MLB News & Moments You Should Know 4/20/24

A return, a debut, & a three-homer game highlight Friday's MLB action.

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


Verlander’s Return


Houston’s shorthanded starting rotation got a boost on Friday, and there are probably few arms you’d want in there to compensate for a depleted rotation:

Justin Verlander struggled with shoulder inflammation throughout the winter, getting a delayed start to the year because of it. The future Hall of Famer tossed six innings against Washington, allowing four hits and a pair of runs. He added four strikeouts against zero walks. Perhaps most importantly, Verlander stretched himself out pretty well by throwing 78 pitches, averaging 93.4 mph on his fastball. The curve was his weapon on the evening as indicated by a 29 CSW%.

The Astros have largely pieced together their rotation throughout their slow start to 2024, so having Verlander back should fill their stability void in the starting five.


Travis d’Arnaud’s Big Night


Even in grabbing regular starts due to Sean Murphy’s oblique injury, the only things notable about Atlanta backstop Travis d’Arnaud’s offense in 2024 were that he was hitting .200 and had very little power to speak of. Well, take your .111 ISO & zero home runs and watch this:

The third one was the big one, a grand slam to break a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning. Having been to Truist each of the last two years, I can only imagine the general vibe at a three-homer game. Atlanta’s offense hasn’t missed a beat, with their 116 runs leading the league. If d’Arnaud starts contributing his occasional power more…occasionally, this lineup becomes even more nightmarish for opponents. Even sans Murphy.


Tigers Lose Gipson-Long for Year


Moving over to one of JV’s former squads, the Detroit Tigers announced that pitcher Sawyer Gipson-Long will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of this season:

Gipson-Long hadn’t pitched yet this season, as his start was delayed due to a groin injury. However, after experiencing forearm tightness, he had been evaluated multiple times in hopes of avoiding what seems inevitable whenever we hear those two words together. Gipson-Long made his MLB debut last year, starting four games for Detroit. He started four games, struck out almost a dozen hitters per nine, and posted a 2.70 ERA. The Tigers’ rotation is currently set, but Gipson-Long figured to join a decent group of younger arms ready to grab spot starts throughout 2024.

Given the health history of a number of their starters, it’s an even more unwelcome development.


Mets Reveal City Connect Uniforms


The good news? No prospective crime to report on this week! The bad news? Well, the New York Mets announced their Nike City Connect look on Friday morning and:

I think I’ve reached the point where I’ve come around on the uniform itself. There was clear intention there, and it’s a significant enough departure from their normal look that it works. The hats, however, are an atrocity. Sort of an inverse of Philadelphia, whose hats represent the lone positive in their look. Teams should probably steer clear of accent details and stick to color scheme or alternative logos in the lid game. Regardless of my feelings, these will debut on April 27th.


Caglianone Does It Again


A quick non-MLB note: Jac Caglianone and I have a lot in common. We both attended the University of Florida and both played first base. Of course, he also pitches (3.89 ERA across eight starts), hits 500+ ft home runs, and has now homered in NINE straight games:

So we have two things in common.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Booser’s Emotional Debut


When you have a 31-year-old making his Major League debut, you’re more than likely going to get a good story somewhere. New Red Sox pitcher Cam Booser is no exception:

Booser made his professional debut in 2013, as part of the Minnesota Twins organization. He never pitched above High-A, eventually joining the Chicago Dogs in independent ball before latching on to Arizona via a minor league deal in 2022. After another stint in indy ball, he wound up in the Red Sox organization last year, pitching to a 4.99 ERA across almost 60 innings. There was also a carpentry career mixed in there somewhere.

Booser appeared for the Sox on Friday night in Pittsburgh. He tossed a single frame, allowed one earned run, and struck out one hitter. As a third lefty in Boston’s relief corps, it’s difficult to say how long he’ll be with the top club, but it’s a fantastic early-season story nevertheless.


Elly De La Nightmare


It’s neat that seemingly every time I sit down to bring this column to you, dear reader, Elly De La Cruz does something astounding. Last week, it was his second 450+ ft shot of the week. This time around, he’s doing the power-speed combo thing:

De La Cruz stole second base in the second inning of the series opener against the Angels on Friday. He then stole third, but Logan O’Hoppe’s throw ended up in left field, giving the Reds a 1-0 lead. Later on, with the crowd chanting his name, he added a three-run job to seal the 7-1 victory:

There are so many elite-level players around the league. But is Elly De La Cruz the single most exciting of anyone? Tough to argue against it so far!


Soto’s Big Blast


I tend to tell my English students that I am, in fact, never wrong. In the real world, I am wrong constantly. One of the things I was wrong about was expressing concern over Juan Soto’s excitement being stifled with his move to the Bronx. I was quite off:

Holding a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, Soto launched a three-run homer off Chris Devenski. Big home run? In a packed Yankee Stadium? Bat drop? Chest pound? Yeah, I was super off. I am not, in the least, upset about being wrong, however. That’s an objectively good moment for baseball.


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ Atlanta selected UTIL Luke Williams to the active roster; OF Forrest Wall was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett.

⚾ White Sox signed P Cody Sedlock to a minor league deal.

⚾ Reds claimed IF  Liván Soto off waivers from Baltimore, optioned him to Triple-A Louisville, and transferred P Tejay Antone to the 60-day IL.

⚾ Red Sox designated P Joe Jacques for assignment to make room for P Cam Booser.

⚾ RP Drew Pomeranz opted out of his minor league deal with the Dodgers & is now a free agent.

⚾ Rockies placed SP Kyle Freeland on IL (elbow strain) & recalled P Noah Davis.

⚾ Diamondbacks recalled SP Jordan Montgomery from Triple-A & designated UTIL Jace Peterson for assignment.

⚾ Pirates announced that C Jason Delay underwent knee surgery & is expected to miss at least six weeks.


Articles You Should Read


Hey, These Padres Are Still Pretty Good – Leo Morgenstern (FanGraphs)

How Skubal learned one of baseball’s nastiest pitches – David Adler (MLB.com)

The Royals Are Hitting Like Kings – Robert Orr (Baseball Prospectus)


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Randy Holt

Randy Holt is a staff writer for Pitcher List & a depth charts analyst for Baseball Prospectus. He's a self-identified Cubs fan who has become more agnostic, instead obsessing about quality defensive baseball wherever he can find it. Randy has a sport management degree from the University of Florida, as well as degrees from Embry-Riddle & Arizona State. When not wasting away on the husk of Twitter/X, Randy is a high school English teacher & a baseball and golf coach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login