Any hitter is happy to see the Orioles on the schedule, but no one salivates over the prospect of facing Baltimore pitching more than Gleyber Torres.
Torres continued to torment the O’s on Monday, cranking a pair of solo home runs in the Yankees’ 10-7 comeback victory. Gary Sanchez had the deciding blow with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning as the Bombers overcame an early 6-1 deficit.
In 39 plate appearances against the Orioles this season, Torres has slugged eight long balls while batting .486. In 145 plate appearances versus all other teams, he’s hitting .244 with two dingers.
Torres had a rough go of it in the first 25 games of the season with just a .684 OPS, but he’s gone 27-for-73 (.370) with six home runs across 19 contests since then. The 22-year-old also gets to face the Orioles 10 more times this season.
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Oh No, Yo
When Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen met with the media Monday prior to the team’s series versus the Nationals, many had speculated that he could announce the firing of manager Mickey Callaway. As it turns out, Callaway is safe (for now), but apparently Yoenis Cespedes isn’t safe to walk around his ranch unattended.
Cespedes had what Van Wagenen referred to as a “violent fall” at his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Saturday night, stepping in a hole and twisting his right ankle. Tests revealed that he suffered multiple fractures in the ankle.
Cespedes, of course, was already recovering from surgeries on both heels, which he underwent last August and October. He had been swinging a bat and recently began jogging, with a hope of returning sometime after the All-Star break. Now, he’s almost surely out for the season.
“We’ve tried not to put a timeline on Ces’ rehab from the previous surgeries,” Van Wagenen said. “He was making progress … but he was still a number of thresholds away before he was going to be able to return to activity. It’s hard to speculate on what that means going forward at this point.”
Cespedes is in the third year of his four-year, $110 million contract. While he’s been productive when on the field during that span (.282/.343/.525), he played in just 81 games in 2017 and 38 games in 2018. Assuming he will indeed miss all of 2019, he’ll have averaged fewer than 40 games played in the first three years of the deal. Cespedes will turn 34 in October and is set to make $29.5 million in the final year of his contract in 2020.
The Mets did get good news on Michael Conforto on Monday, as he’s been free of concussion symptoms for the past three days. He has not yet been cleared to resume baseball activities, but it would seem like he’d have a shot to return on Friday when first eligible if he can avoid a setback. With Cespedes no longer in the picture, Conforto will continue to be paired with Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil as the team’s main outfield trio.
Devers Devouring Pitchers
Twenty-five games into this season, Rafael Devers was sporting just a .690 OPS and he had yet to hit a home run. When coupled with his disappointing production from last season, there was some cause for concern.
Congratulations if you practiced patience with the young third baseman.
Devers had another big day at the plate on Monday in Toronto, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and a pair of runs scored in the Red Sox’ 12-2 blowout win over the Blue Jays. One of his three hits was a laser off of reliever Ryan Tepera in the ninth inning that landed in the second deck at Rogers Centre. Statcast had it at 114.4 mph off the bat.
In the 22 games since the aforementioned slump to start the season, Devers has posted a .359 average with four home runs, seven doubles and 20 RBI. His OPS has climbed 144 points to .834.
There were certainly signs that better days were ahead for Devers, as he’s been hitting the ball hard all season. His exit velocity coming into Monday’s game was sitting at a healthy 92.7 mph, with a 50.4 percent hard-hit rate to go with it. He also boasts an impressive 9.6 percent walk rate and 15.2 percent strikeout rate, numbers that are easily the best of his young career. Heck, Devers even stole his sixth base of the season Monday, which is already a new career high.
Devers did enter Monday with just a 25.5 percent flyball rate and launch angle of 7.1 degrees. It’s why he’s only hit four homers, as he’s going to have to start lifting more balls into the air to take advantage of all of the hard contact. Still, there’s no doubting that the 22-year-old has been on an impressive run.
National League Quick Hits: Ronald Acuña homered twice, doubled and drew a walk in the Braves' victory on Monday over the Giants. … Mike Soroka allowed just one run over eight innings with seven strikeouts in a victory over the Giants on Monday. … Chris Paddack fanned seven across six innings of one-run ball on Monday against the Diamondbacks … Anthony Rendon homered, doubled and walked twice versus the Mets on Monday. … Amed Rosario homered, walked and scored twice in the Mets' defeat of the Nationals on Monday. … Luke Weaver was saddled with a tough-luck loss Monday, whiffing seven while yielding just two runs in six frames versus the Padres. … Julio Urias will reportedly be reinstated from administrative leave on Tuesday. … The Braves acquired Anthony Swarzak and cash considerations from the Mariners for Arodys Vizcaino and Jesse Biddle.
American League Quick Hits: Mike Minor struck out 11 hitters and allowed two runs over six frames in a victory over the Mariners on Monday. … Hanser Alberto finished 4-for-5 with a homer, a double, a steal and three runs scored Monday against the Yankees. … Asdrubal Cabrera homered twice to help the Rangers beat the Rangers on Monday. … Tim Beckham went 3-for-4 with a grand slam, five RBI and a walk on Monday against the Rangers. … Matt Chapman went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI in leading the A's to a win over the Indians on Monday. … Brad Peacock fired five shutout innings while allowing two hits and striking out nine in a victory over the White Sox on Monday. … Andrew Heaney (elbow) struck out 10 across 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his first rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday and could rejoin the Angels’ rotation Sunday. … Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-5 with a homer, three RBI, and three runs scored in Monday's rout of the Blue Jays.