With Major League Baseball teams gearing up for the final 40 or so games left on their regular-season schedules, and with pennant races and wild-card chases getting really good, I figured it was time for another edition of the 3 Up and 3 Down feature here at My 2 Sense.
Whatever Mookie Wants, Mookie Betts – Fresh off of winning the American League Player-of-the-Month of July award, Markus Lynn (Mookie) Betts continues to rake! The 5′ 8″, 180 pound dynamo followed up his three home run, eight RBI assault of Arizona on Sunday with a two bomb, five RBI barrage of Baltimore Tuesday night. In Boston’s five games at Camden Yards this season, Betts is hitting .476 and has seven home runs! For the season, the 23 year-old is batting .315 with 28 home runs and 89 RBI’s. Betts recently joined Ted Williams as the only Red Sox players to have more than one three-home-run game in a single season. As of this writing Mookie ranks 2nd in the AL in runs scored, hits, doubles, and batting average, 3rd in slugging %, 4th in RBI’s and triples, 6th in OPS, and 7th in HR’s. There is no doubt he has vaulted himself into contention for the MVP award. In fact, when kicking around candidates for the trophy, you might want to hedge your betts on Mookie.
The 2015 MLB Draft Class – This one literally and figuratively belongs in the UP category. Did you know that four players drafted in the first round of last year’s MLB Draft are now UP in the major leagues? On Tuesday, the Atlanta Braves promoted #1 pick SS Dansby Swanson to the Show where he joins fellow first rounders: infielder Alex Bregman (Astros #2), outfielder Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox #7), and pitcher Carson Fullmer (White Sox #8). Swanson, you’ll remember, was actually drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks and then inexplicably traded to his hometown Bravos this off-season as part of the big Shelby Miller deal. In an odd twist, as Swanson makes his big-league debut Wednesday, Miller, who struggled mightily in Arizona, toils in Triple A for the Reno Aces.
The “Rise” of the Ancient Mariners? – Okay, so we have all heard of the extremely long poem, the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in which the Mariner tells the tale of his disastrous voyage at sea. Well, if you haven’t been following the standings, or staying up late to watch West Coast baseball, the 2016 Seattle Mariners are rising again! Thanks to an 8-2 run over their last 10 games, Seattle now sits 6 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West, and just 3 games behind Baltimore and Boston in the Wildcard Standings. This is new and different territory for the M’s. Since they won an MLB record tying 116 games in 2001, they have only had five winning seasons and haven’t sniffed the playoffs. Helping to try and rid the post-season albatross from their necks are Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz on offense, and “Electric” Edwin Diaz on the hill. Pressed into service by manager, Scott Servais, the 22 year-old fireballer, Diaz, has grabbed the closer’s job by the throat going 7 for 7 in save opportunities while striking out a ridiculous 60 batters in 33 innings!
Nathan Eovaldi – The Yankees hard throwing right-hander, who left his last start in Boston after just one inning, was given devastating news on Tuesday afternoon. He will have to undergo extensive surgery on his pitching elbow to repair a torn flexor tendon and partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. The Tommy John surgery he will have will be the second of his career (his first came as a high school pitcher). While this is a huge blow to New York’s rotation this year and going forward, it could spell the beginning of the end of Eovaldi’s career. Recovery time from procedures like this are varied, but it would not be out of the question to assume Eovaldi (26 years-old) would not be back at full strength (whatever that will look like), until the 2018 season. Very sad story, I wish Nathan all the best.
Melvin Upton Jr. – Hey didn’t you used to be BJ? So much for coming over at the trade deadline and helping your new team right off the bat. Melvin Upton was having a pretty good year for the San Diego Padres before his trade to the Toronto Blue Jays. Over his 92 games in Southern California, he hit .256 with 16 home runs and 45 RBI’s. However, in his 18 games playing north of the border, Upton is 11-for-58 (.189) with no home-runs, 2 RBI’s and 23 strikeouts. In keeping with the blog’s theme here, let’s refer to him as Melvin Down-ton instead of Upton. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.
The Los Angeles Angels – My how the Angels have fallen from the sky. They needed to come from behind twice in Tuesday night’s victory over the Mariners to snap their 11 game losing streak! The main reason the club sits 19 games below .500 (50-69) stands 60′ 6″ from home plate. Angels hurlers have allowed the 2nd most hits, home-runs, and total bases in the American League, 3rd most runs, and have seen opponents hit a robust .275 against there pitching. To say that there is a fight at the bat rack for opposing teams this season would not be incorrect. It is too bad for Mike Trout, and Major League Baseball fans, that he will not be a part of playoff baseball yet again this year.
And that is a wrap on this week’s installment of 3 Up and 3 Down. As always, thanks for reading, and make sure to tell a friend about us!