Craig Lefferts has a spot in San Diego Padres historical past, and a superb story that goes together with it. The 65-year-old veteran of 12 big-league seasons shared it with me previous to a current Arizona Fall League recreation.
“My rookie yr was 1983, with the Chicago Cubs,” mentioned Lefferts, who’s now a pitching coordinator within the Oakland Athletics group. “We had two left-handers within the bullpen, myself and Willie Hernandez, and the 2 of us would play catch every single day, attempting to work on a changeup. We had a right-hander in our pen by the title of Invoice Campbell who threw a screwball. He taught, or not less than tried to show, us find out how to throw a screwball. Mine was horrible and Willie’s wasn’t excellent both. [Pitching coach] Billy Connors informed me, ‘I don’t need you to ever use that in a recreation. I need you to pitch with the stuff that bought you right here. You’re a rookie, so don’t go on the market and try to throw a brand new pitch.’ So I didn’t, however I stored engaged on it. After the season, I went to winter ball and perfected it.
“The subsequent yr, Willie bought traded to the Tigers and I bought traded to the Padres,” continued Lefferts. “Each of us threw a screwball as our greatest pitch. He received the Cy Younger Award and I had arguably the most effective yr of my profession. I had 10 saves, however was largely establishing Wealthy Gossage. Then Willie and I met within the World Collection.”
That’s the place Lefferts’s place in Padres historical past resides. The southpaw entered Recreation 2 within the high of the seventh inning with the Padres clinging to a 5-3 lead over a powerhouse Detroit Tigers workforce that had began the season 35-5 on their solution to a 104-58 file. He proceeded to permit one baserunner over three scoreless frames.
That the Tigers went on to win the following three video games is a part of the story.
“I bought the save in the one win the Padres have had within the World Collection,” defined Lefferts. “San Diego has performed 9 World Collection video games and is 1-8. I threw three shutout innings that evening, with 5 strikeouts. Alan Trammell bought the one hit I allowed. It was on the largest stage, and doubtless my greatest thrill.”
RANDOM HITTER-PITCHER MATCHUPS
Adam Macko noticed a restricted quantity of motion this season. He threw simply 38-and-a-third innings, all with Excessive-A Everett, and previous to becoming a member of the Arizona Fall League’s Peoria Javelinas he hadn’t pitched in a recreation since late Might. Final weekend, I requested the No. 8 prospect within the Seattle Mariners group about his prolonged stint on the injured record.
“It was largely precautionary,” Macko informed me. “I used to be having some discomfort, so I had to return to [the team’s training facility in] Arizona for just a little bit and sort of get myself collectively. I really feel good now. I wouldn’t be out right here if I didn’t really feel 100%.”
Requested to elaborate, the 21-year-old Slovakia-born, Canada-raised southpaw mentioned that the discomfort wasn’t arm-related, however reasonably his “physique was simply actually drained, so it was sort of every thing.”
Per MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo, Macko had handled “an elbow pressure after which meniscus harm” in the course of the 2022 season.
Macko’s distinctive backstory was a major focus once I interviewed, and subsequently wrote about him, in Might of final yr. We’d additionally addressed his plus curveball, so I requested in our current dialog if he nonetheless considers it his finest pitch.
“I used to be truly fascinated about that myself, not too way back,” replied Macko. “It’s robust to say, as a result of I’ve modified my repertoire just a little bit. I’m at all times evolving. Whereas my curveball is technically my bread and butter, I’m unsure what my finest pitch is correct now.”
Macko at present throws the curveball, a fastball, a changeup, and a slider that he’s labored to make each more durable and tighter. Neither a gyro nor a sweeper, he desires the pitch to have cutter traits. Extra just lately, he’s been “enjoying round with the curveball just a little bit,” the first goal being extra variety in velocity. Relying on the rely, he desires to have the ability to throw his hook “as gradual as 68-70, and as agency as 80-81 [mph].”
The Vauxhall (Alberta) Baseball Academy product can be upping his psychological recreation.
“An enormous change has been getting from inner to exterior pondering,” defined Macko. “I’m being aware of each single pitch, reasonably than fascinated about my mechanics and at all times simply attempting to throw arduous. I’m changing into extra of a pitcher.”
The identical participant has each probably the most runs scored, and probably the most RBIs, in World Collection historical past. Who’s it?
The reply could be discovered beneath.
