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Baseball Daily Dose

Trade Deadline Eve: Anthony Rizzo, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner

by Janice Scurio
Updated On: July 30, 2021, 9:11 am ET

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If you can’t keep your eyes away from your news feed this evening, well, we can’t blame you. On Thursday night, Major League Baseball general managers kept fans on their toes by making some blockbuster trades to shake up rosters nationwide. Here’s a recap of some of the day’s major deals - and there’s likely more to come. Keep hitting the refresh button on your browser and make sure notifications are on, as Friday’s trade deadline ends at 4PM Eastern time. 

The Yankees acquired Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs on Thursday evening, after the trade that acquired Joey Gallo was made official on Thursday morning. Rizzo slashed .248/.346/.446 with 16 doubles, three triples, 14 home runs and 40 RBIs in 37 plate appearances. The Yankees have had a season full of ups and downs, and have now committed to being buyers. A Wild Card spot would be easily attainable; they’re currently 53-48, in third place in a strong AL East division, nine games behind the Red Sox.

The White Sox acquired righty reliever Ryan Tepera from the Cubs, and Cesar Hernandez from division rival Cleveland. Tepera will serve as a setup man for All-Star Closer Liam Hendriks. The 33-year-old received some votes for NL MVP last season, interestingly enough. He has a 2.91 ERA in 43 1/3 innings pitched, and was part of the Cubs’ combined no-hitter on June 25. A 0.785 WHIP is incredibly impressive, and the White Sox will need that reliability out of the bullpen. The Cubs acquired left-hander Bailey Horn in return.

Cesar Hernandez served as Cleveland’s leadoff man; he carries a .764 OPS in 324 plate appearances in that spot. Batting second, he has a .562 OPS in 87 plate appearances. The White Sox will benefit from Hernandez’s switch-hitting power bat, and defense at second base. The former Gold Glove winner is now tied with Jose Abreu for the team lead in home runs, at 18. The White Sox are sending single-A pitching prospect Konnor Pilkington in return.

The Seattle Mariners filled their closer role as they traded for Diego Castillo, just days after trading Kendall Graveman to Houston in exchange for infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith. In exchange, Seattle will send reliever JT Chargois and third base prospect Austin Shenton to Tampa Bay. Castillo has notched 14 saves, a 0.99 WHIP, and a 2.72 ERA in 36 1/3 innings pitched over 37 outings.

As of late Thursday night, the deal has yet to be confirmed by both teams, but the Dodgers are looking to acquire Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Nationals. The Nationals would receive top pitching prospect Josiah Gray and top catching prospect Keibert Ruiz, along with right-hander Gerardo Carrillo and outfielder Donovan Casey. Scherzer will nicely address the holes in the Dodgers’ rotation; Turner is an interesting addition, but will certainly supplement an already-talented group of players. The Dodgers also added Danny Duffy to their pitching staff, in a trade with the Royals earlier. 

Starting Pitchers with an EDGE

Luis Patino vs. Yankees

6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 37% CSW 

Patino delivered an incredible performance, silencing Yankees hitters with 19 swings and misses. His sharp fastball lured 12 of those whiffs, and a shining secondary pitch in the slider picked up five whiffs. Those two pitches garnered an impressive 38% CSW (called strikes plus whiffs).

Carlos Hernandez vs. White Sox

6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 26% CSW

The 24-year-old right-hander was sharp in this six-inning, 84-pitch outing, the longest of his career. Hernandez’ best pitch today was his slider, thrown for four called strikes and three swings-and-misses.

Freddy Peralta vs. Pirates

6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 28% CSW

Though this was a season-low strikeout total for the 24-year-old righty, punch-outs were not necessary for a fantastic outing from the 2021 All-Star. He was able to limit the Pirates to just five hard-hit balls, pitching to contact well in this 68 pitch effort.

Frankie Montas vs. Angels

7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K, 40% CSW

Whoa. The 28-year-old threw a season-high 109 pitches in this outing, throwing 71 for strikes. His splitter was an especially effective pitch, luring 13 out of 24 swinging strikes overall. The right hander has some fantastic strikeout upside: this was his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

Hitters with an EDGE

Tyrone Taylor vs. Pirates

3-for-5, 3 2B, 1 RBI

You read that right. The left fielder interestingly enough hit three doubles in Milwaukee’s 12-0 rout of Pittsburgh, but only drove one of those twelve runs in. 

Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. vs. Red Sox

2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB

That’s 33 home runs now for Vladdy. His fifth inning three-run shot over the Green Monster in left field put the Blue Jays up 9-0, in an overall 13-1 walloping of the Red Sox. 

