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Sunday Notes: Diego Cartaya Gained a Flatter Swing (and Misplaced a Baseball Brother)

The highest prospect within the Los Angeles Dodgers system misplaced one in every of his baseball “brothers” a month in the past. Not actually — Alex De Jesus is alive and effectively — however reasonably by dint of a trade-deadline deal. A 20-year-old infielder who’d been enjoying with the Excessive-A Nice Lakes Loons, De Jesus went to the Toronto Blue Jays group, together with Mitch White, in alternate for Moises Brito and Nick Frasso.

Shortly after the commerce, I requested Diego Cartaya what it’s prefer to have a teammate who can also be an in depth pal go away the group.

“It’s not simple, however I’m sort of pleased for him,” replied Cartaya, who together with being L.A.’s prime prospect is No. 31 in our MLB prospect rankings. “He’s going to get a greater alternative with Toronto, so we’re fairly excited for him. But it surely’s exhausting. As teammates, we spend extra time collectively than we do with our households. He’s identical to my brother.”

Cartaya’s actual household is in Venezuela, and it was his father who initially taught him how one can hit. The tutoring he’s obtained since coming into professional ball at age 16 has resulted in occasional tweaks, each to his stance and his swing. Cartaya advised me that he was once “extra of a giant launch-angle man,” however now has a flatter swing. Upon listening to that, I famous that the house run I’d seen him hit the earlier evening was extra of a line drive than a moonshot.

“I didn’t suppose that it was going out,” admitted Cartaya, whose shot to right-center simply cleared the glove of a Lansing Lugnuts outfielder leaping on the wall. “However thank God it went out. I used to be just a little confused. I virtually took my helmet off to point out him ‘good catch.’”

As for his major place, the 20-year-old Cartaya has a rocket for an arm, however is seen by most scouts as an offense-first catcher with still-developing expertise behind the plate. Citing blocking as his greatest want for enchancment, Cartaya expressed satisfaction along with his total defensive enchancment this season.

Cartaya is slashing .260/.395/.519 with 22 dwelling runs between Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and Excessive-A Nice Lakes, and he was just lately named the Dodgers’ Department Rickey Minor League Participant of the Yr. It’s a secure guess that his former teammate Alex was amongst these pleased to listen to the information.

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RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS

George Stone went 6 for 9 in opposition to Ralph Works.

Freddie Freeman is 4 for 4 in opposition to Brandon Workman.

Chuck Workman went 4 for six in opposition to Hod Lisenbee,

Eric Chavez went 5 for six in opposition to Horacio Ramirez.

Walter “Union Man” Holke went 6 for 7 in opposition to Jack Knight.

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Bobby Wilson caught quite a lot of pitchers over his 17 skilled seasons, 10 of which had been spent within the large leagues. Who amongst them stands out for having the most-unique motion profile on one in every of his choices?

“Off the highest of my head, we had Fernando Romero once I was in Minnesota,” replied Wilson, who’s now the catching coach for the Texas Rangers. “He threw a one-seamer — principally, he break up his pointer and center finger over one seam — and sort of the working joke Mitch Garver and I had is that he was our 98-mph knuckleballer. Typically the ball would minimize left, generally it will go proper, and generally it will go straight down, like a break up. Different instances it will be straight as an arrow. It was everywhere. He was exhausting as hell to catch.”

A pitcher that Wilson by no means squatted behind the dish for has caught his consideration. Jhoan Duran includes a pitch that’s been dubbed a “splinker” — a high-90s sinker-spitter that has touched triple digits.

“The man that stands out proper now could be Duran, from Minnesota,” Wilson mentioned. “Certainly one of our gamers got here into the dugout after dealing with him and mentioned, ‘That man simply broke my eyes.’ He’d by no means seen it earlier than. The pitch is disgusting.”

The hitter in query?

“He’s a fairly good participant,” allowed Wilson. “I’ll let you know that a lot.”

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A quiz:

Who has essentially the most hits in Tampa Bay Rays franchise historical past?

The reply may be discovered beneath.

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NEWS NOTES

Bob Locker, a right-handed reliever who made 576 appearances whereas pitching for 4 completely different groups from 1965-1975, died final month at age 84. Locker’s finest season got here with the Chicago White Sox in 1967 when he logged a 2.09 ERA with 20 saves whereas working in a league-leading 77 video games.

Pete Burnside, a left-handed pitcher who performed for 4 completely different MLB groups from 1955-1963, and for Japan’s Hanshin Tigers in 1964-1965, died late final month at age 92. A graduate of each Dartmouth Faculty and Northwestern College, Burnside made 111 of his 196 big-league appearances with the Washington Senators.

SABR introduced the finalists for the 2022 Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors girls in baseball. Biographical clips of Penny Marshall, Justine Siegel, Janet Marie Smith, Toni Stone, and Suzyn Waldman may be discovered right here.

On a associated be aware, registration is now open for the fourth annual SABR/IWBC Ladies in Baseball Convention, which will likely be held just about on September 16-18, 2022. Extra info may be discovered right here.

