George Springer & Michael Brantley Injuries Are Crushing Blows For Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros Playoff Push

George Springer & Michael Brantley Injuries Are Crushing Blows For Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros Playoff Push

Two former World Series Champions and teammates in Michael Brantley and George Springer are expected to miss time down the stretch due to injuries.

Michael Brantley

The understated superstar may see his streak of five consecutive seasons with a batting average of .299 or better snapped because of a shoulder injury that leaves him with no timetable to return.

 

 

When Astros general manager James Click was asked if Brantley would be back at any point this season, he said “We hope so, but with every passing day, you have to kind of take an honest look at it.”

Brantley has not played since June 26th when Houston traveled to the Bronx for what was looked at as a possible future American League Championship Series preview.

They would end up splitting the four-game series. Entering Tuesday, both teams are currently tied for the best record in the American League.

Although the already-loaded Astros bulked up at the trade deadline by adding former Oriole Trey Mancini and Red Sox catcher Christian Vasquez, Brantley’s presence will be missed if he is not available come October.

 

 

Last postseason, Brantley was a key part of their run to the World Series, batting .319 with nine RBI, four doubles and a .724 OPS. In 2020, he hit .346 with a .424 on base percentage, .982 OPS six walks and 11 RBI. In 64 games this season, Brantley is batting .288 with five home runs and 28 runs scored.  

There will be no rush to bring him back until he is fully healthy. Hopefully we get to see one of the best hitters in the game this fall.

George Springer

The Blue Jays win when George Springer is in.  

It could be any time between a few days and a few weeks before one of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time is back in the fold.

 

George Springer Is Stutter-Stepping For The Kids

 

Springer was placed on the 10-Day Injured List over the weekend with inflammation in his right elbow. Some of the moves the Jays made at the deadline bring up questions about how long they could be without him.

The team traded for utility player Whit Merrifield and added MLBbro outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. after he was Designated for Assignment by the Red Sox last week.

Bradley Jr. was the 2018 American League Championship Series MVP and reunited with Boston after spending a season in Milwaukee.

He could never get much going at the plate, as he was only hitting .210 with a .257 on base percentage this year, but defensively he is still one of the best in the Majors.

In his career, Springer has hit 51 leadoff home runs which is fourth-most all time in Major League history. Rickey Henderson is at the head of the table with 81 during his 25-year playing career.

Despite having seven other All-Stars players since 2021, the Jays win and loss total rides on whether Springer is in the lineup or not.

Since signing a six-year $150 million deal with Toronto, the franchise has a record of 97-70 when he plays and 54-52 when he does not. Springer is eligible to return August 15th when Cedric “CM Storm” Mullins brings his Orioles to “The 6” for a three-game series.

Fly Tai Walker Looks To Bounce Back After Rough Atlanta Start

Fly Tai Walker Looks To Bounce Back After Rough Atlanta Start

Taijuan Walker has had an impressive season so far for the New York Mets.

Coming off a season where he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career, he was ready to have more success this season. And he already has more wins than he did last year.

 

Walker, who has nine wins on the season, ranks third on the team in that category and has had multiple outings where he dominated opposing teams.

Today, he’ll look to secure his 10th win of the season against the Cincinnati Reds.

Hopefully he will not have an outing like he did against the Atlanta Braves.

It was not Walker’s night on August 5 against the reigning World Series champs, Atlanta Braves.

The Braves got to Walker quick in the first inning, scoring eight runs and hitting two home runs to secure a 9-6 victory.

Walker only lasted one inning and after the game he admitted he did not have his best stuff out there.

“It wasn’t a good day for me,” Walker said in an article from The New York Post. “I don’t want it to happen in a big series like this, but it did and I’m going to move on from it. … My velo wasn’t very good today either and I was leaving too many balls over the middle of the plate. I didn’t do my job today and the bullpen had to wear it, which I’m not proud of at all.”

“I just didn’t have command of my fastball today,” he said. “My splitter was up, didn’t land any sliders for strikes and I left balls over the middle of the plate and they hit me hard.”