Miguel Cabrera vs. Orioles

2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB

Two home runs today got the veteran first baseman closer to 500 career home runs -- he currently stands at 497. These home runs were Cabrera’s ninth and tenth of the year. 

Closing Time

Will Smith vs. Mets

1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (21st save)

A three-out save for the Braves’ closer. He threw 16 pitches (12 for strikes) for an easy 1-2-3 ninth inning. The 32-year-old has now converted 21 out of 23 save opportunities.

Kyle Finnegan vs. Phillies

1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (1st save)

The 29-year-old righty protected a two run lead for the Nationals, nabbing Eric Bohm and Odubel Herrera both on swinging strikes. This was his first save of the year, out of two possible save opportunities.

Mark Melancon vs. Rockies

1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (32nd Save)

Major League Baseball's saves leader got himself another on Thursday night, throwing a 19 pitch ninth inning. He surrendered a double to Trevor Story, but was able to contain the Rockies otherwise, via two groundouts and a flyout.

Friday’s Matchup of the Day

Chris Bassitt (10-3, 3.46 ERA, 1.06 WHIP 132 K) vs. Patrick Sandoval (3-4, 3.52 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 81 K)

The Athletics and Angels continue on Friday with game two of a four game series. Bassitt has been a solid presence in the A’s rotation, pitching at least seven innings in nine starts this year. He last faced the Angels on May 27, and pitched a complete game, two hit shutout. Patrick Sandoval faced the A’s last also on May 27, and gave up five hits in five innings, but surrendered no runs. Sandoval fell two outs short of the seventh no-hitter this season in his last appearance on Saturday, as he threw an impressive career-high 13 strikeouts versus the Twins.

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Priority Pickup 

Tyrone Taylor, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Available in 96% of Yahoo Leagues)

The 27-year-old Brewers outfielder clobbered three extra-base hits on Thursday in an absolute walloping of the Pirates, but Taylor’s numbers lately show there’s proof in the pudding. This was not only his fourth straight multi-hit effort, but he carries an absolute monstrous 1.393 OPS in his last seven games, including two homers, seven RBI, nine runs scored, and two walks drawn. He has an overall .846 OPS on the season, with nine total homers, 33 RBI, 27 runs scored, and five stolen bases.

National League Quick Hits

Jeff McNeil (leg) was out of the Mets' starting lineup on Thursday versus the Braves. ... Nationals placed SS Trea Turner on the COVID-19 injured list...Nationals placed RHP Daniel Hudson on the COVID-19 injured list. ... Nationals placed RHP Austin Voth on the COVID-19 injured list. ... Nationals transferred C Alex Avila from the 10-day injured list to the COVID-19 injured list...Victor Robles (back) is out of the Nationals' starting lineup for the first half of Thursday's doubleheader against the Phillies. ... Cubs placed INF Nico Hoerner on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain...Buster Posey (head) is not in the Giants' starting lineup on Thursday afternoon against the Dodgers. ... Cubs placed RHP Dillon Maples on the 10-day injured list with a blister on his right middle finger...Victor Robles (back) remains out of the Nationals' starting lineup for the second half of Thursday's doubleheader against the Phillies. ... Bryce Harper was removed from the second half of Thursday's doubleheader against the Nationals due to an apparent injury. ... Rhys Hoskins left Thursday's second game of a doubleheader against the Nationals with an apparent injury. ... Dinelson Lamet (forearm) threw a live batting practice session on Thursday.

American League Quick Hits

Cleveland manager Terry Francona will step away for the remainder of the season to focus on health issues. ... Rays placed RHP Pete Fairbanks on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. ... Nelson Cruz (foot) remained out of the Rays' starting lineup on Thursday. ... Greg Allen was scratched from the Yankees' lineup on Thursday due to soreness in his right knee...Eloy Jimenez (groin) was not in the White Sox starting lineup on Thursday afternoon against the Royals. ... Jose Abreu is out Thursday because of a stiff neck. ... Rafael Devers (quad) is not in the Red Sox starting lineup on Thursday night against the Blue Jays. ... Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters after Thursday's win over the Yankees that Pete Fairbanks MRI on his shoulder came back "mostly clean.". ... Lourdes Gurriel (elbow) is not in the lineup on Thursday against the Red Sox. ... Mariners RP Andrés Muñoz (elbow) has begun a throwing program...Mariners RP Ken Giles (elbow) has begun a throwing program. ... Justus Sheffield (forearm, oblique) will return to the mound in the second week of August. ... Justin Dunn (shoulder) is expected to return at some point in August.

Janice Scurio

Janice Scurio (@scuriiosa) is a writer that has appeared on various baseball podcasts and blogs about the White Sox over at South Side Sox.