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The reply to the quiz is Carl Crawford, with 1,480. Evan Longoria is second, with 1,471.

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Ji-Man Choi has by no means performed professionally in his homeland. Signed out of South Korea by the Seattle Mariners shortly after his 18th birthday, the 31-year-old first baseman has performed virtually completely in america, the lone exceptions being temporary stints within the Australian Baseball League and the Venezuelan Winter League. I just lately requested Choi if he needs he would have stayed in Korea for a number of extra years earlier than coming stateside.

“Half and half,” responded Choi, who has spent the previous 5 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. “Typically I believe to myself, ‘What if I did play on the professional stage, within the KBO? In Korea, earlier than you change into a free agent it’s important to wait seven to eight years, so I might have been older. For that purpose, I’m wondering if perhaps I wouldn’t have ever made it to the Main Leagues.”

Returning dwelling to play, one thing Choi hopes to do someday, requires a ready interval of its personal.

“As a Korean, I clearly wish to play in Korea, in entrance of the followers,” mentioned Choi. “That’s my final dream, to finish my profession there. The one factor is, whenever you signal with a Main League staff as an newbie, you may’t return to Korea and play immediately. You need to wait two years [from the time you’re released or choose not to sign another contract].”

Requested about countryman Shin-Soo Choo, who returned dwelling to play for SSG Landers lower than a 12 months after leaving the Texas Rangers, Choi known as that, “a special case,” including that “an exception was made at the moment.”

Choo’s present staff is the one Choi would most wish to play for, SSG Landers being primarily based in Incheon, the place he grew up. That’s not so easy, both. As Choi defined, not solely would he have to attend two years, he would go right into a draft the place he may very well be chosen by any staff.

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FOREIGN AFFAIRS

SSG Landers has the perfect report within the KBO, at 77-39-3. The worst report belongs to the Hanwha Eagles, who’re 36-79-2.

Hyeong Jun So is 12.3 with a 2.94 ERA and 103 strikeouts in 143-and-two-thirds innings for the KBO’s KT Wiz. The 20-year-old right-hander has allowed 126 hits.

The Yakult Swallows have NPB’s finest report, at 70-48-2. The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters have NPB’s worst report, at 47-71-3.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is 21-5 with a 1.82 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 163 innings for NPB’s Orix Buffaloes. The 24-year-old right-hander went 18-5 with a 1.39 ERA with 206 strikeouts in 193-and-two-thirds innings a 12 months in the past.

Hotaka Yamakawa has been NPB’s finest energy hitter not named Munetaka Murakami. The 30-year-old Seibu Lions first baseman has 37 dwelling runs to go along with a .275/.389/.611 slash line. Yamakawa hit a career-hight 47 lengthy balls in 2018.

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I ran a Twitter ballot earlier this week, the choices being Munetaka Murakami and Roki Sasaki. The query was as follows:

You’re a MLB GM and these younger NPB stars change into out there. You possibly can solely have one. Which do you are taking?

The outcomes had been shut. The 20-year-old Sasaki garnered 53.2% of the vote, whereas the 22-year-old Murakami polled at 46.8%.

Readers of this column are definitely conversant in each gamers — even those that don’t pay a lot heed to NPB — as I’ve cited their numbers and accomplishments quite a few instances. Right here is an up to date snapshot:

Murakami is slashing .341/.477/.756 with 50 dwelling runs; he leads the league in all 4 classes.

Sasaki has a 2.05 ERA to go along with 162 strikeouts and 74 hits allowed in 118-and-a-third innings.

Would the ballot outcomes look a lot completely different if it had been precise MLB GMs voting? Primarily based on a handful of conversations I’ve had with entrance workplace members from a number of groups, it’s exhausting to say. Each gamers are extremely fascinating, and with good purpose.

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FARM NOTES

Yanquiel Fernandez is slashing .289/.347/.514 with 20 dwelling runs and 108 RBIs with the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies. A local of Havana, Cuba, the 19-year-old outfielder is No. 9 in our up to date Colorado Rockies prospect ratings.

Jose Rodriguez is slashing .280/.340/.430 with 11 dwelling runs and 40 stolen bases for the Double-A Birmingham Barons. A local of Valverde, Dominican Republic, the 21-year-old center infielder is No. 4 in our up to date Chicago White Sox prospect rankings.

Edinson Batista is 9-3 with a 2.63 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 102-and-two-thirds innings between Low-A Fayetteville and Excessive-A Asheville. A local of Santiago, Dominican Republic, the 20-year-old right-hander is No. 25 in our up to date Houston Astros prospect rankings.

Marco Raya is 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 61 innings for the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. A fourth-round decide in 2020 out of United South Excessive Faculty in Laredo, Texas, the 20-year-old right-hander is No. 12 in our up to date Minnesota Twins prospect rankings.

