Bre Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey wers working towards signing Jolon Lun

MILWAUKEE — The Brewers are working to finalize an intriguing international signing in right-hander Jolon Lun, a 16-year-ol Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale d from Beijing with roots in one of Major League Baseball’s development centers in China.

Lun, whose fastball reportedly reaches 95 mph, had been pitching against older, more experienced players in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. His team, the Alexandria Aces, tweeted news of his agreement with the Brewers on F Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap riday night, which was first uncovered Thursday night by the website Brewerfan.net.

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers are working to finalize an intriguing international signing in right-hander Jolon Lun, a 16-year-old from Beijing with roots in one of Major League Baseball’s development centers in China.

Lun, whose fastball reportedly reaches 95 mph, had been pitching against older, more experienced players in the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League. His team, the Alexandria Aces, tweeted news of his agreement with the Brewers on Friday night, which was first uncovered Thursday night by the website Brewerfan.net.

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The Brewers did not confirm the pending deal, and general manager David Stearns said he could not comment.

The only Major Leaguer to have been born in China was Harry Kingman, who played in three games for the 1914 Yankees. Austin Brice, a right-hander who has made 24 appearances out of relief for the Reds this seaso Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey n, was born in neighboring Hong Kong, and a number of players have come from Taiwan, including former Brewers left-hander Wei-Chung Wang.

Progress for Villar
Brewers infielder Jonathan Villar missed a second straight start Friday with a tight left calf, but said he anticipated a full return on Saturday. He was injured legging out an infield hit against the Cubs on Wednesday.

Video: CHC@MIL: Villar exits with apparent injury in 8th

“My hamstring was tight, and my calf just took everything,” Villar said.

The Brewers have gotten little production from some of their middle infielders this season, but Villar has actually enjoyed a bounce back from his disappointing 2017. He entered Friday slashing .277/.325/.410, including a .293 average with five of his six home runs in his last 25 games.

His setback might have been a matter of hydration, Villar said. He pointed to the four bottles of water on a shelf above his locker, placed there by assistant Rafael Freitas.

“When I finish right there, he’ll put out four more,” Villar said.

Trade with Yankees
The Brewers sent some of their remaining international pool dollars to the Yankees on Friday for Minor League right-hander Chad Whitmer, who spent last season with the Yankees’ rookie-level Gulf Coast League team.

Whitmer, 23, was a 10th round Draft pick out of Southern Illinois University last year, posting a 3.79 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP in 14 relief appearances for the GCL Yankees. He struck out 22 batters versus two walks.

Minor League pitcher suspended
Tyler Spurlin, a Minor League right-hander who was regarded enough by the Brewers in 2016 that they sent him to the Arizona Fall League, was suspended 50 games Friday after testing positive for an amphetamine.

Spurlin, who turns 27 on Sunday, was already out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. He did not pitch at all in 2017 because of a right elbow sprain.

The Brewers originally signed Spurlin as an undrafted free agent out of Rice University in 2013.

Draft signings
Supplemental second-round Draft pick Micah Bello signed with th Jimmy Graham Jersey e Brewers for $550,000, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo, shy of the $824,900 slot value assigned to the 73rd overall pick.

The Brewers have announced 10 signings so far, a list topped by Bello. Also signed: Left-hander Aaron Ashby (fourth round), right-hander Justin Jarvis (fifth round) catcher David Fry (seventh round), right-hander Luis Gonzalez (eighth round), right-hander J.T. Hintzen (10th round), left-hander Scott Sunitsch (18th round), right-hander Brady Schanuel (27th round), left-hander Michael Mediavilla (34th round) and right-hander Franklin Hernandez (37th round).

Ashby signed for $520,000, above the $438,300 assigned to that pick. Jarvis signed for $327,100 (full pick value) and Fry got $10,000 (slot value was $197,000).

Last call
Freddy Peralta‘s three-inning start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday was by design, a strong indication that the Brewers plan to bring him back to the Major Leagues on Tuesday in Pittsburgh when they next need a starting pitcher in place of the injured Zach Davies.

• Recent acquisition Brad Miller made his organizational debut on Thursday for the SkySox. Miller, acquired last week from the Rays, went 1-for-4, while playing the entire game at shortstop. He was charged with two errors.

• Brewers players, coaches and staff fanned out across Milwaukee on Friday as part of the team’s #KindnessInMKE event, surprising nonprofit organizations and random citizens with gestures of thanks. Brewers director of new media Caitlin Moyer covered the event on her blog, Cait Covers The Bases.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers

B Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey rewers’ Zack Brown leads top prospects

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Friday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Zack Brown fell one out short of throwing a no-hitter, but still went the distance as he recorded the first complete game and shutout of his career in Double-A Biloxi’s 5-0 win over Mississippi.

The Brewers’ No. 23 prospect kept the M-Braves off the basepaths for the first seven innings before an error by Biloxi right fielder Trent Grisham to open the eighth inning ended Brown’s chance at a perfect game. He rebounded to set down the next three batters in order, and then retired the first two batters in the ninth before allowing a single on a soft fly ball to center field with two outs.

Brown would get the next and final Mississippi batter to ground out to shortstop to seal his one-hit shutout. He struck out eight and matched his season-high mark by throwing 109 pitches (71 strikes) in the outing.

Tabbed by Brewers club officials as a potential breakout candidate heading into 2018, Brown has done just that.

Assigned to Double-A to open the season, even though he made just four Class A Advanced Carolina starts in 2017, Brown — a 2016 fifth-round pick out of the University of Kentucky — has been anything but overmatched in the Southern League. In addition to his perfect 6-0 record in 14 starts, the 23-year-old right-hander leads the qualified hurlers in the circuit in both WHIP (1.00) and innings pitched (85 1/3) and ranks third in ERA (tied, 2.53) and strikeouts (84). Opposing hitters, meanwhile, are batting just .204 against him.

Brown has been especially sharp over his last four starts, pitching to a 1.33 ERA with 32 strikeouts and just 13 hits allowed in 27 innings.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Friday

No. 5 overall prospect Nick Senzel (Reds’ No. 1) has collected multiple hits in six straight games after finishing 2-for-5 with a double in Triple-A Louisville’s 5-2 win over Toledo. The 22-year-old infielder has 14 hits and a .500 average (14-for-28) in that span, during which he’s boosted his overall average from .256 to .302.

