Player review: Geraldo Perdomo (si.com)
Perdomo will need to have a strong spring just to beat out Alcantara for the utility infielder spot on the roster, and is unlikely to get the nod over Ahmed unless the veteran is limited by injury concerns.
A Breakout Reliever In The Desert: Joe Mantiply (MLB Trade Rumors)
The unsightly .252 combined average may be cause for concern, however, Mantiply is tied for the 27th lowest Hard Hit%, among relievers to pitch 50+ innings, and is in the 89th percentile for Average Exit Velocity.
Around The MLB
Yesterday was a beautiful day. Both ALCS and NLCS were decided.
The Phillies stunned the NL fans yet again and with a fragile defensive outfield counted on Bryce Harper to come up with more big hits. Their bullpen has around 4-5 arms who are strong with a couple of guys throwing some serious hit. Their 1-5 hitters, except for Bryce Harper, might not always have the highest BA but have some serious sluggers.
Sluggers and guys throwing heat, something the Diamondbacks haven’t had for quite some years now.
Then we have the Houston Astros who put a big “in your face” to all those teams and fans whining about teams actually getting advantage by playing a Wild Card series. The Astros sweep everyone, but aren’t untouchable as was seen when the Mariners punched on Verlander. However, their starters shut normally everyone out and they need their 2-4 hitters to come up big.
THIS is going to be an interesting World Series.
Astros in 4.
You can basically pick every major news outlet for your favourite dose of Championship Series reports, so here is a selection.
The Astros are excellent at everything, but their pitching is why they remain undefeated this postseason. As long as Dusty Baker manages with proper urgency and uses his bullpen as he can — mix and match and do not allow Kyle Schwarber, Rhys Hoskins, J.T. Realmuto and Bryce Harper third looks unless the starter is truly cruising — Houston has the goods to neutralize Philadelphia’s offense.
“I didn’t want to get back on that flight back to San Diego,” he said. “I just didn’t want to get on a 5½-hour flight. I wanted to hang out at home and enjoy this at home with these fans and this organization and this fan base.”
This year’s Astros team made things look even easier, steamrolling through the regular season to the tune of an American League-best 106 wins and sweeping all three games against the Seattle Mariners in the ALDS and all four games against the New York Yankees in the ALCS.
Peña’s 22 homers in the regular season were tied for sixth among shortstops and ranked second among first-year players to only Seattle’s Julio Rodríguez, who will likely be the runaway AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. Peña should be a finalist for that honor, if not runner-up. But Peña, who is good friends with fellow Dominican Rodríguez, will probably be fine with that given that his team is headed to the World Series.
“I don’t think anybody was surprised,” said first baseman Rhys Hoskins. “This guy has a knack for coming up in the biggest moments. It’s just what he’s done his whole career, and we’ve seen it plenty of times.”
Rangers introduce Bochy as new manager (MLB.com)
After facing the impossible task of classifying France for the WBC, he now faces the impossible task of turning the Rangers into a winning team.
Across The Atlantic
Serbs = Tough crowds.
Across The Pacific
Fox Sports color commentator Johann Schmölz referred to Kim’s career “in Japan” while discussing his batting during the fifth inning of the game last Wednesday. “I know in Japan he was known for a home run hitter,” the former Austrian handball player said.