MLB News & Moments You Should Know – 7/2

Robo Umps, Cristian Javier, Gonsolin's 10th & Nolan's Cycle on a Friday

Happy Saturday! 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


Robot Umps Coming in 2024

It’s been the worst-kept secret for baseball fans since the experimentation started at a different level of the game. Major League Baseball has all intentions to roll out their full plan of Automated Ball-Strike System aka Robot Umps in the 2024 season. This news is straight from Manfred’s mouth during a presser earlier in the week. Manfred continued to lean on the pace of play as his reasoning for why this will be helpful instead of hurting the quality of the game.

There is a misunderstanding of how this system would work because fans immediately shut down when they hear the concept. There are two distinct ways that this could be implemented. The first way is the fully computerized version where the umpire behind the dish acts as a vessel to convey the message of the strike-ball calls of the computer upstairs. MLB could instead try  to implement a similar system to soccer and tennis. Soccer has the VAR system, which is similar to a challenge system that’s already in place but this time for balls and strikes. Hawk-Eye, which you may know from tennis, is similar in that it makes the challenges more accurate.

No more eyes in the sky with the potential for human error.  It certainly sounds like it will be the first one but we will have to see.

This wouldn’t be the first time that robot umpires would be at the helm of responsibility. MLB has been using Robot umpires in the minors for some time now and it has been largely a successful endeavor.

MiLB umpires have the system pretty well wired. They carry a device and pop discreet headphones into their ear, and the system tells them whether the pitch is a ball or strike after every pitch. To the untrained eye, the game would look largely the same, but it helps create a more accurate and consistent decision-making process.


Tony Gonsolin Moves to 10-0

Tony Gonsolin has been a delight to watch pitch all year. We have to await the official announcement, but you have to believe that he will be an All-Star for the first time in his career come mid-July. Tony’s glow-up has been amazing and it was especially evident in his latest outing, where he only allowed one run and struck out eight across 7 2/3 innings. This was his longest outing yet and he cut his ERA to a minute 1.54, good enough for the league lead.

To put it in perspective, Gonsolin is just the seventh pitcher since 1961 to begin a season 10-0 with an ERA below 2.00.


Arenado Cycles

Arenado was only half smiling in the Cards’ clubhouse following the cycle. It’s not often you give your team such a stellar offensive output and lose. But that’s just what happened when the Phillies defeated St. Louis on Friday night.

The cycle is the second of Arenado’s career, but it is also the 17th in the Cardinals’ long and amazing history.

He got the hardest part out of the way with an RBI triple in the first. He followed up that three-bagger with a two-run homer in the third and a double in the sixth. The single seemed like a foregone conclusion but it was met with some controversy as he was awarded a hit in the eighth after the ball was not handled cleanly and could have been considered an error. You be the judge…



Padres Unveil City Connect Jerseys

The final City Connect jersey of 2022 has been released. San Diego revealed their new jerseys in the morning, paying homage to the cultural presence of many different ethnicities and nationalities in San Diego.

The Friars will wear these threads for the first time next Friday and on additional Friday home games for the rest of the season.

These jerseys are the brightest in the City Connect portfolio. The colorful uniforms were supposed to capture the beautiful bright colors of San Diego’s pink and yellow sunset and they did just that. Nicely done!


Juan Soto Open to Extension in DC

The Nats will certainly be sellers at the deadline, sitting double-digit games under .500, but they are still trying to secure their cornerstone player for the next great Nationals squad. The two sides have yet to come to an agreement but a report came out yesterday that Soto is open to an extension despite turning down a monster deal in the fall.

Both sides seem to be in a deadlock, prompting fans and media to speculate where Soto could wind up if they decided to move him. GM Mike Rizzo continued to shoot down these possibilities when he said back in June they would not be moving him under any circumstances.



Best Moments From Yesterday


Umpire’s Got the Moves


Got to appreciate the athleticism at the hot corner. Moving around in those pleated pants makes it even more impressive:


Astros call up Korey Lee from Triple-A

We love when the prospects get the call, and we saw another promising one get the nod from the Astros. They called up Korey Lee, a 2019 first-round pick, as a corresponding move to placing catcher Jason Castro on the IL. However, we can’t get too excited, as this is undoubtedly a cup of coffee in the bigs before returning to the minors for more seasoning. Lee is certainly going to get every opportunity to hit with Castro being out.


Vinnie Pasquantino’s first hit is a HR!

KC’s Cousin Vinnie was called up to hit HRs for the power-hungry Royals. Pasquantino hit 24 home runs throughout his travels between various levels of minor league ball in 2021 and 2022 and sees him with 18 in just 69 games.

It wasn’t a typical home run and was met with some confusion on the field because of the way it bounced back into play. It’s hard to say but I don’t think Vinnie envisioned the moment of his first homer in the bigs with him being tagged out (if the ball did not make it over the wall) by Javier Báez while sliding into second base.

Pasquantino became the first Royals player since Ryan O’Hearn to hit a home run for his first major-league hit. O’Hearn did it back on July 31, 2018.



Citi Field homer caught by cameraman’s son


Nathaniel Lowe powered a tater into the seats. But it was no ordinary home run, as it was caught by a fan via an incredible catch. More memorably, it was the camera man’s son who made the catch in what is sure to be a lifetime memory for both father and son.



Cristian Javier K’s 14

All he needed was an opportunity. Placed in the bullpen for the majority of the 2021 season, Javier is now showing why he should be in the rotation for good. Javier struck out 14 hitters, good for a career-high, while only allowing a singular hit in seven innings for an Astros’ win. This was a fantastic statement for Javier, as it was fresh on the heels of his combined no-hit effort against the powerful Yankees (where he also struck out 13 batters!).

For those counting, that’s 27 strikeouts across two starts, while only allowing one hit. According to ELIAS, that is good for the most strikeouts with one or fewer hits being given up by a pitcher in a two-game span since 1900.

Unique stuff we are seeing from Javier:




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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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