• No. 14 overall prospect Kyle Tucker (Astros’ No. 2) cleared the bases with a double as he recorded three hits for the third time in five games for Triple-A Fresno. The 21-year-old outfielder finished 3-for-5 at the plate, also stealing two bases in the contest. Tucker is quietly putting up big numbers in his first Triple-A campaign, as his latest performance gives him a .288/.359/ HaHa Clinton Dix Jersey .484 batting line with nine home runs, 20 doubles, 52 RBIs and 10 steals through 61 games.

Tucker doubles in three

• No. 18 overall prospect Royce Lewis (Twins’ No. 1) collected three run-scoring hits as he matched his season high Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale  with four RBIs in Class A Cedar Rapids’ 14-2 win over Peoria. The 2017 No. 1 overall pick connected on a first-inning solo homer and later added a pair of RBI singles to finish 3-for-5. It was the third multihit performance in four games for Lewis, who’s slashing .298/.342/.454 with six homers, 16 doubles and 16 steals through 54 games in his first full season.

Lewis hits a solo blast

• No. 42 overall prospect Adrian Morejon (Padres’ No. 6) was a bat-missing machine as he recorded 12 of his 18 outs via the strikeout in a strong outing for Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore. The dozen strikeouts marked a career high for the Morejon, who ultimately allowed two earned runs on three hits and a walk in the outing. The 19-year-old lefty owns a 3.59 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings this season and has now struck out at least seven batters while completing at least six frames in three straight starts.

A’s No. 7 prospect Austin Beck extended his hitting streak to eight games with his second four-hit game of the season for Class A Beloit. He finished 4-for-5 at the plate, tallying a double, three runs scored and two RBIs in Beloit’s 9-2 win over Clinton. With one home run in 57 games this season, Beck hasn’t yet tapped into the robust raw power that in part made him the No. 6 overall pick in last year’s Draft. The good news, however, is that the 19-year-old outfielder is hitting for average (.298/.339/.368), while keeping his strikeouts in check (56 K’s in 57 games).

• After being reinstated from the disabled list earlier in the day, Nationals No. 13 prospect Luis Reyes contributed on both sides of the ball to help Double-A Harrisburg blank Richmond, 3-0. The 23-year-old righty impressed on the mound by allowing four hits and four walks with three strikeouts in six scoreless innings, and he also helped his cause at the plate by delivering a solo home run in the fifth inning while also reaching once via a walk. The homer was Reyes’ first career hit and came in his eighth pro at-bat.

Orioles No. 29 prospect Ryan McKenna stayed red hot by tallying an extra-base hit in both ends of Class A Advanced Frederick’s doubleheader against Down East. He fared particularly well in the nightcap, going 2-for-4 with his eighth home run after hitting a double as part of a 1-for-3 showing in the opener. The 21-year-old’s .374 average through 66 games this season is tops in the Carolina League and ranks second in the Minors behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. McKenna also leads the Carolina League in OBP (.466), slugging (.557), hits (95), total bases (141) and runs scored (59).

Yankees No. 9 prospect Dillon Tate scattered four hits and two walks and racked up a season-best 10 strikeouts over 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a no-decision for Double-A Trenton. The 24-year-old righty has permitted more than two earned runs once in his past seven starts, during which he’s lowered his season ERA from 5.24 to 3.11. He’s compiled 62 strikeouts and 16 walks and held hitters to a paltry .214 average in 66 2/3 innings (12 starts) this season.

Tate’s 10th strikeout

Yankees No. 10 prospect Matt Sauer was unhittable over six innings in his season debut for Class A Short Season Staten Island. The 2017 second-rounder faced the minimum in the performance, issuing one walk and striking out three while throwing 49 of his 75 pitches for strikes. It was the seventh career start for 19-year-old righty after he posted a 5.40 ERA over 11 2/3 innings (six starts) last year in his pro debut.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him o Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap n Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Brewers Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey offense clobbers Phillies in opener

MILWAUKEE — After three tense games against the Cubs that were closer than some of the scores suggested, Brent Suter and the Brewers made sure there was little drama at Miller Park on Friday night.

Suter joined another Brewers outburst at the Phillies’ expense, scoring twice and logging a pair of RBIs in a 13-2 blowout that featured four Philadelphia errors and got so lopsided that manager Gabe Kapler sent infielder Jesmuel Valentin to the mound for the bottom of the eighth inning. He gave up three runs, including a two-run homer to Jesus Aguilar.

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MILWAUKEE — After three tense games against the Cubs that were closer than some of the scores suggested, Brent Suter and the Brewers made sure there was little drama at Miller Park on Friday night.

Suter joined another Brewers outburst at the Phillies’ expense, scoring twice and logging a pair of RBIs in a 13-2 blowout that featured four Philadelphia errors and got so lopsided that manager Gabe Kapler sent infielder Jesmuel Valentin to the mound for the bottom of the eighth inning. He gave up three runs, including a two-run homer to Jesus Aguilar.

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Christian Yelich and Hernan Perez also went deep, and when it finally ended, Milwaukee (42-27) was ensured another day with sole possession of the National League’s best record.

“They made a couple errors and we never stopped swinging the bat,” said Perez.

The Brewers have scored in double digits against the Phillies three times in four games over the past eight days, adding Friday’s romp to 12-4 and 12-3 victories last weekend at Citizens Bank Park. Two of those blowouts have come with Jake Arrieta on the mound for Philadelphia; he lasted only 3 1/3 innings on Friday and departed with the Phillies facing an 8-0 deficit.

Suter helped get it started when an Arrieta breaking ball hit him in the foot with the bases loaded in the second inning for a 1-0 Brewers lead. It turned into a five-run inning that included the second of the Ph Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap illies’ four errors and Arrieta’s run-scoring wild pitch. Suter reached on another Phillies error in the fourth and scored, before singling home a run in the fifth as the lead grew to 10-0.

