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News & Analysis

MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

New Mets OF Tyler Naquin homers twice in win over Braves

August 5, 2022, 2:22 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

Left fielder Tyler Naquin, playing his first game at Citi Field since being acquired from Cincinnati at the trade deadline, hit two of New York's four home runs and the Mets rolled to a 6-4 win over the visiting Atlanta Braves on Thursday.

Naquin became the first player in franchise history to hit two runs in his home debut with the club. Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach also went deep to give the Mets their third four-homer game of the season.

The win extended the Mets' lead in the NL East to 4 1/2 games over the Braves.

Carlos Carrasco (12-4) pitched six innings and allowed three runs on four hits, one walk and six strikeouts. Carrasco's streak of scoreless innings ended at 23 1/3 innings when the Braves scored in the fifth.

Edwin Diaz pitched the last two innings, striking out three, for his 24th save.

The losing pitcher was Kyle Wright (13-5), who pitched six innings and allowed six runs on seven hits, two walks, four strikeouts and a career-high four home runs. The loss ended Wright's six-game winning streak and handed him his first setback since June 18.

The Mets scored a run in the first on a single by Alonso and a run in the second on Naquin's solo homer.

New York took a 5-0 run by scoring three times in the third when Alonso and Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers. Alonso slammed a long two-run shot to left, his 29th, and Vogelbach swatted his 14th on a long fly to right.

The Braves cut the lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning. Michael Harris II drove in a run with a two-out single and rode home on Ronald Acuna Jr.'s two-run homer, his ninth, to straightaway center field. It was Acuna's first home run since July 8.

Naquin went the other way with a solo shot, his ninth, to left-center field to up the lead to 6-3.

The Braves added a run in the seventh against reliever Adam Ottavino on an RBI single by Harris.

--Field Level Media

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals

Braves get shot at overtaking Mets in 5-game set

August 4, 2022, 9:59 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves took different approaches in the final hours before the trade deadline earlier this week.

On Thursday night, the first referendum on how they fared arrives when the Mets host the Braves in the opener of a key five-game series between the first- and second-place teams in the National League East.

Carlos Carrasco (11-4, 3.79 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets against Kyle Wright (13-4, 2.93 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Mets extended their lead over the Braves to 3 1/2 games on Wednesday, when New York beat the host Washington Nationals 9-5 and Atlanta fell to the visiting Philadelphia Phillies 3-1.

The Mets, who have won eight of their past nine games, concluded a month of at-the-margins moves on Wednesday by acquiring right-handed reliever Mychal Givens from the Chicago Cubs and obtaining right-handed-batting Darin Ruf from the San Francisco Giants.

New York plans to use Ruf in a platoon at designated hitter with Daniel Vogelbach, who was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 22. Vogelbach delivered the key hit on Wednesday, a fifth-inning grand slam.

The Mets' designated hitters entered Wednesday ranked 19th in the majors in OPS (.677), tied for 24th in homers (10) and 24th in batting average (.220). however, Vogelbach has an .823 career OPS against right-handers, off whom he has 56 homers in 923 career at-bats. Ruf, meanwhile, has a .929 OPS with 39 homers in 553 at-bats against left-handers.

"We feel we've been able to really add, using two roster spots, an impact bat for us," Mets general manager Billy Eppler said Tuesday. "We were able to strengthen the club today and kind of over the last couple weeks, so we feel good about how things transpired."

The defending World Series champion Braves were among the busiest teams on Monday and Tuesday, when they acquired outfielder Robbie Grossman, reliever Raisel Iglesias and starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi from the Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros, respectively.

While the left-handed-hitting Grossman is expected to help an outfield that ranks 22nd in the majors in OPS (.679) and 24th in batting average (.226), the additions of Iglesias and Odorizzi bolstered areas of strength.

Atlanta's relief corps is ranked among the top five in saves (second with 36), strikeouts (fourth with 416) and ERA (fifth at 3.21) while the club's starters are fourth in strikeouts (593) and 10th in ERA (3.79).

The Braves hope the reinforcements will further boost an already surging squad. Atlanta has the best record in the majors at 40-15 since June 1, a span in which it has shaved seven games off the Mets' division lead.

"After the All-Star break, this thing starts throttling forward and this is what it's all about," Braves manager Brian Snitker said Wednesday.

