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Mark Appel Finally Gets His Turn in the Bigs
The crazy story of Mark Appel reached one of its signature moments last night, as Appel finally made his debut in The Show, tossing a scoreless inning for the Phillies.
Mark Appel was the No. 1 overall pick in 2013.
In 2018, he stepped away from the game.
In 2021, he started his comeback.
Tonight, he made his big league debut and threw a scoreless inning. pic.twitter.com/adSjTjxinP
— MLB (@MLB) June 30, 2022
Appel’s story began like many highly-regarded collegiate baseball players: Appel was drafted out of high school by the Detroit Tigers in 2009. He was drafted with the 450th overall pick (15th round) but elected to go to Stanford and earn one of those prestigious Cardinal degrees. At Stanford, Appel worked his way up into the starting rotation, eventually earning a First-Team All-American award before the 2012 season and the National Pitcher of the Year Award in the same year. Going to college paid off, as Appel was projected as the top overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft.
However, Appel asked for a “high” signing bonus of $6 million, which the Astros (who were picking first overall) balked at. Appel fell to 8th, where he was selected by the Pirates. The Astros instead took Carlos Correa and Appel declined the $3.8 million signing bonus offer from Pittsburgh and went back to college for his senior season. Appel graduated from Stanford with his degree and got his desired signing bonus from the Astros in 2013. You can also read an extensive analysis of the 2013 MLB Draft by yours truly right here.
Appel wasn’t “lights out” upon joining the Astros’ minor league system, but he eventually worked his way up to Triple-A Fresno for the 2015 season. But, during the 2015-16 offseason, the Astros decided to ship out Appel, Vince Velasquez, and others to the Phillies for Ken Giles and Jonathan “The Ooze” Araúz. Unfortunately, Appel just couldn’t crack the major-league roster, even on awful 2016 and 2017 Phillies teams, and decided to step away from baseball in November of 2017.
In March 2021, Appel started his comeback tour. He was assigned to the Reading Fightin’ Phils for the 2021 season and was promoted to Lehigh Valley shortly thereafter. Appel shared much of his acquired wisdom in this incredible thread from September 2021:
In 2013, I was the #1 overall pick in the MLB Draft.
5 years later, I was called “the biggest bust in MLB history.”
Today, I’m working my way back, and I’m here to share both the hard-earned lessons I’ve learned along the way🧵👇
— Mark Appel (@markappel26) September 17, 2021
On June 24 of this year, after Connor Brogdon went on the COVID IL, Appel finally had his number called. And last night, Appel became a major leaguer. Who else is cutting onions right now?
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 30, 2022
Okay, one more:
Mark Appel, 97mph ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/rmDXNysKSc
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 30, 2022
The Marlins Continue to Suffer Internal Turmoil
The Miami Marlins are starting to (if they haven’t already) put the league on notice regarding their pitching development. Miami has put together quite the young pitching staff and has some more young talent waiting in the wings in Eury Pérez and Max Meyer, among others. And yet, the Marlins seem unhappy with the executive leadership overseeing player development:
Denbo has been with Miami since 2017 and has close ties to Derek Jeter who stepped down as the team's CEO earlier this year. pic.twitter.com/LkyVWMY9QH
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) June 29, 2022
Or, like Derek Jeter, Mr. Denbo might simply have been voicing his displeasure with Marlins ownership and their tightfisted ways. Jeter stepped down as CEO of the team recently, citing differences in “the vision for the future of the franchise.” Jeter was reportedly upset the team wouldn’t sign Nick Castellanos, a Miami native, during free agency, but his issues with ownership likely went far deeper than any one player. Some players spoke up on Jeter’s behalf after the resignation:
— GarvSauce (@MitchGarver) February 28, 2022
My sources, common sense and reading in between the lines, tell me that one of our games greatest champions,Derek Jeter, is stepping away from a team with one of the best young pitching staffs in the game because ownership isn’t committed to winning and spending pic.twitter.com/93my6XrLZC
— Justin Turner (@redturn2) February 28, 2022
Remember, the Marlins’ ownership group promised to “spend” on the team. It doesn’t feel totally impossible that Denbo might have said something about a shrinking or inadequate budget for scouting and player development to the wrong person, which ended up getting him fired. Of course, I could be reading far too deeply into this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Denbo was just asking for a little more than billionaire Bruce Sherman was willing to give.
Ultimately, I just hope Kim Ng and the remaining staff in Miami turn the ship around. Firstly, because I’m rooting for Ng, but secondly because Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Sandy Alcantara and the rest of those guys deserve a winner.
Dudes Taking Offense To Getting Hit!
Blue Jays and Red Sox get chippy with each other after Nick Pivetta hits Alejandro Kirk 😳
— The Athletic MLB (@TheAthleticMLB) June 30, 2022
Boy, it’s a good thing Kirk didn’t make a rude gesture to the fans, right? That would be pretty weird to do; definitely can’t think of any other players that enjoy trolling the fans like that…
Freddie Freeman’s Free Agency Hijinks Continue
What in the h*ck is going on with Freddie Freeman’s management?
