NFL Attendance has peaked and is going the other direction. Baseball purists say that baseball is healthy and why change the game? The answer is really simple: while there are certainly some young fans, baseball is not as popular among the Millenials and Gen X as it was during the Baby Boomer Generation. I guarantee that in the next few years, there are going to be substantially fewer crowds watching the games fn MLB keeps going down the same path. Change is inevitable – embrace it or not, but it’s coming. I see a few things that need to be changedf immediately:
- Electronic Balls and Strikes – I don’t totally want to take the human element out of baseball, so I think something like this should happen: There is an electronic strike zone with a “Red Zone” around it, which may be an inch or two. Balls and strikes become a “challenge” option. Each team get 1 challengd per inning (9 per game and you can use them all in one inning if you are so inclined). If a ball is challenged which is in the “Red Zone” (meaning it was close), it is not overturned. It has to be egregious to be overturned.
- The DH is Uniform Throughout All of Baseball – Come on, this is easy. Practically every baseball league uses the DH except the National League. Many pitches in MLB have NEVER HIT and Never Will. No other professional sports legaue has different rules for different divisions. NL pitchers are hitting .110 this year. If you like that, you are strange. The NL should have the DH.
- Shifts are Banned – If you think it is easy to “go the other way” when a pitcher throws a “inside and low slider” you have never played the game much. If you are a LH hitter and they put 4 defenders on the Right Side of the infield AND the pitcher exceutes a high and inside or low and inside pitch, I doubt you can go the other way 10% of the time. Tony Gwynn? 12% maybe. Of course, pitchers don’t always excute (some should be executed, but I digress). If fielders can be stationed anywhere, why not let the catcher and pitcher set up where they want? That is not allowed, so why can other fielders? I believe the shift makes a huge difference and that defenders should have to play in certain “zones.” A 3B could play near 2B, but he should not be able to play between 1st and 2B. That’s my opinion.
- For the record, I would trade Lux and May for Machado, but FAZ did not ask me. Again…
- Will Smith is smoking hot and hit another HR last night while going 3-4. Hello… the switch was flipped… he’s ready! Get him to LA!
- Alex Verdugo did not play in the AAA All-Star Game last night. Hummmmm…..
- Dump Logan Forsythe!
- Play Andrew Toles already!
- Max Muncy was robbed. I hope he win the HR Derby and has a huge chip on his shoulder.
- Congrats to Chicken Strip for being an All-Star.
- Zac Rosscup is a pitcher to watch as a LH specialist who has ntaken Edward Paredes place on the 40-man roster.
- There is a nice articvle in The Athletic (pay site) about Daniel Hudson and why he was ejected. Since early May, his ERA is 1.88. He is evolving into a set-up role.
MINOR LEAGUE RECAP by AlwaysCompete
A pair of winning streaks came to an end yesterday. The Drillers lost after 6 wins, and the Quakes lost for the 1st time in over two weeks. They had a 15-game winning streak broken.
Tulsa Drillers – 9-5 Loss to Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Royals)
Will Smith continued his drive to LA with a 3-4 night including his 16th HR and 12th double and 3 RBIs. He has now hit a HR in four consecutive games. He is now slashing .296/.391/.614/1.005. He is putting up better numbers than Yordan Alvarez who was recently promoted to AAA. He is an outstanding defensive catcher. There is no reason to keep him at AA except no place for him to play with Rocky Gale and Kyle Farmer. Somebody has to move (Barnes, Farmer, or Gale) for Smith to move up.
Jacob Scavuzzo also went 3-4 with his 13th double and the remaining 2 RBIs.
Isaac Anderson continues to show why he is a Single A pitcher. He got tagged again in his most recent AA promotion. He pitched 3.1 innings allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, with one K. Michael Boyle, Karch Kowalczyk, and Corey Copping followed with only Copping pitching without allowing a run.
I hope to see both Will Smith and Yusniel Diaz in OKC very soon.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes – 6-2 Loss to Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies)
Gavin Lux went 2-4 with a walk, to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. He is batting .364/.410/.473/.883 during that time with 5 walks and only 7 Ks in 61 PA. Rylan Bannon also reached base 3 times going 1-3 with a double (17) and 2 walks. Sage Jenco went 2-3 with a walk, and Connor Wong went 2-3 with his 13th HR. He is finding his stroke again.
Austin Hamilton stepped in as starter as Isaac Anderson was promoted to Tulsa. He went 4.0 IP, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits, with 1 K. Ryan Moseley followed and was really tagged in his 0.2 IP. He allowed 3 runs on 2 hits but 3 walks and 0 Ks. Yeison Cespedes restored order in his 3.1 scoreless IP, while Zach Pop pitched yet another scoreless inning. He has now allowed 1 run in 27.0 IP, for a 0.33 ERA and a 0.70 WHIP. I do not know what else he needs to show to get promoted to AA.
Great Lakes Loons – 1-0 Win over Clinton LumberKings (Mariners) in 10 innings
Josh McLain hit a 2 out single in the 10th inning for the shutout victory. That’s right…the Loons got a shutout last night. 20-year-old Edwin Uceta pitched the 1st 6.0 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 walk, with 7 Ks. Stephen Kolek and Jasiel Alvino pitched the final 4 innings (2.0 IP each) for the shutout victory. In 74.1 IP this year, Uceta has compiled a respectable 3.75 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He has 76 Ks and 24 walks. He needs to learn command, but once he does he should be someone to follow up the organization. Command is something Caleb Ferguson already had at this age and stage in his career.
Ogden Raptors – 11-0 Win over Missoula Osprey (DBacks)
Julio Chacin started and pitched 5.0 innings allowing 3 hits, 3 walks, and 4Ks. A pair of 2018 draftees, Hunter Speer and Justin Hagenman both pitched 2.0 innings to complete the shutout victory.
OF Drew Avins went 4-5 with 2 HRs and 5 RBIs. Both of his HR were with 2 outs. He now has 3 with Ogden and with 3 at AZL, Avins has 6 HRs combined in the short season (58 AB and 68 PA). Jacob Amaya continued his hot start with a 3-5 night. Jefrey Souffront went 3-4, and James Outman went 2-4 and is starting to get more comfortable at the plate. Miguel Vargas got his 6th double, and Ronny Brito got his 3rd HR. It might be fun to watch a pair of 19-year-old middle infielders (Amaya and Brito) move up the organizational ladder. Both are primarily SS and with Jeremy Arocho playing 2B, the team has three middle infielders to monitor.