Carrasco earned his 100th career win last Saturday, when he allowed four hits over 7 2/3 scoreless innings as the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 4-0. He is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three career games (two starts) against the Braves. He beat Atlanta on May 3 with eight innings of shutout ball.

Wright won his sixth straight decision on Friday after surrendering two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings as the Braves defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2.

Wright is 1-3 with a 6.17 ERA in six games (five starts) against the Mets. He lost to Carrasco and the Mets on May 3 as he yielded three runs in seven innings.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels

Reports: Braves acquire closer Raisel Iglesias from Angels

August 2, 2022, 11:02 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves traded for right-handed closer Raisel Iglesias on Tuesday, sending the Los Angeles Angels right-hander Jesse Chavez and left-hander Tucker Davidson, according to multiple reports.

Iglesias, 32, owns a 4.04 ERA this season with 16 saves and a 2-6 record across 39 relief appearances for the Angels. The 32-year-old struck out 48 batters over 35 2/3 innings of work.

Iglesias was in his second year with Los Angeles after spending his first six MLB seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He has 156 saves and a 3.13 ERA in his career. He also received American League Cy Young Award votes last year, finishing 11th.

Chavez turns 39 this month. He's played for nine different MLB clubs, including the Los Angeles Angels in 2017 when he went 7-11 with a 5.35 ERA as a part-time starter. In 31 games (one start) for Atlanta this year, he had a 1-1 record and a 2.11 ERA.

Davidson, 26, was in his third season with the Braves after they selected him in the 19th round of the 2016 draft. He is 1-2 with a 6.46 ERA across four games (three starts).

The Braves are taking on the remainder of the four-year, $58 million deal Iglesias signed with the Angels in December, per reports.

--Field Level Media

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Arizona Diamondbacks

Reports: Mets acquire OF/1B Darin Ruf from Giants

August 2, 2022, 8:15 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets acquired outfielder/first baseman Darin Ruf from the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday for third baseman J.D. Davis and prospects, multiple outlets reported.

The Giants will receive three other players in return, in addition to Davis. According to the New York Post, the Giants also will receive left-hander Thomas Szapucki, along with Class-A pitchers Nick Zwack and Carson Seymour.

Ruf, 36, has 11 home runs with 38 RBIs in 90 games this season, batting .216 with a .701 OPS. He returns to the National League East after playing his first five seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. He has played 36 games at first base and 30 in the outfield this season.

Davis, 29, is batting .238 with four home runs and 21 RBIs this season and is a .266 hitter with 42 home runs and 132 RBIs in 401 games over six seasons with the Houston Astros and Mets. Davis gives the Giants coverage at third base while Evan Longoria is on the injured list with a right hamstring strain.

Szapucki, 26, has pitched in two games for the Mets over the past two seasons.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Cincinnati Reds

Reports: Braves send RP Will Smith to Astros for Jake Odorizzi

August 2, 2022, 4:36 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

A pair of World Series contenders swapped arms on Monday night as the Houston Astros sent starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for reliever Will Smith, according to multiple reports.

With the trade deadline on Tuesday, the defending champions had a busy evening, as the Braves also agreed to a deal that will bring outfielder Robbie Grossman to Atlanta from Detroit.

Though the Braves entered the day sixth in the majors in team ERA, their starters' 3.86 ERA is 12th in baseball. Odorizzi, an All-Star with Minnesota in 2019, is 4-3 in 12 starts this season with a 3.75 ERA across 60 innings pitched.

He returned from a month-and-a-half long absence on July 4 after suffering a leg injury on May 16 that forced the right-hander to be carted off the field in Boston.

He is 72-66 with a 3.94 ERA over his 11-year career and has appeared in three playoff games -- all since 2019. The 32-year-old is 0-1 in those games, surrendering six earned runs over 11 1/3 innings.

Smith, 33, has been with Atlanta since the beginning of the 2020 season and is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA and five saves in 41 games this season.

The left-hander, who was an All-Star in 2019 with San Francisco, saved 37 games and led the league with 60 games finished last season. He then went 2-0 with six saves over 11 appearances in the Braves' postseason run in 2021.

But the arrival of closer Kenley Jansen in the offseason limited Smith's save opportunities this season. With Houston, he will join a bullpen that leads the majors in relievers' ERA (2.77 entering Monday) and is fifth with 31 saves.