The Cincinnati Reds introduced this week that Bronson Arroyo has been elected to the workforce’s Corridor of Fame, making him the 82nd individual so honored. The proper-hander spent 9 of his 16 seasons with the Reds, going 108-100 with a 4.18 ERA.
Miami Marlins infielder Jon Berti has been inducted in to the Bowling Inexperienced State College Athletic Corridor of Fame. The Troy, Michigan native performed on the Mid-American Convention faculty from 2009-2011.
The Altoona Curve have promoted Michelle Gravert to the place of Assistant Common Supervisor. A graduate of St. Ambrose College, Gravert has been with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Double-A affiliate since 2016.
The reply to the quiz is Mickey Mantle, with 42 runs scored and 40 RBIs. The Commerce Comet additionally has probably the most house runs (18) and whole bases (123) in World Collection historical past.
Three tidbits from Tyler Kepner’s glorious The Grandest Stage: A Historical past of the World Collection:
4 gamers have homered in the one World Collection at-bat of their careers: Jim Mason of the 1976 Yankees, Geoff Blum of the 2005 White Sox, Bobby Kielty of the 2007 Crimson Sox, and Michael A.Taylor of the 2019 Nationals.
Kansas Metropolis Royals nearer Dan Quisenberry confronted 43 batters within the 1980 World Collection and struck out none of them.
Dusty Rhodes walked off Recreation 1 of the 1954 World Collection with a pinch-hit, three-homer that traveled simply over 270 ft into the right-field stands on the Polo Grounds. The New York Giants legend went 4 for six with two homers over the primary three video games, then didn’t play within the clincher of the four-game sweep of heavily-favored Cleveland. Per Kepner’s ebook, Rhodes later informed sportswriter Ira Berkow, “I used to be consuming to everybody’s well being a lot that I about ruined mine.”
Yoshinobu Yamamoto was honored with the Sawamura Award — NPB’s equal to the Cy Younger Award — for the second consecutive season. The 24-year-old Orix Buffaloes right-hander completed the yr 15-5 with a 1.68 ERA, and 205 strikeouts in 193 innings.
The Orix Buffaloes beat the Yakult Swallows 3-0 in Saturday’s Recreation 6 and want yet another win to seize the franchise’s first Japan Collection title since 1996. The Osaka-based membership leads the collection three video games to 2 (Recreation 2 resulted in a 12-inning tie).
Yasiel Puig homered because the Kiwoom Heroes beat the LG Twins 4-1 on Friday to advance to the Korean Collection. SSG Landers obtained a bye to the best-of-seven championship collection by posting the KBO’s finest common season file.
Citing contractual points, MLB introduced throughout World Collection Recreation 1 that they’re cancelling the 4 exhibition video games that had been to be performed in South Korea subsequent month. The video games had been to have featured MLB gamers versus KBO gamers.
Nate Pearson has appeared in 5 video games and thrown 5 hitless and scoreless innings for Tigres del Licey within the Dominican Winter League. The 26-year-old Toronto Blue Jays right-hander was restricted to 15-and-a-third minor-league innings this season because of harm points.
Justyn-Henry Malloy was a visitor on Friday’s episode of FanGraphs Audio, and one of many topics addressed by the 22-year-old Atlanta Braves outfield prospect was batting observe energy. Malloy is at present enjoying within the Arizona Fall League, and I needed to to know which of his Scottsdale Photo voltaic Sox teammates places on the most effective present. His reply got here with little hesitation.
“Heston, [Kjerstad]” replied Malloy. “Interval. Arms down, Heston. He places on an absolute show. I’ll be within the outfield, attempting to get my work in, however I can’t actually get a lot outfield work in when balls are going over the wall. On the identical time, he’s not attempting to hit house runs in BP. Now, I’m not in Heston’s head, nevertheless it’s like he might clip balls — he doesn’t get [them] nicely — and so they’re nonetheless homers. That’s only a sturdy human. Credit score to him and what he does. He’s particular.”
Kjerstad, whom the Baltimore Orioles drafted second general in 2020 out of the College of Arkansas, has 5 house runs and a 1.010 OPS in 81 Fall League at-bats. Malloy, Atlanta’s sixth spherical choose in 2021, started this yr in Excessive-A and superior to Triple-A earlier than becoming a member of the Photo voltaic Sox.
Connor Thomas has a 1.53 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 17-and-two-thirds innings for the Arizona Fall League’s Salt River Rafters. The 24-year-old left-hander within the St. Louis Cardinals system spent the common season with Triple-A Springfield.
