MLB News & Moments You Should Know: 5/16/2024

That "Woo" you heard was me exhaling in relief.

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Whenever Bally’s RSNs do finally die for real, part of me is gonna miss their little musical motif that we get when they cut to commercials. It always makes me think of Metallica.


Today’s Headlines


Continued Ballyhoo

The dissolution of Bally’s Diamond Sports Group continues to generate venom from the sports leagues involved, as MLB got backup from the NBA and NHL league offices to go put them on blast in court. From The Athletic’s Evan Drellich:

“We are coming into the middle of yet another season where Diamond is an undependable partner,” said a lawyer for MLB, James Bromley. “This is not a deal that Major League Baseball and its clubs have signed up for. … It’s been two full weeks since carriage has been dropped by Comcast, and there is not a word of when it might get picked up, and on what terms.”

“We have more questions than answers,” said Vincent Indelicato, a lawyer for the NBA, in court Wednesday.

Said Shana Elberg, representing the NHL: “The day-to-day approach of whether or not a professional team’s games will be broadcast doesn’t work for us, and can’t continue.”

None of the leagues have filed any official objection to the bankruptcy process as of Wednesday night, but they are clearly not happy to just let this saga play out slowly as fans across the country are unable to watch dozens of teams across the leagues while the zombie RSN fights with Comcast. However, the whole thing is still in the very early stages, and probably won’t see any real momentum building until June or July when more in-depth hearings are scheduled.

Hot Rox

Don’t look now but the longest active winning streak currently belongs to NL West favorites, the…Colorado Rockies?!

Yep, the Colorado Rockies. They shut out the Padres yesterday, an eight-run affair that also included the first major league dinger for rookie Jordan Beck:

It was a Rockie Road for the Padres pitching on Wednesday (see what I did there?!) but even after breaking off this seven-game win streak, the Rockies still find themselves 13 games under .500 and 13 games behind the Dodgers in the division. I guess the good news is they’re only four games behind the Giants for 4th place? Silver linings, right?

Sticky Situation For Ronel

Yeah that’s right it’s the same joke Pablo made yesterday, deal with it.

On Tuesday, Astros pitcher Ronel Blanco was ejected from the game for a sticky substance found on his mitt, and today his punishment was made official:

Blanco and the Astros are not appealing the suspension, so Wednesday was day one of the 10. I will also note that umpire Erich Bacchus said that it “was the stickiest stuff I’ve felt on a glove since we’ve been doing this for a few years now” which I mention not to try to accuse Ronel of being an extra-cheater, but to point out that every umpire says this about everything they touch these days. At a certain point, it seems a little dramatic, especially because it seems like there’s a limit to how sticky something can really be if you’re manually applying it to something and dabbing little bits off. I dunno, I just kinda roll my eyes at the characterization of this stuff now.

Woo Who? Woo Hoo!

Moving right along, have a block of good pitching news!

It was a little hairy last time Bryan Woo pitched, after going on the IL during Spring Training with elbow soreness issues, he made his 2024 debut on May 10th, where he was pulled in the fifth inning due to the dreaded “forearm tightness.” Woo and the M’s said it was mostly down to a long layoff during the previous inning and were adamant he would make his next start. Well, he did that with aplomb.

Toeing the slab at home against the Royals, Woo threw 5.1 innings of one-run ball, letting up only three hits, one walk, and striking out five en route to a win. Here’s to more pitchers coming back from scary-sounding arm injuries!

Gassed Up

Brewers prospect Robert Gasser is off to a pretty roaring start to his career, after having been called up last week:

He also got the W on Wednesday behind a five-dinger day from the Brew Crew offense to down the Pirates 10-2. Sure, a sub-1.00 ERA is a good way to kick off your time as a big leaguer, but Gasser’s Wednesday cemented a historic first few days in the office:

At #70 on The List, Nick asked:

It’s a flat four-seamer and whiffable sweeper, but is that enough?

…so far, the answer seems to be yes, and the Marlins are up next. Not bad.


Best Moments From Yesterday


A Javier Aside (aka Respect The Tobys)

But listen, not everybody can be a fancy, shiny prospect. Sometimes you’re a Vargas Rule. Sometimes you’re a Holly. But you know what? That can still mean you’re pretty dang good at throwing a baseball. Just ask Javier Assad.

I love a nerdy-looking goofball pitcher who happens to also be the best pitcher in the league by ERA using arbitrary cutoffs?!

But it’s not just Javy, there’s also first among the Holly Tier, Ranger Suárez:

I don’t really have anywhere to go with this section, I just wanted to appreciate a couple of dudes who are killing it right now and don’t get the spotlight they deserve.

Nifty Little Lateral

Yusei Kikuchi and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. joined forces yesterday to make this pretty incredible play to nab Gunnar Henderson and end the third inning:

That’s a lotta moving parts, and Kikuchi barehanding the toss really just makes it sing. But…

Lean Back

…it was all for naught as Adley Rutschman decided actually, the O’s were gonna win at the end of the day:

That’s 106 mph off the bat, but at a 43-degree launch angle! 347 feet and one brief umpire review later, and it was birdbath time in Baltimore. However…

Triple Decker Ding Dong

…Baltimore now finds themselves a half-game back of the Yankees in the AL East as New York shut out the Twins 4-0, with one of those runs coming off an absolutely ridiculous Aaron Judge dinger:

Now that’s 113 mph off the bat at a 30-degree angle. 467 feet means no umpire review necessary.

Seeing Eye Chopper2

Sticking in the AL East, the Rays fended off Boston to win 4-3 on Wednesday, and on the way there they scored their first run on one of the most “How’d that get through?” hits I’ve seen in a while, courtesy of Richie Palacios:

PCA Pushes

I am truly loathe to credit a bunt in these hallowed pages, but one must give credit where it’s due, and Pete Crow-Armstrong painted a masterpiece of hitting it where they ain’t with this one:

Cam Booser?

Cam Booser.

Cam Booser

That is all.


Injuries and Other Moves


Nick Lodolo is headed back to the IL with a groin strain.

Keaton Winn left Tuesday’s game due to forearm tightness and will be heading for an MRI. Never what you want to hear.

J.P. Crawford was hit on the right forearm in his rehab appearance last night and was removed from the game.

Max Scherzer is currently dealing with a nerve issue, and has had extensive imaging done that did not point to any specific damage. He was moved to the 60-day IL, which means he will not be returning until June at the earliest.

The Giants have had some truly awful injury luck with their catchers lately, and signed Curt Casali to a major league deal to help mitigate that. They moved Tom Murphy to the 60-day IL to free up a roster spot, so he is out until July at the earliest now.

The Mets have optioned José Buttó to AAA, and recalled Joey Lucchesi to fill his roster spot.


Articles You Should Read


What Statcast’s New Bat Tracking Data Does and Doesn’t Tell UsBen Clemens, FanGraphs

Life as an MLB Catcher: Violet Bruises, Ballooned Ankles — and now, Broken ArmsZack Meisel, The Athletic (sub req’d)


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Is It Legit?

Closing Time

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers. @asherd.bsky.social on Bluesky.

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