Charlie Morton simply retains chugging alongside. Three months shy of his fortieth birthday, and in his seventeenth big-league season, the right-hander is 12-10 with a 3.54 ERA over 24 begins with the Atlanta Braves. His most up-to-date outing was particularly spectacular. Relying closely on his knee-buckling bender, but additionally topping out at 96.9 mph along with his heater, he dominated the New York Yankees to the tune of six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts.
How for much longer can he proceed to defy Father Time and excel in opposition to baseball’s greatest hitters?
“I don’t take into consideration that,” Morton replied in response to that query. “I take into consideration, ‘When am I going to go house?’ I at all times thought the sport was going to dictate once I went house. In case you take a look at my profession, there was no cause why I wouldn’t assume that. There was no cause to assume that I used to be going to begin having the most effective years of my profession at age 33, or that my greatest years can be in my late 30s. There was no cause to assume I’d nonetheless be throwing the ball like I’m now. It might have been illogical.”
Morton’s profession has certainly adopted an unforeseeable path. From 2008-2016, enjoying primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he went 46-71 with a 4.54 ERA over 161 begins. Since his 2017 age-33 season, he has gone 82-40 with a 3.54 ERA over 185 begins. Morphing from “Floor Chuck” into extra of an influence pitcher performed a serious function within the turnaround, however regardless of the cause, Morton went from mediocre to a mainstay in frontline rotations. Since his transformation, solely six pitchers have began extra video games, and solely two (Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer) have been credited with extra wins.
And once more, how for much longer he’ll be excelling on a big-league mound isn’t a lot a matter of “can,” however moderately of “will.” Once I requested Morton if he’s extra prone to dangle up the spikes a 12 months too quickly, versus a 12 months too late, he chewed on the query for a full 10 seconds earlier than responding.
“I went into this 12 months pondering that I needed to go house,’” admitted Morton, who has a spouse and 4 children. “That was my mentality, however I can’t have that mentality proper now. I’m making an attempt to win a World Sequence. I don’t need to take into consideration both retiring or holding going. Frankly, it’s sort of exhausting to consider subsequent 12 months in any form or type. My perspective is that I’m going to hold the nice components of my 12 months into the offseason. Then it’s as much as me.”
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Which workforce received the higher of the January deal that noticed Luis Arraez go from Miami to Minnesota in alternate for Pablo López and a pair of prospects? That query can’t be answered for at the least a couple of extra years, however we will take a look at the first-season performances. Because the prospects are enjoying within the decrease ranges of the minors, let’s deal with the centerpieces.
Arraez, who flirted with the .400 mark for the primary three months of the season, is at the moment slashing .360/.404/.464 with a 139 wRC+. He has 3.3 fWAR and 4.7 bWAR.
López, who has allowed 5 runs in 20 innings over his final three begins, is 9-6 with a 3.51 ERA and a 3.17 FIP. He has 3.8 fWAR and three.2 bWAR.
The higher season to this point? A legitimate argument could possibly be made both manner.
Which 25-year-old outfielder is the higher hitter, Kerry Carpenter or Lars Nootbaar? I requested that query in a Twitter ballot earlier this week, and the outcomes — fairly probably influenced by my having extra followers who’re Detroit followers — have been pretty one-sided. Solely 21.9% of the votes went to the Cardinal, whereas the Tiger garnered 78.1%.
Potential voter bias apart, I consider that the best participant gained the ballot. Nootbaar has a 125 wRC+ and a .348 wOBA to go together with 31 house runs in 859 profession plate appearances. Carpenter has a 134 wRC+ and a .360 wOBA to go together with 23 house runs in 410 plate appearances. Carpenter’s present season edge in wRC+ is 137 to 132, whereas his house run edge is 17 to 12.
Nootbaar, who’s the youthful of the 2 by six days, broke into the massive leagues 14 months sooner than did Carpenter. He’s the higher total participant, however the higher bat belongs to Carpenter.
Barry Bonds had 1,951 hits whereas enjoying for the San Francisco Giants from 1993-2007, probably the most on the workforce over that span. Which participant had the second-most hits for the Giants over these 15 seasons?