Bailey Horn has thrown 10-and-two-thirds scoreless innings for the Mesa Photo voltaic Sox. The 24-year-old left-hander within the Chicago Cubs system made 28 of his 33 regular-season appearances with Double-A Tennessee.
Edouard Julien is slashing .373/.536/.706 with 4 house runs in 69 plate appearances with the Glendale Desert Canine. Featured right here at FanGraphs final October, the 23-year-old infielder within the Minnesota Twins system performed at Double-A Wichita this season.
Johan Rojas has 13 hits in 42 at-bats and is an ideal 13-for-13 stolen base makes an attempt with the Shock Saguaros. The 22-year-old outfielder within the Philadelphia Phillies system cut up the 2022 season between Excessive-A Jersey Metropolis and Double-A Studying.
Jordan Lawlar — featured right here at FanGraphs earlier this week — supplied an surprising reply once I requested him which of the pitchers he confronted this season stood out probably the most. After I pose this query to minor-league hitters, the reply is often a higher-profile prospect. Lawlar cited an unranked, recently-turned-20-year-old right-hander who logged a 5.88 ERA this yr in Low-A
“I’d say Eric Silva, with the San Jose Giants,” mentioned Lawlar, who confronted the 2021 fourth-round choose twice in April. “It was early within the season, most likely the second week of professional ball for me, and all three of his pitches had been working. He was commanding them, and any time you’ve bought a pitcher with two or three pitches that he can command within the zone, it’s going to be just a little more durable on the plate.”
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Prospects Dwell’s Joe Doyle thinks that College of Tennessee right-hander Chase Dollander may be a generational expertise.
Viva El Birdos’s J.P. Hill seemed each from side to side on the St. Louis Cardinals catching place.
Over at The Washington Publish, Frederic J. Frommer wrote about how World Collection day video games went extinct.
RANDOM FACTS AND STATS
Invoice Dinneen (35) and Cy Younger (34) mixed to pitch all however two innings for the Boston People once they beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5 video games to a few to win the primary modern-era World Collection in 1903. Dineen threw a four-hit shutout within the clincher, with Hobe Ferris driving in all three of Boston’s runs.
The 1906 World Collection was received in six video games by the Chicago White Sox, who’d completed the common season with a file of 93-58-3. The “Hitless Wonders” prevailed over the 116-36-3 Chicago Cubs, whose .763 successful share stays the best in MLB historical past.
The Philadelphia Phillies misplaced eight of the primary 9 video games they performed within the World Collection. The scores in these losses had been (in 1915): 2-1, 2-1, 2-1, 5-4, and (in 1950): 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, 5-2.
The primary season for the Houston Astros franchise was 1962. The then-named Colt .45s went 1-17 in opposition to the Philadelphia Phillies that yr.
Irish Meusel performed within the 1921, 1922, and 1923 World Collection for the New York Giants and went 22 for 74 with 16 RBIs. His brother, Bob Meusel, performed within the 1921, 1922, and 1923 World Collection for the New York Yankees and went 19 for 76 with 13 RBIs.
Tommy Bond received 40 or extra video games in every of the 1877, 1878, 1879 seasons whereas pitching for the Nationwide League’s Boston Crimson Stockings. The Granard, Eire native went 123-55 with a 2.03 ERA and 174 full video games over the three-year stretch.
John “The Depend” Montefusco was named Nationwide League Rookie of the 12 months on right this moment’s date in 1975. The San Francisco Giants right-hander went 15-9 with a 2.88 ERA. Montreal Expos catcher Gary Carter, who hit 17 house runs and had a 113 wRC+, completed second within the voting.
On right this moment’s date in 2013, the Boston Crimson Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 to seize third World Collection title prior to now decade. Shane “The Flyin’ Hawaiian” Victorino hit a bases-clearing, three-run double within the third inning to key the win.
Gamers born on right this moment’s date embody Mark Ettles, a right-handed pitcher who appeared in 14 video games for the San Diego Padres in 1993. The Perth, Australia native had a 6.50 ERA in 18 innings and was on the successful finish of his solely determination.
Additionally born on right this moment’s date was Roe Skidmore, whose big-league profession comprised one plate look for the Chicago Cubs in 1970. Pinch-hitting for Joe Decker, the Millikin College product singled off of St. Louis Cardinals southpaw Jerry Reuss.