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Nathan Grimm

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Daily Dose: Reynolds Rap

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Mark Reynolds must have wondered if he's cursed, sometimes, as though he'd been crossed by a black cat or inadvertently walked under a ladder.

 

Such explanations would have been some of the few reasons one could think of for why a guy who hit .267/.352/.487 with 30 homers and 97 RBI last year couldn't find a job this spring. Yet there Reynolds was, spring training coming and going and he still unemployed.

 

Fast forward to Saturday -- past the Nationals inking him to a minor league contract two weeks after the start of the season, past Reynolds having his contract purchased a month later -- it was the 34-year-old journeyman propping up the Nationals, not the other way around.

 

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Reynolds, drawing the start at first base in the game against the Marlins, went 5-for-5 with a pair of homers, three runs scored and 10 RBI in a one-sided affair. He became just the 15th player in MLB history to record 10 RBI in a single game.

 

“Yeah, that’s like a good two weeks,” Reynolds said after the game. “These things don’t happen often. I’ve been playing a long time and only gotten five, so ... Look at my last hit, the guy dove and it hit off his glove and went into left field. Got a little luck involved. Sometimes you take a good swing the night before and feel confident going into the next day. That’s what happened.”

 

The "night before" referenced by Reynolds was Friday's game against the Marlins in which the 34-year-old hit a walk-off, pinch-hit home run. Through Saturday, Reynolds now has 10 homers, 24 RBI and 18 runs scored in 37 games with the Nats this year. He's hitting a robust .292/.358/.594 overall.

 

The Nationals are a deep team even with guys like Ryan Zimmerman, the injury to whom opened the door for Reynolds' return to the majors in the first place, on the sidelines, with Matt Adams also commanding time at first base and talented outfielders Bryce Harper, Adam Eaton, Juan Soto and Michael Taylor needing to find at-bats, so even now Reynolds isn't likely to be an everyday player. In fantasy leagues that allow daily lineups, though, Reynolds has forced his way into the mixed league conversation as a matchup-driven play.

 

What does Reynolds think of Saturday's performance, and its importance to his place in the lineup?

 

“Might keep me on the team for a couple more weeks,” Reynolds joked.

 

At least, we think it was a joke.

 

Orioles To 'Move Quickly' On Machado

 

The Orioles have a list of suitors for star infielder Manny Machado, and they seem to have an interest in getting something done quickly as well.

 

That's the gist of a report from Baltimore Sun Orioles beat writer Eduardo Encina, who says the club continues to "move quickly toward trading" Machado and that the team is, per a source, "in the process of fielding offers from seven teams" for his services.

 

Those seven teams, per Encina, are the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Indians and Cubs -- unsurprisingly, all teams with postseason aspirations -- with the Dodgers' offer ranking as the most appealing, though all seven offers are "very close" in terms of appeal, the source told Encina.

 

The return for Machado will be of great interest, given the unique aspects of the situation -- Machado's impending free agency, his ability to play both positions on the left side of the infield, and the fact that he's been one of the best offensive performers in the game in the season's first half. A comparison may be the relatively underwhelming return the Tigers got from the Diamondbacks in the July 18, 2017 deal that sent slugger J.D. Martinez -- also an impending free agent who was tearing the cover off the ball at the time of his trade -- to Arizona.

 

With an interest in moving quickly and a narrowed list of serious suitors, this courtship could be wrapped up sooner than the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Stay tuned.

 

Tucker Gets Call From Astros

 

Not content being the reigning champs with a 3.5-game lead in the American League East, the Astros added another weapon Saturday in the form of a top prospect.

 

Kyle Tucker, the team's first-round draft pick in 2015, was promoted late Friday and got his first major league start Saturday in the Astros' win over the White Sox. Tucker struck out in his first three at-bats before collecting his first MLB hit in his fourth at-bat.

 

"His bat is his calling card," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He can do a lot of different things on the field but he can really hit. The only thing he hasn't answered is whether he can consistently hit at the Major League level, and that's what this is for. This is the next challenge for him."

 

Tucker was promoted to be the team's everyday left fielder after he hit .306/.371/.520 with 14 homers and 14 steals in 80 games with Triple-A Fresno. The 21-year-old owns a .280/.348/.471 line for his minor league career.

 

Tucker was surely scooped up in many leagues after news of his promotion broke, but he was still available in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues as of late Saturday. If he's available in your league, remedy that. Now.

