Leagues as he was one of the best Double-A players I have ever seen as he does everything so well. I am glad he is starting to show.”
Through 63 games, Mullins has accumulated 34 runs with 19 RBI to currently average .321/.387/.527. He has hit safely in eight of nine games in June, collecting 17 out of 36 hits.
The man’s hustle and love for the game have been on full display as he is looking like a guy who could hear his name called for a Gold Glove, a Silver Slugger, and probably votes for the leagues’ Most Valuable Player at seasons end.
Mullins is living proof that one must learn to shine in defeat before basking in glory, as losing builds character. Overcoming challenging circumstances will someday make you a champion, and we here at MLBbro.com champion CM smooth as a 2021 MLB All-Star.
MLbbro Ke’Bryan Hayes hit a laser of a home run and missed first base during his ceremonial celebratory trot around the bases. The umpires reviewed the call and punched him out, negating his home run on a rule technicality. If baseball is worried about offense then this isn’t the way to help address that problem. In fact, it might be time to completely trash the rule altogether.
After ten seasons of professional ball, 2,300 at-bats in the Minor Leagues, three organizations, and independent ball, outfielder Dillon Thomas finally got the call that the Seattle Mariners were picking up his contract from Triple-A Tacoma ahead of Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Detroit Tigers.
Thomas didn’t waste any time flashing the stellar defense that he’s displayed throughout his decade in the minors, robbing MLBbro Niko Goodrum of a potential extra base hit in his Big league debut on Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old was filled with emotions as he described his big-league call-up to the media, prior to the game.
He told reporters, “My daughter was playing with her Barbies on the hotel floor, and I just looked at her and a wave of emotions came over me. My girlfriend woke up as she heard me on the phone. I looked at her, we both started crying, and my daughter came up to me and asked, ‘Daddy, what’s wrong?’ I was like ‘daddies going to the big leagues,’ and she got excited and said, ‘Daddy’s a big leaguer.'”
Holding back tears, he added, “My parents were the first call. That’s a moment I thought about for years, and I wanted to share that moment with them. To have them and all my family here is truly a blessing, and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
He played with that same passion in his debut as he manned the Mariners outfield with fellow MLB bro Taylor Trammell.
Before the life-changing call-up, Thomas was raking.
In 80 at-bats, Thomas accounted for 19 runs batted in, six homers, five doubles, and four bases on balls to average .338 with a .459 on-base percentage, a .625 slugging percentage, and an OPS of 1.084 with the Triple-A affiliate Tacoma Rainiers.
Dillon Thomas got the call to play for the Mariners after 10 seasons and over 2,300 AB in the minors!
Thomas was selected in the fourth round (138th overall) by the Colorado Rockies during the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Westbury Christian School (TX), where he spent six seasons in the team’s farm system.
The super athlete had stints with the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2018-2019 season and the Oakland Athletics during the pandemic shortened season before ultimately signing with the Mariners as a minor league free agent on January 14.
How bad do you want it? How long will you follow the rainbow before you reach that pot of gold?
During this long and arduous journey, Thomas’s dedication, hard work, patience, and sacrifices proved that his hunger for greatness was more potent than the negativity he received from all the naysayers who told him to give up on his dreams.
The man is living proof of the saying “Be so good that they can’t ignore you.”
Wednesday night was a great start. Everyone should embrace this Black Knight’s story.
Relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress has been out of baseball since his release from the Washington Nationals in March.
Before his initial release, Jeffress and the Nationals had agreed to a minor league contract ahead of spring training. The team informed him that he would be allowed to compete for a spot in the bullpen ahead of Opening Day.
To his surprise, the Nat’s relieved him of his duties after only 13 days of service, which raised eyebrows across the league. Fans and pundits wanted to know the reasoning behind the quick release as the start of the season was less than a month away.
After displaying such dominance with the Chicago Cubs, in 2020, the 33-year-old right-hand reliever had teams vying for his services in the offseason.
Saving eight games for the Cubs, he finished the pandemic shortened season with an ERA of 1.54 in 23 1/3 innings pitched. You can’t have talent like that sitting on the sidelines. No way.
His time in the Nation’s Capital is still head-scratching for most, like the opportunity to showcase his talents became null and void in the blink of an eye.
Could the incidents in his dark checkered past have come to light?
After achieving every baseball player’s dream of being drafted to the league in 2006, Jeffress has found himself in multiple run-ins with the law.
According to reports, he received suspensions for violating Minor League Baseball’s substance abuse policy in 2007, causing him to serve 50 games. He served 100 games in 2009 for the same offense. Both incidents did not involve performance-enhancing drugs.
During his time with the Kansas City Royals, authorities received a call for domestic violence, disorderly conduct, assault, and criminal damage from his then-girlfriend as both parties engaged in an argument that escalated. The plaintiff later dropped all the charges for this incident.
In 2018 Jeffress pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated during his stint with the Texas Rangers during the 2016 season. He received a sentence of three days in jail, in which he received credit for time served.
In July of the same year, Jeffress made his first career All-Star team. While living up to the nickname Bread & Butter, he served up cats as he achieved an ERA of 0,99 while also adding a 0.84 WHIP in 44 mound appearances.
Jeffress told MLB.com about the accomplishment, “It just means that I know I can overcome anything that I go through because I have been through so much. To start the year with a great first half, and to be in this moment right now, and words can’t express how I feel.”
He went on to say, “All the guys believed in me, and they knew from the first day that the results came out that I should have been on there. It is the fact that they stuck behind me. Just kept believing in me and kept giving me advice saying, ‘Continue doing what you are doing, and people will notice your ability.”
And notice is what Washington did when they signed Jeffress this offseason. The organization knew of his past and still gave him a contract.
Front Office Executive/General Manager Mike Rizzo spoke on the situation by providing a very indeterminate response for the quick release by saying it was due to a “personal matter.”
Jeffress took to Twitter to express his frustration over the situation while also pointing the blame at his former agent when he said, “The fact that my ex-agent has ruined my chances on playing this season is killing me. I want to sign with anyone but going home would be a blessing.”
Home for what I believe should be the Milwaukee Brewers as this is the franchise Jeffress had his best years with. With the Brew Crew, his career ERA is 2.66 and 4.76 everywhere else.
We understand that the Brewers have the reigning National League Rookie of the year/National League Reliever of the year award winner Devin Williams. Still, you can never have too much of a good thing, and looking at the numbers, Jeffress would be a perfect fit to get them over the hump.