Wholesale Washington Nationals Jerseys

Juan Soto has been a big leaguer for nearly a month, and Wednesday he did something that only three other players in the live ball era had previously accomplished.

When the Washington Nationals rookie hit a pair of home runs in a 5-4 road win over the New York Yankees, he became just the fourth teenager to ever have a multihomer game at any iteration of Yankee Stadium.

Soto’s fourth- and seventh-inning homers were the first for a 19-year-old in a regular-season game at the stadium since Ken Griffey Jr. hit two home runs in a game at the old Yankee Stadium on May 30, 1989. Griffey was 19 years, 190 days old. Soto hit his homers at 19 years, 231 days old.

As a teenager, Brian McCall hit the only two homers of his career in the old Yankee Stadium on the final day of the regular season in 1962.

“He’s the truth,” Nationals reliever Justin Miller said of Soto.

If the postseason is included, Soto is now the youngest person to hit multiple home runs in a game in the Bronx since Andruw Jones (19 years, 180 days) did it for the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series. To be mentioned in the same sentence as Griffey and Jones humbled the Nationals rookie.

“That’s very good. Two of the good outfielders,” Soto said. “That says a lot.”

Soto’s first home run played a pivotal, albeit somewhat unexpected, role in the win. It came in the wake of a pair of inning-ending pickoffs that shut down threatening Nationals rallies in the second and third innings.

Along with the pair of pickoffs — the first two Yankees starter Sonny Gray had recorded since 2014 — Washington also had a player thrown out for the second out of a lineout double play. Another baserunner was nailed at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

“It was ugly,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We gave them five outs. Typically when you do that, you don’t expect to win the ballgame.”

Nationals rookie Juan Soto, 19, on Wednesday became the youngest person to hit multiple home runs in a game in the Bronx since Andruw Jones (19 years, 180 days) did so for the Atlanta Braves in Game 1 of the 1996 World Series.

With Washington trailing New York 3-1 in the top of the fourth, Soto came to the plate after a pair of teammates reached to spark a two-out rally. Daniel Murphy drew a walk, and then Matt Adams singled to bring up Soto.

After taking a first-pitch fastball, Soto got another that he hit to the opposite field. The left-handed hitter skied a high fly ball that had a 45-degree launch angle, according to Statcast. As it carried toward the left-field corner, Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner appeared to be settling underneath it.

“But it just kept carrying and carrying,” Gray said.

As the ball drifted into the first couple of rows of seats 338 feet away, Soto was saying a little prayer underneath his breath.

“I hit pretty good, but too high,” Soto said. “I was running the bases saying, ‘Keep going, keep going.'”

The homer gave the Nationals a 4-3 lead, but the Yankees tied the game an inning later on 21-year-old Gleyber Torres’ 435-foot homer into the back of the visitors bullpen.

In the seventh, Soto turned on another 1-0 fastball. This one, off Yankees left-handed reliever Chasen Shreve, was a laser that cleared the Yankees bullpen in right-center.

“He’s a good-looking player,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “The ball was carrying real well [Wednesday night], but a peek into the power.

“He’s been really good obviously since he came up. And for where he started this year to be here, there’s good reason, and we got a peek at it.”

Soto began this season with Washington’s Single-A affiliate before working his way up quickly to Double-A Harrisburg. He played 39 games in the minors before getting called up to the big leagues on May 20.

Since the call-up, he has been exceptional, batting .344 with 5 home runs, 12 RBIs and a 1.088 OPS in 20 games.

With family in the New York area, Soto had a couple of uncles present at Wednesday night’s game. His father was in attendance Tuesday, but Soto was given the day off. His dad had to leave New York on Wednesday morning, missing his chance to see his son make his mark on baseball history.

“It’s one of the best,” Soto said about where this baseball memory will rank. “One of the best games I’ve seen.”

His teammates are confident he’ll have several moments like this one in the coming seasons.

“It’s unbelievable, honestly. I’ve had my amount of time in the minors, and to see what he’s doing and to go through that and to be up at this level and to shine, that’s pretty remarkable,” Nationals starter Erick Fedde said. “He’s a special kid. I’m excited to play with him, hopefully for the next couple of years.”

