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Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg to make first MLB appearance in more than a year on Thursday vs. Marlins

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Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will return to the mound on Thursday and face the Miami Marlins, manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Tuesday. 

Strasburg hasn’t pitched in the majors in more than a year (his last MLB start was June 1, 2021) after undergoing surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome. In 2020, Strasburg also underwent season-ending surgery, that time for carpal tunnel neuritis in his throwing hand. Because of those injuries and the serious nature of them, Strasburg has made a total of just seven starts since the start of the 2020 season. Unfortunately for the club, that run of injuries roughly coincides with the decision to sign Strasburg to a $245 million extension that runs through the 2026 season. He’s owed the balance of a $35 million salary for 2022, and then will make $35 million in each of the following four seasons. 

Now 33, Strasburg is a Nats lifer and when healthy has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. He was an essential part of the Nats’ 2019 run to the World Series title, as he pitched to a 3.32 ERA and led the NL in innings that year en route to finishing fifth in the NL Cy Young balloting. For his career, Strasburg has compiled a WAR of 31.2 and made three All-Star appearances. 

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While thoracic outlet syndrome can be a career-altering maladay, the Nats and Strasburg are no doubt hoping that he can still achieve something close to peak performance as he heads toward his mid-thirties. 

As part of his recovery process, Strasburg undertook a minor-league rehab assignment. In three starts across two minor-league levels, he pitched to a 1.98 with 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings and improved fastball velocity. 

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Edwin Diaz Has Been Perfect For Months

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(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

 

When discussing the best relievers in baseball, Clay Holmes, Liam Hendriks, and Josh Hader were often mentioned by fans and analysts.

Right now, however, there is little doubt that the New York MetsEdwin Diaz is the most dominant bullpen arm in MLB.

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The numbers don’t lie, and the eye test usually doesn’t, either.

“Since his last blown save on May 24, Edwin Diaz has produced the following pitching line in 26 appearances: -26.2 IP, 1 R, 0.34 ERA -12 H, 3 BB, 57 K -16 saves in 16 chances,” Mets insider Anthony DiComo tweeted.

Take a moment to carefully look at those numbers.

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They are absolutely insane, almost out of a video game.

Maintaining a 0.34 ERA over 26.2 innings is nothing short of amazing, let alone striking out 57 hitters against three (!) walks over that same span.

 

No Reliever In MLB Can Match Diaz’s Dominance

No one in MLB can match Diaz’s sheer dominance when it comes to avoiding walks and striking out people.

It is also reflected in his incredible 1.39 season ERA.

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At the moment, he looks untouchable, and has managed to change his previous reputation as a choker.

In 2019, he had a 5.59 ERA, but after that year, he has been lights out.

The 2022 campaign has represented the peak of his dominance, though.

With him healthy and clearly in the best form of his life, the Mets now have some peace of mind knowing that any close lead they have in the ninth inning is safe.

As the tweet says, he hasn’t failed to convert any save chances since late May.

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Diaz has been a big reason why the Mets have the best record in the NL East and the second-best in all MLB, at 73-39.

He is the headliner of a strong bullpen, and as long as health is on his side, New York will likely be extremely tough to beat in the playoffs.

The post Edwin Diaz Has Been Perfect For Months appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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Jackie Bradley Jr. to make first start with Blue Jays vs. Guardians on Friday

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Jackie Bradley Jr. will make his first Toronto Blue Jays start on Friday night as the team hosts the Cleveland Guardians. He will play in centre field and bat ninth.

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Bradley Jr. signed with the Blue Jays on Tuesday after being released by the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 4.

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The 32-year-old Bradley Jr. is a .228 hitter with 107 homers and 434 RBIs in 1,098 major-league games. He was the MVP of the 2018 AL Championship Series and won the AL Gold Glove in centre that same year.

Watch the Blue Jays take on the Guardians on Sportsnet and Sportsnet NOW starting at 7 p.m. EST.

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The Orioles Are Reportedly Calling Up Another Top Prospect

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(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

 

Despite trading slugger Trey Mancini and All-Star closer Jorge Lopez at the deadline, the Baltimore Orioles keep winning games and are in contention for a spot in the postseason.

They are currently 58-53, fourth in the AL East division and just half-a-game behind the Tampa Bay Rays.

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It’s an incredible organizational turnaround, considering that Baltimore had an awful 52-110 record in 2021.

Recognizing that they do have a strong chance of making the playoffs against all odds, the Orioles are making a win-now move, a refreshing development considering they traded the aforementioned stars.

“Source: DL Hall is joining #orioles in St. Petersburg,” MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko reported via Twitter.

The world is about to see what the Orioles are made of: they are playing a three-game series against the Rays, starting on Friday.

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Austin Voth will start tonight’s game for Baltimore, and will face off against veteran right-hander Corey Kluber.

The Orioles have been able to bring in, nurture, and develop many young players this year, most notably position players and relievers.

 

Baltimore Needs Rotation Help, And Hall Can Provide It

Their starting rotation, however, remains a work in progress.

That’s where a guy like DL Hall can help.

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He is one of MLB’s best pitching prospects.

He has some issues with his control, but the quality of his stuff is unquestionable.

So far, the left-hander has a 4.52 ERA and 126/45 K/BB ratio over 77 2/3 innings while covering three levels this season.

He has 114 strikeouts in 70 Triple-A innings, though, so the potential in that area is tantalizing.

Hall has a chance to be a special pitcher, as long as he can keep the walks under control (no pun intended).

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If he pitches well, the O’s will have another quality starter to fuel their playoff run.

The post The Orioles Are Reportedly Calling Up Another Top Prospect appeared first on The Cold Wire.





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