The reply may be discovered under.
Dale Mitchell and Manny Ramirez have been formally inducted into the Cleveland Guardians Corridor of Fame yesterday. Ramirez slashed .313/.407/.592 for Cleveland from 1993-1999. Mitchell slashed .312/.368/.417 from 1946-1956.
SABR introduced this week that subsequent 12 months’s nationwide conference will likely be held on August 7-11 in downtown Minneapolis. The Twins will likely be internet hosting the Guardians for a weekend collection throughout the 52nd annual occasion.
The Cleveland Guardians introduced that former outfielder Alex Cole has died at age 58. A speedster who swiped 40 bases for the Tribe in his 1990 rookie season whereas showing in simply 63 video games, Cole additionally suited up for the Pirates, Rockies, Twins, and Purple Sox over his seven-year big-league profession.
Dick Tomanek, a left-handed pitcher from Avon Lake, Ohio who went 10-10 with seven saves whereas enjoying for the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas Metropolis Athletics in a profession that spanned the 1953-1959 seasons, died on August 11 at age 92. Per his B-Ref bio web page, Tomanek’s father walked 20 miles to see him make his MLB debut.
Dae-ho Lee had a stellar profession. A local of Busan, South Korea who performed each nook infield positions, he logged 2,909 hits whereas batting .304 with 488 house runs. A legend in his homeland, he spent 17 seasons within the KBO (2001-2011 and 2017-2022), 4 in NPB (2012-2015), and one with the Seattle Mariners (2016). Simply how good was Dae-ho, and the way would possibly he have fared had he performed in MLB for an prolonged time frame? I requested these inquiries to a pair of his former teammates.
“He was actually good,” mentioned Bobby Scales, who was with NPB’s Orix Buffaloes in 2012. “One factor that at all times struck me about Lee Dae-ho is that he had actually good ft in small areas at first base. He didn’t have a variety of vary, however he was good with the glove. However his potential to hit was clearly his carrying device. He was a very good hitter who used the entire area. He had massive energy, most likely 70 energy (on the scouting scale).
“He was  when he performed in Seattle,”continued Scales, who grew to become a farm director after his enjoying days and is now a broadcast analyst for the Detroit Tigers. “I believed he would do some bit higher than he did [a .740 OPS in 317 plate appearances with the Mariners], but it surely’s tough when… it’s not simply the baseball, it’s a brand new tradition and every part else. I made the same adjustment once I went to Japan at 32. It’s arduous, man. Had he come over to the US earlier, I feel it might have been totally different.”
Brooks Raley was Dae-Ho’s teammate with the KBO’s Lotte Giants from 2017-2019, this throughout the latter’s age 35-37 seasons. His recollections and opinions are much like those provided by Scales.
“He was older once I performed with him,” mentioned the New York Mets southpaw, who spent 5 seasons in Korea earlier than returning stateside in 2020. “He couldn’t run very effectively, however he may actually hit. And a very good glove, smooth fingers, at first base. Even at his age, he was the most effective gamers over there. Hyun-Soo Kim, who performed for Baltimore slightly bit, was additionally a very good participant. After which right here was the house run king, Lee Seung-yuop, who retired in 2017 or 2018. Dae-ho was up there with these guys. I head loads about him once I received over there. He was a triple crown winner [three] instances.
“He may have been [a productive big-league player] had he come over earlier, for certain. Dae-ho was an actual presence. Actually good energy. Unbelievable potential to deal with spin. Like I mentioned, a stable first baseman. I’ve little question he may have had an excellent profession over right here.”
The LG Twins boast the KBO’s greatest file at 62-36. Former Guardians and Orioles right-hander Adam Plutko is 11-3 for the Seoul-based workforce, whereas former Cardinals, Giants, and Marlins outfielder Austin Dean is batting .312 with 16 house runs.
Niko Goodrum is slashing .268/.346/.330 in 110 plate appearances for the Lotte Giants. The previous Tigers, Twins, and Astros outfielder joined the KBO membership after being launched by the Purple Sox in early July.
