During the second game of the Mets-Braves doubleheader, the Braves fans were at it again, doing The Chop. It is controversial, and Braves fans hate talking about it with people that think it’s racist. Moving on from that discussion, there is a kid who does it in a fantastic manner.
Look for the kid in the white shirt next to the pitch coach Warthen.
Straight arm, just going up an down, like he’s fanning the baseball players. But then… things get really heated:
A STANDING STRAIGHT ARMED CHOP! And it even looks like he’s hitting the baseball player on the head, but it’s still great.
He may be doing The Chop wrong, but this kid did everything right. He would fix his arm motion later on (not GIF’d), spoiled by the influence of society.
Zack Wheeler has finally been called up to the bigs, and he’s been climbing up the “Top Prospects” ladder for the last four years, all the way being up in the top eleven in 2013, and being the Mets top prospect coming into this year. Wheeler, of course, was the arm used to acquire Carlos Beltran by the Giants in 2011. While the Giants could very well use him now, their flag in 2012 should ease the pain of watching a top prospect get his chance to shine while the Giants are being forced to wait for theirs.
The scouting report on Wheeler from Baseball Prospectus coming into the season:
GOOD fastball, above average curveball, and a good slider and change. Let’s see what Wheeler showcased on Tuesday night in his effort against the NL East leading Atlanta Braves in the second game of their doubleheader.
Lot of balls from Zack in the game, especially early on, which could have been due to a combination of nerves and throwing the ball.
And, there’s your first career MLB strikeout, and Jason Heyward gets the honor of being the first victim.
Thanks for playing, Brian McCann.
Chris Johnson whiffing on 95.
Paul Maholm probably a little mismatched.
Probably don’t wanna throw it too much in that location.
He actually started out Justin Upton with a slider low two straight at bats. Gives you some insight into their scouting report on him.
A much better reception than the first slider, he’ll get that call from other umpires.
And there’s Dan Uggla helping Wheeler record Zack’s seventh strikeout of the night.
Despite the five walks in 102 pitches for Wheeler, I thought this was a pretty good debut. It wasn’t Strasburg, but it was pretty dang good. As I was saying on twitter, I’m rooting for the former Baby Giant, and I want him to do well. This was a great first step, and here’s to Zack on a great career with the Mets and then the Giants when he signed with them because he secretly misses all of us.
New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has been dealing with a bloody nose today, and it’s carried into the game:
And here he is pitching with that blood:
Poor guy was using his shirt to keep the blood off his face. Hopefully that will be less of a distraction for him as the game goes on.
Something that could be on the horizon if bad weather comes around, it would certainly be historic:
Because we only come to Colorado once, MLB has given the Mets and Rockies the go-ahead to play a triple header this week.11,4 and 8 times,
— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) April 15, 2013
Taken from Wikipedia’s article on double headers:
There are three recorded instances of a tripleheader in Major League Baseball, indicating three games between the same two teams on the same day. These occurred between the Brooklyn Bridegrooms and Pittsburgh Innocents on September 1, 1890 (Brooklyn won all three); between the Baltimore Orioles and Louisville Colonels on September 7, 1896(Baltimore won all three); and between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds on October 2, 1920 (Cincinnati won two of the three). Triple headers are now prohibited under the current collective bargaining agreement, except when the first game is the conclusion of a game suspended from a prior date.
The New York Mets are scheduled to be in Denver this week from Monday, April 15th through Thursday, April 18th. A tripleheader hasn’t happened since 1920, and the other two weren’t even in the 20th century. Hopefully it doesn’t come to a tripleheader in Denver, and maybe it doesn’t since the current CBA says they are a no-no. Here is the four-day forecast for Denver:
Have fun with that, guys.
The regular season begins this Sunday at 5:05PM PST when the Texas Rangers play the Houston Astros in that famous AL West rivalry, which means this week is all about previews, bold predictions, and message board put downs. I will say I am not good at predicting things, so let’s get that straight. Like everybody else though, I have an opinion on the matter of how events will play out. As I preview these divisions, I’ll tell you a little of what sport betting sites see, what computer simulations see, and what I see. The teams will be previewed in the reverse order I expect them to finish. Let us preview the NL East, where in my lifetime, I’ve really only seen the Braves (’94-’05) and Phillies (’07-’11) rule the NL East in its “new” format. Now, a new horse has arrived, it’s young, and it’s also got better competition this year.
5. Miami Marlins
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 40/1, 75/1, 200/1
Stuart sees: a snake occupying the owner’s box, leaving a city the bill to a stadium with an eyesore out in left-center, along with a trade of major leaguers Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, and Emilio Bonifacio who were all sent north of the border because it just didn’t work out. Maybe you can find a little sympathy in your heart for that kind of business, I’m having trouble with it. The fish are left with Nolasco as their ace with not much behind him, and Stanton as the guy they’re supposedly building around. The bullpen might be the most well-rounded part of the team, but I wonder how this team scores its runs when Stanton’s not there. What lead will there be for the bullpen to hold? In case the only time you’ve seen Giancarlo is in the WBC, I’ve provided some memories from 2012 of the things he did. Worth your time.
