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Cade Cavalli SZN
The Curly W’s announced yesterday that Cade Cavalli, the Nats’ top pitching prospect, will be making his MLB debut on Friday at home against the Reds.
Cade Cavalli will make his MLB debut for the #Nats on Friday night at Nationals Park, per source.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) August 24, 2022
Cavalli, the 22nd overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft, held a 3.71 ERA and struck out 104 batters in 97 innings this year for Triple-A Rochester. He was ranked the 10th-best pitching prospect in MLB by PitcherList’s very own Nate Handy, the 6th-best pitching prospect by Fangraphs, and the 15th-best pitching prospect (58th overall) by MLB Pipeline.
Here’s Nate Handy’s scouting report on Cavalli:
A (the “angel”): The former power bully completes his transformation into a sophisticated MLB ace.
D (the “devil”): The secondary feel will never be consistent enough.
But you can also see for yourself:
Cade Cavalli struck out 11 in his last start.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 20, 2022
— Ben Brown ? (@BenBrownPL) July 11, 2021
Cade Cavalli is no Stephen Strasburg, so the debut won’t be quite as hyped as Strasburg’s was back in June 2010, but it’ll still be nice for Nationals fans to get a glimpse of the future of the organization. If things go right, Cavalli and Mackenzie Gore will give the Nats a pair of aces at the top of the rotation, a la Strasburg and Scherzer in the mid-2010s. But, for now, fans everywhere should just appreciate the debut of a future star in Cavalli against a relatively toothless Cincinnati lineup.
Perhaps you’ve heard Edwin Díaz’s walk-out music this year:
Edwin Diaz really has a top 1 closer entrance pic.twitter.com/mYu9sst0sA
— Steve Perrault (@Steve_Perrault) July 27, 2022
While it’s not “Enter Sandman” levels of terrifying for opposing hitters, it’s pretty darn close, considering just how good Díaz has been this season. This year, Díaz has a 1.46 ERA, a 0.95 FIP, and is striking out a mind-boggling 51.3% of opposing batters across 49.1 IP.
To cash in on the fun with Díaz’s walkout song, the Mets were able to bring in the trumpeter himself, Timmy Trumpet, to try to perform his solo live when Díaz walks out from the bullpen:
Timmy Trumpet, who does the trumpets in Edwin Diaz’s entrance song “Narco,” will be at Citi Field on Tuesday, the Mets announced.
He’ll throw out the first pitch before the game. And if Diaz pitches, Timmy Trumpets will play the song live.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) August 24, 2022
What are the odds Díaz pitches on Friday, you might ask? I think they’re quite good.
The Mets will be hosting the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. They had an off-day on Wednesday and Díaz’s last outing was Sunday, August 21. So, Díaz will likely be fresh for Thursday, if they need him, and could still pitch two days in a row because his arm hasn’t really been taxed lately.
On Thursday, the Mets have Jacob deGrom going against Ryan Feltner, the man with the 5.88 ERA. If the Mets can scrounge up a couple of runs, they likely won’t have a lot of trouble holding off the Rockies and may be able to get away with resting Díaz for another game.
The pitching matchups haven’t been announced for Friday’s game yet. However, if Díaz hasn’t pitched since Sunday by the time Friday rolls around, Buck Showalter may opt to get Diaz some work, keeping him loose and prepared for more important matchups the following week. Or, if the game is close, Timmy Trumpet could be playing as Díaz walks out into a high-pressure situation, which would be the coolest possible way for this situation to work out. Either way, Friday’s game will be very fun to follow.
Speaking of Edwin Díaz, watch him absolutely ruin his drink here:
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 24, 2022
Mike Trout’s Back
Mike Trout with a go-ahead rocket!
— MLB (@MLB) August 25, 2022
George Kirby is Pretty Good
George Kirby set an MLB record today when he didn’t throw a ball until his 25th pitch. ?
— MLB (@MLB) August 24, 2022
Surely George Kirby‘s team must have picked him up and scored some runs after this inspiring display of strikes? Wrong!
Strikes =/= outs, actually. In fact, while Kirby threw a ton of strikes in the first inning, those strikes became three straight singles to Joey Meneses, Luke Voit, and Nelson Cruz to give the Nats a 1-run lead. And, while Kirby did throw 7 innings of 1-run ball, the Mariners struggled to score runs against the juggernaut Nationals pitching staff. Aníbal Sánchez tossed 4.1 innings of shutout ball and then was followed by 4.2 innings of 1-run ball from the bullpen, helping the Nats claim a 3-1 victory.
Best Moments from Friday
Nolan Arenado’s Tirade
Oli Marmol has described Nolan Arenado recently as the “most competitive player” he has ever worked with at the major league level. I think this might be a manifestation of that supreme competitiveness:
Nolan Arenado was HEATED after this called third strike ?
