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Archive for May 14th, 2017

Nationals sign Bryce Harper for 2018 season

The Washington Nationals have agreed to terms with right fielder Bryce Harper for the 2018 season. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

The unanimous 2015 National League Most Valuable Player, Harper opens play on Saturday leading Major League hitters this season in on-base percentage (.496), runs (37), and intentional walks (6), while ranking among Major League leaders in walks (T3rd, 28), on-base plus slugging percentage (2nd, 1.213), batting average (2nd, .372), slugging percentage (4th, .717), RBI (T7th, 29), multi-hit games (T1tth, 13) and home runs (T10th, 10).

Harper, 24, is one of just 11 players in Major League history to hit at least 121 home runs and accumulate 387 walks through his first five Major League seasons. He is also one of five active players to hit at least 121 home runs prior to his age 24 season.

Bryce Harper Washington Nationals on deck (2011 photo by MissChatter via wikipedia commons)

Highlights of his 2017 season already include the fifth Opening Day home run of his career on April 3 vs. MIA, the fourth walk-off home run of his career – propelling Washington past Philadelphia on April 16 – the 12th multi-homer game of his career on April 19 at Atlanta, and the National League Player of the Week award for the week of April 17-23. During that week, Harper hit .550 (11-for-20) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, seven walks and ten runs scored.

It was the fifth Player of the Week award of Harper’s career, to go along with his two NL Player of the Month awards (April & May, 2015) and two NL Rookie of the Month awards (May & Sept./Oct., 2012).

In addition to becoming the youngest unanimous Most Valuable Player in National League history in 2015, Harper was also the fourth-youngest player to win an MVP award, and followed that up with the first 20-homer/20-stolen base season of his career in 2016.

A four-time All-Star, including three as an NL starter in the outfield, a Silver Slugger, and the 2012 National League Rookie of the Year, Harper remains under contract through the 2018 season. The agreement today solidifies his salary for that season.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NATIONALS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Cardinals’ Flaherty and Voit named team’s Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for April

Flaherty was 4-0 with an 0.56 ERA; Voit earns second straight monthly honor

Press Release |

The St. Louis Cardinals announced right-handed pitcher Jack Flaherty and first baseman Luke Voit have been honored as the Cardinals Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Month for April for their accomplishments on the field.

Flaherty, 21, the Cardinals first round (34th overall) selection out of Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) High School in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft was 4-0 with an 0.56 ERA over five starts at Springfield (AA). The Sherman Oaks, Calif., native ranked 2nd in ERA among all minor league pitchers (30.0 or more innings pitched) posting an outstanding 0.56 mark over 32.1 innings.

The right-hander won his first four starts of the season, posted three scoreless starts of 6.0 innings or more during that stretch and had a streak of 20.2 scoreless innings from April 11-30. He was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week for April 17-23, with two scoreless starts during the week compiling a 2-0 record with 14 strikeouts over 13.2 innings pitched. Flaherty stuck out a season-high nine batters on April 17 vs. Midland.

“Jack was impressive in 32 1/3 innings, striking out 28 hitters with only four walks, leading Springfield to four wins in his five starts,” explained Cardinals Director of Player Development, Gary LaRocque.

Voit, 26, the Cardinals 22nd round pick (665th overall) in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Missouri State University, batted .360 with five home runs and 16 RBI in 23 games at Memphis (AAA).

The St. Louis native currently ranks in the Pacific Coast League Top 10 in batting (.361, 7th), home runs (6, T-5th), total bases (57, 2nd), on-base percentage (.442, 5th), slugging (.687, 4th) and OPS (1.129, 3rd). From April 9-11, Voit homered in three straight games, two of them in the 9th inning, with one of those a go-ahead shot for the game-winning RBI. On April 28, Voit smacked two home runs in a game vs. Round Rock.

“Luke was one of the top hitters in the PCL in April, with a strong on-base percentage, slugging and OPS in his 75 at-bats,” said LaRocque.

Voit has won the Minor League Player of the Month award for the second straight month, earning the honors in August 2016. Flaherty won his first Minor League Pitcher of the Month honor.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY CARDINALS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Giants to honor former manager Frank Robinson during African American Heritage Night

The San Francisco Giants will honor former Giants Manager Frank Robinson during African American Heritage Night at AT&T Park on Thursday, Sept. 13, when the Giants play the Los Angeles Dodgers.   Robinson will be in attendance and honored on the field before the game. Fans attending the game will receive a Frank Robinson bobblehead.

Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first African American manager in 1975 when the Cleveland Indians named him player-manager. He reached another milestone for African Americans in baseball when he was named the skipper of the National League Giants in 1981 – making him the first African American to manage in both the National and American Leagues.

Frank Robinson, By Rubenstein - CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

“As baseball prepares to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the day when legendary Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, we are excited to announce that we will honor Frank who, like Jackie, blazed new trails for African Americans in our game,” said Larry Baer, Giants President & CEO.

Frank Robinson, a 12-time All-Star, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He belted 38 home runs while winning the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1956 with the Cincinnati Reds. In 1961, Robinson was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .323 with 37 homers and 124 RBI while helping guide the Reds to their first World Series appearance in 21 years. Following the 1965 season, Robinson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles and went on to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1966 after winning the Triple Crown with a .316 average, 49 homers and 122 RBI. Robinson played for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians and ranks among baseball’s all-time leaders with 586 home runs; 5,373 total bases; 1,829 runs; 1,812 RBI; 2,808 games; 10,006 at-bats; 2,943 hits; and 528 doubles.

In October 1974, Indians general manager Phil Seghi announced that Robinson would be the team’s player-manager, making the veteran star the first African American manager in Major League history. He went a combined 160-158 over his first two seasons on the job, and retired as an active player at the end of 1976. His managerial role with the Indians ended in 1977.

Robinson was named manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1981 and was voted the UPI Manager of the Year in 1982. His managerial role with the Giants ended in 1984. Upon returning to Baltimore, Robinson took over as manager after the team began 1988 with six straight losses, then endured the remainder of what stretched into a record 21-game winless streak. The Orioles improved to 87 wins the following season, with Robinson earning AL Manager of the Year honors.

Robinson went to work for Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig as a consultant for special projects in 1996. He was named vice president for on-field operations in 1999, a position that entailed doling out punishment for fighting as baseball’s “discipline czar.”

In 2002, the baseball lifer returned to the dugout as manager of the Montreal Expos. His teams won 83 games in each of his first two seasons. Robinson retired from managing after the 2006 season, finishing with a 1,065-1,176 (.471) record in the role.

Robinson was named Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development in 2012. After Rob Manfred became the sport’s new commissioner in 2015, the baseball great was named a Senior Adviser and the new Honorary President of the American League.

Fans interested in attending African American Heritage Night and receiving a Frank Robinson bobblehead can go to sfgiants.com.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY GIANTS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Tribe promote González, Robertson; place Guyer on DL; DFA Martínez

CLEVELAND, OH — The Cleveland Indians today announced the following roster moves relative to the 2017 Major League roster:

• Recalled INF ERIK GONZALEZ (#9) from AAA Columbus.

• Purchased the contract of OF DANIEL ROBERTSON (#99) from AAA Columbus.

• Placed OF BRANDON GUYER (left wrist injury) on the 10-day Disabled List, retroactive to May 13.

• Designated UTL MICHAEL MARTINEZ for assignment.

González, 25, has spent the entire season to date at Triple-A Columbus, hitting .269 (36-134) with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 11 RBI in 32 games. He currently ranks tied for 7th in the International League in hits (36), 8th in total bases (61) and tied for 10th in home runs (5). Defensively, he has appeared in 23 games at shortstop, 5 games at second base, 2 games at third base and 4 games in the outfield (3 RF, 1 LF).

Robertson, 31, has appeared in 4 games for Triple-A Columbus this year, spending the first five weeks on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring suffered on March 28 in exhibition play. With Columbus he has gone 7-for-15 (.467) with a double and 1 RBI (4 runs). This spring, the non-roster invitee hit .328 (20-61) with 2 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR & 9 RBI in 25 games.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY INDIANS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Indians make roster moves involving pitching staff

The Cleveland Indians recently announced the following roster moves relative to the 2017 Major League roster:

Recalled RHP MIKE CLEVINGER from AAA Columbus.

Optioned RHP JOE COLÓN to AAA Columbus.

Clevinger, 26, has spent the entire year to date with the Triple-A Clippers, going 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 6 starts (30.0IP, 23H, 5ER, 10BB, 32SO, .215 avg). He currently ranks 5th in the International League in ERA and has limited right-handed Triple-A hitters to a .170 (9-53) average against.

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