Video: PHI@MIL: Suter picks up second RBI of game

“The game is beautifully designed for three outs, and it makes it tough in the Major Leagues when you’re [giving] extra outs,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “That’s when scoring is going to happen. We were able to take advantage of a co Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey uple situations. It’s important to take advantage of them when you have them presented to you.”

Afterward, Suter didn’t sound like a pitcher.

“I feel locked in at the plate,” said Suter. “I’m a little late on fastballs, but I’m seeing the ball well. I’m seeing offspeed down. Any way you can help your team win is a good way to help your team win.”

Suter was 4-for-28 at the plate in the Majors, including 1-for-8 with a single this season, before he connected against reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber for a 433-foot home run on May 8 at Miller Park. He’s gone 3-for-10, starting with that at-bat, and it would look even better had a sharply-hit, two-run double against the Cardinals on May 28 not been subsequently changed to an error.

What’s changed?

“There’s a confidence there,” Suter said. “Kind of just a competing confidence that just keeps rolling on itself in this game. I don’t know. It feels good. … Hitting is one of my favorite parts. I love hitting. I’ve loved it my whole life. Even when I’m struggling, I still like going up there and trying to whack it.”

On the mound, meanwhile, Suter delivered one of the best starts of his three-year career. The left-hander matched his career-high with seven innings of work, while allowing one run on six hits, a walk and three strikeouts to lower the ERA of Brewers’ starters to 2.43 over the team’s last 13 games. His 105 pitches were also a career high.

Video: PHI@MIL: Suter finishes strong outing with DP

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Perez produces: The Brewers have been searching for middle-infield production, and Perez delivered it Friday from the second base position in the form of three hits, including a solo home run leading off the fifth inning.

Video: PHI@MIL: Perez crushes solo home run to center field

“The home run, that was a beautiful swing,” said Counsell. “It’s the swing he should imprint in his head because it’s what he’s capable of doing. He didn’t overdo anything. He just took a pitch and hit it where it’s supposed to be hit and it goes out of the park. He’d be a great guy to get going.”

Yelich delivers the dagger: The Brewers have played on enough warm summer nights to know five-run leads can be fleeting at Miller Park. A three-run fourth inning essentially put the game away, and it began with arguably the most egregious of Philadelphia’s quartet of errors, charged to left fielder Rhys Hoskins when he mishandled Suter’s leadoff fly ball. Suter scored on Lorenzo Cain‘s double, before Yelich skied a two-run home run to the right field corner for an 8-0 advantage.

Video: PHI@MIL: Yelich belts a 2-run homer to right

“If there’s a play on defense that’s not made, it’s our job to get the next guy out to pick that guy up. And I didn’t do that,” said Arrieta, who was charged with eight runs, only four of which were earned runs. “I shouldn’t be giving up five or six or seven runs, whatever it was. It’s just not very good.”

SOUND SMART
Suter became the third pitcher in franchise history to score multiple runs and drive in multiple runs in the same game, and the first since the Brewers’ debut season in Milwaukee. The Seattle Pilots’ Fred Talbot was the first, on July 6, 1969, against the Angels, and George Lauzerique did it on April 12, 1970, at the White Sox.

As far as the rest of Major League Baseball, the Cubs’ Jon Lester had a multi-run, multi-RBI game last August. But the last pitcher to do it without hitting a home run was the Marlins’ Dan Haren on May 7, 2015.

Video: PHI@MIL: Suter picks up RBI after getting HBP

UP NEXT
Did the Brewers save some hits for Saturday afternoon? The teams will continue their series at 3:10 p.m. CT, with Junior Guerra on the mound against Philadelphia right-hander Zach Eflin. Eflin is the one Phillies starter who has silenced Brewers hitters so far, having allowed two runs on three hits in six innings last weekend at Citizens Bank Park in a 4-3 Philadelphia win. Guerra, who didn’t pitch in that series, has made four straight quality starts.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebo Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale ok.


Milwaukee Brewers

Brent Suter latest Brewer starter Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey to shine

MILWAUKEE — The Brewers’ starting rotation is a bit shorthanded, but has been surging, and just at the right time.

Brent Suter‘s seven quality innings in Friday’s 13-2 win over the Phillies lowered the ERA of Brewers starters — an alleged weak spot of the team with the National League’s best record — to 2.43 over the last 13 games. The run has come with last season’s No. 1 starter Jimmy Nelson stuck in rehab mode, Zach Davies on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and Opening Day starter Chase Anderson searching for last year’s form.

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers’ starting rotation is a bit shorthanded, but has been surging, and just at the right time.

Brent Suter‘s seven quality innings in Friday’s 13-2 win over the Phillies lowered the ERA of Brewers starters — an alleged weak spot of the team with the National League’s best record — to 2.43 over the last 13 games. The run has come with last season’s No. 1 starter Jimmy Nelson stuck in rehab mode, Zach Davies on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and Opening Day starter Chase Anderson searching for last year’s form.

View Full Game Covera Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap ge

“We’re going into an important, tough stretch of the season and don’t have a lot of off-days until the All-Star break. We’re going to need our starting pitching,” said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. “There’s no rest for the bullpen with no days off.

“It’s the time of the year you want these [starters] throwing their best, for sure, with how the schedule looks.”

After three open dates in the past week and a half, the Brewers began on Friday a stretch of 30 games in 31 days into the All-Star break.

The Brewers’ strength is their bullpen, which Counsell has used for 253 2/3 of the team’s first 616 2/3 innings pitched, or 41 percent of the workload. A steady stream of call-ups from the Minor Leagues have helped keep everybody fresh, but with only one off-day in the next month, some of the workload may have to shift to the starting rotation.

It is currently led by right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who signed a two-year free agent deal over the winter and is 6-0 with a 2.86 ERA over his past dozen starts. Junior Guerra, who starts Saturday against the Phillies, has delivered four straight quality starts. Anderson, who starts Sunday, shut out the Cubs on one hit for seven innings in his last start.

“Certainly, we feed off each other,” Suter said. “We watch each other’s ‘pens, we watch each other try and get better all the time. I watched everyone go out and do well against the Cubs, and it fired me up, to be honest. The competitor in you wants to match what the other guys do, but once you’re out there, you just try to make pitches.

“I’m proud of this group right now. We’re on a good run. Our defense, our offense … we’re in a really good stretch.”

