What a weekend. Twenty four year old Collin Morikawa won the British Open in his first ever appearance, the hip-hop world lost a legend in Biz Markie, and, oh yeah, the Tigers — despite a pitching staff being held together by craft glue and duck tape — swept the Twins. That last one was fun. It’s on to a very winnable series against the Texas Rangers. Let’s see what’s happening while we wait for that series to get underway.
After pitching the first three innings of game one of Saturday’s double header, Jose Ureña did not return to the mound. He was seen having a conversation in the dugout with medical staff and after the game it was revealed that he would be going on the IL with a right groin strain.
This taxes an already limited starting rotation by leaving Casey Mize on workload limitations for a few more starts, with Tarik Skubal and Wily Peralta the remaining starters without limitations. Following the move it was made clear that there was no plan to lift any of the current restrictions on Mize.
For the time being it seems Tyler Alexander is going to be given the opportunity to be the next in line to plug the hole. We also expect Matt Manning back from Toledo to start on Wednesday. His ability to provide solid outings will be crucial until help arrives, possibly in the form of Matthew Boyd in the next few weeks. Spencer Turnbull appears to be out until at least late August at this point. This is certainly going to push some of the shakier elements of the bullpen into roles of greater responsibility. Let’s hope they keep it together until Things Get a Little Easier.
Nomar Mazara got half the season to show he was worth the off season signing. He never got it together, and the former teammate of the current members of the team is now Just a Friend as he was designated for assignment on Friday. The move — along with the optioning of Willi Castro — made room for Derek Hill and Isaac Paredes to join the major league club where they both made contributions over the weekend series. Mazara — once heralded as an elite prospect — will now have to wait to see what his future holds, but it’s likely going to be that of free agency where he can see if another team wants to give him a shot. Hard to see there being much interest in a major league deal at this point.
The trade deadline approaches and while everyone else is sitting around Pickin’ Boogers, the Braves are getting active. They first acquired Joc Pederson from the Cubs for a fringe first base prospect, and over the weekend added veteran catcher Stephen Vogt for another first baseman who amounts to basically a warm body in the system. If you’re looking at either of these as a barometer for the trade market, I would guess Pederson is your best metric. Sitting at 12 home runs with a .738 OPS he brought the 12th best prospect in the Braves very middle of the pack system back to Chicago.
The Detroit Free Press ran a fun little piece ranking the best draft classes of all of Detroit’s major sports teams. The winner for the Tigers was a 1976 draft which brought Alan Trammell, Dan Petry, and Jack Morris to Detroit. Also of note was the pick of a guy named Osburn Smith who played shortstop at Cal Poly. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on bonus money so Osburn decided to wait until it was Spring Again, and went back to school. He was drafted by the Padres in 1977 and was their starting shortstop in 78, going by the name of Ozzie Smith.
The power of Phil
Watch former Tigers pitcher Phil Coke pump up the crowd and Turn Tha Party Out. Let the Phil flow through you.
Phil Coke willed us to a win. pic.twitter.com/EcW0KnN1C1— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 18, 2021
Fair balls are awesome
So here’s what happened. Bases loaded for the Pirates and Mets pitcher Taijaun Walker bats a foul ball dribbler down the third base line further into foul territory to kill the play. The thing is, the ball was called fair. Three Pirates runners score while the Mets get Busy Doing Nuthin’, focusing on their grievances rather than the live ball. The Pirates would go on to put up six runs in the first inning. The best part of this is that the Mets ultimately won this one 7-6 because the Pirates are the Pirates.
Around the horn
A fan who threw a baseball from the stands at Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo has been banned from all major league parks for life. After MLB overhaul of the minor league system, minor leaguers still struggle. A major league first: An all female broadcast team (audio). MLB puts Starlin Castro on administrative leave.