The last twenty comments in true blog fasion, with the links to their authors and the player commented upon.

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Caleb Thielbar Minnesota Twins

Couldn't make it through the third inning for the save. Out of gas, tossing BP.

Alex Patton Alex
Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels

The flexor pronator mass is public relations' speak (gobbledegook) for the many muscles, tendons, and ligaments which congregate on or around the medial epicondyle of the humerus. Thank you, HIPAA.

The pronator teres muscle originates here and inserts on the radius.  It is a pronator of the forearm and assists in elbow flexion. 

Also originating here are four extrinsic muscles with long tendons (flexor carpi radialis, palmaris longus, flexor carpi ulnaris, and flexor digitorum superficialis) which act upon the wrist and fingers.  These muscles have several important functions in both pitching and hitting (wrist flexion, radial deviation of the wrist, ulnar deviation of the wrist, and flexion of the four fingers [not the thumb]).

In and among these muscle attachments is the medial (ulnar) collateral ligament, the bane of many a hurler.

One cannot properly or powerfully swing one's axe without engaging these muscles.

To answer your question succinctly, indubitably it does.

Frank Smith Pancho
Caleb Thielbar Minnesota Twins

Spent 2016 and 2017 in Indy ball with the St. Paul Saints.

Mike Landau ML-
Yacksel Rios Pittsburgh Pirates

Called up from the alternate training site today. Tossed a scoreless 7th and 8th against the Twins. A walk the only baserunner.

Alex Patton Alex
Caleb Thielbar Minnesota Twins

Just navigated through the seventh inning against the Pirates in his first action in the majors since 2015.

Alex Patton Alex
Rowan Wick Chicago Cubs

From the Closer Monkey (with a nod here to Patrick Mooney in February):

Chicago Cubs – After Rowan Wick cleaned up a messy 9th inning for the Cubs on Saturday, David Ross wouldn’t commit to giving Craig Kimbrel the next save chance, and yesterday, he followed through on that not-committing, again turning to Wick for the last 4 outs of the game. That doesn’t mean Wick is the new closer — afterwards, Ross cited matchups and rest, saying that “every game will be different” — but look for him to share opportunities with Kimbrel and Jeremy Jeffress going forward. We’ll monitor to see if anyone takes a clear lead.

Updated hierarchy: *Kimbrel | Wick | Jeffress.
* = closer-by-committee

Alex Patton Alex
Nate Jones Cincinnati Reds

From the Closer Monkey:

August 4, 2020

Cincinnati Reds – Nate Jones was on the cusp of closing for several years in Chicago, and after finding a new home in Cincinnati in the offseason, he’s quickly earned the trust of David Bell, who has pitched him ahead of Raisel Iglesias in his last two outings, including in the 8th inning last night. 

Updated hierarchy: Iglesias | Strop | Jones.

Alex Patton Alex
J.D. Martinez Boston Red Sox

With 20 or 25 teams scrambling for a playoff spot at the end of August, if we get that far, won't there be a trading frenzy?

Maybe not.

Jim Bowden's take at The Athletic.

There are some GMs who told me they think it will be an active trade deadline because there are now so many teams with a chance to win a World Series because of the truncated 60-game schedule. However, I don’t believe that will be the case. There are no minor leagues being played and teams don’t have scouts at the alternate sites. Teams aren’t going to want to trade good prospects for one month of a veteran player to try and put them over the top. Clubs have had massive financial losses due to the pandemic and because of this, they don’t want to take on any salaries. And, we’re going to have almost all clubs positioned as buyers with very few sellers come Aug. 31. That tells me the trade deadline will be more like taking a sleeping pill and watching paint dry. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration. Will there be trades? Yes … but an active trade deadline? I don’t believe it.

Alex Patton Alex
JaCoby Jones Detroit Tigers

Jim Bowden is a big Statcast fan. He's not a big Jacoby Jones fan.

Jones is off to a fabulous start, at one point leading the American League in both OPS+ (269) and slugging percentage (.885). He’s already hit 3 home runs with 7 runs batted in while batting .379. I’m even hearing from Tiger fans asking if I think he’ll be an MVP candidate. Sorry guys, but it’s not happening. We’ve seen a lot of Jones over the last five years. He’s a career .217/.281/.384 slash line player. And although he does have 20-home run raw power and is an above-average runner, his bat just isn’t going to improve this much. Jones, 28, hit .294 against fastball last year but just .147 against breaking balls and .161 against off-speed pitches according to Statcast. His fast start will get pitchers to bear down on him more going forward and it’s only a matter of time before his holes at the plate are exposed once again. 

Alex Patton Alex
MacKenzie Gore San Diego Padres

This one's for Howard.

Jim Bowden at The Athletic.

 ... the up-and-coming Padres are quietly putting together a strong starting rotation led by Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, Zach Davies and Garrett Richards and they have one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in MacKenzie Gore, who’s just one phone call away from being their secret weapon down the stretch. 