Davis Sharpe is 8-3 with a 1.86 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 67-and-two-thirds innings between Low-A Lynchburg and Excessive-A Lake County. A Thirteenth-round decide final 12 months out of Clemson College, the 22-year-old right-hander is No. 27 in our up to date Cleveland Guardians prospect rankings.

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Is there may be such a factor as a clutch hitter? In keeping with Toronto Blue Jays supervisor John Schneider, the reply to that query is sure.

“I believe it’s a particular actual factor,” Schneider mentioned previous to a current recreation at Fenway Park. “Once you’ve obtained 40,000 screaming at you and your coronary heart fee will get going, sure guys are actually good at staying within the second and embracing it. And also you see folks do the alternative. So it’s positively an actual factor.”

A participant’s lack of ability to remain within the second can clearly be detrimental to his staff’s success. With that in thoughts, would Schneider attempt to keep away from placing sure gamers in conditions the place they could let the sport velocity up on them?

“I believe everybody at this stage goes to be fairly well-versed in it,” replied Schneider. “Under no circumstances are you attempting to draw back from somebody who’s as proficient as they’re at this stage, simply because the strain goes to be too excessive. I believe strain is one thing that you must get pleasure from. It’s one thing that you simply’ve earned. For those who’re enjoying, you’re going to be in strain spots. You belief guys to make the required changes.”

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Left on the cutting-room ground from Wednesday’s nerdy interview with Mike McCarthy is what the El Paso Chihuahuas pitching coach mentioned concerning the worth of a pitch holding its line for so long as potential.

“The power to create tunneling relies on, the more durable you throw a pitch, the longer it’ll maintain aircraft, and the later it’s going to interrupt.” mentioned McCarthy, who’s in his first 12 months with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate. “That skill to create deception later in ball flight means the hitter has much less time to react. That’s normally favorable to a pitcher.”

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LINKS YOU’LL LIKE

Fernando Cruz made his big-league debut with the Cincinnati Reds on Friday at age 32, in his twelfth skilled season. Bobby Nightengale has the story at The Cincinnati Enquirer.

A Texas choose has declared a mistrial within the little one intercourse abuse case in opposition to former MLB pitcher John Wetteland. Kaley Johnson and Emerson Clarridge have the small print at The Fort Value Star-Telegram.

Is Kansas Metropolis’s Brady Singer an ace or a wild card? Sam Lutz regarded into that query at Pitcher Checklist.

Pinstripe Alley’s Esteban Rivera wrote about how Yankees rookie right-hander Greg Weissert has a strong seam-shifted wake profile.

MLB is overdue for a feminine umpire, and one could also be on the best way. Chelsea Janes has the story at The Washington Publish.

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RANDOM FACTS AND STATS

Miguel Cabrera batted .316 with a 112 wRC+ within the months of Might and June, and .177 with a 40 wRC+ in July and August. Albert Pujols batted .174 with a 66 wRC+ in Might and June, and .342 with a 202 wRC+ in July and August.

Yu Darvish has 3,040 skilled strikeouts, 1,790 within the U.S. and 1,250 in Japan. Hideo Nomo had 3,222 skilled strikeouts between the 2 nations, 2,018 within the U.S. and 1,204 in Japan. Masahiro Tanaka has 2,483 between the 2. Daisuke Matsuzaka had 2,395.

Darvish’s win on Friday evening was the 1,000th in MLB historical past by a Japanese-born pitcher of Japanese ancestry. Counting pitchers born in Japan however not of Japanese ancestry — Stephen Randolph is amongst them — there have been 1,016 wins.

Cal Quantrill is 12-0 with a 2.81 ERA at Cleveland’s Progressive Area.
Paul Quantrill went 2-5 with a 6.75 ERA pitching in Cleveland.

Brooks Robinson had precisely the identical variety of walks and strikeouts in three completely different full seasons. He had one other full season with another strikeout than stroll, in addition to a season with two extra strikeouts than walks.

The St. Louis Maroons gained the Union Affiliation title in 1884 with a report of 94-19-1. Fred Dunlap led the league in batting common (.412) and residential runs (13). Buttercup Dickerson batted .365. Orator Shafer batted .360.

On immediately’s date in 1988, the Toronto Blue Jays scored 5 within the eighth and 4 within the ninth to beat the Texas Rangers 9-7. George Bell hit a walk-off grand slam.

The Cincinnati Reds homered 9 instances on immediately’s date in 1999 on their technique to a 22-4 pummeling of the Philadelphia Phillies. Eddie Taubensee went deep twice.

Gamers born on immediately’s date was Paul Jata, a primary baseman/outfielder who performed in 32 video games for the Detroit Tigers in 1972. The Astoria, New York native recorded three of his 17 profession hits in opposition to All-Star southpaw Ken Holtzman.

Additionally born on immediately’s date was Kelly Heath, an infielder whose big-league profession comprised one recreation and one plate look — a line-out to middle in opposition to Detroit’s Milt Wilcox — for the Kansas Metropolis Royals in 1982. Wilcox hurled a one-hitter that day.

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