Walker snapped a streak of 15 straight starts in which he allowed four runs or fewer.

Going into that game, Walker won his two previous starts coming against the Miami Marlins and the New York Yankees.

Despite that disastrous outing against the Braves, Walker’s numbers this year are still impressive.

 

Melanated Mound Marauders Toss Coastal Gems | Taijuan Walker & Josiah Gray Manhandled Top MLB Teams Tuesday Night

Through 19 starts, he has a 3.45 ERA with 80 strikeouts.

Prior to the start against the Braves, the most runs Walker allowed this season was six and that was back in May against the Philadelphia Phillies.

This will be an opportunity for Walker to redeem himself and get back to showing how effective he can be on the mound.

Walker has had success against the Reds this season. Last month he made a start against Cincinnati and picked up the win, going six innings while striking out nine and giving up three runs.

With the Mets being in a good position to make the postseason, Walker will play a key role, especially toward the end of the season.

And Walker has that competitive edge to himself where he wants to win at all cost.

Expect him to be on his A game against the Reds and throughout the remainder of the season.

Tim Anderson’s Suspension Reduced | TA7 Is Still Confident The White Sox Make A Playoff Run

Tim Anderson’s Suspension Reduced | TA7 Is Still Confident The White Sox Make A Playoff Run

Over the weekend, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson reached a settlement with Major League Baseball which saw his three-game suspension reduced to two. Anderson was suspended by the league for making contact with an umpire during an argument over balls and strikes in late July. 

White Sox Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa was adamant that there was fault on both sides and that any suspension should take that into consideration. “Did you see how the interaction happened?” asked La Russa after the incident. “The way we see it, there’s an argument to be made that the umpire didn’t move back, he was moving forward as well.”

 

 

Given the reduction of Anderson’s suspension by a game, clearly someone in the league office felt the same. 

Now suspensions are never a good thing, but for TA this may actually serve as a much-needed break to reset. The White Sox struggles have been well documented this season, but as of late their superstar shortstop has also been on the skids. 

While Anderson remains in the 98th percentile in expected batting average, he has struggled since the All-Star break. Over his last 15 games, Tim is slashing .258/.281/.290 with just 16 hits and seven runs scored in 62 at-bats. 

One glaring difference is his batting average against fastballs this season. In 2021 TA hit a blistering .331 against fastballs, but so far this season he’s seen that average drop to .286.

Now Anderson is still seeing the fastball at the plate 56 percent of the time, but the production simply isn’t there. A .286 average may be respectable for most of the league, but not for TA. His batting average isn’t the only issue, as his slugging percentage versus the fastball has plummeted 100 points from .495 to .393.

Even with his struggles now mirroring the team’s underwhelming season, Anderson has continued to tell whoever’s willing to listen that there are no issues in the White Sox clubhouse. 

“Nobody really knows what’s going on,” said Anderson. “It’s just a lot of people with a lot of opinions, and we’re on the inside laughing. But we understand when you’re going through a lot of things, there’s going to be a lot of opinions, and the biggest thing is to not really buy into those opinions. Just stay the course and stay focused and keep rallying around each other.”

Anderson and the Sox will need more than rallying around each other if they want to make the playoffs this season. They’ve battled back to two games above .500 and are only two games behind the Twins, but without a return to their early 2021 form, it may be impossible for Chicago to live up to preseason expectations. 

These Three MLBbros Came Out Smoking After The All-Star Break

These Three MLBbros Came Out Smoking After The All-Star Break

Aaron Judge, Cedric Mullins and Mookie Betts are three of the hottest players in the Majors post All-Star break.  Here is a look at their numbers and a preview of what’s ahead for them over the last two months.

1. Aaron Judge

Statistically, Aaron Judge’s 2022 could end up being the greatest regular season for a New York Yankee in their franchise’s history and he has shown little signs of slowing down during the first few weeks of the second half.

Aaron Judge Reaches The 200 Home Run Mark In The Midst Of A Monster Season

 

He ended July by being unanimously voted for his fourth career American League Player of the Month award after slashing .333/.446/.806 with 32 RBI and 13 home runs including the 200th of his career a few Saturdays ago.

