It’s the MLB Game Day Recap Day 24, which means it’s time to talk about baseball history. The sport of baseball is unique in many of its qualities when compared to its other American counterparts. There is no clock. The defensive team controls the ball. Success 4 out of 10 times puts a player among the all-time greats. There are countless other examples, but let’s focus on baseball history. History goes back to 1882, yet players still are doing things for the first time every day. Today in baseball history, Fernando Tatis Jr. became the first player to have back-to-back two-homer games off Cy Young winners. Yesterday in baseball history the Tatis family became the first to have multi-homer games on the same day in the same stadium, only 22 years apart. Baseball is the only sport that does this. Not basketball. Not football. Just baseball. I love baseball.
He’s featured in the intro, but we must continue to discuss Fernando Tatis Jr. Four homers across two nights will do that, especially when those four homers are equal to or more than all but three shortstops totals on the season. Certainly, there are many reasons why Tatis Jr. was the consensus #1 overall fantasy pick, and outbursts like are chief among them. Injured should or not, Fernando is among the best fantasy shortstops in the game. Anyone who managed to buy low must have a wry grin across their face. Highly unlikely many pulled off the trade, but if you did, congrats.
Griffin Canning was a highly hyped prospect entering the season. Just like the majority of his teammates, many experts felt was being undervalued in drafts. Entering his age 25 and pitching in a thin rotation, Canning was a clear breakout candidate. The only problem? He needs to break out of fantasy jail. Canning was quietly demoted to the bullpen on April 20th and saw one game in relief. The results were a 7.71 ERA over 2.1 innings [but a win]. Tonight, Canning was far worse attaining a 23.14 ERA, 3.43 WHIP, and 3 K’s over 2.1 innings. It was an utterly awful showing from Griffin who likely will find himself in a full-time bullpen role after this one. The Astros are good, but when you’re pitching for your rotational life, you can’t put up these kinds of numbers.
Rhys Hoskins has homered three times over his past two games. That’s a clear hot streak almost on Tatis Jr.’s level as Rhys’ trip to Denver has already been extremely successful. First basemen have universally underperformed on the season making Rhys’ hot streak even more valuable. Surprisingly consistent as an on-base guy, sustained power is the missing link in Hoskins game. The power is clearly within his skill set, and if Hoskins is able to consistently show it across the full season he will become an elite 1B option. He’s someone to pay attention to, and someone to try and buy if you’re a 1B needy manager.
Christian Vazquez went 1 for 4 today. Normally a player needs to go 0 for something in order to break into this category. Christian Vazquez’s last 10 games are not that normal. This was only the second game out of the past 10 where the hefty backstop has gotten a hit. Three runs with no RBIs or steals along this stretch leaves Vazquez as a clear negative across all leagues. A popular breakout candidate this offseason, Vazquez appears to just be the same old Christian. Very inconsistent, but still rosterable as his hot streaks always hold value. He’s a hold in all leagues, but if you can roster a second backstop while you wait for the funk to end, start him over Vazquez until you see any signs of improvement,
The Emilio Bonifacio Award
Once again Ty France finds himself as a Bonifacio Award winner. Tonight he went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and two doubles in Seattle’s 8-2 win in Boston. Another popular breakout candidate this offseason, France actually has met the hype. Entering tonight he’s slashing .296/.393/.493 with five doubles and three homers. Anyone looking to acquire 2B that hits for average, gets on base, and won’t hurt you in any categories should be looking to acquire France. Players like this only hold their low trade value for so long until they are seen as top assets. When we’re talking about 2Bs, it doesn’t take much to become a top asset.
The James Shields Award
Matthew Boyd, Kevin Gausman, Aaron Nola, Shane Bieber, Gerrit Cole, Brady Singer, Chris Flexen, and Kent Emmanuel all managed to pick up a Shields today. Kent Emmanuel, unlike the rest of these arms, did not start his game. He managed to go 8.2 innings in relief after Jake Odorizzi left early due to injury. If we want to talk about baseball history, this is only the second time in Astros history a reliever has pitched 8.2 innings. Emmanuel picked up the win, and should Odorizzi miss significant time, he may find himself owning his first Shields as a starting pitcher. It’d be overkill to talk about all these other stars, as we’ve been there and done that already this month. Singer and Flexen are the only other first-time winners, and to keep it short, get both on your roster now. They will appear here again, and again.
The Brad Lidge Award
Jordan Romano picked up the loss in his first outing off the injured list. Two walks and one out is all he allowed, as Ryan Boruki allowed Romano’s runs to score. While this certainly is not the worst outing of the year, it absolutely is not a good sign to see Romano fail to succeed. With Julian Merryweather out, the closer job once again is Romano’s for the taking. He just can’t seem to have anything go his way. Rafael Dolis is back end option that can close games, and if Romano pitches like he did tonight, he will. Perhaps this was just a blip on the radar as Romano gets back on track. I’m just not buying it. Unless you’re desperate for saves, look elsewhere.
The MLB Game Day Recap is all about baseball. Baseball history is gorgeous. The statistics associated with this great game are what separates record-breaking here from other sports. The only way to acquire this type of history is to have time elapse. The NFL and NBA just have not existed long enough to have this type of lore. Statistics are what connect us to previous, never-seen eras. Film barely captures any of Babe Ruth’s career, but the statistics tell the story. The baseball history is there. It’s just a portion, but an extremely vital part, of what makes baseball baseball.