The Toronto Blue Jays made a major move to beef up their starting rotation on Friday, as they have acquired right-hander Jose Berrios in a trade with the Minnesota Twins.
The Blue Jays have agreed to send multiple prospects to Minnesota for Berrios, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported. Toronto has one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, and two of their top-five prospects are involved in the deal.
Berrios, 27, is a two-time All-Star. He is 7-5 with a 3.48 ERA this season and known for his excellent curveball. He is not scheduled to become a free agent until 2023.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were said to have interest in Berrios, but they instead landed Max Scherzer on Thursday in a monster deal.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are not about to sit quietly and let the San Diego Padres beef up their rotation with so much as a response.
The Padres reportedly are close to acquiring 3-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer from the Washington Nationals. In response, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi says the Dodgers are likely to target Jon Gray or Jose Berrios.
Berrios, 27, is a two-time All-Star for the Minnesota Twins. He is 7-5 with a 3.48 ERA this season and known for his excellent curveball. He is not scheduled to become a free agent until 2023.
Gray, 29, was the No. 3 overall pick in 2013 out of Oklahoma. He has pitched for the Rockies his entire career but done relatively well nevertheless. He is 6-6 with a 3.67 ERA this season.
The Dodgers have Walker Buehler, Jose Urias, Tony Gonsolin and Josiah Gray in their rotation. They even promoted David Price to a starter spot. The Dodgers have a surprising need for starting pitching with Dustin May out for the season, Clayton Kershaw currently on the injured list due to a forearm issue, and Trevor Bauer suspended.
The New York Mets sound likely to be quite active ahead of the MLB trade deadline, and it appears they don’t want to make only modest additions.
According to Pat Ragazzo of Inside the Mets, the team wants to make a “big splash” ahead of the July 31 deadline, and are eyeing the top players believed to be available. That includes Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Twins pitcher Jose Berrios.
Despite this, the Mets will be picky on which trades they made. They’re reluctant to give up their best prospects for a rental player in Bryant. They’d also likely refuse to take on the contract of Josh Donaldson to acquire Berrios, though the Mets accept that they’re likely to go into the luxury tax and will do so for the right move.
The Mets have been consistently linked to bats, including Bryant. The urgency to get something done may be increased with Francisco Lindor out with an oblique injury. The team’s pitching is also thin right now with Jacob deGrom on the IL, so it makes sense for them to look for upgrades and depth in the rotation too.
The Mets are 48-42 and currently lead the Philadelphia Phillies by two games in the NL East.
Jose Berrios is using the current coronavirus situation as an opportunity to add some more tricks to his bag.
During a conference call this week, the Minnesota Twins ace righty revealed that he is working to improve the trajectory on his changeup and curveball during the quarantine period that has left the 2020 MLB season in limbo.
“Right now, I am focusing on throwing the changeup towards the glove side, which would be on the side outside the right-handed hitter,” said Berrios, according to Marly Rivera of ESPN. “As it naturally runs for me, it would be on the arm side, from the middle towards the bottom. I want to improve it towards the glove side.
“I’m also working on a curveball, like if I’m facing a right-handed hitter, it goes over the hitter and falls for a strike,” he went on. “I know those are efficient pitches and I want to add them to my repertoire. The changeup comes out in a way that’s natural to me, so I want to work it elsewhere.”
The 25-year-old Berrios, who has been largely reliant on his fastball (both two-seam and four-seam) to this point of his career, went 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 32 starts last year. He also made the American League All-Star team for a second straight season.
Minnesota’s manager Rocco Baldelli recently raved about the team’s bullpen, but Berrios improving on his offspeed stuff should help make the Twins tough to hit in the earlier innings as well.
The Minnesota Twins traded away righty reliever Mike Morin this weekend, and ace pitcher Jose Berrios did not appear at all enthused about the move.
Morin was shipped to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in exchange for cash considerations. In response to the deal, Berrios took to Twitter to wish Morin well but wrote of the Twins that “they just want to get money.” The two-time All-Star then deleted the tweet shortly thereafter.
Morin had posted a 3.18 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP in 23 appearances in relief for Minnesota this season. He was, however, designated for assignment by the team earlier in the week.
The Twins currently lead the AL Central with a 59-37 record, so it doesn’t make sense for them to be sellers at the trade deadline. That being said, the Morin move could just be a precursor to a bigger deal for a better reliever.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Jose Berrios does not appear likely to be knocked off schedule despite dealing with a blister injury.
Berrios left Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals after throwing 90 pitches in seven innings due to a blister problem. It does not sound like that blister will cost him a start, as he is expected to remain on his usual between-start regimen.
Blisters can linger, so Berrios’ status is still worth watching going forward, but unless he suffers a setback it appears likely that he’ll be on track to make his next start.
Berrios has pitched like an ace for Minnesota this year, posting a 2.84 ERA in 16 starts.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is a neat event for a lot of reasons. It is an opportunity to see the best baseball has to offer all on the same field. Matchups of star vs. star are commonplace on the evening.
There’s more to it than that, though. The All-Star Game is an opportunity for lesser-known players who might not have tons of national publicity to make an impression and show their stuff on a big stage. Since every team gets a representative, nobody gets left out, and fans are exposed to players that might not be otherwise.
Here are ten lesser-known MLB players who deserve to be All-Stars in 2018.
1) Aaron Nola, Phillies
Nola’s success isn’t necessarily a surprise. He’s a seventh overall pick who has been touted for stardom since he entered professional baseball, and he has fulfilled that potential. He has a 2.41 ERA in 18 starts, a WHIP barely above one, and 116 strikeouts in 116 innings pitched. On a staff featuring Jake Arrieta, it’s Nola who can claim the mantle of ace.
