Maintenance or Manipulation: When Will James Woods See the Bigs?”

Maintenance or Manipulation: When Will James Woods See the Bigs?”

How soon is too soon? 

 

That’s the question Washington Nationals brass are asking themselves regarding one of the most talented young MLBbros waiting to crack the show, centerfielder James Woods. 

 

It began during spring training, where the 6’7, 234-pound Woods posted a 1.214 OPS in 22-games before being told he hadn’t done enough to break camp with a spot on the Big League roster.

 

Now in Triple-A, the Nationals second-ranked prospect has continued to what he can to force their hand. James is destroying Triple-A pitching, batting .370 with 17 hits, and 14 runs, with an OPS of 1.130 in 12 games.

Why Is James Wood Still In Minor Leagues? 

 

Woods looks ready to make the leap, but the Nationals don’t seem too eager to start the clock on his big-league service time. For Woods, the wait may be over soon, but the timeline has hints of service time manipulation. Despite the new rules adopted that reward players who finish in the top two of Rookie of the Year voting with a full year of service time, there is still an incentive to delay service time accumulation.

 

Time manipulation was a key point of contention during the last round of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) negotiations that birthed the current agreement. For years we’ve seen young prospects show their team they are ready for the show, only to be told they won’t break spring training with the big league team.

 

One of the best examples of the practice took place with one of our very own MLBbros.

George Springer Knows About Time Manipulation  

 

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder George Springer was a cornerstone of the Houston Astros youth movement and the first call-up that sparked their current dynasty. Drafted 11th overall in 2011, Springer would go on to hit .302/.397/.562 in three-plus minor league seasons. But after turning down what was clearly a lowball contract extension before his debut, he was sent down to the minors for the first 14 games.

 

 

Missing those games meant that Springer would not accumulate the 172 days on the big league roster required to accumulate a full year of service time. Fourteen games may have seemed small to some, but missing those games meant an additional year of control for the Astros.

 

Springer, now a Toronto Blue Jay, would eventually make his MLB debut and enjoyed great success in Houston. He slashed .270/.361/.491 while averaging 25 home runs, 65 RBI, 20 doubles, and an OPS+ of 131 in six seasons with the Astros. His 39 leadoff home runs are currently second all-time in team history, and his five-home run performance in the 2017 World Series earned him the series MVP.

 

Springer would leave Houston via free agency in 2020, and in a full circle moment finally accumulated the 10 years necessary to qualify for the MLB Pension when the Blue Jays visited the Astros in 2022.

 

“It’s Ironic, ” Springer said, “to accomplish that feat, it obviously started in this building, and that’s where it’s going to come full circle.”

 

Springer and the Astros situation eventually worked out for both parties. Let’s hope the Nationals are able to say the same. 

 

Leadoff Guru George Springer Is Now Batting Cleanup And Crushing The Game For Toronto Blue Jays

Leadoff Guru George Springer Is Now Batting Cleanup And Crushing The Game For Toronto Blue Jays

If the MLB season were to end today the Toronto Blue Jays would claim the third and final wild card spot.

 

The team has been fairly consistent throughout the season even though they are in arguably the toughest division in the Major Leagues. The team will have to take every game seriously over the course of the next month and a half.

 

This is why the streak that MLBbro George Springer is on could not have come at a better time.

 

George Springer Is Doing Everything He Can To Keep Toronto Alive In Tough AL East

 

I stated in an article I wrote earlier this season that the Blue Jays have been to the postseason as recently as last year, but the sweep in 2022 still haunts them.

 

Springer, a World Series MVP with the Astros, knows the importance of this time of year and how much it means to be performing at a high level in the waning moments of the season.

 

Since August 1, the MLBbro is batting .382 and is close to eclipsing his July totals before the second week of the month is complete.

 

Evidence of how locked in Springer is right now can be seen in his 13-pitch AB with Guardian’s pitcher Logan Allen. Springer finished the AB with a Bro bomb that would lead to the 1-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on the road.

 

 

Springer’s Hot Bat Moved Down From Leadoff Spot

 

While Springer has spent most of his career at the leadoff spot, the Blue Jays have recently moved him down in the lineup. The MLBbro has been batting cleanup this past week and it has been met with great results as he is batting .444 with one home run and three doubles. Versatility has always been a big part of Springer’s game, so he is happy to fulfill whatever vacancy manager John Schneider deems necessary for the team’s success.

 

MLBbro George Springer is a key component of the Blue Jay’s plans and will factor into their desired success. He is a proven playoff performer, and in 2017 he delivered one of the most dominating World Series performances seen in recent memory.

