MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 4/19/2024

A high-profile prospect debuts on a shortened Thursday slate.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.


Today’s Headlines


Out Like a Leiter


The eyes of the baseball world were on Detroit on Thursday afternoon as Jack Leiter made his major-league debut for the Texas Rangers. If the last name sounds familiar, it’s for good reason. Jack is the son of 2x World Series champion Al Leiter, the nephew of Mark Leiter, and cousin of current Cubs reliever Mark Leiter Jr. Pitching is a strong family affair for the Leiters, who made history on Thursday when Jack threw his first pitch:

As for the outing itself, things started strong for the rookie with a three-pitch strikeout of Riley Greene.

Though he allowed a walk and a base knock in the first, Leiter escaped without allowing a run in his first inning. Things got tougher in the second inning, with the first three baserunners reaching and a few more hard-hit balls leading to a four-run inning for the Detroit Tigers. A couple more innings and a few runs later, Leiter was removed from the game in the bottom of the fourth with a final line of 3.2 IP, eight hits, three walks, seven earned runs, and three strikeouts. Things could have been better if Leody Taveras had managed to track this ball down in center field.

Overall, while seven earned runs against the Tigers isn’t the major league debut that Jack and the rest of the Leiter clan hoped for, Leiter certainly has the pedigree to succeed and showed major signs of improvement in his minor league starts thus far in 2024. Here’s hoping this was a classic case of first-start jitters and Leiter can stay sharp the next time the Rangers call his number.


Guardians Take 3 of 4 in Beantown


The AL Central has been full of surprises to start 2024, as many of the hottest teams in baseball currently reside in what was perceived by many to be baseball’s weakest division. The Detroit Tigers were the last remaining unbeaten team and the Kansas City Royals own the best run differential in baseball, but it’s the Cleveland Guardians that sit atop the division (and the American League!) with a 13-6 record after winning three of four games against the Boston Red Sox.

The Guardians are currently seventh in the MLB in runs scored with 102 and fifth in ERA at 3.14, showing they’re off to great starts on both sides of the ball. It’s especially impressive considering this team just lost Shane Bieber for the season after their ace underwent Tommy John surgery. The Guardians will look to continue their hot start on Friday when they host the Oakland Athletics back in Cleveland, while the Red Sox will look to get back on track in PNC Park against the Pirates.


Skenes Dazzles Again, No Timetable On MLB Debut


It’s only a matter of time before 2023 #1 pick Paul Skenes joins the Pittsburgh Pirates in the big leagues, with many suspecting that time may be just around the corner with Marco Gonzales hitting the IL. However, fans of the Pirates and extremely dope pitchers (I’m looking at all of you) will have to wait a bit longer, as Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington recently said Skenes needs more time to build his volume before he joins the big league club. Thankfully, we can still admire Skenes’ dominance in Triple-A, as the mustached man delivered another spectacular outing with eight strikeouts across 3.1 innings:

The Pirates are treating their young arms with extreme caution, as evidenced by fellow star Jared Jones sticking to his five-inning limit on Tuesday despite needing only 59 pitches to reach that mark. It’s probably the smart decision, even though we’re all champing at the bit to see Skenes in the bigs. Soon, everybody. Soon.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Swimmin’ Upstream


Baseball is fun when Mike Trout is healthy and mashing baseballs. Baseball is even more fun when Trout is allowed to showcase the speed he had in the 2010s. This was Trout’s first multi-steal game in nearly six years (May 20, 2018).


Redefining a ‘Base Hit’


Paging the Cartoon Sound Effects department:


Leody’s Limbo


In a tie game, Leody Taveras displayed some slippery baserunning to evade a tag and keep things rolling for the Rangers. Taveras would score the go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) run moments later in the Rangers’ 9-7 win Thursday.


Fans Put On an Ump Show


Always gotta love fans getting in on calling some punchouts:


Injuries and Other Moves


The Red Sox placed Tyler O’Neill on the 7-day IL (retroactive to April 16th) with a concussion after colliding with teammate Rafael Devers on Monday. O’Neill trails only Trout and Marcell Ozuna with 7 home runs on the season, so hopefully it’s a short stint.

Speaking of Devers, the Red Sox 3B underwent an MRI on his knee on Thursday. Manager Alex Cora claimed this procedure was mostly for “peace of mind” for Devers, but it’s hard to not be a little concerned about this nagging injury. Devers was later diagnosed with a bone bruise and is considered day-to-day.

⚾ Guardians SP Triston McKenzie is apparently pitching through a tear in his pitching elbow, which may explain some of his early-season struggles. Check out Zack Meisel and Jason Lloyd’s story on The Athletic to get all the information on this development.

Angels reliever Robert Stephenson will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury sustained while he was rehabbing from a shoulder issue.

⚾ Cubs officially signed SP Julio Teheran to a minor-league contract.

Diamondbacks SP Ryne Nelson left Thursday’s game early after taking a comebacker off his right arm.

Blue Jays prospect Ricky Tiedemann was placed on the minor league injured list.

⚾ Cubs activated SP Jameson Taillon from the injured list and is expected to make his debut Friday against the Marlins.



Articles You Should Read


Why Jack Leiter’s first MLB pitch was historic — Brian Murphy, MLB.com

The top 100 potential MLB free agents for 2024-25 offseason–with options galore — Jim Bowden, The Athletic

Prospects who could be impact callups – 1 for each team — Jim Callis, Sam Dykstra, and Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

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Starting Pitcher Streamers

Christian Otteman

Christian Otteman is a hopelessly optimistic Cubs fan living in Milwaukee just looking to share his love of this beautiful game with others. He is especially a fan of the wild and weird things that only a game like baseball can produce. While he's not watching baseball, Christian is playing golf, hosting trivia, and working on his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Marquette University.

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