The non-waiver Trade Deadline is six weeks away, and the Brewers are already being mentioned as a candidate to add a starting pitcher. MLB.com’s Jim Duquette on Fri Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey day listed the Brewers among six teams that could cobble together a package for the Mets’ Jacob deGrom, who would be one of the best available arms if New York makes him available.

The Rangers’ Cole Hamels, Tigers’ Michael Fulmer and Rays’ Chris Archer are among the other established pitchers already seeing their names dangled as potential trade chips.

Does that sort of speculation seep into the Brewers’ clubhouse?

“I’m hearing it all year, even last year, too. I don’t take it as a diss or anything,” Suter said. “Obviously, it’s not my role to deal with that stuff, but all we can do is go out there and do our job when they hand us  Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale the ball. That’s what we keep trying to do.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Brent Suter

5 p Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey layers who can turn it around in NL Central

PITTSBURGH — It’s far too late to say it’s still early, but it’s never too late to turn the season around. Every year, slow-starting clubs put it together and take flight during the summer. And every season, players break out of extended slumps, find their levesl and post full-season stats that make us forget they ever struggled in the first place.

It will likely be no different this season in the National League Central, where every club has at least one player performing below expectations. Consider one former NL Central star: Andrew McCutchen. As of May 24 last season, he was hitting .203 with a .634 OPS. He then hit a much more in-character .312/.400/.540 the rest of the way.

PITTSBURGH — It’s far too late to say it’s still early, but it’s never too late to turn the season around. Every year, slow-starting clubs put it together and take flight during the summer. And every season, players break out of extended slumps, find their levesl and post full-season stats that make us forget they ever struggled in the first place.

It will likely be no different this season in the National League Central, where every club has at least one player performing below expectations. Consider one former NL Central star: Andrew McCutchen. As of May 24 last season, he was hitting .203 with a .634 OPS. He then hit a much more in-character .312/.400/.540 the rest of the way.

Some players heat up with the weather. Others simply need time to find their way. Here is a look at one player per team in the NL Central possessing a track record that suggests he’ll snap out of it and contribute to his team’s success.

Video: NYM@MIL: Santana flicks go-ahead 2-run double into RF

Brewers: Domingo Santana
Santana hit 30 homers, drove in 85 runs and led Brewers regulars with a 125 OPS+ last season. It was enough to make him a popular trade candidate when Milwaukee acquired Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich last offseason, but it hasn’t quite carried over into this year.

The outfielder is hitting just .249/.314/.351 with only three homers and 17 RBI Jimmy Graham Jersey s in his first 207 plate appearances. He’s ma HaHa Clinton Dix Jersey king more hard contact than ever, but he’s also putting more balls on the ground. With Yelich, Ryan Braun and Eric Thames all healthy after trips to the disabled list, Santana could stand to lose playing time soon if he doesn’t get back on track.

“Domingo hasn’t quite had his hot streak yet,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s been kind of in battle mode most of the year. He’s hit the ball hard, just hard on the ground. Obviously, the home run is a big part of his game, and power has always been something he’s provided as an offensive player. But there’s still hard contact in there, and I think that difference is very small. He’s obviously a player capable of a lot offensively, and you don’t think he’s that far away. So he’s going to keep getting chances.”

Video: SD@STL: Ozuna jacks a 2-run homer to center field

Cardinals: OF Marcell Ozuna
One of several reasons the Cardinals sit in third place is the underwhelming performance of their veteran hitters. That group includes Matt Carpenter (who bounced back last month), Dexter Fowler and Ozuna, their prized trade acquisition over the winter. The left fielder hit .312/.376/.548 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs for the Marlins last season, but he’s hit just .283/.332/.405 — good for a 102 OPS+ that ranks just above league average — in his first 61 games for St. Louis.

Ozuna’s average and on-base percentage are in line with his career norms, but he’s hitting for less power. He’s hitting more popups and grounders, and his home run/fly ball ratio has dropped from 23.4 percent last season to 11.1 percent this year. He’ll get every chance to boost those numbers, as the Cardinals aren’t going to take his bat out of their lineup.

Video: CHC@MIL: Rizzo belts a go-ahead homer in the 11th

Cubs: 1B Anthony Rizzo
Manager Joe Maddon is never one to overreact to a slow start, but he made a clear effort to jump-start his slumping first baseman on May 1 by batting Rizzo leadoff against the Rockies. Maddon often does that with struggling hitters, bumping them up the lineup instead of down the order. Naturally, Rizzo homered on the first pitch he saw.

Rizzo seems to be trending in the right direction, too. He hit just .149 with a .448 OPS in March/April, then broke out to hit .303/.408/.576 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in May. Through 11 games in June, he was hitting .270 with an .886 OPS and three homers.

Nobody’s really worried about Rizzo, least of all the manager who often reminds doubters to look at the back of a player’s baseball card. The 28-year-old Rizzo averaged 32 homers and 99 RBIs over the past f Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale our seasons, and it’s a good bet that he’ll get back to that level by the time the season’s over.

Video: PIT@ARI: Bell drives an RBI double off the wall

Pirates: 1B Josh Bell
For all the Pirates’ concerns amid a rough stretch — and there are plenty — they were motivated enough by Bell’s early struggles to bump him down the lineup. The move worked for McCutchen last season, and it appears to be paying off for the Bucs and Bell.

After slapping an opposite-field RBI double in the second inning on Wednesday, Bell had reached safely in 11 of 14 plate appearances. He worked three walks on Sunday and three more on Monday before breaking out for three hits on Tuesday — his first three-hit game since April 15.

“He’s working really hard. He wants to re-establish himself in the box,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “I think he’s taken the measures he needs to do that.”

Bell clubbed 26 home runs as a rookie last season but had only four in his first 67 games this year. He might not match his 2017 power production, but if Bell continues to display the patient approach he’s adopted over the past week, odds are his overall offensive numbers will continue to tick up this summer.

Video: CIN@KC: Duvall crushes a grand slam in the 9th

Reds: OF Adam Duvall
Duvall was a 30-homer hit Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap ter each of the past two seasons, even if his overall offensive production was closer to league average. Duvall, 29, hit a combined .245/.299/.489 while delivering 64 homers and driving in 202 runs in 2016-17. This year, his current numbers are .188/.272/.396 with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 67 games.