Alex Patton Alex
Mike Yastrzemski San Francisco Giants

A nice sequel so far!

Here's what Jim Bowden has to say in The Athletic.

The grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski is off to a hot start and there is every reason to believe that it’s sustainable. Last year, Yastrzemski had a solid rookie season, slashing .272/.334/.518 with 22 doubles, 21 home runs and 55 runs batted in. Now he’s leading the NL in on-base percentage (.500), walks (11) and runs scored (10). What’s been really impressive is that he tracks all pitches extremely well. He hits left-handed pitching as well as right-handed pitching and can handle the ball on both sides of the plate at the bottom and top of the strike zone. He appears to have a special baseball IQ with great instincts and although there will be no All-Star Game this year, there is no doubt in my mind he would have been the lone representative of the Giants had there been one.

Alex Patton Alex
Zack Godley Boston Red Sox

I picked Zack up on free waivers yesterday. But I can't punt him onto my reserve list until next Monday. He starts Saturday against the Blue Jays. How bad can it be?

Don't answer.

Alex Patton Alex

Are the world champs two years ago doing a 60-game punt? Jim Bowden has no doubt.

The Red Sox are off to a slow start, going 3-7 in their first 10. Unfortunately, that’s a record Red Sox fans should believe in. Boston presently has one of the worst starting rotations in baseball, which means a fourth- or fifth-place finish is likely. Chris Sale is out for the year after Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodríguez is out for the year with a heart condition after recovering from COVID-19, leaving it up to southpaw Martin Pérez who’s had an ERA north of 4.80 over his last 88 starts, and Zack Godley whose ERA was 5.97 a year ago between Arizona and Toronto. The Red Sox still have an explosive lineup led by Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts and J.D. Martinez, but that’s not going to matter if they can’t get the other team out. They’ll be an interesting team at the trade deadline and should be primed to get a solid draft position for the 2021 draft.

Alex Patton Alex
Luis Robert Chicago White Sox

Jim Bowden, giving himself a pat on the back at The Athletic.

I raised a lot of eyebrows last year after the SiriusXM Futures Game when I tabbed Luis Robert as the best prospect on the field. I surprised many analysts back in January when I had him above Wander Franco and Casey Mize as the No. 1 prospect in the sport. So it will not shock you when I tell you that I believe what you’ve seen him do to start the year is just an appetizer for the things to come. Robert, 23, is slashing .351/.385/.595 with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 6 runs batted in and a stolen base to start his major-league career. He’s shown great range in the outfield and tremendous raw power in batting practice, as well as in the game. Although he still needs to work on not chasing balls out of the zone, I think he really understands what he needs to do to become a star and he’s on the fast track to getting there.

Alex Patton Alex
Shane Bieber Cleveland Indians

According to Jim Bowden in The Athletic, jumping into the ranks of Bieber Beliebers, there are now five pitches in the arsenal, latest being a cutter.

I had him last year and will have him again next year. Knock knock.

Alex Patton Alex

We need Kodi Whitley up from the depths. #13 prospect entering the year for the Cards.

25 yo reliever:

A big, physical right-hander, Whitley dominates right-handed hitters
with his fastball and slider, both of which grade as at least above
average. He consistently beats hitters in the zone with a 94-97 mph
fastball that he throws with life and angle, and his slider, a mid-80s
offering with downer action, gives Whitley a second swing-and-miss
pitch. Whitley turns over his changeup well to impart late fading action
that plays well against left-handed hitters. He's consistently around
the zone with all three pitches, showing solid command and control.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Robin Ventura Chicago White Sox

Ventura was born in 1967 BTW

27 years ago today, he got punched out by an old man, Nolan Ryan.

When my son was a teenager, I warned him that if he was going to fight to fight other teenagers and not to tackle "old men" (Ryan was in his early 40s). Old men don't play.

I love how Ryan signs pictures of the fight.

Kent Ostby Seadogs
Shohei Ohtani Los Angeles Angels

Does a strain of the flexor pronator mass in the right arm affect a lefty hitter's swing?

Alex Patton Alex
Chad Tromp San Francisco Giants

From Baseball America's roundup...

San Francisco Giants

—One day after hitting the first home run of his big league career, Chadwick Tromp doubled his home run total with a solo shot to center field in the third inning of the team’s loss to the Rockies. Tromp, who went 0-for-4 in his first start on July 29, is since 4-for-11 with two home runs, five RBIs and four runs scored.

<video of a very big fly to straightaway center>

Alex Patton Alex
Jorge Alcala Minnesota Twins

Another hard-thrower takes the mound.

From BA's prospect roundup...

Minnesota Twins

—Twins No. 18 prospect Jorge Alcala made his first appearance of the season with two innings of one-run (unearned) ball while allowing two hits and striking out two. The righthander showed off his electric fastball, which topped out at 98 mph. Alcala made 16 starts at the minor league level last year, but moved to the bullpen in two major league appearances.

Alex Patton Alex

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