Category Archives: MLB JERSEYS

Keeping playoff hero Eovaldi a risk Red Sox could afford to take

One of my favorite moments of the postseason came when the Red Sox lost Game 3 of the World Series to the Dodgers, the 18-inning game that never ended. Nathan Eovaldi was the losing pitcher after serving up a walk-off home run to Max Muncy. He had already pitched in the first two games but still went six innings in Game 3, throwing 97 pitches and allowing just three hits. If Ian Kinsler doesn’t make a throwing error in the bottom of the 13th, the Red Sox win the game and Eovaldi gets the W.

Sure enough, the Red Sox announced Thursday they had signed Eovaldi to a four-year, $67.5 million contract. That $17 million per season price tag lines up with the predicted contract Eovaldi would receive, so the Red Sox didn’t retain his services on any kind of discount.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

It’s also not without a lot of risk, even for a pitcher, given that Eovaldi has two Tommy John surgeries in his past and a career 4.16 ERA. He had his best season in 2018, however, returning in late May after missing all of 2017 after surgery in August of 2016, then dramatically increased his stock with a huge performance in the postseason.6

He started twice and pitched four times in relief, showcasing his 100-mph fastball and allowing just 15 hits and four earned runs in 22 1/3 innings against the loaded offenses of the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers. In both the ALDS and ALCS, he started Game 3 of a tied series and pitched well, allowing one run in seven innings against the Yankees and two runs in six innings against the Astros.

The injury history aside, there are several reasons to like Eovaldi’s future, and you can make a strong claim that Eovaldi at $67.5 million over four seasons is a better signing than Patrick Corbin at $140 million over six years. Eovaldi, 29, obviously has the big fastball, but also began utilizing a cutter more often, throwing it 32 percent of the time after first unveiling it with the Yankees in 2016. That seemed to help his four-seam fastball, as his swing-and-miss rate with his fastball improved from a career rate of 15 percent to 25 percent.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

He also showed improved command with a career-low walk rate of just 4.4 percent. Out of 140 pitchers with at least 100 innings, that was the seventh-lowest walk rate, right up there in Corey Kluber/Justin Verlander territory. So you have a guy who throws 100 and throws strikes, mixes in a cutter, splitter, slider and curveball and you can see why many believe he hasn’t quite tapped his potential yet. After all, out of those 140 pitchers, Eovaldi was just middle of the pack — 67th — in strikeout rate.

Cubs closer Brandon Morrow will likely miss start of 2019 season after elbow surgery

The Chicago Cubs are likely to be without closer Brandon Morrow for the early portion of 2019 after the righty had minor surgery on his elbow last month. Morrow, 34, missed the second half of last season with a bone bruise and won’t begin throwing again until around Feb. 6.

The procedure was similar to the one starter Yu Darvish underwent late in the year after missing most of 2018. Darvish is on time in his recovery.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“Doing well,” Epstein said. “Progressing without limitations.”5

Morrow appeared in just 35 games for the Cubs in 2018 because of back and arm injuries. Morrow had 22 saves while posting a 1.47 ERA in 30 2/3 innings. He did not pitch after July 15.

Epstein admitted that Morrow’s health will impact their offseason needs, as they were looking for relief help anyway. Pedro Strop was the predominant fill-in after Morrow went down last year, but they’ll need more, especially from the left side.

“It underscores the need for depth and late-game options early in the year,” Epstein said.

The team has been in contact with lefty free agent Zach Britton, according to sources, but nothing is imminent. Epstein confirmed the Cubs aren’t on the verge of making any deals in advance of the winter meetings next week.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

The team also announced coaching moves as 37-year-old Tommy Hottovoy was promoted from run prevention coordinator to pitching coach after Jim Hickey left the team for personal reasons. The team also hired former big league player Terrmel Sledge as assistant hitting coach and Chris Denorfia as quality assurance coach. Catching coordinator and game planner Mike Borzello was promoted to associate pitching coach.

“We felt there was great risk going outside and losing what we had,” Epstein said of promoting from within.