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) August 25, 2022
You can see the home plate umpire, John Libka, trying not to laugh at Arenado’s protesting. Perhaps he was laughing because Arenado just yelled “NO!” loudly a bunch of times. Or, maybe it’s because Libka is just a happy guy working his dream job. Or, most likely, he’s laughing because Arenado swung through that pitch and is apparently adamant he did not just swing across the plate.
Poor Oli Marmol had to follow up Arenado’s outburst. Unfortunately, he did not measure up to Arenado’s energy, as Marmol looks like he’s giving Libka a stern lecture, as opposed to an outright tirade.
Willing the O’s to a Comeback
rally caps on, rally shirts off pic.twitter.com/w52h7fvFGA
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 25, 2022
Put On Your Red Shoes and Dance the Blues…
They’re not huge fans of referees, umpires, and other game officiants out there in Philadelphia, but even a little dance from umpire Adam Beck is enough to get the Phanatic Phaithful excited:
Phillie Phanatic gets anyone to dance pic.twitter.com/50QfOnyMvM
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 25, 2022
I’m still looking for an explanation for whatever the fellow dressed like a clown is doing there. However, I’m glad that umpires are humans, too, and that he was able to bust a move for the fans during a long battle between the Phillies and Reds.
Speaking of the Phillies and Reds, can someone please get Aristides Aquino a new pair of pants?
a little bit of tape should fix it pic.twitter.com/qyc80V1PMj
— Cut4 (@Cut4) August 25, 2022
I’m going to assume that Aquino played out the rest of the inning with the tear because there were already two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Plus, can you imagine stopping the whole game so that Aquino could switch into a new pair of pants? The Phaithful would have a cow! Luckily, Aquino didn’t have to wait that long to change in the dugout, as Ross Detwiler got Yairo Muñoz to ground out on two pitches to end the inning.
He also did this an inning earlier:
Aristides Aquino with a 99 MPH cannon ? pic.twitter.com/eM92lO7ASo
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) August 25, 2022
Statcast Bonanza at PNC Park
I can’t thank MLB enough for installing Statcast at every MLB (and MiLB) park. I am sure fans that tuned into this early afternoon game in Pittsburgh were quite thankful as well because they got to witness a set of displays that cannot be properly appreciated without the numbers to illustrate the feats.
First, there was Matt Olson’s monster homer that landed in the Allegheny:
Matt Olson has hit 169 homers in 701 MLB games.
Willie Mays hit 169 in his first 701 MLB games.
Mark McGwire hit 169 in his first 701 MLB games.pic.twitter.com/8cQ9awjWUw
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) August 24, 2022
Thanks to Statcast, we know that Olson absolutely smoked that pitch, although your eyes could’ve told you that as well:
Matt Olson vs Cam Vieaux#ForTheA
Home Run ?
Exit velo: 112.7 mph
Launch angle: 35 deg
Proj. distance: 420 ft
No doubt about that one ?
That's a dinger in all 30 MLB ballparks
ATL (13) @ PIT (0)
? 8th pic.twitter.com/XyoUpz4e6s
— Would it dong? (@would_it_dong) August 24, 2022
Then, there was Oneil Cruz’s rocket base hit:
122.4 MPH exit velocity! ?
Oneil Cruz just hit the hardest-hit batted ball in Statcast era history! pic.twitter.com/bC9loelBoG
— MLB (@MLB) August 24, 2022
His reward for the hardest-hit ball in the Statcast era? A booming single. Isn’t baseball cool?
After watching both of these highlights, I wondered, “What if Cruz hit the ball that hard at Olson’s launch angle?” Well, since Cruz’s EV has no equivalent, I went down 1 MPH from 122.4 at Olson’s launch angle until I could find some data.
At 35 degrees and a launch angle of 114 MPH:
At 111 MPH:
Once you drop below 111 MPH, the BA drops below 1.000.
All of this is to say that if Cruz had been able to elevate that ball a couple of degrees higher, we’d be looking at another ball splashing into the Allegheny River.
Gavin Lux is expected back in the lineup on August 27th after being scratched from the lineup with a lower neck/upper back injury on August 23rd. Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session on August 24th and is expected to be activated for his turn in the rotation against the Mets at the end of the month.
Mickey Moniak and Michael Lorenzen are expected to be back at some point in September. Lorenzen is on track to return in early September, while Moniak’s timeline is a little unclear due to the nature of his injury (fractured left middle finger).
There is a possibility Bryce Harper will be activated for this weekend’s series against the Pirates, although it depends on “how he feels,” according to interim manager Rob Thomson. Harper was originally expected to return to the Phillies on Sunday for their road trip to Phoenix.
Kris Bryant received a PRP injection in his foot yesterday and will be re-evaluated in 7 to 10 days, meaning that Bryant is running out of time to make his return to the Rockies this season. It appears Bryant will not play for the rest of the season, at this rate.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)