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Jansen (S, 400)
Kenley Jansen closed the door in the Red Sox’ 5-2 win over Atlanta last night, hitting his milestone 400th career save.
A fitting end to close out save No. 400 for Kenley Jansen.
(MLB x @budweiserusa) pic.twitter.com/3CNcpqOuFO
— MLB (@MLB) May 11, 2023
And he was no slouch on the cutters he threw to take care of business:
Kenley Jansen just went 98.4, 98.5, 98.7 to nail down his 400th career save.
98.7 mph is the 9th fastest pitch of his career! He hasn't thrown that hard since 2014!
— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) May 11, 2023
It may be easy to overstate the seeming precarity of Jansen’s time as an elite closer, given some of the drama surrounding his departure from LA and four straight years of declining velo. But then he got 41 saves for Atlanta last year before the Red Sox signed him to a two-year deal this winter. Since then Jansen has pretty much reinvented himself on the fly in the early going of 2023 and he’s done it by simply becoming The Old Kenley. Mike Petriello really digs into the mechanical changes and the different pitch outcomes over at MLB.com.
And lest you forget the kind of career trajectory Kenley’s been on, maybe this short list of his contemporaries will help put things into perspective:
The newest addition to the 400-save club, Kenley Jansen. 👏 pic.twitter.com/RhhbjnjhHt
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 11, 2023
Kenley could potentially find himself in the third spot on that list by the time his contract is up in 2025. Not bad for a converted catcher!
At 40, it’s 30 for 35 to become 21
I’m winning the competition for Most Cryptic Subheader, don’t you dare tell me I’m not.
Going into yesterday’s slate, the only team Justin Verlander hadn’t gotten a pitching win against was the Cincinnati Reds. Well, he went out there and put up a pretty sparkling 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K line while the Mets bats did enough to beat the Reds 2-1. And Justin wept, for there were no more teams to beat. Until the expansion hits. When one would have to assume Verlander will still be pitching, since age is not even just a number to him, apparently.
Justin Verlander said he got to give David Robertson a hard time during their Pitcher of the Game locker room presentation because he failed to note he now got a win vs. all 30 teams 😂 pic.twitter.com/itpQYR3ePw
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 11, 2023
The most recent pitcher to join the All-Winners Staff before Verlander was Gerrit Cole, in 2021, beating Houston as a Yankee. The other 19? Well, you can take a look at the full list here.
Comin’ In Hot
The Padres getting deep into the playoffs last year meant they got Fernando Tatis Jr. back 12 games earlier this year from his PED suspension, and he’s wasted no time getting back into the groove. In 17 games, he’s hit four home runs, scored 10 runs, and knocked in 11 RBI, authoring a .266/.293/.468 line. He’s moved full-time to the outfield with the signing of Xander Bogaerts, and well, he hasn’t fallen off there either:
Still thinking about El Niño with the fastest outfield assist of the season 🔥 @tatis_jr | #BringTheGold pic.twitter.com/7DAuLTt8CU
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 11, 2023
Tatito had a 97 mph OF assist back in 2021, and he dialled it up yesterday, throwing Carlos Correa out at the plate thanks to a cool 100 mph missile that was right on target.
Goin’ Out Hot
But it wasn’t just balls coming back in from the OF that were really moving on Wednesday, as Ronald Acuña Jr. absolutely smoked one into the LF stands. And I do mean smoked.
470 feet 🤯@ronaldacunajr24 | #ForTheA pic.twitter.com/HpJO0FTAP3
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 11, 2023
And to give that some extra context, check out the graphic from Home Run Report, specifically the park-by-park simulation at the end where you can only see the slightest hint of a wall in Baltimore, because, of course.
⚾Ronald Acuña Jr.! HR (7)
5/10/23 @ ATL, ⬇️ 6th
vs RHP Brayan Bello
113.9 MPH / 27° / 470 ft to LF
Off a 94.4 MPH sinker
▶️It's a home run in 30/30 parks.◀️
See this play in Gameday: https://t.co/qCOFiwjZmV pic.twitter.com/SruyaZdpQ1
— Home Run Report (@homerunreport) May 11, 2023
Eury On Dirt
Folks, if you thought I was gonna get through a roundup without talking about a top pitching prospect, you haven’t been paying attention!
Today we got word that Marlins top prospect Eury Pérez is getting the call to start on Friday at home against the Reds. Big week for the Reds’ opposing pitchers, apparently.