One curious part of Duvall’s early-season slump is that he’s been a much better first-half hitter in each of the past two seasons. Last year, he posted an .878 OPS in the first half and a .662 mark after the All-Star break.

Duvall is walking at a career-high rate — a good sign. He might just be a victim of bad luck considering his .212 batting average on balls in play — well below his ’16 (.275) and ’17 (.290) marks. According to Statcast™, his expected batting average (.241), expected slugging percentage (.502) and expected weighted on-base average (.351) are all well above his actual numbers.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Chicago Cubs,
Cincinnati Reds,
Pittsburgh Pirates,
St. Louis Cardinals,
Josh Bell,
Adam Duvall,
Marcell Ozuna,
Anthony Rizzo,
Domingo Santana

Brewers’ Keston Hiura leads t Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey op prospects

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

Keston Hiura‘s f Jimmy Graham Jersey irst Double-A home run sent Biloxi home winners.

Here’s MLB Pipeline’s roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Wednesday.

Keston Hiura‘s first Double-A home run sent Biloxi home winners.

Hiura, Milwaukee’s top-ranked prospect (No. 48 overall), blistered the fourth pitch he saw leading off the bottom of the ninth over the wall down the left-field line to lead the Shuckers past Mississippi, 6-5.

Hiura hits walk-off homer

The walk-off blast capped a 3-for-4, two-RBI showing at the plate that included a double, two runs scored and a walk. The three-hit performance, meanwhile, was Hiura’s second with the Shuckers and marked the 10th time this season he’s collected at least three hits.

Promoted to Biloxi from Class A Advanced Carolina on June 1, Hiura, 21, has made a smooth transition to the Southern League by hitting .378/.440/.578 with seven extra-base hits in his first 12 contents. Combined with his time in the Carolina League, the 2017 first-round pick out of UC Irvine has compiled a .331/.392/.538 batting line with eight homers, 22 doubles and 46 runs scored in 62 games.

 Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey :: Complete prospect coverage ::

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Wednesday

• No. 7 overall prospect Forrest Whitley (Astros’ No. 1) posted four scoreless innings in his second start of the season for Double-A Corpus Christi. The 20-year-old righty allowed two hits and two walks, while striking out six on 72 pitches (46 strikes). Whitley has been lights-out since returning from a 50-game suspension to open the season, throwing eight scoreless innings during which he’s fanned 11 batters and allowed just two hits.

• No. 25 overall prospect Kyle Wright‘s (Braves’ No. 2) trend of pitching well on the road continued as the 2017 first-rounder worked 6 2/3 strong innings for Double-A Mississippi in a no-decision versus Biloxi. He allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits while walking three and striking out six. Wright, 22, owns a 1.91 ERA with a .195 BAA on the road this season compared to an 0-6 record, 8.23 ERA and .365 BAA in Mississippi. Alex Jackson (Braves’ No. 14) hit a two-run shot in the fifth inning, his second homer in as many games and fifth this season.

• No. 53 overall prospect Jo Adell (Angels’ No. 1) hit a home run and collected three hits for the third time in six games for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. The 19-year-old outfielder connected on a solo shot in his first at-bat and finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. The homer was Adell’s sixth in 21 games with Inland Empire and 12th of the season in 46 games spanning two levels.

• No. 67 overall prospect Chance Adams (Yankees’ No. 4) completed seven innings for the second time this season in a no-decision for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Adams allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk in the outing, striking out five and inducing another 10 outs on the ground. The 23-year-old right-hander has pitched to a 4.96 ERA with 70 strikeouts and 27 walks in 61 2/3 innings (13 starts).

• No. 74 overall prospect Tyler O’Neill (Cardinals’ No. 2) went deep twice in his fourth two-homer game of the season for Triple-A Memphis. O’Neill bookended his performance by hitting solo shots in the first and ninth innings before finishing 2-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. He’s up to 15 home runs in 38 games for Memphis, and 18 total including his time in the Majors. On the mound, Dakota Hudson (Cardinals’ No. 3) fired eight scoreless frames en route to his fifth win in six starts. The 23-year-old righty is 8-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 12 starts so far this season and a candidate to join the Cardinals’ rotation in the near future.

O’Neill hits second homer

• No. 76 overall prospect Max Fried ( Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale Braves’ No. 7) set a pair of season bests as he struck out 11 batters in seven innings in Triple-A Gwinnett’s 10-2 win over Norfolk. It arguably was the best performance of the year for Fried, as he allowed one earned run on three hits and two hit-by-pitches. Of his 99 pitches, 66 were strikes. Expect Fried to get another chance with the Braves soon, either as a starter or a reliever.

Fried’s 11th strikeout

Astros’ No. 18 prospect Cristian Javier was untouchable in his Carolina League debut, tossing six hitless frames in Class A Advanced Buies Creek’s 2-1 over Carolina. The 21-year-old righty issued three walks, struck out five and found the strike zone with 54 of 90 pitches. Javier was promoted to Buies Creek after he posted a 1.82 ERA and a Midwest League-leading 80 strikeouts in 49 1/3 innings for Class A Quad Cities.

Braves’ No. 18 prospect Drew Waters hit a double in both ends of Class A Rome’s doubleheader against Greenville to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He posted four hits on the day, going 1-for-5 with two runs scored in the opener and then adding a 3-for-4 performance that included a stolen base in the nightcap. In what has been an impressive first full season, the 19-year-old Waters, a second-round pick in 2017, is hitting .317/.366/.561 with six homers, 20 doubles and 11 steals.

D-backs’ No. 4 prospect Taylor Widener set a career high with 12 strikeouts as he pitched Double-A Jackson past Jacksonville, 11-3. The 23-year-old righty scattered three hits with two walks while throwing 90 pitches (57 strikes) over six scoreless innings. He’s been one of the top pitchers in the Southern League, where he ranks among the circuit leaders with a 2.53 ERA (third) and 89 strikeouts (first) in 67 2/3 innings.