 

Judge began August on pace to hit 67 home runs which would be the most in a single season since Sammy Sosa hit 66 in 2001 and the most by a Yankee since Babe Ruth had 60 in 1927.

Coming down the stretch, the Major League leader in home runs is going to have to stay locked in not only for his pursuit of a record amount of home runs, but also so his Yankees can earn the top seed in the American League.

His outfield mate and fellow MLBbro Aaron Hicks is 0-for-29 since his last hit on July 27, newly acquired Andrew Benintendi has just two hits in 25 plate appearances as a Yankee and Giancarlo Stanton is dealing with an Achilles injury that will be worth watching as we inch closer towards fall.

2. Cedric Mullins

Cedric Mullins set the tone for the Baltimore Orioles after an emotional trade deadline that saw locker room favorite Trey Mancini sent off to Dusty Baker’s Houston Astros.

In his first swing, he muscled an opposite field home run to the left field foul pole at GlobeLife Field.

That hit re-energized the entire roster as they would go on to sweep Texas to begin what is now an undefeated month of August.

Mullins, who last season became the first Baltimore Orioles player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a season is now the clear cut captain and catalyst of Major League Baseball’s biggest surprise team.

His O’s came into Sunday just one game out of the final American League Wild Card spot and will have plenty of chances down the stretch against other contending teams to earn their first playoff berth since losing to the Blue Jays in the 2016 Wild Card Game.

Even though the home run pop is not there this season Mullins is still one of the most solid players in the game on both sides of the field.

He is going to eclipse the 30 steal mark for the second season in a row while setting a new career high and he ranks in the top 15 for hits in the American League.

3. Mookie Betts

Everyone in baseball is looking forward to a possible October matchup between the star-studded Los Angeles Dodgers and the league’s newest “super team” the San Diego Padres who just added MLBbro Josh Bell along with All-Stars Juan Soto and Josh Hader.


Amongst all that talent, the biggest difference maker will be the man who has reminded folks he is still a top three player in the game, Mookie Betts.

Betts is having some of the most fun he has had since his time in a Dodger uniform began.

In addition to DJing in the locker room after victories and some wild home run celebrations Betts, whose 25 home runs put him in the top five in the National League and his 78 runs scored first, has his Dodgers with the best record in the Majors and 9-1 in their last 10.

Over his last 15 games, Betts is batting .299 with nine RBI, four home runs and a stolen base.

MLBbros Bringing the Arm Support | Pitchers Mychal Givens & Jay Jackson Are Moving With a Purpose

MLBbros Bringing the Arm Support | Pitchers Mychal Givens & Jay Jackson Are Moving With a Purpose

This year’s MLB trade deadline was one to remember, with several stars finding new homes. While it is easy to think that positional players and big bats are what you need in October, the real unsung heroes are the elite pitching with not just the starters, but in the bullpen. Whenever your team gets in a jam, it’s critical for the bullpen to try and get out of it and keep the team in the game.

Two moves that could be really crucial for the upcoming playoffs, but not as discussed compared to the bigger names, is Mychal Givens getting dealt to the first-place Mets, and Jay Jackson getting promoted to the team nipping at the Mets’ heels. Jackson’s promotion to the defending World Champion Atlanta Braves bullpen came with the departure of both Will Smith and Jesse Chavez.

Givens started this season in Chicago with the Cubs. He spent the first six seasons of his career in Baltimore, getting traded to the Rockies back in 2020, and had brief stints with them and in Cincinnati with the Reds, before ending up on the north side of Chicago.

 

 

During his tenure in Chicago, he earned a 6-2 record, with a 2.66 ERA. The Cubs are currently 15.5 games back from the final wild card slot, so it makes sense that they would be willing to relinquish one of their best relievers. 

His debut in Queens could not have gone any worse. He made his first appearance on August 3rd in D.C. and got in the game in the ninth inning with the Mets having a comfortable 9-0 lead. He gave up five runs in two-thirds of the inning and couldn’t finish the game. 