But while we got to find out from beat reporters like the inimitable Craig Mish, Eury got a bit of a different call:
"Se te quiere" –@sandyalcantar22
the bigs awaits, Eury. #MakeItMiami pic.twitter.com/SkYdpSxKeD
— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) May 10, 2023
That video should also serve as a reminder that Eury is listed at 6′ 8″ and watching him pitch ought to be a pretty fun time.
Also have a uh, fun(?) fact about this year’s fish:
The Miami Marlins have set a Major League Baseball record with their 12th consecutive win in games decided by one run to start the season.
— Marlins Communications (@MarlinsComms) May 10, 2023
Best Moments From Yesterday At The Park
JugGallo At The Park
Joey Gallo is best known for his prodigious power, but he’s always been pretty adamant he’s most proud of his defense, and he showed a little bit of it off against the Padres on Wednesday afternoon:
Joey Gallo totally meant to do that. 😱
(MLB x @Woodbridge_Wine) pic.twitter.com/9GGv7uISZX
— MLB (@MLB) May 10, 2023
The focus is obviously the inadvertent toss from glove to bare hand, but he covers a lot of ground just to get there and make the catch to begin with. Also once again going on record as saying the Twins alternate uniforms look very nice this year.
Volpe Dongs At The Park
The Yankees had what they can only hope is a get-right series against the A’s, sweeping the three-game set and scoring at least seven runs in each game. The 11-3 finale was punctuated by an Anthony Volpe grand slam in the fifth inning:
Viva la Volpe 🙌 pic.twitter.com/50UnXBS35r
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) May 10, 2023
In case you forgot, Volpe only just got called up at the end of Spring Training this year, meaning it took him a hilariously short amount of time to hit his first career grand slam, compared to a certain other Yankees shortstop known for his offensive prowess:
Games before hitting Grand Slam #RepBX
Derek Jeter 1,430
Anthony Volpe 38
— Steve Angelovich (@angelsteve89) May 10, 2023
Now, this stat is more about how inexplicable it seems that Jeter took that long for one of his career 260 HRs to happen with the bases loaded, especially given the teams he played on. But an even more inexplicable stat has to belong to the man who finished the game on the mound for the Yankees, former top prospect Deivi García:
I'd bet good money that Deivi Garcia is the first player ever to:
-Record his first save in his first career relief appearance
-Which was also his first game pitching in front of home fans
-Despite having his MLB debut at home three years prior
— Max Mannis (@MaxMannis) May 10, 2023
Spray At The Park
Well, it seems less appealing than Bark At The Park night, but all of nature’s creatures deserve their time to shine, no?
THE SKUNK CLEARS THE FENCES
This smelly creature causes a delay in the @BowieBaysox/@HbgSenators game before slipping under the center-field wall. pic.twitter.com/wEsfr9FNxF
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) May 11, 2023
I can’t imagine being the grounds crew member who drew the short straw to go chase the little guy out there through the CF gate.
Nuts At The Park
And in other, less smelly nature news, another woodland creature decided to show up and delay a minor league game. And while skunks apparently play the outfield, today we learn that the infield is for the squirrels. Which makes sense, I suppose, they are pretty quick and twitchy.
There is a squirrel on the field. I repeat, there is a squirrel on the field! pic.twitter.com/fnMkokqUkD
— Reading Fightin Phils (@ReadingFightins) May 11, 2023
Spa Day At The Park
Did you know that most, if not all MLB parks will let you bring your own food in with you?
What is your spaghetti policy here? pic.twitter.com/vCCieBWsIw
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) May 11, 2023
That guy did.
Advice At The Park
And finally, if you need to ask somebody why you keep suffering through my insane puns and themed subheaders, now you’ve got somebody to reach out to:
Sign up here for life advice from Andrew Chafin. pic.twitter.com/6GqfttbXv7
— Cut4 (@Cut4) May 10, 2023
I’ve already e-mailed in a moustache-related query, and I’ll be sure to let you all know if I hear back from Andrew Chafin with any advice. I hope I do.
Max Fried and Kyle Wright are expected to each miss at least two months.
Tyler Glasnow was pulled from his rehab start after one inning with “generalized left-sided tightness, very mild in nature.”
José Alvarado had an MRI on his throwing elbow which showed no structural issues, just inflammation.
Antonio Senzatela came out of the game in the third inning with “tightness and soreness” in his forearm, near the elbow.
Articles You Should Read
Shift Banned? Try a Partial Ted Instead – Alex Eisert, FanGraphs
As A’s Pursue Las Vegas, John Fisher Puts A Price On His Memory – Evan Drellich, The Athletic ($)
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
Reliever Ranks (Closers) (Holds)
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)