Smith is 31-32 with a 3.61 career ERA in 10 seasons with the Braves, Giants, Milwaukee Brewers and Kansas City Royals. He has also tallied 91 saves.

In the other deal, the Braves sent 20-year-old minor league pitcher Kris Anglin back to Detroit for Grossman.

Grossman, 32, appeared in 83 games with Detroit this season, hitting .205 with two home runs and 23 RBIs. The switch-hitter's numbers against lefties are particularly impressive, as he is hitting .364 against southpaws this season.

Grossman has started 43 games in left field and 31 in right field this season, bringing versatility to both the plate and the field for the Braves, who trail the New York Mets by 3 1/2 games in the National League East.

The Braves already sport an outfield of Ronald Acuna Jr., rookie Michael Harris II and 2021 postseason star Eddie Rosario, with Marcell Ozuna also spending time in the outfield.

The left-handed Anglin has appeared in 17 games between Class-A and the Braves' affiliate in the rookie-level Florida Complex League, going 4-6 with a 4.64 ERA.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies

Braves sign 3B Austin Riley to 10-year, $212M extension

August 1, 2022, 11:12 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

With less than 24 hours left before the MLB trade deadline, the Atlanta Braves raised eyebrows not by whom they chose to ship out, but whom they decided to keep for many years to come.

The Braves announced a massive 10-year, $212 million contract extension with All-Star third baseman Austin Riley on Monday.

In releasing terms of the deal, the Braves said Riley is set to earn $15 million in 2023, $21 million in 2024 and $22 million per season over the rest of the agreement. In addition to giving up his final three years on arbitration rights, Riley also agreed to a $20 million club option for the 2033 season.

Riley, 25, is enjoying his second consecutive dominant season -- this season even more impressive than his 2021 campaign, when he hit .303 with 33 home runs, 33 doubles and 107 RBIs while finishing seventh in the National League Most Valuable Player race.

In making his first All-Star team this season, Riley is on pace to obliterate his career highs in home runs and doubles as he is on pace for 46 homers and 49 two-base hits. In playing 101 of 103 games thus far in 2022, the right-handed-hitting slugger has produced a .301/.360/.604 batting line with 29 homers, 31 doubles and 68 RBIs.

Through the season's first four months, Riley leads the NL in slugging percentage, total bases (239) and extra-base hits (61) while ranking in the league's top 10 in several other categories -- including batting average, hits (119), doubles (31), home runs, RBIs and OPS (.964). He is second in the NL in both home runs and OPS.

Riley comes off a red-hot July in which he hit .423 with 11 homers and became the first Brave to hit .400 and have at least 10 homers in a month since Chipper Jones did so in July 1999. Riley also finished the month with 26 extra-base hits, breaking Hank Aaron's franchise record of 25 set in July 1961.

Originally a supplemental first-round pick by the Braves in 2015, Riley has a .280 career batting average with a .524 slugging percentage, 88 homers and 251 RBIs in 392 games.

The contract comes less than five months after 2021 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, a former Braves second-round pick who played his first 12 seasons in Atlanta, left the organization via free agency -- signing a six-year, $162 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Freeman later fired his agents who handled his free-agent process after seeming to express regret with how negotiations unfolded with the Braves.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves

Braves get INF Ehire Adrianza from Nats, DFA Robinson Cano

August 1, 2022, 4:16 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves reacquired infielder Ehire Adrianza from the Washington Nationals on Monday in exchange for minor league outfielder Trey Harris.

The Braves also designated veteran second baseman Robinson Cano for assignment.

Adrianza, 32, won the World Series with the Braves last season before signing with the Nationals in free agency in March.

He batted .179 with seven RBIs in 31 games with Washington. He's a career .240 hitter with 21 homers and 149 RBIs in 605 games with the San Francisco Giants (2013-16), Minnesota Twins (2017-20), Braves (2021) and Nats.

Cano, 39, joined Atlanta on July 10 after brief stints this season with the New York Mets and San Diego Padres. He batted .154 (4-for-26) with a double in nine games for the Braves.

An eight-time All-Star, Cano is a career .301 hitter with 335 homers and 1,306 RBIs in 2,267 games over 17 seasons with the New York Yankees (2005-13), Seattle Mariners (2014-18), Mets (2019-20, 2022), Padres and Braves.