Wholesale Philadelphia Phillies Jerseys

Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Rhys Hoskins is not in the lineup Tuesday at the Los Angeles Dodgers after fouling a ball off his face in the ninth inning of Monday’s game in Los Angeles.

Rhys Hoskins fouled a pitch off his face on Monday.

Hoskins, who sustained a cut on his bottom lip and had some swelling, told reporters he didn’t expect to miss much time.

Earlier in the day, Hoskins tweeted to fans who had reached out to him.

Hoskins is hitting .229 with six home runs and 28 RBIs this season.

Wholesale Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys

The Los Angeles Dodgers have placed ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw on the 10-day disabled list with left biceps tendinitis.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters that the team is “cautiously optimistic” about Kershaw, who started feeling discomfort while playing catch Saturday.

“If it was more of another part of the arm, it would be more concerning, but being the biceps we are more hopeful,” Roberts told reporters.

The Dodgers announced the move before Sunday’s game against the Padres in Monterrey, Mexico.

Kershaw has returned to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, according to Roberts.

Veteran left-hander Rich Hill will be activated from the DL to take Kershaw’s spot in the rotation Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hill has been on the DL since April 18 because of a cracked fingernail.

Kershaw, 30, has struggled over his past three starts, allowing nine earned runs over 18 innings in that stretch.

This is the third straight season Kershaw has been placed on the disabled list. He was put on the DL for five weeks in 2017 with a back strain and missed over two months in 2016 because of a herniated disk in his back. Before that, he only made one DL stint (in 2014, for an inflamed back muscle) from 2008 to 2015.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner is 1-4 this season despite a 2.86 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 44 innings. Kershaw’s four losses are as many as he had in both of the past two seasons (18-4 in 2017, 12-4 in 2016).

Including the playoffs, he has pitched 2,101 innings in his career.

Kershaw joins a crowded list of high-profile Dodgers on the disabled list. Starting shortstop Corey Seager is out for the season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm and will have Tommy John surgery. Starting third baseman Justin Turner hasn’t played this season because of a broken left wrist. Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, the team’s top starting pitcher this season, will be out until after the All-Star break with a major groin injury.

Right-hander Brock Stewart was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding move.

Wholesale Boston Red Sox Jerseys

Red Sox left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who has been recovering from a strained left forearm flexor since spring training, felt good after his second rehab start and could return to the rotation within a week.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Saturday that Pomeranz is likely to start either the final game in Anaheim on Thursday or the first game in Oakland on Friday.

However, with rain in the forecast Sunday and Monday, Pomeranz could be pushed back.

Pomeranz, who started this season on the disabled list, has made two rehab starts, the second Friday for Double-A Portland. He allowed four hits, three walks and two runs.

“It felt a lot better this time,” Pomeranz said of the start against Binghamton, according to the Boston Globe. “I think I straightened everything out. I’m ready to go.”

Pomeranz won 17 games for Boston last season.

Wholesale Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Jerseys

Japanese phenom Shohei Ohtani may have struggled in spring training, but on the first major league swing of his career, Ohtani delivered with a single.

Batting eighth and playing designated hitter for the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani took a 91-mph cutter from Oakland Athletics right-hander Kendall Graveman and hit it hard to right.

Ohtani was 1 for 5 with a strikeout in the game, an 11-inning, 6-5 loss to the A’s.

“I think with where the lineup is, we feel good with Shohei hitting there and getting some at-bats. We feel it’s a good matchup for him,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. “Obviously when he’s available to hit we’ll look at a number of different things and see if he’s going to be in the lineup or not.”

Ohtani is scheduled to make his pitching debut in Sunday’s series finale against the Athletics.

The 23-year-old left the Nippon Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League during the offseason and joined the Angels for a $2,315,000 bonus. If Ohtani had waited two more years, he could have commanded a deal for $100 million or more.

Before the game, it seemed like just another day for the poised pitcher and hitter who is all of 23.