The latest on Freddie Freeman pic.twitter.com/8IiS88qSFT
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 29, 2022
If you’re just joining us, the tweet that “started it all” is listed above. Doug Gottlieb, a “radio host for Fox Sports,” reported that Freddie Freeman’s agent never told Freddie about Atlanta’s final contract offer. Buster Olney reported that Freeman was “frustrated” with how his free agency concluded, which was apparently the impetus for firing his agent.
Casey Close, Freeman’s former agent, vehemently denied Gottlieb’s statement:
Statement on behalf of Casey Close:
Doug Gottlieb tweeted a wholly inaccurate characterization of our negotiations with the Atlanta Braves on behalf of Freddie Freeman. We are immediately evaluating all legal options to address the reckless publication of inaccurate information.
— excel sports (@excelsm) June 30, 2022
It seems a little fishy — to me — that Doug Gottlieb (who?) would have inside information about Freddie Freeman’s free agency. Gottlieb is first and foremost a basketball commentator — that’s not to say that he can’t be a baseball and basketball guy, but it means his sources aren’t going to be as reliable as, say, Jeff Passan’s. Additionally, it seems highly unlikely that Casey Close, one of the top agents in one of the sports industry’s most reputable agencies, is not going to tell a longtime Atlanta player (who appeared to want to stay in Atlanta) about a new offer from Alex Anthopolous.
I think it’s fair to say that this news doesn’t seem likely to be true. Feel free to call me up when I’m wrong!
Best Moments from Wednesday
Fire Us Up, Josh Naylor
Be right back, I’m gonna run through a brick wall after watching this Josh Naylor celebration:
Josh Naylor was HYPED after his walk-off homer 😳 pic.twitter.com/KqHRY8liGm
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 30, 2022
Is Tito Francona okay after feeling Naylor’s head smack right into him? Is Josh Naylor’s head okay after hitting that helmet at full speed?
Here’s a different view:
Tito wore a helmet to greet Josh Naylor after the walk-off. He got headbutted and then immediately switched back to his normal hat. Amazing. pic.twitter.com/bZQD55eHjm
— Ben Porter (@Ben13Porter) June 30, 2022
This isn’t Naylor’s first celebration rodeo, by the way:
JOSH NAYLOR GRAND SLAM 🙌
Guardians score 6 runs in the ninth to tie the game.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 10, 2022
I’m hiring him to be my hype man. There’s no one better for the job.
Daily Shohei Ohtani Content
Put away your Tungsten O’Doyle tweets and just watch this:
Shohei taking signs from PitchCom is must see tv. 😀 pic.twitter.com/B0sYPHYzF5
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 30, 2022
Unrelated but still cool: Golden Hour photos of the Angels’ City Connect uniforms —
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) June 30, 2022
If you’re Matt Carpenter, and you’ve seen just about everything baseball has to offer — a World Series ring, All-Star Games, etc. — sometimes you just get bored and need to toss some gum. The Yankees, as a team, are apparently getting too bored with winning and have decided to play the “bubblegum game” en masse.
Today, Carpenter played a great round of the “bubblegum game,” tossing a little piece of what looks like Double Bubble into a drain cover/sprinkler head in foul territory by the dugout:
the game within the game
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 29, 2022
Carp, looking good as always with the mustache, absolutely nailed that last toss. Michael Kay knew it, too. #GameRecognizeGame
Sandy’s Got That DAWG In Him
Every pitcher hates handing the ball off to the skipper. “Just one more out!” they cry. Rarely do those managers listen.
However, Sandy Alcantara got Marlins skipper Don Mattingly to listen and let him keep dealing. Alcantara was on the mound, in the ninth, with the game on the line. The winning run was on first base with only 1 out. And he had already thrown 115 pitches.
Sandy Alcantara convinces Don Mattingly to let him keep going…
— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) June 30, 2022
Sandy did his thing, though:
on June 16, 2021, Sandy Alcántara came out for the 9th inning in St. Louis in a 0-0 game and ultimately allowed a walk-off single to Yadier Molina after the game-winning run had reached on an error
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) June 30, 2022
Alcantara’s superb effort makes him the only pitcher in MLB this season to have thrown multiple complete games. His ERA sits at a cool 1.95. Make him the All-Star Game starter or we riot!
Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Peña collided in the outfield during their game against the Mets. Both players were evaluated for concussions, according to a team spokesman. Jacob deGrom, who is still rehabbing from a stress reaction in his right scapula, threw 29 pitches in another live BP session. DeGrom is likely headed for Minor League rehab starts, where he will stretch out his arm and get prepared for the second half of the season. Max Scherzer is a little further along, throwing 4 2/3 innings for Double-A Binghamton. Scherzer reached 80 pitches in his outing, striking out eight and allowing 2 ER on 4 hits and a walk. Scherzer apparently feels ready to rejoin the Mets. Ronald Acuña Jr. will reportedly rejoin Atlanta for their Thursday game in Philadelphia, but it’s looking like he will not play on Thursday and will rest up for another day before entering the lineup. Jazz Chisholm Jr. went on the 10-day IL Wednesday with a right lower back strain after exiting Tuesday’s game with the injury.
Articles You Should Read
How the Cardinals’ Starting Pitchers Make it Work — Nate Schwartz, resident Cardinals superfan, PitcherList
Disgusting Slobs Bored By Oakland A’s — Tom Ley, Defector
The best Trade Deadline name for each position — Mark Feinsand, MLB.com
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)