Harris, 26, was drafted in the 32nd round by Atlanta in 2018. He batted .238 with two homes and 16 RBIs over 59 games this season at Double-A Mississippi.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Daytona Beach News-Journal

Mets RHP Jacob deGrom set to make 2022 debut on Tuesday

July 31, 2022, 6:23 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom will make his long-awaited season debut next week, manager Buck Showalter confirmed Sunday.

The 34-year-old will face the Washington Nationals on Tuesday after last taking the mound on July 7, 2021. He missed the remainder of 2021 with forearm and elbow issues, then was sidetracked during spring training this season with a stress reaction in his scapula.

In his most recent rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A Syracuse, deGrom threw 67 pitches and came out of that outing with no setbacks.

"This has been a pretty slow process in coming back," deGrom said in an interview on SNY. "I'm excited to be out there. Nerves haven't really set in yet but I'm sure Tuesday I'll be pretty nervous. I have a feeling it's going to feel like my (major league) debut."

The Mets entered play Sunday with a three-game lead in the National League East, with deGrom aiming to appear in the playoffs for just the second time after helping New York to the 2015 World Series.

A two-time National League Cy Young Award winner and 2014 rookie of the year, deGrom was 7-2 last season with a 1.08 ERA in 15 starts before his year came to an end.

In eight seasons with the Mets, the four-time All-Star is 77-53 with a 2.50 ERA over 198 starts and has 1,505 strikeouts in 1,261 2/3 innings.

--Field Level Media

MLB: MLB-Draft

Mets sign first-round pick C Kevin Parada

July 31, 2022, 12:07 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets signed first-round pick Kevin Parada on Saturday.

Parada was selected with the 11th overall pick and will receive $5,019,735, according to MLB Pipeline. With the slot value of the 11th pick being $4,780,700, Parada holds the largest bonus of any player selected outside of the top 10 in the bonus-pool era.

In two seasons at Georgia Tech, the 20-year-old catcher hit .341 with 35 home runs and 130 RBIs in 112 games. He also played in the Cape Cod Baseball League in the summer of 2021, where he hit .250 with three RBIs in nine games.

The Mets have one of most talented farm systems in baseball, including the No. 1-ranked prospect, catcher Francisco Alvarez.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Daytona Beach News-Journal

Report: Mets' Jacob deGrom to make season debut Tuesday

July 30, 2022, 4:38 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom will come off the injured list and make his season debut Tuesday at Washington, reported Saturday.

The 34-year-old right-hander was shut down in early April with a stress reaction in his right scapula. The two-time Cy Young award winner last pitched in a big-league game on July 7, 2021.

In a rehab start Wednesday at Triple-A Syracuse, deGrom allowed four runs on two hits (both homers), walked three and struck out six in four innings against Omaha.

He made four starts in the minors this season -- two each with Syracuse and Class-A St. Lucie -- and was 0-1 with a 2.84 ERA. He struck out 21 batters and walked four in 12 2/3 innings.

The National League East-leading Mets begin a three-game road series against the Nationals on Monday, with Max Scherzer scheduled to start the opener.

A four-time All-Star, deGrom is 77-53 with a 2.50 ERA in 198 career starts with the Mets since 2014. He won the NL Cy Young awards in 2018 and 2019.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City Royals

Reports: Angels listening to offers for Shohei Ohtani

July 28, 2022, 8:22 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels reportedly have provided a listening ear to teams expressing interest in acquiring two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani.

The New York Post reported the Angels are telling teams they are willing to listen to offers involving Ohtani, this with the club residing 21 1/2 games behind the first-place Houston Astros in the American League West entering play on Thursday. With fellow superstar Mike Trout holding a no-trade clause, Ohtani has become in play -- in theory.

CBS Sports reported the New York Mets have engaged in talks with the Angels over the reigning AL MVP. Mets general manager Billy Eppler signed Ohtani while he was the GM of the Angels from 2015-20.

The Athletic reported that San Diego Padres general manager A.J. Preller "checked in" on Ohtani, as well as Oakland Athletics ace Frankie Montas.

Previously, MLB Network reported the Angels have no plans to trade Ohtani prior to Tuesday's deadline.