He ended up pitching again on Friday against the Braves and did significantly better. He pitched one inning, giving up no runs, no hits, with just one walk in the 9-6 loss. A much-needed bounce back performance and huge confidence booster for the eight-year vet, who was obviously a bit nervous in his first outing for a contending team. 

The Braves are 4.5 games behind the Mets and five games up in the wild card race, so they are still making adjustments to the roster as they chase NY.

Going down south within the division, Jackson got promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett as the trade deadline came to a close. This is the 34-year-old’s fourth run in the majors, as he played with the Padres back in 2015, then made his return in 2019 with the Brewers, once again in 2021 with the Giants, and finally now with the Braves. 

 

 

With Jackson posting a 1.80 ERA in 10 appearances with the Stripers, the Braves clearly felt that they could trust him to help carry the load for one of the best bullpens in baseball. However, as he turns 35 in late October, this could very much be Jackson’s last shot to have a permanent place on an MLB roster. He has been an underdog throughout his entire career, bouncing throughout the minors, spending brief time in the majors, and part of his career in the Japanese league. It’s time for him to finally overcome that obstacle and stay up in the majors.

The NL East is going to be an absolute force in the playoffs, as it looks like both the Braves and Mets will be playing in the postseason, and the Phillies are looking like they may sneak in as well. All three teams have reasons to believe they can be in the Fall Classic, but it will be the elite bullpens that will separate the contenders from the pretenders. 

What Does Josh Hader Trade Mean For Milwaukee Relief Pitcher Devin “Air Bender” Williams ?

What Does Josh Hader Trade Mean For Milwaukee Relief Pitcher Devin “Air Bender” Williams ?

The trade deadline in sports is always full of sellers and buyers. Contending teams look to increase their chances for playoff runs, and teams who are behind in the standings look towards the future. This is why the Milwaukee Brewer’s trade of closer Josh Hader shocked many around the league.

They have competed for the last two years with their biggest strength being their pitching, most notably the bullpen consisting of two All-Star caliber relievers in MLBbro Devin Williams and Josh Hader.

 

 

Williams alluded to the loss of Hader being tough to handle. While they did get a substantial complement of pitchers in return, it is no doubt that the Brewers will have a tougher time fighting to keep pace in the National League Central division race as we approach the latter portion of the season.

With the departure of Hader, more is expected from the aforementioned reliever Williams. Williams is an established bullpen weapon and one of the best relievers in Major League Baseball. An All-Star this season, Williams has been dominant since being called up to the show in 2019 with a career ERA of 2.00. Most of his work has been done as the Brewer’s set up man, but his role could be changing. With the departure of Hader, Williams may now be the featured arm out the Milwaukee bullpen. 

 

 

Yes, reliever Taylor Rogers comes to the squad with more experience, and is currently second in MLB in Saves. But Williams is a locker room presence in Milwaukee, and fans are already behind him. Brewer manager Craig Counsell is well aware of this and knows he will have to make good use of both, Williams and Rogers to give the team the best chance to win. Williams was visibly unsatisfied with the decision to move on from Hader as displayed in an interview when asked about the trade. “I don’t really have a lot to say to be honest with you,” Williams said. “I don’t know.”

MLBbro Devin Williams got his first chance at the closing position on Wednesday, the day after the infamous Hader trade, but did not fare well. He gave up a game winning, walk-off home run to Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder Bryan Reynolds. This was the first earned run allowed by Williams since May 10th… over two whole months… so there is little cause for concern.

 

MLBbro Devin Williams ‘AKA’ Airbender Will Be In LA For His First All-Star Game | As He Should

 

In fact, this is the first home run Williams has surrendered all season. Williams is still having a dominant season with a 1.77 ERA and 66 Ks in 40.2 IP. It may take some time to adjust to his new role, or even just to adjust to life with a new running mate in Rogers. But as he has consistently shown in his 4 MLB seasons, Williams is a bona fide reliever. With him still coming out the bullpen, the Brewers still have life in the National League Central race.