Chunichi Dragons outfielder Yuki Okabayashi hit safely in 29 consecutive video games earlier than going 0-for-5 yesterday. The NPB file is held by Yoshihiko Takahashi, who hit in 33 straight for the Hiroshima Carp in 1979. The 21-year-old Okabayashi is slashing .306/.352.404 over 476 plate appearances on the season.
José Osuna is slashing .246/.315/.433 with 16 house runs in 387 plate appearances with the Yakult Swallows. The 30-year-old former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder is in his third NPB season, all with the Tokyo-based membership.
Carter Stewart is 2-3 with a 2.33 ERA over 38-and-two-thirds innings with the NPB’s Softbank Hawks. The 23-year-old right-hander signed with the Fukuoka-based membership moderately than signing with the Atlanta Braves, who drafted him eighth total in 2018 out of a Melbourne, Florida’s Eau Gallie Excessive Faculty.
Ethan Hankins was 19 years previous and pitching for then-Low-A Lake County once I first interviewed him for FanGraphs late within the 2019 season. Drafted thirty fifth total by Cleveland the earlier summer season, the 6-foot-6 right-hander had a propitious arm and a vivid future. 4 years and fewer than 100 skilled innings later, he’s again within the Midwest League along with his future now not on agency footing. Accidents have been the stumbling block.
“Tommy John [in 2021] was the largest a part of it,” defined Hankins. “However then as soon as I found out my elbow — this was a 12 months put up surgical procedure — my shoulder began barking. I’d been out of the sport for therefore lengthy that when I began upping my workload my shoulder received the blunt of the fatigue.”
The Gainesville, Georgia native ended up pitching only one inning final 12 months, within the Arizona Advanced League. He then had a delayed begin to the present marketing campaign resulting from a hamstring damage suffered in spring coaching. When he lastly took the mound in early Might, it was for the primary time — except for that lone ACL body — in practically 4 years. With no minor league season in 2020, and his subsequent surgical procedure and restoration hurdles, Hankins has basically needed to relearn his craft.
”I really feel like I’m getting again to regular,” Hankins informed me earlier this month. “On the identical time, I’ve been faraway from baseball for three-plus years and am getting used to it once more. I imply, I’ve touched 99 [mph] this 12 months, however none of that issues. Numerous guys throw arduous. My stuff simply hasn’t felt regular. Once I was right here in 2019, I used to be 19 years previous and had been pitching for a very long time with out ever getting damage. Once I needed to cease… you need to relearn stuff. I’m relearning stuff proper now.
“Every time I get on the market, I really feel higher. That’s simply the best way the method goes. All I’m actually fearful about is feeling wholesome and getting my innings. Subsequent 12 months will likely be totally different — I’ll be one other 12 months faraway from surgical procedure — however proper now I’m not fearful about outcomes. I may exit and quit 9 runs on two pitches — that’s not potential — however I may do it and it wouldn’t matter. Our pitching coaches and coordinators wouldn’t care. It’s all concerning the course of.”
Hankins is 1-7 with a 6.06 ERA in 32-and-two-thirds innings with the now-Excessive-A Lake County Captains this season. He has allowed 29 hits, issued 19 walks, and fanned 39 batters. His greatest outing got here yesterday when he allowed one run over 5 innings and was credited along with his first skilled win.
Miami Marlins infield prospect Ian Lewis stole 5 bases for the Low-A Jupiter Hammerheads on Wednesday regardless of not recording a success. The 22-year-old Nassau, Bahamas native, who walked as soon as and reached on an error twice, swiped second, third, and residential within the fifth inning.
Abimelec Ortiz is slashing .297/.359/.621 with 28 house runs in 377 plate appearances between Low-A Down East and Excessive-A Hickory. The 23-year-old first baseman from Bayamón, Puerto Rico is No. 9 on our Texas Rangers Prime Prospect record with a forty five FV.