“We know that Shohei just like any player is excited but Shohei is well beyond his years as far analyzing the game and going out there and understanding his talent,” Scioscia said. “We’re very comfortable that he’s going to go out there and compete very well and hopefully help us win. I think the illusion might be he’s taking things in stride but he’s very confident and I don’t know if you get a sense of how hard he’s worked to get acclimated to baseball in the United States. I think he’s done a great job and we feel he’s ready.”

Scioscia hasn’t mapped out a plan for Ohtani beyond Sunday but warned he won’t have 700 plate appearances.

“I’m intrigued based on the fact that the athleticism is obvious. Looking at video from his time in Japan he is a true two-way guy,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Hopefully he gets off to a rough start and we see what he’s all about later on when he leaves us.”

Scioscia is still getting accustomed to having a star who offers so much, with the bat and his arm.

“It’s almost like having two players, Shohei the hitter and Shohei the pitcher,” Scioscia said. “Why don’t we give him two numbers so looking at him we can decide, hey, he’s the hitter today, he’s the pitcher today. We’re going to see how this goes. I think the way it’s mapped out, especially with the six-man rotation, it gives it a chance to be very feasible and we just want to see how it works out. He swung the bat a lot in Japan and we feel that he’ll be able to handle what we project. “

Wholesale Baltimore Orioles Jerseys

Orioles right-hander Hunter Harvey, who made his second major league spring training start in Tuesday’s 9-8 loss to the Minnesota Twins, said he doesn’t feel like there’s much between where he is now and where he needs to be to be a major league starter.

“I feel like I’m close,” Harvey said. “I need to get my off-speed command a little bit better. I’d like to throw more strikes with it and feel it day by day better, but I do think I’m ready.”

Manager Buck Showalter said after the outing that he believes Harvey will get another chance to pitch in the Grapefruit League, with the team trying to keep its primary starters away from divisional opponents this spring. But so far this spring, the 2013 first-round draft pick made it known that if he’s not ready just yet, he’s back to where he was as a top pitching prospect before a variety of injuries including one that required Tommy John surgery in 2016.

Against a lineup full of Twins regulars, Harvey battled his command a bit and walked two, but was only harmed by shortstop Jorge Polanco’s one-out home run in the second inning.

“He was pretty impressive,” Showalter said. “You can tell he feels really good physically. That’s the most important thing. Command was good in spots, but it was good to get him back out there. But he threw the ball well.”

Harvey began his day by getting second baseman Brian Dozier to strike out looking at a 96 mph fastball on the outside corner, and worked with his fastball in the 94-96 mph range all throughout the first while mixing in his curveball and changeup as well.

Baltimore Orioles' Trey Mancini runs home to score on an RBI double by Manny Machado off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow in the first inning of a spring training baseball game, Friday, March 2, 2018, in Sarasota, Fla.

His fastball was mostly at 94 mph in the second inning, and he endured some long at-bats, but the overall result of throwing over 50 pitches was a welcome challenge for someone who has been limited to short rehabilitation starts since his elbow injury first cropped up in July 2014. He’s pitched 31 1/3 innings in game innings since, with 53 pitches thrown in his final start of 2017.

“It’s nice to be able to throw 50 pitches again,” Harvey said. “My fastball felt better today. Still working on the off-speed stuff. I threw a good changeup, and had one I pulled and put in the dirt. But my body feels good. It felt better today.”

While he’s on the 40-man roster and features one of the best arms in camp regardless of his level of seasoning, the Orioles’ handling of Harvey this spring and into the season will be a subject of great interest both inside the organization and around the game.

One National League scout in attendance who requires anonymity to speak publicly on other teams’ players said in a text message: “Good stuff, long way to go still. He can help them at some point this year.”

Wholesale Atlanta Braves Jerseys

The Braves will be showcasing their young starting pitchers and a seasoned vet looking to make a big comeback from injury to open Spring Training.

The Braves announced their starting pitchers for the first three games of Spring Training that begins on Friday against the Mets.

Matt Wisler will get the first chance of Spring Training to show off what fans hope to be an improved level of command. The 25-year-old is coming into his fourth Major League season with the Braves. Wisler has a career 5.26 ERA after having a hard time making an adjustment to the Majors from MiLB where he preformed well last season with a 3.56 ERA in 18 games with Gwinnett.