4. New York Mets
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 15/1, 40/1, 100/1
Stuart sees: a team that is getting ready to put its bullets into its Major League gun, and they are going to hit the mound and shut down the opposition. That may be seen even as early as June when Zack Wheeler will likely get the promotion to join former prospect Harvey on the hill. Marcum, like Johan Santana, is already injured, so it’s hard to see the Mets starting corps providing much for their team outside of Harvey. The offense will need to pick it up until their starters have their health back, and 2B Daniel Murphy is on the comeback trail to getting healthy again, and Ike Davis can supply some power for this squad. The outfield is kind of a nightmare, and with John Buck behind the plate, Mets fans are also counting down the days to when they see prospect Travis d’Arnaud come up in June so they can see part of the fruits of that trade for R.A. Dickey. If this team starts hot, they could be a very real threat for a wild card spot, but I’m talking 45-days hot, not 1-week hot.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 3/1, 7/1, 16/1
Stuart sees: a walking AARP commercial unfolding in front of everybody’s eyes. Halladay is starting to show his age with decreasing velocity (although that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s done), and possibly being on the road to getting lit up more often. The acquisition of Michael Young seemed to be one built off of intangibles, and Delmon Young just plays like he’s old when he’s in the outfield. On the offensive side of things, this team should be fine, hitting some homers here and there, Philadelphia fans do have their reasons to believe in this team (not much of it on defense, though). I wonder how long the John Lannan experiment as the 5 will go, but the bullpen does have a decent 8th-9th inning set of arms in Mike Adams and Jonathan Papelbon (only to be used in save situations, of course!). It’s easy to not like this team because of the way their general manager, Ruben Amaro, Jr. built it, but they can provide some healthy, spirited, and most importantly competent competition for their NL East brethren.
2. Atlanta Braves
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 9/4, 7/1, 16/1
Stuart sees: a team that could rule the division if not for another great team standing in their way. Those top three guys all reside in the outfield, and we haven’t even mentioned SS Andrelton Simmons and Brian McCann, whom is starting to feel better. Braves fans may not be confident of the platoon they have going at the hot corner with Juan Francisco and Chris Johnson, and it’s easy to be disappointed when you had a Hall of Famer in Chipper Jones manning the position there for as long as he did. My question mark on this team is how well does the starting pitching do this year, as I’m not worried about their bullpen holding leads or keeping things close. Does Tim Hudson stay healthy, can Mike Minor keep batters in the park and continue to lower his walk rate? What about Julio Teheran, how ready is he to reaching that ceiling of a #2-3 starter that’s been put on him? Watch this team at the plate for a series and you’ll understand the threat these guys pose, they are not just a force, they are a force. (oooOOOooohhhhh)
1. Washington Nationals
Bovada’s odds to win the division, pennant, and World Series: 10/11, 7/2, 7/1
Stuart sees: a team that you will be describing using any and every positive/fear-inducing adjective and profane word in the book. Now that this team has brought their town an NL East title in 2012, their extraordinarily powerful lineup, along with newly acquired speedster Denard Span, are going to put up some pretty good numbers (hint hint, fantasy baseball players) and work on creating that dynasty within the NL East. Bryce Harper just got done being nineteen (that’s 19, as in,
my college freshman+sophomore years you know what, I don’t wanna talk about it), Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann are also pretty stinkin’ good, and that bullpen added Rafael Soriano because I guess they wanted to make Drew Storen feel really bad. My question marks for this team are Dan Haren, who has been not been pitching as well as the years have gone by (getting old will do that… along with lower velocity), and the part of the bullpen that doesn’t involve Storen, Tyler Clippard, and Soriano. Outside of that, you can see why they’ve got the best odds to win everything. This team… I mean… Man. (how ’bout that analysis right there)
If there’s something not going for them though, it’s definitely this (couldn’t find a more out of control picture, I know it’s out there though):
Tell me how you think the NL East standings fall out in the comments below, and remember to play nice!
From Baseball Prospectus’ Mets Top Ten Prospects:
Just can’t help it. And now my face is all bruised up. I’ll just blame my cats again.
CSN’s Andrew Baggarly with the breaking news to start off your Thursday:
The stories of Andres Torres are well known by now, of him being an incredibly hard working, and just as sweet of a man, so you can understand why everyone is pulling for him. After a magical .358 wOBA, 6.9 fWAR season in 2010, Torres couldn’t repeat the magic, going .292, .297 and 2.2, 1.7 in wOBA and fWAR in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Andres is a speed guy and will be on the bench possibly platooning with Gregor Blanco, or being a defensive replacement, getting his pinch hitting opportunities as the season goes on. He was traded in the 2011-2012 offseason with Ramon Ramirez for current CF Angel Pagan and cash considerations, so in the end, the Giants traded one year of Ramon Ramirez for Angel Pagan, cash, and a one year loan of Andres Torres. Nice.
Update: He will make $2MM this year and has signed a Major League deal, per Baggs.
I’m guessing this for sure will put Francisco Peguero back in Triple-A Fresno, while the Giants could continue to search for a RHH bat to come off the bench to maybe find a better option than the lighter hitting Torres. There have been whispers of Brandon Belt playing LF when Buster Posey plays 1B, so if that were true, the Giants would be done shopping for their MLB OF.
As for wondering how you should feel about this move? As for me, I am happy, from both a baseball, and personal level.