Junior Caminero is slashing .321/.379/.564 with 22 house runs in 412 plate appearances between Excessive-A Bowling Inexperienced and Double-A Montgomery. At present No. 21 on The Board with a 55 FV, the 20-year-old third baseman/shortstop from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic was acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays from the Cleveland Guardians in alternate for Tobias Myers in November 2021.
Tsung-Che Cheng leads all minor league hitters with 10 triples. No. 34 on our Pittsburgh Pirates Prime Prospects record with a 35+ FV coming into the season, the 22-year-old infielder from Pingtung County, Taiwan is slashing .298/.370/.489 with 11 house runs between Excessive-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona.
Wen Hui Pan is 4-1 with a 2.81 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 57-and-two-thirds innings with the Low-A Clearwater Threshers. The 20-year-old right-hander from Hualien, Taiwan was signed as a global free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies this previous January.
Joey Votto is a Cincinnati Reds icon. Since debuting with the N.L. Central membership in 2007, the 39-year-old native of Toronto, Ontario has amassed 58.2 WAR whereas logging a .410 OBP and a 145 wRC+. A robust candidate to sooner or later be enshrined in Cooperstown, he’s a shoo-in to elected to the Reds Corridor of Fame.
In keeping with a brand new guide by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, Votto would possibly very effectively have spent his profession in pinstripes, and never in a Cincinnati uniform.
“I’m sorry, I needed to be a Yankee,” Votto informed then-New York scout Dick Gooch after the Reds had chosen him within the second spherical of the 2002 draft. As Mayo defined in Smart, Lucky and Wrong: The Origin Story of Baseball’s Unexpected Stars, the Yankees had deliberate to take Votto later in that very same spherical and had already made out a contract for extra money than the Reds have been making ready to supply. Each groups had gone out of their method to cover their curiosity, as Votto hadn’t been closely scouted and wasn’t broadly seen as a high-round choose.
Mayo’s guide, which tells the behind-the-scenes tales of eight big-league stalwarts who weren’t extremely regarded previous to being drafted and signed, is a should learn.
LINKS YOU’LL LIKE
Bleed Cubbie Blue’s Al Yellon wrote about how fights between unruly followers have plagued Cubs-White Sox video games this season.
MLB.com’s Michael Clair wrote about Genevieve Beacom, an 18-year-old, two-way participant from Australia who drew Shohei Ohtani comparisons whereas excelling within the WBSC Ladies’s World Cup, in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
Boston’s Justin Turner has give you a runner on third base and fewer than two out 31 instances this 12 months and is 12-for-25 with one stroll, 5 sacrifice flies, 25 RBIs, and an 1.139 OPS. He has fanned simply 5 instances.
Texas Rangers shortstop Kevin Elster had 99 RBIs in 1996, with 92 of them coming with him batting within the 9 gap. A .228 hitter with an 81 wRC+ over 13 big-league seasons, Elster had 376 RBIs over his 6.1 WAR profession.
On at this time’s date in 1945, Tommy “Buckshot” Brown accounted for Brooklyn’s solely run with a round-tripper because the Dodgers fell to Preacher Roe and the Pittsburgh Pirates by a rely of 11-1. Brown was 17 years, eight months, and 14 days previous on the time, making him the youngest participant in MLB historical past to depart the yard.
Dwight Gooden had 16 strikeouts in a whole recreation effort because the New York Mets topped the San Francisco Giants 3-0 on at this time’s date in 1985. It was the 20-year-old right-hander’s thirteenth consecutive successful determination on his method to a 24-4 file.
Gamers born on at this time’s date embody Beau Bell, an outfielder who logged 806 hits in a big-league profession that spanned the 1935-1941 seasons. Greater than half (430) of his hits got here with the St. Louis Browns in 1936 and 1937 when he slashed a mixed .342/.397/.506 with 91 doubles, 20 triples, 25 house runs, and 240 RBIs.
Additionally born on at this time’s date was George Zuverink, who pitched for 4 groups, primarily the Baltimore Orioles, from 1951-1959. The appropriate-hander from Holland, Michigan led the American League in appearances (62) and saves (16) in 1956. Per his B-Ref bio web page, Zuverink went 0-7 as a highschool senior.