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MLB News & Moments You Should Know – August 21

Dustin May and Albert Pujols

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

 

Automated Balls and Strikes

During a Triple-A game between the Charlotte Knights and Syracuse Mets carried on MLB Network, fans got a chance to see three new Minor League experimental rules put into place: a pitch clock, larger bases, and an automated ball-strike system (ABS). There are no plans to use ABS in the Majors next season, but it’s an idea that has been gaining momentum. ABS basically entails home-plate umpires relaying balls and strikes based on Hawk-Eye determination which they’d receive via earpiece. That system has been implemented in Triple-A this year.

A slight variation of that could involve challenges, similar to tennis. The challenge system would allow umps to call their zone so it’s not entirely automated as is this case with ABS but the wrinkle is that each team would get three challenges, so there would be a new strategical element added to the game.

To be clear, there’s nothing imminent happening in MLB with ABS or the challenge system. Commissioner Rob Manfred relayed during the owners’ meetings in June that there are no plans to propose it before the league’s Joint Competition Committee for use in 2023, but it’s not too far off from being put on the table with 2024 being a possibility.


Albert Pujols 

He hit two long balls last night going 4-for-4 and is now at 692 home runs for his career. Full disclosure, I didn’t realize how very good his numbers were this season; he’s hitting .269 with a .858 OPS. Over the last ten days, he’s hit six out, five more than J.D. Martinez has hit since July 1st. At 42 years old, his 140 wRC+ is the highest he’s posted since 2011. And by the way, he also jumped in front of the legendary Stan Musial for the second-most total bases of all time; He’s at 6,143 and now only trails Hank Aaron at 6,856.


Dustin May is back!

The Dodgers may have lost Walker Buehler for the year, but they got May back. In his first big league game since May of last year, the righty struck out nine over five innings, just one shy of his career-high.

 

Best Moments From Yesterday

 

Aaron Boone Gets Mad

Gerrit Cole pitched and the Yankees lost. The key hit for the Jays came on a two-run double to left from Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth. The pinstripers are 9-20 in the second half and have now seen their lead in the AL East shrink to seven games. Up next: Alek Manoah, Max Scherzer, and Jacob deGrom.


Johnny Cueto

So who had Johnny Cueto being the White Sox’s second-best starter on their bingo card? Mr. Kitchen Sink did his thing last night and finished one-out shy of a complete game shutout. Similar to Pujols, he’s having a resurgent season out of nowhere. How about a 2.58 ERA and 1.16 WHIP across 17 starts? Not bad.

Gunnar Henderson Walks it Off

The ascension continues; He’s slashing a sublime .300/ .418/ .546 this year in 377 AB across two levels. Now the question is, do the O’s call him up? It might be happening soon. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic mentioned that he played at second base last night and that the O’s could opt to keep the 21-year-old down for a couple of more days to secure his rookie status for next season.

Injuries

 

Seranthony Domínguez felt soreness in his triceps while tossing; An MRI is forthcoming.

In the first game of his rehab stint with Double-A Somerset, Giancarlo Stanton went 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. The hope is that he’ll join the Yankees during their upcoming West Coast road trip.

Luis Severino threw a 25-pitch bullpen session. He’s not eligible to return until September 12th.

Clay Holmes tossed for the first time since being placed on the IL and said his back is feeling better.

Yasmani Grandal had to be helped off the field after trying to score from second on a single from Elvis Andrus. He’s been placed on the IL. Carlos Pérez is the call-up.

Braxton Garrett was scratched from his start against the Dodgers last night with an oblique strain. Sounds like he’s probably done for the year at least as a starter.

 

 

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Ryan Amore

Writer for PL, artist, DFS enthusiast, and occasional Yankee fan. Once won a GPP with Henderson Alvarez. A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club. Appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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