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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – 9/14/23

Clinches, Injuries, and Dingers. September Baseball!

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

It’s Only September 13th

Ronald Acuña Jr. is at 37 HRs/66 SBs, and it’s only September 13th.

Matt Olson has an MLB-leading 51 HRs, and it’s only September 13th.

The Braves have clinched the NL East, and it’s only September 13th.

Yeah, it’s been one of those years for the Braves, who have pretty much run the division since the get-go. They have the best record in baseball by five wins, and this marks the sixth NL East win in a row.

I’m more or less a neutral observer of Atlanta, but I am happy to see Kirby Yates on the mound for this moment. I will forever be a fan of his for reasons I likely will never be able to elucidate. But there’s not a ton for me to really say here, so have some fun photos from the aftermath of their 4-1 win over the Phillies.

Please note the alt text for the above photo is: “A.J. Minter crushing a beer can and drinking said beer while wearing a cowboy hat.”

Beyond Shoulderdome

I should be less flippant about this, but Max Scherzer news means Mad Max puns, even if the news is very bad.

Specifically, he has a strain in his teres major, the same injury that originally sidelined Justin Verlander at the beginning of the year.

It’s another brutal blow to the Texas Rangers, who recently also lost Adolis García to a patellar tendon injury, and are only half a game up Seattle for the second AL Wild Card spot. As it says in the tweet above, Rangers GM Chris Young does not sound like a man who thinks Scherzer would be available even if Texas does hold onto that WC slot. Their odds of winning the division have rebounded a bit lately, although they are still only at 13.3% compared to Seattle’s 20.9% and Houston’s 65.8%.

Kjerstanding In For Mountcastle?

Ok listen, the Scherzer headline was kind of mean but this one was the result of entirely too much brainstorming for this quality of punnery, especially for another bit of bad news. Ryan Mountcastle left Wednesday’s game with a shoulder injury, and that’s one that involves a “pop” which is never good news. The injury is being described as merely “discomfort,” but when asked about it following the game he said he’s “Just praying for the best” which doesn’t fill an observer with hope. On top of that, when Mountcastle left the game, top prospect Heston Kjerstad was pulled from the game in Triple-A, so it doesn’t look like this will be a simple DTD situation.

Kjerstad’s path to the big leagues has been pretty circuitous, after going second overall in the 2020 draft, he was sidelined in 2021 with myocarditis and then lost most of 2022 to injury. But since getting a chance to play in 2023, he’s raked, hitting .299/.370/.500 in Triple-A on a Norfolk team that could probably give several MLB teams a run for their money.

He’ll have big shoes to fill in the O’s lineup, as Mountcastle has hit .269/.325/.453 this year with 18 HRs. More specifically, he’s hit .324/.403/.494 in the second half and the O’s will definitely miss his bat even if Kjerstad hits the ground running.

LIDOM Comes To Queens

Finally, something to do in the offseason!

I’m not sure about the logistics here given the temperature in NYC in mid-November probably won’t be particularly conducive to baseball (especially compared to the average temp in the DR, which is still in the mid- to high-70s) but hey listen I’m fully on board for bonus baseball post-First Pitch Arizona and the Arizona Fall League.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Three Oh Soto

Yeah sure it’s Juan Soto hitting his 30th home run of the year but I’m mostly posting this because it’s got to be the absolute worst place Ryan Pepiot could have put that ball, and his reaction just confirms it.

TuCker

In other milestone home run news, we go to Houston, where Kyle Tucker reached the career century mark:

He wasn’t the only Astro to have a noteworthy home run in their 6-2 defeat of Oakland, though, as Yordan Alvarez continued to show why he’s among the top hitters in the sport:

 

It’s A Throwing Motion

I don’t think this is what they mean by that, though:

Moustache Mania

It hasn’t exactly been a sterling stretch for the Blue Jays, who are currently a full game behind the Mariners for the third AL Wild Card spot, but a burning magnesium bright spot for the team has been rookie Davis Schneider, who simply will not stop hitting:

MLB.com writer Mike Petriello dug into the numbers a bit to provide some context and benchmarks for Schneider’s scorching start, along with how anomalous it is given his batted ball info:

This is, apparently, the entirety of the plan. Don’t swing at anything you can’t drive into the air, and when you do swing, make sure it’s in the air, and when it’s in the air, make sure it’s hit just hard enough to make it dangerous.

 

New England Double-Double

The Yankees swept both ends of the rainout doubleheader on Tuesday, and there was only more bad weather on tap for Wednesday:

The delay turned into yet another banged game, and another doubleheader today, with the side effect of cancelling the New York/Boston media game (which is by far the biggest draw to having a BBWAA card for me, if I’m being totally honest). Thankfully it wasn’t a total loss, as the Boston video board operators took the opportunity to get in some late-night grid action:

If they don’t pick Rob Refsnyder for the Yankees/Red Sox square I will be very mad. (Still only 1% guessed as of the writing of this article, but 100% loved in the Dratel household!)

 

Injuries

 

Sandy Alcantara had an MRI that confirmed a UCL sprain. The Marlins are still not saying he’s done for the year, but that’s about the worst news you could get after the initial injury news.

Kenley Jansen was placed on the COVID IL, he’ll be out a minimum of seven days.

Dylan Carlson underwent season-ending ankle surgery, and Nolan Gorman has a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

Mark Canha got an MRI on his wrist, there’s no structural damage and he should hopefully be back Friday.

Jose Miranda will be having season-ending shoulder surgery today.

Byron Buxton got a cortisone shot in his knee over the weekend, the Twins are hopeful he can play this year.

Tejay Antone left last night’s game with right elbow discomfort.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

Breaking Down MacKenzie Gore’s Path To Success – Jack Foley

His Father Murdered His Mother. Now, an Angels Prospect Is Finding the Light – Sam Blum, The Athletic (sub req’d)

Luis Arraez Doesn’t Even Slump Normally – Ben Clemens, FanGraphs

On Trea Turner and Creating Each Other – Timothy Jackson, Baseball Prospectus (sub req’d)

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks (Closers) (Holds)

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers.

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