Today is July 27, the 84th anniversary of Mel Ott's first home run. He will go on to hit 511 home runs, but his first one is his only inside-the-park homer. 50 years ago today, San Francisco Giants manager Alvin Dark leaves his bullpen unattended, publicly stating that he expects Juan Marichal to go the distance, which he does, pitching a five-hit shutout. After the game, Dark was quoted as saying, "I'm sick and tired of watching pitchers bow their necks for four-five innings and then look around for Stu Miller to bail them out." On this day 23 years ago, Tommy John committed three errors in one play. He bobbled a grounder hit by Jeffrey Leonard, threw it over the first baseman's head, then threw it over the head of the catcher after receiving the relay throw. Leonard and the runner on base in front of him both scored. The Korean War ended 58 years ago today. On this day in 1996, a pipe bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. Happy birthday to Leo Durocher (1905), the third Geneva Convention (1929), and Alex Rodriguez (1975). Remembrances to Bob Hope (2003).
Follow the jump for the latest fantasy baseball news and analysis from around the web.
A career low in fly ball rate along with a career high in ground-ball rate makes [Hernandez] a different player these days, but don’t expect that 20.4% HR/FB rate to continue. He has a 11.7% career number and his power, as measured by ISO, has been dwindling for a while. Still, even if he won’t play as much as McCann or have the same power, he won’t kill your batting average.
For the haves and have nots | The Hardball Times
Trade deadline advice for those chasing leads, as well as those protecting them.
Pedroia's arthroscopic procedure has clearly made him more comfortable in going low for a pitch but by also help him get around the ball and turn that knee to hit inside pitches with more force and power.
Through this point in 2011, these improvements in both facets — against righties and on the road — are strong indications that Boesch has been able to make adjustments and fill in the gaps of his game that were at the root of his second-half nosedive last year. That’s the sign of a still-developing player turning into a good player. Given his advancements at the plate, an encore performance of 2010′s second half isn’t likely. In this case, that’s a good thing.
Why Isn't James McDonald More Popular? | Roto Hardball
Great point on McDonald here. I was monitoring him at the beginning of the season, but quickly ignored him. It pays to take a fresh look at guys from time to time.
Peralta's main problem is spotty command, but he's reduced his walk rate this year while boosting the strikeouts, statistical confirmation of scouting reports that he's steadily improving his feel for pitching. He's been especially sharp lately, with three runs allowed in his last 27 innings, with a 25/6 K/BB. Peralta could be promoted to Triple-A at any time. He could theoretically see the majors late in the season, and you might also hear his name in trade rumors. If he maintains the progress with his command, he projects as a solid number three starter.
Daily Dish: Manny Machado Extends Carolina League Hot Spell | Baseball America
Machado, Britton, Smyly, Richards
Five Things I Learned From The Braves/Pirates 19-Inning Game | Baseball Nation
Last night, as I was going to bed, I briefly entertained the idea of tuning in to catch the end of the Braves-Pirates game, then in the 13th inning. Having responsibilities and such, I quickly dismissed the idea. Upon waking up, I saw that the game had gone 19 innings, and I thought to myself, "Good decision."
Wrong. Not only did I miss one of the worst calls in recent memory (1:46 is the most definitive replay, in my opinion), but I also missed this guy. Next time I'll think a little harder before going to bed.