 

National League Quick Hits: Yadier Molina was not in the Cardinals' lineup for Saturday's game against the Giants due to a sore right shoulder. Molina suffered what Cardinals manager Mike Matheny called a "stinger" Friday after being hit with a wild pitch in the area of his right shoulder. He's day to day for now, and was available to pinch-hit if needed in Saturday's game, Matheny said. He should be back in there Sunday ... Trevor Story was scratched from the Rockies' starting lineup on Saturday with a bruised right foot. Story was hit by a pitch on that foot during Friday's game against the Mariners. He failed to make an appearance in Saturday's win, breaking a streak of 139 consecutive games played for Story ... it was a forgettable night for his team, but Wil Myers enjoyed some offensive success Saturday, turning in a three-homer game in a loss to the Diamondbacks. He had two homers coming into the game ... not to be outdone by Myers or Reynolds, David Peralta also enjoyed a five-hit night Saturday ... Javier Baez led the way on Saturday as the Cubs came from behind to beat the Reds 8-7 at Wrigley Field. Baez went 4-for-5 with a homer, two RBI and a stolen base in the victory. His solo shot off of David Hernandez in the seventh inning trimmed the Cubs' deficit to 7-4. He then added a game-tying RBI single during a three-run rally in the eighth inning. Baez is having an outstanding season offensively, slashing .294/.327/.565 with 17 homers, 63 RBI and 16 stolen bases ... Ross Stripling held the Angels to one run in six innings while striking out seven batters to earn a win on Saturday. He didn't walk anyone and allowed just three hits, one of which was a solo home run by Mike Trout. Stripling has been perhaps the biggest surprise among all starting pitchers this year. He now has a 7-2 record with a 2.22 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 13 starts and 11 relief appearances. He has a spectacular 103:13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 89 1/3 innings.

 

American League Quick Hits: Aroldis Chapman left Saturday's game against the Blue Jays due to a recurrence of his left knee tendinitis. The issue isn't a big deal and he isn't expected to miss any time. It's something he's managed for months, apparently, and in an 8-4 game the Yankees just didn't see the juice being worth the squeeze to keep him out there. He should be fine going forward ... Christian Vazquez suffered a broken right pinkie finger sliding into second base in Saturday's win over the Royals. The starting duties in Boston will now go to Sandy Leon, with Blake Swihart seeing some time behind the dish as well. Vazquez is hitting just .213/.249/.300 but brings a lot of value defensively that the club will miss. It's a huge loss in real life, but for fantasy purposes, this doesn't move the needle much ... The Yankees are among the teams interested in Orioles reliever Zach Britton, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred. Heyman also says the Yanks have interest in Padres reliever Brad Hand, who would surely come at a higher price than Britton at this stage in the game. Heyman lists the Astros, Cubs, Indians, and "maybe Dodgers" as teams that would also "make sense," and we've seen the Red Sox reported as having interest as well. Britton will likely be dealt before the deadline -- somewhere -- so it'll be interesting to see how his market develops ... Mitch Haniger (knee) returned to the Mariners' starting lineup on Saturday. Haniger missed the previous two games with a bruised knee, but showed no ill effects, reaching base four times against Kyle Freeland and company ... Joey Gallo (blurred vision) returned to the Rangers' starting lineup for Saturday's showdown against the Tigers. Gallo was a late scratch from Friday's lineup after he collided with teammate Delino DeShields in the outfield during batting practice. Gallo went hitless in three at-bats in Saturday's loss ... Mookie Betts went 4-for-6 with an RBI double, a stolen base and two runs scored to help the Red Sox roll over the Royals 15-4 on Saturday. Betts picked up four of the Sox's 16 hits against Royals starter Brad Keller and company, as they scored 11 runs in the final three innings of the game. Hitting is one of many things Betts does well, with his .343 batting average leading the American League. He's near the top in almost every offensive category, in fact, batting .343/.433/.679 with 22 homers, 44 RBI, 69 runs scored and 16 steals with a few days left in the unofficial first half of the season ... Blake Snell beat the Mets by striking out nine batters in 7 1/3 shutout innings on Saturday. He allowed six hits, including three doubles, and issued three walks but scattered everything out far enough apart to keep the Mets off the scoreboard. The 25-year-old left-hander has developed into one of the top pitchers in the majors this year. He is 12-4 with a 2.09 ERA in 19 starts. He has 132 strikeouts and 44 walks in 115 innings. His performance should start generating some early Cy Young buzz.



Nathan Grimm is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter (@Nate_Grimm).
Email :Nathan Grimm



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