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Friday, April 19, 2019

Baseball

Aaron Judge says Yankees’ confidence still high despite rough start

Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees lost again on Sunday, but Aaron Judge isn’t tripping.

Following a 5-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox that dropped them to 6-9 on the young season, the Yankees slugger said that the team’s confidence was “still high.” He also preached about fighting adversity, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

The Yankees have now lost four of their first five series to start the year, and Sunday’s defeat marked the fifth in their last six games. They have also been felled by numerous injuries to key players on both sides of the ball, including former MVP Giancarlo Stanton, All-Star catcher Gary Sanchez, ace righty Luis Severino, and bullpen dynamo Dellin Betances.

Through it all though, the Yankees are still second in the AL East and just two games out of a Wild Card spot. That should help ease the blow of a season that so far has felt like a shot to the nuts for them in more ways than one.

Watch: Byron Buxton slams into wall on awesome leaping catch

Byron Buxton is one of the most exciting young players in baseball, and the Minnesota Twins center fielder showed us why with an acrobatic play he made on Sunday.

With the Twins leading 3-2 over the Detroit Tigers in the top of the third inning, Christin Stewart drove a ball deep to center field that looked like it had a chance to leave the ballpark. However, Buxton tracked it down and made an incredible catch while slamming into the wall.

Buxton was unable to play much last season because of injuries, but he appeared to be on the verge of a breakout when he hit .253 with 16 home runs and stole 29 bases in 2017. He has the ability to help the Twins in all phases of the game, which is why we listed him as one of our top breakout candidates for 2019. There are plenty more plays like that one to come from the 25-year-old.

Mike Trout improving, will join Angels on road trip

Mike Trout

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout is inching closer to a return to action.

Trout was assessed again on Sunday, and his injured groin continues to show improvement. Trout is feeling good enough to join his teammates in Texas for their upcoming series there, and appears to essentially be day-to-day.

Trout hasn’t played since last Tuesday, and the Angels are taking it slow with him despite modest improvement since then. The updates continue to be good, and it sounds like he should be back within a week at the absolute latest.

Rockies player hitting panic button after 3-12 start

Colorado Rockies logo

The worst record in baseball does not belong to one of the many rebuilding teams in the league. It belongs to the Colorado Rockies, who played in the NLDS last season and were expected to contend again in 2019.

The Rockies are 3-12 and have scored the second-fewest runs in all of baseball, and first baseman Mark Reynolds believes the time for urgency is now.

“Every time I talk to you guys, it’s like, ‘We’ll be fine, we’ll be fine,'” Reynolds said, via Nick Groke of The Athletic. “But at some point, you have to hit the panic button.”

Colorado’s problems lie mostly with the offense, but if this keeps up, a major shakeup will be required. Manager Bud Black is only a few months removed from a contract extension, but if things don’t turn around, it might not matter.

Report: Dallas Keuchel open to one-year deal

Dallas Keuchel

Dallas Keuchel seems to be adapting to the market.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Keuchel is open to signing a “good one-year deal” with interested clubs. Olney believes the San Diego Padres would be the best fit, but nothing appears imminent.

At least one other team has kept in contact with Keuchel, and it seems that his market is heating up. Teams will always need starting pitching, and his willingness to shift his demands to something more realistic than the other big free agent left on the market definitely seems to be helping him.

Report: Mets reached out to Dallas Keuchel again recently

Dallas Keuchel

The New York Mets could use some help with their starting rotation, and Dallas Keuchel remains a free agent despite the fact that the regular season began more than two weeks ago. The left-hander has been linked to the Mets for quite some time, and there is apparently still interest there.

Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that the Mets inquired about Keuchel recently, though he says there remains “skepticism the two sides will reach an agreement.”

Jason Vargas has been a complete disaster as a starter for the Mets in the early going. He has a 14.21 ERA and has allowed eight earned runs in his two starts, so New York could decide adding another starter is a must.

However, asking price has been an issue with Keuchel since free agency began. The Houston Astros reportedly made multiple offers to bring him back last month, but he obviously wants more money than they were willing to pay him. It’s shocking that Keuchel has not found a home, but we’re seeing an almost identical situation with one of the game’s top relievers. Something has to give eventually.

Adam Warren, Eric Hosmer had great reactions to Machado’s spectacular play

Manny Machado’s new teammates are going to get used to him making the impossible look routine.

During Friday’s game between the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks, Carson Kelly hit a ball down the third base line that forced Machado to range to his right and into foul territory. Machado fielded the ball and almost nonchalantly flipped it to first base, showing off his incredible arm strength and accuracy.

The reactions by pitcher Adam Warren and first baseman Hosmer were priceless.

Machado has made plays similar to this one in the past, but seeing them never gets old. It hasn’t for baseball fans and won’t any time soon for Machado’s new teammates.