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game is an extremely cool event that showcases many of baseball’s best players. One of the best storylines every summer involves those who are making it to the Midsummer Classic for the first time in their careers. Their stories often vary. Some are young guys who have long been touted for superstardom and are living up to their potential, while others are journeymen or veterans who never really expected to be in the position they’re in.
Here are ten players who could certainly find themselves in Washington, D.C. in July for their first All-Star appearances.
1) Shohei Ohtani, Angels
At the rate he’s going, the question isn’t whether Ohtani will be an All-Star, but how he gets in. Given how he’s captured the sport’s imagination, it seems eminently possible he’ll be voted in as a possible starter by the fans, though it will be very intriguing to see how the league handles his ability to both hit and pitch. Whatever the case, the guy has potential to be an All-Star as both a hitter, where he’s off to a fine start, or as a pitcher. Barring a dropoff, he’ll be in Washington.
2) Carlos Carrasco, Indians
Carrasco has been pitching at an ace level for Cleveland for several years now, and this could be the year he gets All-Star recognition for it. He’s given up just 29 hits in 38 innings, winning four of his first five starts with an ERA of 3.08 on the season. Often overshadowed by Corey Kluber, Carrasco finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting a year ago. The time has come for him to get the recognition he’s owed from the rest of the sport.
3) Javier Baez, Cubs
One of the flashiest and most fun players to watch, Baez has begun to put up star numbers to go with his awesome personality. The slick-fielding infielder is off to a very good start in 2018, hitting .304, walking more than he has in years past, and leading the NL in RBIs through the first few weeks of the season. He’s still fielding his position well, and when you combine all this, there’s a real chance he becomes an All-Star for the first time.
4) Didi Gregorius, Yankees
It’s tough to fill Derek Jeter’s shoes at shortstop for the Yankees, but Gregorius has done about as well as anyone conceivably could have. In a lineup that features Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, it is Gregorius who leads the the team — and league — with an .800 slugging percentage. He’s begun the season with eight doubles and ten home runs in 26 games. He continues to come into his own as a legitimate star at short, and there’s a real possibility he could push Carlos Correa in the fan vote this time around.
5) Tommy Pham, Cardinals
Pham took a very long time to cement himself as a Cardinals starter — much to his annoyance — but his play might have them wondering what they were waiting for. After hitting .306 and picking up MVP votes in 2017, Pham is showing that it was no fluke. He’s hitting .353 thus far in his role as the Cardinals’ starting center fielder. His .461 OBP stands out as well, and it could very easily get him a trip to D.C. later this summer.
6) Rick Porcello, Red Sox
Porcello seems like he’s been around forever, but he’s still only 29 and has really just come into his own as a pitcher. He’s won a Cy Young Award, but amazingly, he doesn’t have an All-Star appearance to his credit. That could change this year. Porcello bounced back from a down 2017 by winning his first four starts with a 1.93 ERA, striking out more batters and walking fewer than he ever has before. Porcello won’t be denied if he continues pitching at an ace level.
7) Sean Manaea, Athletics
Even before he threw the 2018 season’s first no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox, Manaea was showing signs of a breakout campaign. Once the prize in the 2015 Ben Zobrist trade with the Kansas City Royals, Manaea looks like he’s developing into an ace, with a 1.03 ERA over 43.2 innings. The Athletics have a lot of young talent, but Manaea stands out among the bunch, and he looks like he’s only getting better.
8) Archie Bradley, Diamondbacks
MLB has more consistently recognized non-closers, including the game’s elite setup men — remember when Wade Davis was simply a Kansas City Royals eighth inning guy? That culture shift could benefit Bradley, who was outstanding enough to earn MVP votes in 2017. Still not Arizona’s closer, he continues to be deployed in a fireman role, sometimes pitching multiple innings to help Arizona out of jams. He has a 1.76 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. All-Star recognition could well follow for one of the game’s best relievers.
9) Jose Berrios, Twins
Long touted as one of the better pitching prospects in baseball, Berrios looks like he’s finally putting it all together for the Twins and evolving into the ace they hoped he would be. Still just 23, Berrios has demonstrated unbelievable dominance so far in 2018, striking out 36 and walking just three over 31.2 outstanding innings of work. It’s impossible to expect him to keep that up, but he’s making a huge impression, and he would fit in perfectly in D.C. this summer.
10) Charlie Morton, Astros
Morton didn’t look like a big impact signing when he joined the Astros before 2017. He proceeded to get the last out of Houston’s first World Series title, and he’s following that up with one of the best starts to 2018 of any pitcher in baseball. He’s given up seven runs (six earned) in his first 29 innings of work, good for a 1.76 ERA. He’s also striking a lot of guys out, with 35 of them, good for a career-best 10.9 per nine innings. Morton looks excellent. The only thing that could cost him an All-Star bid will be that Houston will have plenty of candidates. Still, Morton is doing everything he can to not be denied.
Jose Berrios has been dominant in his first two outings this season for the Minnesota Twins. He’s looked so good that he has one of his opponents comparing him to the late Jose Fernandez.
Here’s what Colorado Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond said about Berrios after Thursday’s game:
Desmond would know, as he used to face the Miami Marlins stud when he was in the NL East as a member of the Washington Nationals. And with the stuff Berrios displayed — his sweeping breaking ball was awesome — the comparison makes sense.
Berrios struck out 11 Rockies over 7.2 scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and one walk while picking up his second win. In his first start of the season, Berrios also allowed just two hits over 7.2 innings, though he did allow a run.
The 22-year-old Puerto Rican pitcher was a first-round pick by the Twins in 2012 and succeeded at every level in the minors. He certainly appears to be an emerging ace and valuable part of a crop of young Twins team that is playing well.