MLB News & Moments You Should Know – 7/1/2023

Steer's 11th-inning home run is the latest Reds comeback victory.

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

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!!! For those who don’t know, July 1 is the day the New York Mets have to pay the former slugger $1,193,248.20. This will be the 13th year in a row they have done so. There are 12 more years to go for the 60-year-old, who hasn’t played since 2001. Bonilla’s deal is the OG of deferred contract payments.

Oh, and since it was the end of June, here is a cool stat: The Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers each finished the month with season run differentials of at least +150. The Rays, at +163, and Rangers, at +155, become the first pair of teams to enter July at +150 or better since the 1891 Boston Reds and St. Louis Browns.


Today’s Headlines


Reds Do It Again

Following a walk-off that wasn’t a walk-off, Spencer Steer gave the Cincinnati Reds the victory they thought they had moments earlier. The rookie crushed a two-run homer off right-hander Drew Carlton with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Reds a 7-5 victory over the San Diego Padres. Of the Reds’ 44 wins, 30 have been of the come-from-behind variety. Before Steer’s dramatics, Elly De La Cruz tied the game with a double, but the star rookie was called out at home two batters later on a grounder to shortstop Xander Bogaerts. De La Cruz was originally called safe, but replay review reversed the call and set up Steer.


Rangers Get Chapman From Royals

The bullpen has been the messiest part of the season for the Texas Rangers, who lead the American League West. They hope Aroldis Chapman helps smooth things out. The Rangers acquired the former elite closer from the Kansas Royals for two players: left-hander Cole Ragans and minor-league outfielder Roni Cabrera. Rangers relievers entered play Friday with a 4.37 ERA, 24th in MLB, and Chapman figures to be another late-inning choice for manager Bruce Bochy. Chapman, on a one-year, $3.75 million prove-it deal after losing his closing job with the New York Yankees last season, has a 2.45 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 29 innings this season.


Walk-off? Pirates Dance-off

The Pittsburgh Pirates seem to be rediscovering their magic. And that in itself is a reason to dance. But Carlos Santana decided to take it up another level following his two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. After sweeping the San Diego Padres, including erasing a four-run deficit Thursday, the Pirates twice trailed by four runs in the series opener against the Brewers, including three in the ninth. It was capped by Santana’s blast to right field and prompted the slugger to do a Fernando Tatis Jr. stutterstep around third bases before doing a shuffle dance prior to crossing home plate.


Ohtani’s 30th HR A True Long Ball

Los Angeles Angels slugger Shohei Ohtani extended his MLB lead by cranking out his 30th homer, a solo shot in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 493-foot shot, with an exit velocity of 115.1 mph, is the longest in MLB this season and the longest by an Angel in the Statcast era (2015). It also capped a power surge in June as Ohtani hit 15 homers in the month. The Angels lost 6-2.


All-Star Jerseys Revealed

MLB unveiled the jerseys to be worn in this year’s All-Star Game, which will be held July 11 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. Love ’em or hate ’em, at least this year’s version isn’t plain, with the American League wearing teal and the National League navy in honor of the host team, the Seattle Mariners. One other innovation: the jerseys are made with Nike Vapor Premier technology, which is a lighter fabric made from at least 90% recycled polyester yarns. Somewhere, George Costanza is claiming this to be his idea.


Betts Joins Derby Field

Add Los Angeles Dodgers star Mookie Betts to the list of Home Run Derby participants. Betts joins Julio Rodríguez of the Mariners and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays in what will be an eight-player field. To celebrate, Betts went 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs in the Dodgers’ 9-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals.


Best Moments From Yesterday


Votto Must Be A Swiftie

It was a big night in Cincy. Not only was there a fantastic Padres-Reds game, but Taylor Swift was in town, performing for the first of two nights just down the street at Paycor Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. Well, Joey Votto, who played in his 2,000th career game Friday, did a little crowdsourcing to pay homage to Swift.

Here was Friday’s first plate appearance:

Don’t worry, there is more coming Saturday.


Everything’s Gonna Be OK

We all make mistakes. That was basically the message sent by San Francisco Giants rookie left fielder Blake Sabol, who raised the spirits of a Giants fan who interfered with a ball in play and felt bad about it. “I think there are times when humanity is bigger than baseball,” said Sabol, who noticed the fan sinking into his seat after the incident.


Heavy Heart For Fletcher Brothers

Dad certainly would have been proud. Angels shortstop David Fletcher and Diamondbacks left fielder Dominic Fletcher shared an MLB field for the first time in their careers Friday. Dominic, in fact, was called up from Triple-A Friday to face his brother’s team. Both were in the starting lineup. Only their dad, Tim, wasn’t in the stands to witness the feat. He died on June 12. But mom Fernanda and other relatives were there to see the Orange County natives play in Anaheim.


Injuries and Other Moves


Outfielder Kris Bryant (bruised left heel) was activated from the 10-day injured list by the Colorado Rockies, who designated catcher Jorge Alfaro for assignment. The 40-man roster spot was needed with the promotion of left-hander Ty Blach from Triple-A.

Right-hander Michael Soroka and infielder Charlie Culberson were called up from Triple-A by Atlanta.

The St. Louis Cardinals placed right-hander Jake Woodford (strained right shoulder) on the 15-day injured list and called up James Naile from Triple-A.

Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Colin Holderman (right wrist inflammation) was activated from the 15-day IL.

Washington Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin was put on the bereavement list and left-hander Jose A. Ferrer was called up to make his MLB debut.

The Los Angeles Angels called up right-handed reliever Victor Mederos, who made his MLB debut Friday.


Articles You Should Read


De La Cruz is already the most exciting show in baseball — David Waldstein, New York Times

Cardinals’ Wainwright needed affirmation from manager after latest stumble — Katie Woo, The Athletic

2023 MLB Draft is among the most loaded in history — Carlos Collazo, Baseball America


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter and Threads @DrummerWrites.

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