Widener notches 12th strikeout

Pirates’ No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker and Bryan Reynolds (No. 6) both hit their first home run of the season to help power Double-A Altoona past Binghamton, 7-2. Reynolds connected on a first-inning grand slam to give the Curve an early lead; Tucker added a solo shot in the following frame. They both finished 2-for-5 at the plate while combining for six RBIs.

Reynolds hits grand slam

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Jhoulys Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey Chacin, Brewers take series over Cubs

MILWAUKEE — Yes, Miller Park faithful, the Brewers can beat the Cubs.

In fact, after seven straight losses, they found a novel way to finally defeat their division rivals: Don’t let them score a single run. Jhoulys Chacin, Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader and Corey Knebel combined for a six-hitter on Wednesday in Milwaukee’s second straight shutout victory, 1-0, on Lorenzo Cain‘s third-inning home run.

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MILWAUKEE — Yes, Miller Park faithful, the Brewers can beat the Cubs.

In fact, after seven straight losses, they found a novel way to finally defeat their division rivals: Don’t let them score a single run. Jhoulys Chacin, Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader and Corey Knebel combined for a six-hitter on Wednesday in Milwaukee’s second straight shutout victory, 1-0, on Lorenzo Cain‘s third-inning home run.

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“This series wasn’t going to decide anything, but we k Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale now that’s a team that’s going to be there in the end,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “So wins against them are important. It was a fabulous series.

“This sounds like a broken record, but we pitched incredibly again.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Counsell discusses taking 2 of 3 from Cubs

More on that to come, but first the big picture: By taking the final two games of the series after losing eight of the first nine matchups between the teams in 2018, the Brewers increased their lead to 1 1/2 games over the Cubs in the National League Central.

“They’ve been the team to beat the last three years, and it’s always good to beat them,” said Chacin, who employed a new split-fingered fastball for the first time while working six innings. “They came back against Hader, one of the best relievers, in that first game, but to beat them in back-to-back shutouts is beating them how they beat us. That’s a really good way to wi Green Bay Packers Jimmy Graham Jersey n two games in a series.”

It marked the first time since 2006 that the Brewers blanked the Cubs in back-to-back games, though those victories came in a series finale and a series opener that were separated by two months. The Brewers had never shut out the Cubs on consecutive days.

Video: CHC@MIL: Knebel K’s Contreras to earn the save

That changed thanks to a pair of productive starts, first by Chase Anderson on Tuesday night and then Chacin on Wednesday. He retired the leadoff man in each of six innings, scattered four hits and three walks and struck out seven to improve to 6-0 with a 2.66 ERA over his past dozen starts.

The Brewers are 12-3 when Chacin takes the mound, but he is not the only Milwaukee starter on a roll. In the team’s past 12 games, its starting pitchers have a 2.55 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .193 average.

“He’s pitching. He’s got some cunning and some craftiness out there, as well as good stuff,” Counsell said.

Chacin’s two-year, $15.5 million contract has proven one of the wisest investments of  Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap the offseason, even if it never garnered the attention of richer deals for the likes of the Cubs’ Yu Darvish. That’s fine with Chacin.

“I’ve never been a guy who wanted a lot of attention,” Chacin said. “I just want to go out there and do my job. I was happy to sign here because I saw the chemistry last year. I’m 30 years old, but I’ve been in the big leagues a little bit longer, and I really want to win. This is a good young team.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Cain, Chacin discuss strong performances

Pitching has dominated the season series between the teams. Seven of the first 11 games have been shutouts — five for Cubs pitchers. Chicago’s staff ERA against Milwaukee is 1.28. Milwaukee’s ERA against Chicago is 2.88, inflated by five earned runs in the 11th inning of Monday’s series opener.

Cain’s decisive homer came against Cubs starter Mike Montgomery, one of only two Brewers hits in the left-hander’s six innings.

“Our pitching has been outstanding all year. Starting pitching, bullpen has been pretty much carrying our team,” Cain said. “We definitely need to get going and score some more runs. We’re definitely putting too much pressure on our pitchers as a whole.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Cain opens the scoring with a solo home run

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Counsell’s description of Chacin as “crafty” was particularly apt on a day the veteran debuted a new offering. The splitter, a pitch popular with teammates Junior Guerra and Jeffress, was a replacement for the changeup Chacin had been working on but struggled to command. Chacin estimated he threw as many as 20 splitters of his 100 pitches, mostly to left-handed hitters, including to the first one of the game, Ben Zobrist.

When Chacin needed to retire Anthony Rizzo with a pair of runners aboard in the fifth inning, he went to the splitter. It induced a weak groundout to first base, and that represented the Cubs’ last opportunity with a man in scoring position.

“We had been working on the changeup since Spring Training, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable with it,” said Chacin, who credited pitching coach Derek Johnson for the idea. “He told me to grab it like my sinker, alter my finger a little bit. Sometimes it cuts, sometimes it almost goes up. … I kept throwing it. I think that’s why I had a good game today.”

Video: CHC@MIL: Chacin retires Rizzo, strands a pair in 5th

SOUND SMART
The Brewers and Cubs have played 341 games against each other, but only two of those have been a 1-0 Milwaukee win. Before Wednesday, the last came on July 5, 2004, when Counsell’s first-inning homer was the game’s lone run.

Did Counsell remember that day?

“You would have had to prompt me a little bit,” Counsell said.

Tweet from @Brewers: Prior to today, the only other time that the #Brewers beat the Cubs, 1-0, was on July 5, 2004 at Miller Park. The lone run came on a Craig Counsell homer. #MILvsChC pic.twitter.com/JpK4wahBO9

HE SAID IT
“Always liked him, Citizen Cain. Outstanding player. Plays it hard, plays it right. Works pro at-bats all the time. He’s a high-end baseball player. I’ve always been a big fan.” — Cubs manager Joe Maddon

INJURY UPDATES
A day after placing reliever Matt Albers on the 10-day disabled list, the Brewers had a diagnosis: right rotator cuff inflammation. Albers will take a break from throwing through the weekend before the team determines whether an MRI is required.

Another pitcher on the DL with a rotator cuff injury, Zach Davies, threw off a mound on Wednesday, but he remains three weeks or so removed from returning to the active roster. He will throw several more mound sessions before heading out for two or three rehab starts, Counsell said.