Ohtani, 28, is 9-5 with a 2.80 ERA and 134 strikeouts in 93 1/3 innings this season. He also is batting .257 with 21 homers and 59 RBIs in 95 games this season.

--Field Level Media

Syndication: Daytona Beach News-Journal

Mets' Jacob deGrom headed to Triple-A Syracuse for another rehab start

July 25, 2022, 11:17 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom is scheduled to make his latest rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Syracuse, the club said Monday.

Mets manager Buck Showalter added during a radio appearance that deGrom could make his season debut for the Mets if the next rehab start goes well.

"Jake threw today, and he's feeling good. Hopefully we're close to the end of this," Showalter said on WFAN's "Carton and Roberts."

A two-time Cy Young winner, deGrom hasn't started a big-league game since July 7, 2021. He was shut down April 1 with a stress reaction in his right scapula.

He threw a simulated game last week at the Mets' spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but it was pushed back by two days due to mild muscle soreness in his throwing shoulder.

Before that, deGrom made three rehab starts, including one on July 14 for Syracuse. He threw 42 pitches in four innings of one-run ball.

The 33-year-old deGrom has been plagued by arm injuries. He missed the second half of last season due to elbow issues and hasn't pitched in a game since last July 7. The four-time All-Star was placed on the injured list on April 7 and transferred to the 60-day IL on May 10.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Milwaukee Brewers at Pittsburgh Pirates

Report: Mets acquire C Michael Perez from Pirates for cash

July 23, 2022, 5:12 PM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets acquired catcher Michael Perez from the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations on Saturday, MLB Network reported.

Perez, 29, was designated for assignment by Pittsburgh on Friday after batting .150 with six home runs and 11 RBIs in 39 games this season.

Perez is a lifetime .175 hitter with 15 homers, 58 RBIs and 159 strikeouts in 193 contests with the Tampa Bay Rays (2018-20) and Pirates.

The Mets needed catching depth with James McCann (oblique) on the injured list and Tomas Nido dealing with a bruised left hand.

It is the second straight day the two teams have swung a deal. New York acquired infielder Daniel Vogelbach from Pittsburgh on Friday in exchange for right-hander Colin Holderman.

--Field Level Media

Former OF Dwight Smith dies at 58

July 23, 2022, 12:36 AM

Former Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves outfielder Dwight Smith died on Friday. He was 58.

No immediate cause of death was provided by either team.

Smith finished second in the 1989 National League Rookie of the Year balloting behind teammate Jerome Walton, helping the Cubs reach the postseason. He batted .324 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs in 109 games.

He spent five seasons with the Cubs before leaving as a free agent and signing with the then-California Angels prior to the 1994 season. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles 2 1/2 months into the season.

Smith then spent his final two seasons with the Braves, and was a member of the team's 1995 World Series championship team.

Smith finished with a .275 career batting average in 813 games. He hit 46 homers and 20 triples and drove in 226 runs.

Smith's son, Dwight Jr., spent parts of four seasons in the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays (2017-18) and Orioles (2019-20). He batted .248 with 17 homers and 68 RBIs in 169 games.

The younger Smith, 29, currently plays for the Lexington Legends of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He took leave from the team on Wednesday for the second time this month.

--Field Level Media

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers

Mets trade for Pirates INF Daniel Vogelbach

July 23, 2022, 12:05 AM

Photo Credit - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets acquired infielder Daniel Vogelbach from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for right-handed pitcher Colin Holderman on Friday.

Vogelbach, 29, is batting .228 this season with 12 home runs and 34 RBIs across 75 appearances. He primarily served as Pittsburgh's designated hitter this season, appearing in five games as a first baseman.

A career .213 hitter, Vogelbach's best season came in 2019, when he earned his first and only All-Star nod while with the Seattle Mariners. He hit 30 home runs and 76 RBIs that year while scoring 73 runs and drawing 92 walks.

Vogelbach has played 412 games for the Mariners (2016-20), Toronto Blue Jays (2020), Milwaukee Brewers (2020-21) and Pirates. He has tallied 61 homers and 165 RBIs in that time.

Holderman, 26, made his major league debut this year out of New York's bullpen. In 15 relief appearances, he went 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA, 18 strikeouts and no home runs allowed over 17 2/3 innings.

--Field Level Media