MLB News & Moments You Should Know 4/27/24

Heat, splitters, and a chorus of boos among Friday's notes.

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


Holliday Road (To Norfolk)


It always seemed like a possibility — maybe even a likelihood given the start — and on Friday the Baltimore Orioles optioned Jackson Holliday back to Triple-A Norfolk:

It’s a bit bigger news than the typical optioning of a player. Holliday arrived on April 10th to a great deal of fanfare as the consensus no. 1 prospect. Things didn’t materialize in the way that he might’ve hoped, however. Holliday struck out exactly 50 percent of the time. He recorded only a pair of hits in 36 plate appearances, neither of which were extra-base jobs. In an ideal world, you let Holliday work through it, given how much he tore apart the minors. But with virtually everybody else in the O’s lineup hitting — in addition to the broader aspirations for the team — they couldn’t afford to wait.

It’s not the first time a top prospect has struggled upon their first call-up to the bigs. It won’t be the last. He’ll head back to the Tides for now, but it’s hard to imagine this does much to damage the longer-term outlook.


Miley TJ Bound


Wade Miley has only made two starts for the Milwaukee Brewers, with only seven total innings to speak of. He hit the IL early in the week with elbow inflammation, with news coming down Friday of yet another Tommy John case:

What’s notable about Miley’s reaction to the surgery is his positivity. He noted that his elbow has been bothersome for “four or five” years. Rather than this all but spelling the end for the 37-year-old, Miley instead indicated that this could give him something of a reset to go for another few years. This would offer him the opportunity to go out on his terms, at the very least. You have to appreciate the mindset there.


Shōta Dominates…Again


The Boston Red Sox are far from the pushover many expected them to be in 2024. Which made Shota Imanaga’s Fenway Park debut a tall order. As he has in each of his starts thus far, though, the rookie delivered:

That splitter is just a marvel, man. Imanaga tossed 6.1 innings and struck out seven Sox hitters en route to a series-opening victory. Through five starts, he now boasts a 4-0 record with 9.11 K/9, 0.98 BB/9, and a 0.98 ERA. He’s the first starter to start 4-0 and maintain an ERA under one across his first five starts since…1945 (!). For a Cubs pitching staff struggling to stay healthy, his presence has been invaluable. I’m going to become insufferable talking about this guy.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Your Weekly Elly


Not a whole lot of commentary to offer here:

This is my fourth or so week doing this column for Saturday mornings. I think Elly De La Cruz has been featured in all of them. I just think he’s neat is all. He recorded a pair of steals on Friday, running his total up to 17 on the season. He’s the sixth player to hit seven homers and swipe 15 bags in a single month and the first since 2004.


Semien Saves Rangers


Am I in the minority in being a fan of Texas’ City Connect uniforms?

Anyway, here’s Marcus Semien doing a cool thing in that same game. Not as cool as Elly De La Cruz, maybe, but more immediately impactful:

The late homer gave Texas a slight 2-1 edge over Cincinnati. They closed it out to claw their way to a game over .500, keeping them a half-game back of Seattle. If you’re into scoreboard-watching in April. The American League West is about to be a two-horse race fairly early on it appears, though.


Poor Blue Jays Fans


The Los Angeles Dodgers are in Toronto this weekend. It’s the first time Shohei Ohtani has been in the city since last July. Twitter flight trackers notwithstanding. It went about as expected (on both fronts):

The boos are, unfortunately, unsurprising. With the Jays serving as an apparent runner-up to the two-way star’s services this winter, he arrived to a chorus of ’em. I get it. Somehow, though, the home run is even less surprising. That was his seventh. But there are very few circumstances where a player launching a homer in the midst of opposing fan jeers isn’t awesome. At least as an objective observer.

Worse yet, Toronto lost 12-2. A tough scene all around for them. But high entertainment value for us.


Miller Closes Out AL East…Again


Mason Miller: Closer Edition has completely arrived. He recorded a pair of saves earlier this week against the New York Yankees, striking out six hitters across 2.1 innings. Miller was at it again in Baltimore on Friday:

The top five pitch velocities in that game all came from Miller, who topped out at 102.4 mph. He struck out both Gunnar Henderson Colton Cowser as part of his 10th-inning save. Miller has recorded multiple strikeouts in each of his nine appearances since his first on March 30th. The Oakland Athletics may not be a very good baseball team. But do not, under any circumstances, find yourself overcoming a save situation against their new closer.


Up Goes Frazier


One of the beautiful things about baseball is that we get to see incredible defensive plays on a daily basis throughout the spring and summer. It’s sometimes hard to always justify inclusion in this section, given the quantity. But sometimes, there’s extra context:

Adam Frazier succeeded in not only making an incredible catch but doubling the runner up at first base. More importantly, he helped Seth Lugo maintain the shutout in doing so. Lugo ended up going seven without allowing a run. It’s the third time he’s gone at least six scoreless frames this year. He’s been spectacular. The Royals, too, have already become one of the more watchable teams in baseball. If Frazier’s going to do something like this with any kind of regularity, it only strengthens their case as appointment viewing.


And Now His Watch Resumes


It’s a small thing in the grand scheme of getting throttled by Philadelphia on Friday, but the San Diego Padres have to be happy about this:

Machado hasn’t appeared at the hot corner this year due to offseason elbow surgery. But he manned his post once again on Friday, his first appearance since coming off the paternity list. While Eguy Rosario has performed admirably (despite a high K%), the Padres have gotten very little out of Tyler Wade Graham Pauley at the position, on either side of the ball. At the very least, getting Machado back at his usual position opens the team up to pursue a DH option to boost the offense sooner rather than later.


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ Atlanta officially activated 2B Ozzie Albies from the 10-day IL.

⚾ White Sox selected OF Tommy Pham & OF Rafael Ortega to the active roster; OF Kevin Pillar & P Bailey Horn were designated for assignment; OF Dominic Fletcher was optioned to Triple-A.

⚾ Orioles selected OF Ryan McKenna to the active roster; C David Bañuelos was designated for assignment.

⚾ Marlins placed SP Jesús Luzardo on the 15-day IL (left elbow tightness); P Anthony Maldonado was recalled from Triple-A.

⚾ Mets recalled DH J.D. Martinez from Triple-A; IF Zack Short was designated for assignment.

⚾ Twins signed RP Nick Wittgren to a minor league deal.

⚾ Red Sox signed RP Sal Romano to a minor league deal.


Articles You Should Read


Altitude to be a factor at Mexico City Series – David Venn (MLB.com)

Can the White Sox Lose 120 Games? – Dan Szymborski (FanGraphs)

Yoshinobu Yamamoto Was Too Good To Be Great Right Away – Ginny Searle (Baseball Prospectus)


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

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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.

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