UP NEXT
After taking two of three games from the Phillies last weekend at Citizens Bank Park, the Brewers will host a three-game rematch at Miller Park beginning at 7:10 p.m. CT on Friday. Brent Suter starts for Milwaukee, six days after benefitting from the Brewers’ second straight 12-run outburst to beat the Phillies with five innings of three-run ball. Jake Arrieta starts for Philadelphia.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Lorenzo Cain,
Jhoulys Chacin

Mauricio Dubon reha Jimmy Graham Packers Jersey bs from left knee surgery

MILWAUKEE — Brewers prospect Mauricio Dubon is slowly easing his way back towa Ha Ha Clinton Dix Jersey For Sale rd baseball activity after season-ending ACL surgery in May.

Dubon, No. 10 on MLB Pipeline’s list of the Brewers’ top prospects, was playing with Triple-A Colorado Springs on May 5 when he sustained a torn ACL to his left knee in an eighth-inning rundown. His routine has become daily leg and quadriceps exercises, as well as a steady diet of watching baseball games and highlights. The Brewers expect Dubon to be good to go by 2019 Spring Training.

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MILWAUKEE — Brewers prospect Mauricio Dubon is slowly easing his way back toward baseball activity after season-ending ACL surgery in May.

Dubon, No. 10 on MLB Pipeline’s list of the Brewers’ top prospects, was playing with Triple-A Colorado Springs on May 5 when he sustained a torn ACL to his left knee in an eighth-inning rundown. His routine has become daily leg and quadriceps exercises, as well as a steady diet of watching baseball games and highlights. The Brewers expect Dubon to be good to go by 2019 Spring Training.

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“He will handle this very well, no question,” farm director Tom Flanagan said. “He is passionate in everything that he does, and we are confident that Mauricio will come back from this better than before.”

The 23-year-old is eager to continue his work that he began putting in during the 2017-18 offseason, when he was telling his trainers and his father that he would knock 20 home runs this year — despite never hitting more than eight in a single campaign.

If Dubon didn’t sustain the injury, the numbers say the shortstop would have had a chance to reach the milestone. Or — more likely — he would’ve made his Major League debut before he even hit 20.

Video: MIL@LAA: Dubon serves an RBI single to right field

“At the time, I knew something had happened,” Dubon said of the injury. “I was disappointed because I knew a chance was coming, but it wasn’t bad because I had good people behind me who supported me.”

Dubon, a native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, credits his host family in Sacramento, his birth family in Honduras and his girlfriend for all helping him mentally through the recovery process.

But that hasn’t made it any easier knowing what could have been in 2018.

“I watched the play two to three times, but now every time I watch it, I get upset,” Dubon said. “I keep telling the guys that I remember the play vividly, what happened, when it happened. It w Men’s Nike Green Bay Packers Ha Ha Clinton Dix Elite Team Color Jersey Cheap as a freakish accident. It happened, and you can’t control that.”

The Red Sox selected Dubon in the 26th round of the 2013 MLB Draft before the Brewers acquired him as part of the deal that brought Milwaukee its starting third baseman, Travis Shaw. Dubon hit .343 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 27 games for the Sky Sox before going down this season.

Flanagan says Dubon has continued to impress the front office since the December 2016 trade.

“He was really putting together an excellent start to the season and on his way to big things at the time of his injury,” Flanagan said. “Both he and the organization see really big things ahead for him.”

Dubon says he owes his career-best numbers to a “mindset change” — and Sky Sox teammate Nate Orf.

“If you catch the ball in front, it’ll free your hands,” Orf told Dubon last summer.

Making the adjustment throughout the offseason, Dubon entered the spring  Jimmy Graham Jersey looking to be able to drive the baseball, and then things started to click.

Dubon started the 2018 season in Triple-A, but he likely would have been called up during the summer due to a lack of production from Milwaukee’s middle infielders at the Major League level. Instead, Dubon’s roommate, Freddy Peralta, was the one who made his big league debut this year and struck out 13 batters on Mother’s Day in his first start.

“We used to talk about that every night when we were on the road,” Dubon said. “We talked about how our Major League debut would be.”

And Dubon knows that his time is likely to come when he’ll be manning shortstop at Miller Park.

“I have a lot of trust in myself, a lot of confidence,” Dubon said. “I’m going to be one of the guys next year. Hopefully next year I can help the Brewers win.”

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Mauricio Dubon

Stat look at first third of Brewers’ seaso Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey 2018 n

MILWAUKEE — “Don’t look at the standings until Memorial Day,” they say. If any of the Brewers looked Monday morning, they no doubt liked what they saw.

Besides reaching that traditional milestone on the Major League calendar, the Brewers crossed the mathematical one-third point of the regular season with Sunday’s 8-7 win over the Mets at Miller Park. Here’s a statistical look at where they stood after playing 33.3 percent of the schedule:

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MILWAUKEE — “Don’t look at the standings until Memorial Day,” they say. If any of the Brewers looked Monday morning, they no doubt liked what they saw.

Besides reaching that traditional milestone on the Major League calendar, the Brewers crossed the mathematical one-third point of the regular season with Sunday’s 8-7 win over the Mets at Miller Park. Here’s a statistical look at where they stood after playing 33.3 percent of the schedule:

View Full Game Coverage

• At 34-20, the Brewers matched the Astros for the third-best record in MLB, they have the best record in the National League. It’s also the best record on the morning of Memorial Day in Brewers history, and marks the sixth time in 50 seasons as a franchise — though the third time in the past five years — that the team was in first place.

• Milwaukee ranked fifth in the NL with a 3.47 ERA, fueled by baseball’s best bullpen. Brewers relievers were first in MLB with a 2.49 ERA and 10.24 strikeouts per nine innings entering Monday, and second to the D-backs with a 1.12 WHIP.

• Leading that relief corps was l Blue Jays Canada Day Jersey eft-hander Josh Hader and right-hander Jeremy Jeffress. One really good measure of their value is RE24, a statistic that measures a player’s impact on run expectancy in context — giving Jeffress credit, for example, for his bases-loaded escapes. Jeffress’ 17.38 RE24 is best among Major League relievers, and Hader was third at 13.42. Between them, Hader and Jeffress posted a 0.76 ERA and a .101 batting average against (19-for-189) in 59 1/3 innings through the season’s first third.