 

If he can get into his playoff form earlier than usual and maintain that intensity, Toronto will be a dark horse team to contend with this year.

#HIGHFIVE | The Baby Bros Stole The Show This Week

#HIGHFIVE | The Baby Bros Stole The Show This Week

Jordan “Sky” Walker continued his high level of hitting this week, boosting his career-high hitting streak to 17 games with a single up the middle against the Astros on Thursday night.


The Cardinals top prospect has been a force since being recalled to the Majors in early June and caps off the month by earning the top spot in Week 13 of our #HighFive List.

 

1. Jordan “Sky” Walker

 

Walker’s 17-game hitting streak is the longest going in the Major Leagues and bests his previous career-high of 12 he set at the beginning of the season.

 

 

After falling into a slight cold spell once the streak ended, Walker spent a little over a month with the Cardinals Triple-A affiliate in Memphis before rejoining the club on June 2nd.

 

 

“I had some of the toughest times of my life down there,” Walker told MLBbro.com.  “Most of what I learned was mental.  I felt the worst I ever have at the plate.  But I realized no matter what you are going through at some point you will get out of it.”

 

 

Walker will end this month hitting over .330 while adding four home runs, nine RBI and a .418 on base percentage.

 

He looks to extend the streak to 20 after a three-game series against the Yankees this weekend.

 

2. “Money” Michael Harris II

Michael Harris recovered from a Rookie of the Year hangover and became the best nine-hole hitter in baseball in a month’s time.

 

Atlanta’s Michael Harris II is Getting Back to the Money

 

This is the third consecutive week Harris earned his way into the #HighFive after posting a .385 average over his last seven games, but that does not do him full justice.

 

Through the last 15 games Harris is hitting an unprecedented .456 with four home runs, 11 RBI, a .458 on base percentage, .772 slugging and 13 runs scored.

 

3. Devin “The Airbender” Williams

Devin Williams is in a different mode on the mound.

 

Line his resume this season up with anyone and you will find Williams is one of if not the best closer in the Majors.

 

Devin Williams Blew A Save, Then Blew Up The League | He’s Unhittable Again

 

On June 13th Williams blew his first save of the season, but aside from that outlier performance where he gave up four earned, he has not given up a run since May 7th!

 

Over that span he has 22 strikeouts in 17.1 innings and has a batting average of .118 in June.

 

Williams is fourth among closers in the National League in saves and his 12 hits allowed are the lease for any qualifying closer.

 

4. Josh Naylor

Josh Naylor has been mashing baseballs this season and he got an emotional boost this week after his brother Bo was called to the Majors.

 

Tuesday night the Naylor brothers became the third pair of brothers to record two hits each in the same game and the first since 1955.

 

Josh Naylor Has 32 Hits In His Last 21 Games | The Impaler Is Gorging On Pitchers

 

Josh, who is hitting .300 in his last seven games has collected hits in 22 of his last 26 games and ranks 8th in the American League in average and is 5th in the Majors in RBI.

 

The competition at first base for All-Star berths is steep, but taking names away from statistics Naylor is hands down a cut above the rest.

5. George Springer

George Springer’s leadoff home run last Sunday gives him 55 for his career and moves him to second All-Time trailing only the legendary Rickey Henderson who had 81 in his career.

 

George Springer Is Doing Everything He Can To Keep Toronto Alive In Tough AL East

 

It was another solid week in what has been a solid 2023 from Springer.

 

In his last seven games he is slashing .393/.419/.517 with six RBI, two walks and five runs scored.

 

His Blue Jays will welcome the Red Sox to the “6” for a three-game series this weekend.

A League Of Their Own | These Bros Are Heavily Impacting The American League East Division Race

A League Of Their Own | These Bros Are Heavily Impacting The American League East Division Race

The American League East has always been one of the top divisions in baseball, and this year is no different. This season the AL East is the only division where every team has a positive run differential, and to add perspective on how difficult the division is, each team would be in first place in the AL Central. 

 

An embarrassment of riches would be an understatement, and there are several MLBbros providing firepower to these quality ball clubs. 

 

Can Taj Bradley Hold Down Rays Rotation?   

 

The Rays offense has been the best in baseball by a long shot this season, so much so that it completely distracted many from the devastating blows their pitching staff has taken. With so many starters down (three on the 60-day IL), the Rays will rely heavily on the young melanated mound marauder heading into the second half of the season.

 

Bradley sat down 11 batters in a no-decision against the A’s and followed that up with a six-inning, three hit, eight strikeout victory against division rival Baltimore. Tampa has a stranglehold on the division now but will need Bradley to continue to show what made him their top pitching prospect. 

