MLB News & Moments You Should Know 5/25/24

Soto in San Diego, Colt Keith, and...bubbles.

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


The Yankees


Nothing clever to report here. The New York Yankees jumped all over Yu Darvish, with early home runs from all of the big guys. Including Juan Soto in his return to America’s Finest City:

Aaron Judge added one immediately before Giancarlo Stanton hit the Western Metal Supply Co. building. They’re unreal right now.


Royals Stay Hot


Coming into Friday, only three teams had scored more runs than the Kansas City Royals: the Phillies, Dodgers, & Yankees. That’s elite company. Especially for a team that lost 106 games and had a -185 run differential in 2023. Kansas City kept it going on Friday:

Michael Massey is having something of a breakout, at least on the power side (though he did leave the game with a back injury). Bobby Witt Jr. also homered, while Seth Lugo twirled another 7 IP, 1 ER gem. It was the Royals’ seventh straight win, allowing them to keep pace with Cleveland (who also won their seventh straight). The Royals sit 33-19 with a +79 run differential heading into Saturday.

And that’s without any of their free-agent bats contributing much of anything. This is all in-house. We knew the central divisions would be more watchable, but didn’t think they’d be this much fun. Cleveland-Kansas City-Minnesota (depending on the week) could give us some real drama this summer.


Here Come the Giants?


The San Francisco Giants never had a chance to win the National League West. But they were also expected to parlay their handful of free agent additions into a wild card run. That hasn’t happened quite yet, largely due to injuries all over the roster (an oversimplification). If the last three days are any indication, perhaps their fortunes are shifting:

Patrick Bailey grand slam to take the lead in the eighth is cool enough on its own. So is the play Matt Chapman made to end the game with the bases loaded. But it was the third straight game in which the Giants have overcome a four-run deficit in order to win. They’d never done that before in a rather extensive franchise history. It’s a detail like that that compels me to remind you that it is an even year.


NL Central Bottom Feeders Break Out Big Bats


The Pittsburgh Pirates & Cincinnati Reds are in fourth & fifth place, respectively, in the National League Central. Both have negative run differentials. Pittsburgh entered Friday 24th in the league in runs scored, while the Reds were only slightly better at 20th. With those two set to match up against legitimate pennant contenders (Atlanta & Los Angeles), it doesn’t figure to be a weekend with much promise. That didn’t seem to matter Friday.

Both teams exploded offensively against their contending counterparts, Pittsburgh winning 11-5 & the Reds taking theirs 9-6. The Pirates raised the Jo11y Roger on Atlanta, highlighted by this homer from Jared Triolo:

The Reds, meanwhile, dropped nine on the Dodgers. Their big hit was a bit louder, as Jonathan India broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the fifth with this grand slam:

While a single game isn’t going to immediately flip either team into a contender, stealing games against a contender with this type of offense could be something of a springboard for two teams that were expected to be better than what we’ve seen. Especially as the NL Central starts to become just a bit more wide open.


Best Moments From Yesterday


A Monster, A Homer, & Some Popcorn


William Contreras hit a home run over the Green Monster on Friday. Cool on its own. Add a popcorn bucket, though, and it becomes just slightly more fun:

The fans coming onto the field to have the bucket signed by Contreras is the chef’s kiss layer to the story.


Keith (Finally) Breaks Through


When the Detroit Tigers signed Colt Keith to a six-year contract just before the season, it was clear they expected him to be a part of their future. Only for Keith to limp to a fairly putrid offensive start (.286 OBP, .035 ISO). He finally saw a breakthrough on Friday:

Keith hit 27 homers and posted a .247 ISO between Double-A & Triple-A last season. He’s not a prototypical power hitter, but the impact can absolutely be a part of his bag. One wonders if he can start to provide a spark for a Detroit team just trying to hang with the three upstart squads ahead of them in the AL Central.

One also wonders if Keith will someday look back with disappointment that his first dinger came in those City Connects.




The Lake County Captains are the High-A affiliates of the Cleveland Guardians. Their Friday night game featured something called “Bubble Fest”, with the first 500 fans receiving their own bubbles. It was also a BYOB(ubbles) event, to the point where 2.6 million bubbles were claimed. Up in the booth, this happened:

I’m not sure how you can keep track of bubbles at that high a volume. Or why their play-by-play announcer needed to be encased in one. But that’s what makes Minor League games such a blast.


PCA Flips Out


The Cubs sent Pete Crow-Armstrong back to Iowa at the start of the week, despite serving as their top positional prospect. He’s mashed since arriving back in Triple-A, but one element of his Friday home run stood out:

That’s an angry flip. That’s a flip that says “Your offense is struggling and you sent me to Iowa? Nah.” (It’s actually a flip that says “You threw at and behind me on consecutive pitches, so now you get this.”)


Injuries and Other Moves


⚾ Mariners optioned IF Luis Urías & recalled OF Jonatan Clase.

⚾ Rockies selected Ps John Curtiss Matt Carasiti, optioned P Peter Lambert to Triple-A Albuquerque, transferred P Kyle Freeland to 60-day IL (elbow strain), and designated P Matt Koch for assignment.

⚾ Orioles recalled Ps Dillon Tate Nick Vespi, optioned P Jonathan Heasley to Triple-A Norfolk, and placed P Dean Kremer on 15-day IL (triceps strain).

⚾ Giants signed P Drew Pomeranz, optioned P Mason Black to Triple-A Sacramento, and designated C Jakson Reetz for assignment.

⚾ Brewers selected P Enoli Paredes & optioned P Bradley Blalock to Double-A Biloxi.

⚾ Royals designated P Tyler Duffey for assignment & activated P Carlos Hernández from IL.

⚾ Atlanta signed IF Joey Wendle, recalled P Ray Kerr, optioned IF Luke Williams to Triple-A Gwinnett, and placed P AJ Smith-Shawver on 15-day IL (oblique).


Articles You Should Read


No, You Can’t Trade Your Newfound Reliever for a Shiny Prospect – Ben Clemens (FanGraphs)

Fortune, Misfortune, and the Giants – Patrick Dubuque (Baseball Prospectus)

Does lightning-rod umpire Angel Hernandez deserve his villainous reputation? – Sam Blum & Cody Stavenhagen (The Athletic)


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.

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