Video: NYM@MIL: Jeffress on tying Brewers’ club record

• The starting rotation was below average. Brewers starters were eighth in the NL with a 1.30 WHIP, 10th with a 4.19 ERA and 14th with 7.16 K/9.

• Offensively, the Brewers were right in the middle of the NL — eighth of 15 — with 4.3 runs per game. But that figure has trended upward since May 10, when the team began a long road trip Men’s Majestic Flexbase Authentic 55 Russell Martin Toronto Blue Jays Canada Day Red Jersey  at hitter-friendly Coors Field and started hitting. In their first 17 games since that date, including Saturday’s 17-run outburst against the Mets, the Brewers led the Majors with 5.65 runs per game and led the NL with 1.53 home runs per game.

• The Brewers still strike out. After setting all-time Major League records for whiffs in each of the last two seasons, the Brewers had the worst strikeout rate in MLB through their first 54 games, at 25.6 percent.

Video: ARI@MIL: Shaw homers in Brewers’ 7-run 4th inning

So there was good and bad. And there’s still a lot of baseball to play.

“I think the experience that we had down the stretch last year will help with the guys that return, and then obviously you add [Christian] Yelich and [Lorenzo] Cain and it’s a huge addition for the offense,” said Travis Shaw. “The bullpen’s been lights out. You have a bullpen like that, you’re pretty much in every single game. There’s a lot of differences from last year that are positive this year.”

Last call

• Injured pitchers Jimmy Nelson (right shoulder surgery) and Wade Miley (right obique) returned from layoffs to play catch in the outfield at Miller Park on Monday morning. For Nelson, it represented a restart after he took 10 days off from throwing following a checkup with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. Nelson received assurances during that visit that his shoulder is healing as expected.

• First baseman Eric Thames, who was a month removed from left thumb surgery as of Monday, is scheduled to see the surgeon again Tuesday in Kevin Pillar Canada Day Jersey  Phoenix.

“He’s played catch and has been working out in the field, but he’s not hitting yet,” Counsell said. “I think that’s the step we’re looking to take after [Tuesday]. We’ll see if we get the green light for that, but we anticipate we will.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers

Edwin Diaz, Josh Hader to Boston Red Sox Custom Jersey p relievers for month

Even in the tone of the times — a time when strikeout rates are again on the rise and electric arms pour out of ‘pen — the sick stuff and sizzling stats of the Mariners’ Edwin Diaz and the Brewers’ Josh Hader stood out in the 2018 season’s opening month. And if you can’t hit ’em, honor ’em.

Diaz was named The Hartford American League Reliever of the Month for March/April, while Hader took home the National League honor. This was Hader’s first time winning the monthly prize; Diaz previously won it last July.

Even in the tone of the times — a time when strikeout rates are again on the rise and electric arms pour out of ‘pen — the  Men’s Authentic Custom Stitched Boston Red Sox Alternate Baseball Jersey Red sick stuff and sizzling stats of the Mariners’ Edwin Diaz and the Brewers’ Josh Hader stood out in the 2018 season’s opening month. And if you can’t hit ’em, honor ’em.

Diaz was named The Hartford American League Reliever of the Month for March/April, while Hader took home the National League honor. This was Hader’s first time winning the monthly prize; Diaz previously won it last July.

The right-handed Diaz, nicknamed “Sugar,” brings the M’s conventional sweet relief in the ninth. And during Seattle’s strong start to the season, he was pretty much perfect. Diaz converted all 11 save opportunities for the highest save total in the Majors. Along the way, he posted a 0.63 ERA and held opponents to a .043 average in 14 1/3 innings.

“Last year was my first year as a closer, and I was thinking too much on the mound,” Diaz said last month. “This year I came with the mentality to make pitches and not think about much. Just focus on the hitter and catcher and make my pitch.”

Video: Edwin Diaz is named the AL Reliever of the Month

Diaz struck out a whopping 27 batters in that small sample, 47.5 percent of the batters he faced.

“We like him right where he’s at right now,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said last week. “He’s been great, going after guys. There’s been a stretch of 8-10 pitches where the command will kind of get away from him, but being able to regroup and get back on the mound and come back at guys, he’s been awesome. Really, really valuable.”

As for Hader, he whiffed 62.9 percent of his batters faced in his 18 innings. The highest strikeout per nine innings mark in history for a reliever with at least 50 innings is Aroldis Chapman‘s 17.67 mark in 2014. So far, the long-haired 24-year-old Hader is at 19.5.

“There are a few guys in the league who have fastballs like that,” teammate Eric Thames said last month. “Out of the hand, you think it’s going to be a ball down. Then, bam, it has that late life, and it just blows you away. It’s like, ‘I was right on that pitch,’ and then it’s in the mitt.”

Video: Josh Hader is named the NL Reliever of the Month

On Monday in Cincinnati, Hader became the first pitcher in history to strike out eight batters in fewer than three innings of work.

“Josh had a great month,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys in the bullpen that had a great month. I’d put [Jeremy Jeffress] up for that award for sure. It’s been a really important group for us. It’s good that someone on the pitching staff has been recognized.”   

With strikeout stuff like that, it’s little wonder that Counsell has used Hader often. But he doesn’t use him in the so-called closer role. Rather, Hader falls in the line of the modern high-leverage arm available anytime, anywhere against anybody, a la Cleveland’s Andrew Miller. Hader has finished four games, but he’s also come in as early as the fourth inning. And eight of his 11 appearances have been for north of three outs.

“Just got to keep it rolling, and help the team out any way I can,” Hader said. “Any time you can get records and stuff like that, it’s pretty sweet. But the mind-set stays the same, doing what I’ve been doing coming out of Spring Training. Still working on the secondary [pitches],  Boston Red Sox Custom Jersey making sure everything stays consistent. It’s definitely an honor.”

Now he’s got an award. And Diaz and Hader are proof that missing bats and getting outs translates well to any relief role. 

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Seattle Mariners,
Edwin Diaz,
Josh Hader