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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – 8/20/23

J-Rod Stays Hot

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

 

Al2(k)ve

Although Jose Altuve has only played in 53 games this season around some pretty extensive time on the IL, he’s making the most of it. As of this morning, he’s hitting .325/.420/.532 with nine dingers and 12 stolen bases. That line includes his 3-5 performance on Saturday that saw him hit a nice Round Number Milestone:

Altuve joins Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell as Houston batters to reach that mark, and you may recognize those other names from their Hall of Fame plaques. Altuve’s case is obviously tainted by the 2017 Can Banging Scheme, but with the relative paucity of other obvious second-base candidates and his general ability to be incredibly good at baseball, he’s probably still got a real shot at it. But either way, Jose does have one thing he did better than those HoFers:

Also, a fun fact I saw while confirming numbers here: Did you know Nick Markakis has 2,388 career hits? Pretty cool.

 

80 For Atlanta

To the surprise of nobody who’s been paying attention this year, the Braves are pacing the sport in wins, hitting 80 while the Dodgers and Baltimore are both still four games off.

FanGraphs has Atlanta’s odds of winning the World Series at a whopping 25.9% right now, and while we all know You Can’t Predict Baseball, Suzyn, I do have to say I would hesitate to take the bet against them.

Noelvi Debuts

The Cincinnati Reds have called up a pretty incredible 14 players to make their debuts this season, the most recent being their post-midseason-rankings-updated top prospect Noelvi Marte, who came over in the Luis Castillo trade last year.

He did make his debut as a pinch runner, which isn’t the sexiest way to do it, but getting a hug from Joey Votto is pretty sexy, I suppose. And he certainly made it an interesting time:

Juliooooooooooooooooo

It was an uneven start to 2023 for Julio Rodríguez, as his first-half batting line was a somewhat pedestrian (for him, at least) .249/.306/.411, 103 wRC+ line. But then he showed up at the Home Run Derby and while he didn’t win, it was a heck of a show. And well, it seems to have carried over as you may have already heard:

Or to put it another way, Julio Rodríguez alone has as many hits as the entire Yankees team does over the past four games. In his 32 games in the second half, he’s hitting .338/.395/.590, a much more impressive 173 wRC+, and pulled his season line up to .274/.333/.460 (123 wRC+) with 21 dingers and 32 stolen bases. And also still the most handsome man in all of baseball.

He went 4-4 on Saturday as the Mariners walloped the Astros 10-3, as the M’s continue to hold onto that third Wild Card spot.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Frozen Rope, Meet Chain Link

It was the battle of the materials out in Oakland, as we once against have to litigate why the foul pole is actually fair, and also if a ball is really hit out of the park if it stays in play? I dunno, maybe Austin Hays knows the answers after this dinger:

Although I still see Baltimore as the legitimate owners of chaos-related baseball motto-erty, I can appreciate it wherever I can get it, to be honest.

Cruz Control

Oh so, that Noelvi Marte guy is the Reds’ top prospect because another dude graduated from eligibility, you may have heard of him? Elly De La Cruz?

This makes two unconventional home runs I’ve gotten to cover this week (three if you count Hays’ one above,) although this one is definitely more of the “Hey let’s just throw this all around!” type than Luke Raley’s from Wednesday. But also, check out this second angle of the whole thing:

I mostly want to post this view because Elly’s not even really sprinting out of the box and he still cleared all the bases without much trouble. Dude’s incredible.

The Ol’ Colorado Trick Shot

It’s low-hanging fruit to make fun of the token inclusions in the All-Star Game that come from the bad teams around baseball, but then you have Michael Lorenzen who gets the nod, is traded, and tosses a no-hitter all within a couple of months. Or Colorado’s Elias Díaz who won the ASG for the NL and then did this incredibly cool move last night against the White Sox:

Okay so maybe when you put it up against a no-hitter it’s a bit less cool but I do think it’s still pretty cool.

Mountains Are Ageless

Good news everybody: Rich Hill is going to be able to pitch forever.

I’m looking forward to watching him throw it from several different arm slots, too.

 

Injuries

 

Tony Gonsolin is on the IL with an unspecified “elbow injury” and it’s unlikely he pitches again in the 2023 season.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

5 Reasons The D-Backs Should Bring Back Their Purple-And-Teal Uniforms – Renee Dechert

Let’s Talk About Freddie Freeman, Baserunner Extraordinaire – Esteban Rivera, FanGraphs

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks (Closers) (Holds)

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

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.

One response to “MLB News & Moments You Should Know – 8/20/23”

  1. Dwayne Thompson says:

    Thanks for the Markakis stat. Would’ve never guessed.

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