 

Taj Bradley Has Established Himself As A Legitimate Force In Tampa Bay Rays Rotation

 

Can Hicks Stay Hot, Mullins Returns?

 

The return of Cedric Mullins meant that newly acquired Aaron Hicks would eventually be moving out of center, but with his bat scorching since coming over from the Bronx there was no way he would be removed from the lineup completely.

 

 

Hicks hit a homer in Mullins return to the lineup on Sunday, and after the game spoke about the potential of an outfield that contains Austin Hays, Mullins and himself. “That becomes a fast outfield. Hard to run on,” Hicks said. “Guys will be getting to balls pretty easily.”

 

Hicks hasn’t played much right field in his career but is ready to contribute to Baltimore’s playoff push any way possible.

 

Aaron Hicks & Willie Calhoun Bash To The Head Of The Class After Being Put On Scrap Heap, Switching Teams

 

Yankees Wait For Return of Bronx Bro Bombers: Is Judge Done For Season? 

 

Less than a full season since signing his nine-year, $360 million contract in the Bronx, Aaron Judge and the Yankees honeymoon phase has ended. It’s not that Judge’s production was ever in doubt. But the latest updates about a torn ligament in his toe will once again place the biggest star in the Bronx out of the lineup. At this point, the Yankees are hopeful that he can get back in time for the playoffs possibly, but all reports from local New York radio stations say it’s a chance he could be done for the entire season. 

 

 

Judge has acknowledged that this won’t be a quick fix, and we all know why. The last thing anyone, let alone a professional athlete with a 6’ 7, 282 pound frame should do is rush back from a foot injury. He has done some light rehab work, but the timetable for his return remains to be seen. 

 

Aaron heads to the IL at a time when Giancarlo Stanton is struggling to find his groove since returning from an IL stint of his own. Stanton collected his first RBI since June 13 on Sunday, something the Yankees will love to see more of with their captain potentially sidelined for an extended period. 

Springer Scorching Up North 

 

The Blue Jays may not be the World Series contenders many thought they were at the start of last season, but right fielder George Springer has continued to do damage and push his young ball club toward the postseason. Over his last seven games George is slashing .357/.406/.464 with 10 hits, 6 RBI and his 55th career leadoff home run. 

 

 

Despite Springer setting the tone, the Blue Jays are just 5-5 in their last 10 games. The ball is known to fly north of the border during the summer, so don’t be surprised to see Toronto take advantage of the hobbled Yankees, as we could potentially see three AL East teams in the Wild Card. 

 

George Springer Is Doing Everything He Can To Keep Toronto Alive In Tough AL East

George Springer Is Doing Everything He Can To Keep Toronto Alive In Tough AL East

MLBbro George Springer has been on fire at the plate and has sparked some significant offensive performances for a young Toronto Blue Jays team fighting for respectability and supremacy in an American League East. A division that has proved to be the most competitive in baseball this year.

 

The Toronto Blue Jays are currently last in the division at 26-25 and 10.5 games out of first place. While the teams play has been inconsistent, 2-8 in their last ten games, there have been some positive signs to build on. After all, we are still nearly two months away from the All-Star break. 

 

It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over: Springer Turnup 

 

In the past week Springer has batted over .350 with an OBP over .420. With 11 hits to just three strikeouts, the veteran leader has been seeing the ball well. In Tuesday’s 20-run outburst, Springer recorded three hits, including a home run and a triple, with two RBI. In his last 11 games, Springer has only struck out four times, has walked six times and tallied 14 total hits.

 

George Springer Wants To Play Fast, Aggressive This Season | He’s The Key To A Breakout Year For Surging Toronto Blue Jays

 

While the Blue Jays have been losing, they remain optimistic that they can make a run in the AL East. Some preseason baseball lists had them going to the World Series, so the talent is there. Having lost three straight series to divisional opponents does not make for a compelling case, but Springer knows how to win and the MLBbro outfielder has so much experience. He knows that the season is long and that there is plenty of time to right the ship. 

 

 

Springer was scheduled to take a rest day for Thursday’s matchup against the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays. However, he was called to pinch hit in the 9th inning, which resulted in a walk. The Blue Jays would go on to lose this game 6-3. Springer is used to postseason competition dating back to the beginning of his career with the Houston Astros.

 

Toronto will desperately need his leadership and poise as it tries to leap above the Yankees, Orioles and Tamp Bay Rays seems like an impossible task for Toronto, who is still suffering the effects of last year’s sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners. Springer is trying his hardest to get the team back to October baseball.