MLB News & Moments You Should Know – Aug. 11

Tigers changing course by firing GM Avila.

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

Three MLB managers were fired before the All-Star break, a bit of an unusual number. Two of the three teams โ€” the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies โ€” are now in position to earn a wild-card berth. The Los Angeles Angels are too far out of position.

With the major events for front offices officially over (draft and trade deadline), ownership gets a bit antsy if their team has no shot at the playoffs, so the axe starts to fall on the leadership of baseball operations. The first one of those dominoes fell Wednesday and that story bats leadoff.

 

Today’s Headlines

 

Tigers Fire GM Avila

The Detroit Tigers are revamping their front office. Al Avila, the team’s executive vice president and general manager, has been fired, the team announced. Avila has been in the role since Aug. 4, 2015, when he replaced Dave Dombrowski, and has overseen a rebuilding of the roster. Avila had been assistant GM since 2002 before that promotion. The Tigers entered Wednesday’s play at 43-68, in last place in the American League Central and 15 games behind division co-leaders Cleveland and Minnesota. Hall of Fame candidate Miguel Cabrera, bothered by knee issues this season, said Friday he plans on returning for 2023, when he is scheduled to make $32 million. This past offseason, shortstop Javier Bรกez was signed a six-year, $140 million contract, while left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who left the club in June, inked a five-year, $77 million deal. They are the only players under contract making more than $7.5 million.

Dodgers’ Win Streak Reaches 10

Is there any slowing down of the Los Angeles Dodgers? Not the way they are currently going. The Dodgers beat the Minnesota Twins 8-5 for their 10th straight victory. They became the sixth team this season to have a 10-game winning streak. They are 77-33 and have a 16-game lead, the largest in MLB, in the National League West.

Cardinals Prospect Hits Home Run Cycle

There have been 18 players who have hit four home runs in an MLB game. But none did what Chandler Redmond did for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. The left-handed slugger not only belted four homers, he had a one of each variety: a solo shot, two-run crank, a three-run blast and a grand slam. Redmond, who now has 17 homers this season, finished 5-for-6 with 11 RBIs in a 21-4 victory over the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Redmond is the second player in organized ball known to have hit the home run cycle. Tyrone Horne of the Double-A Arkansas Travelers did it July 27, 1998.

Braves’ Grissom Has Dazzling Debut

Everyone said Vaughn Grissom was going to bring energy to the Atlanta Braves. If his MLB debut was any indication, the team’s No. 1 prospect will fit in nicely with the world champs. The 21-year-old became the youngest player in MLB history to have a homer and a stolen base in his first game. Oh, and he had a pretty good bat flip following his homer over the Green Monster in the Braves’ 8-4 win over the Boston Red Sox.

MLB Investigating Cellphone Incident

While it appears to be an honest mistake, MLB will investigate why Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Rodolfo Castro had a cellphone in his back pocket that popped out while sliding Tuesday. Castro said after the game that he was unaware he still had his cellphone on him and that it was in the same pocket as a sliding mitt. MLB prohibits unapproved electronic devices in the dugout or on the field during games.

Lowrie DFA’d By A’s

It won’t go down as a transaction will have noteworthy ramifications, but infielder Jed Lowrie was designated for assignment by the Oakland A’s as part of a series of moves. But Lowrie was one of those glue guys every team needs to be successful. The 38-year-old switch-hitter was slashing just .180/.245/.263 with three homers and 16 RBIs this season. It could likely mark the end of a playing career for Lowrie, who was a first-time All-Star in 2018 with the A’s and slashed .262/.333/.403 in seven seasons with the A’s covering three stints. Lowrie, who was a first-round draft choice out of Stanford in 2005, made his MLB debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2008 and also played for the Houston Astros and New York Mets.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

Ever Seen A 536-Foot Homer?

Art Charles has always been known for his power, but it was never quite enough to get him to the majors. Still, what he did Wednesday for Yucatan of the Mexican League was jaw-dropping. He crushed a homer 536 feet. While myths have Babe Ruth hitting one 600 feet and Mickey Mantle 734 feet, the longest recorded MLB homer is Giancarlo Stanton’s 504-footer in 2016 in Colorado.

Votto Goes Deep

No, it isn’t a home run by Cincinnati Reds star Joey Votto, just deep thoughts. On the eve of playing in the Field of Dreams game against the Chicago Cubs, Votto reflected on the impact the iconic movie had on his life. Read the entire thread.

Freeman’s Son Shows Off Arm

It was Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman’s bobblehead day and he had son Charlie threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The 6-year-old will need to work on his control if he is to pitch off of Dodger Stadium’s mound at some point.

 

Injuries and Other Moves

 

New York Yankees designated hitter Matt Carpenter got good news on his fractured left foot and won’t need surgery. He could return by the end of the regular season.

Seattle Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis, the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year, was optioned to Triple-A. Lewis recently returned from a two-month stay on the concussion IL and is slashing a mere .143/.226/.304 in 18 games.

Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley, who has already missed six weeks, is seeking a second opinion on his injured right shoulder.

 

Articles You Should Read

 

MLBPA warned agency about ownership of minor-league teams โ€” Evan Drellich, The Athletic

The unlikely rise of the Guardians’ Steven Kwon โ€” Travis Sawchik, TheScore.com

Some other fun places for MLB to consider playing โ€” Jay Cohen, The Associated Press

 

Fantasy Baseball Coverage

 

Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter @DrummerWrites.

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