Sean Newcomb will get the starting nod against the World Champion Houston Astros on Saturday. The second year lefty is looking to secure a spot in the Braves rotation after pitching pretty well by rookie standards in 2017. Newcomb produced a 4.32 ERA and a 4.19 FIP worth 1.3 WAR and is looking to fix a couple command issues as well that could take him to the next level.

One of the newest additions to the Braves will be making his debut on Sunday against the Nationals as Scott Kazmir will toe the rubber. Kazmir coming over in trade from the Dodgers this offseason has a career WAR of 25.1 in 12 Major League seasons. Kazmir did not see playing time with the Dodgers last season as a spine injury kept him out of the lineup. Kazmir, when healthy, boasts a career 4.01 ERA with a career average of 8.57 K/9.

Live baseball games are almost back Braves fans! Make sure to stay tuned to Talking Chop for all your 2018 Spring Training updates and game coverage.

Wholesale Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys

Slugger J.D. Martinez brought a big bat to the second half of the Diamondbacks season.

There appears to be a growing school of thought among Diamondbacks fans that the longer free-agent slugger J.D. Martinez remains unsigned, the better the chances of the outfielder returning to Arizona.

Don’t bet on it, even though Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo told azcentral sports that the situation remains “fluid” and he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Martinez and the Diamondbacks ultimately finding enough common ground to reach a new deal.

Martinez, 30, has an offer on the table from the Red Sox for at least $100 million over five years. He and his agent, Scott Boras, are believed to be asking for a deal between $180 million to $200 million over seven years. Without dumping some serious payroll, it’s probably doubtful the Diamondbacks could ever get close to Boston’s offer, let alone the numbers Martinez is said to be seeking.

But the way baseball’s free-agent market seems to be drying up, things can change. The longer the waiting game plays out, the more prices and demands can flip – potentially. It can work the other way, too, perhaps eventually in Martinez’s favor.

But do the Diamondbacks realistically have a chance of bringing him back?

“Well, I always get updates from (General Manager) Mike (Hazen) and the rest of the front office. They keep me posted,” Lovullo said. “They’re the guys that are piecing the team together and they’ve done such a good job with that up to this point. But I think it is fluid.

“Obviously, he’s not signed. I don’t know where it’s at … but I know the front office every single day is trying to make our team better and those are the conversations we have quite often.”

Though he was limited to just 119 games this past season due to injuries, Martinez managed to club 45 home runs and collect 104 RBIs with a cumulative slash line of .303/.376/.690 split between the Diamondbacks and the Tigers.

Those numbers have enabled Martinez to shoot for the moon this offseason and get the biggest and best deal he can find. It’s not like there aren’t teams out there that could use his talents, either. But when it comes to the total package, Martinez might not be the best fit for everyone.

He’s an average to below-average corner outfielder. He doesn’t have much, if any, speed. That would make him appear to be far more attractive to an American League team. But Martinez has expressed a desire to keep playing in the outfield and doesn’t wish to be expressly used as a designated hitter.

Boston would have to move one of its outfielders to the bench – or elsewhere – to placate Martinez. So far, nothing has happened. Maybe the free-agent logjam will start flowing following last week’s moves by the Brewers, who signed outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year, $80 million deal on the same day they acquired Christian Yelich from the Marlins.

Or maybe Martinez and the boatload of other big-name, unsigned free agents, including Carlos Gonzalez, Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish and Eric Hosmer, will band together and just continue to wait things out.

“We know what J.D. did for us last year,” Lovullo said. “He was a tremendous addition, but we love the team we have right now. We believe in that group moving forward. If the front office believes they can add another person, another body, to that mix to help us out, we have total faith in that.”

Others, including ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball play-by-play voice Matt Vasgersian, have all but colored Martinez gone from the Diamondbacks.

“In terms of the NL West, the team that I think is really interesting out there is the Diamondbacks because J.D. Martinez meant so much to them in the second half of the season,” Vasgersian told azcentral sports. “I think it’s a shame that it sounds like he’s priced out from returning there. You never say never, but it’s not what the tea leaves are telling us right now.

“Had he returned, you’ve got to consider them one of the favorites.”