Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.
Happy Fourth of July!
Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s MLB debut
The Twins drafted Encarnacion-Strand in the fourth round of the 2021 draft out of Oklahoma State and then shipped him to Cincinnati last summer in the Tyler Mahle trade. You might remember Encarnacion-Strand being a hot name this past spring with a team-leading 1.748 OPS; However, a back injury delayed his season and sent him to the IL.
In 67 games with the Louisville Bats, the 23-year-old righty slashed .331 /.405 / .637. He played 41 games at first base and 16 games at third, so this might shift Spencer Steer to the outfield.
Quinn Priester’s MLB debut
Drafted by the Pirates 18th overall out of Cary-Grove High School in 2019, Priester posted a 2.87 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 24% K rate through 15 starts with Double-A Altoona. The Pirates then sent him to Indianapolis, where they let him make all of two starts before deciding to give him the call.
— Justice delos Santos (@justdelossantos) July 18, 2023
Another MLB debut in the NL Central: Endy Rodríguez
Last night was even more exciting for Pirates fans because they also watched the big league debut of catcher Endy Rodríguez. MLB Pipeline’s 35th-ranked prospect, Rodríguez, was acquired by the Pirates from the Mets two years ago in a three-team deal involving David Bednar and Joe Musgrove. He slashed .268/ .356 / .415 with a 14.9% K / 11.4% BB rate in 67 games at Indianapolis this season.
This debut is twice as nice!
The #Pirates‘ No. 4 prospect Quinn Priester and No. 3 Endy Rodríguez mark the first pitcher-catcher duo to debut in the same game for Pittsburgh since Cookie Cuccurullo and Hank Camelli on Oct. 3, 1946: https://t.co/xwblzyOhF6 pic.twitter.com/qammeYBNQX
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 17, 2023
Grayson Rodriguez returns to Baltimore.
The Orioles’ top pitching prospect allowed four earned runs on seven hits over five innings against the Dodgers. It wasn’t a dominant outing, but he certainly reminded everyone of his tantalizing upside. Was he fired up? Judging by his velocity early on, I’d say so.
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 17, 2023
Griffin Canning’s career night.
The 27-year-old California native was absolutely brilliant last night against the Yankees and struck out a career-high dozen. He also became the first pitcher all year to reach 120 pitches.
Griffin Canning’s 5th, 6th and 7th Ks…
Thru 3. pic.twitter.com/7i8Lr2kcHo
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 18, 2023
Nick Pivetta has a big night at Oakland.
He followed Brennan Bernardino in relief and crushed the A’s with six scoreless innings and 13 strikeouts — a Red Sox franchise record for strikeouts in a relief appearance.
13 STRIKEOUTS FOR NICK PIVETTA! pic.twitter.com/0ejIML9Vv8
— Red Sox (@RedSox) July 18, 2023
Best Moments from Yesterday
Shohei Ohtani hits #35
With the Angels trailing 3-1, Shohei Ohtani stepped to the plate in the seventh and crushed a 1-2 fastball from Michael King and sent it 403 feet to center. An emphatic bat toss ensued. The big home run set up a walk-off win for the Angels; They are 5.5 games back of the Astros for the third Wild Card.
— LasMayores (@LasMayores) July 18, 2023
Ohtani in the first 95 games of 2021:
34 HR, 74 RBI, 1.028 OPS in 325 AB
The Angels were 47-48.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) July 18, 2023
A walk-off win in Texas.
The Rangers won in walk-off fashion thanks to a wild pitch from
Slippery Pete Fairbanks; They now have a three-game lead in the loss column over the Astros for first place in the AL West.
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) July 18, 2023
Injuries and Transactions
The Cardinals are planning to activate Tyler O’Neill today; He had been out since early May with a back injury.
Josh Donaldson’s high-grade calf strain could cost him the rest of the season.
Rafael Devers missed last night’s game with tightness in his right calf and is considered day-to-day. Aren’t we all.
Articles You Should Read
From Bad to Gray: The Breakout of Josiah Gray – Jack Connors, Pitcher List
A Legends Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game? Four Greats are on board. How it could work – Jayson Stark, The Athletic.
What to Expect from Endy Rodríguez and Quinn Priester in the Majors – Sam Dykstra, MLB.com
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)