Absent Nathan Eovaldi gets biggest cheers at Red Sox video premiere

Free agent Nathan Eovaldi was the star of the Red Sox 2018 World Series highlight video, and he didn’t even have to attend the red carpet premiere.

The erstwhile starter, who pitched six innings in relief in the team’s 18-inning, Game 3 loss, received a huge cheer whenever his name was mentioned by the dignitaries who shared the stage with the four World Series trophies the team has won since 2004. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was cheerfully heckled with shouts of “Bring him back!”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Acquired at midseason to bolster the Red Sox rotation, Eovaldi was 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA down the stretch for Boston. He made just one start in the playoffs before helping out the battered bullpen in the Game 5 clincher of the AL Division Series against Houston.6

He pitched one inning of relief in each of the first two games of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. And then, entering Game 3 in the 12th inning, he went the rest of the way to take the load off the rest of the Red Sox pitching staff.

Eovaldi is one of the few free agents from the championship team, giving the 108-win AL East champions a chance to repeat with virtually the same roster. World Series MVP Steve Pearce has already re-signed; Game 5 winner David Price opted in to the last four years of the contract he signed before the 2016 season; the team exercised its option on ace Chris Sale.

“We did it with these guys last year. Why can’t we do it this year?” utilityman Brock Holt said after walking the red carpet. “We’re going to try to win 108 games again. I don’t know if we’re going to.”

Holt said the video premiere was an opportunity to look back at the team’s successes before turning their attention to spring training and their attempt to win back-to-back.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“You don’t want to turn the page, but you have to,” he said. “Now it’s like, `Hey, we won the World Series. Let’s do it again.’ That’s hard to do.”

Urban Meyer to retire after Rose Bowl, with Ryan Day taking over as Buckeyes head coach

Meyer, who has coached Ohio State for the past seven seasons, will formally announce he’s stepping down at a 2 p.m. news conference in Columbus alongside Day and athletic director Gene Smith. The 54-year-old has battled the effects of an arachnoid cyst on his brain, which causes severe headaches, especially when under stress. The cyst was diagnosed in 1998 but worsened the past few years, and Meyer dropped to his knees on the sideline during an October game against Indiana and often looked distressed during games, rubbing his head and wincing.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Meyer repeatedly said he planned on coaching in 2019, but uncertainty remained, even after Meyer seemed to improve in recent weeks and Ohio State won the Big Ten championship in beating Northwestern on Saturday. Several Ohio State staff members told ESPN after the game that they noticed a positive change in Meyer the past two weeks. Smith denied a Football Scoop report last week that Meyer would not coach past the 2019 season and Day would take over as head coach. Meyer declined to comment when asked about the report.5

Meyer on Friday called Day “elite” and, when asked about Day’s future career opportunities, said, “Certainly now is not that time, this week is not the time. But there will be a time.”

Ohio State wanted to announce Meyer’s plans before the early signing period (Dec. 19-21) and with most of the coaching staff on the road recruiting. Naming Day as Meyer’s successor shows a commitment to continuity with the staff for 2019 and beyond.

Day, 39, is in his second season on the Buckeyes’ staff after previously working for Chip Kelly with the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles.cheap nfl jerseys china nike The New Hampshire native turned down college head-coaching opportunities and the Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator job after the 2017 season. He was mentioned as a candidate for college head-coaching jobs this year but never strongly pursued any. Day served as Ohio State’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2017 before being promoted to the primary coordinator and playcalling role this season.

Josh Donaldson hopes to spend rest of career with Braves

“We were looking for a middle-of-the-order bat,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said after a news conference at SunTrust Park less than 24 hours after the team announced the signing of catcher Brian McCann. “We had to find a way to get it done.”

Donaldson was looking for a team that would pay him big bucks while giving him a chance to show he’s healthy after three injury-plagued seasons. He’ll make the same salary he received this past season, while setting himself up for a much more lucrative deal if he returns to MVP form.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Plus, he gets to play with his favorite team from childhood. Donaldson is a native of Pensacola, Florida, and he played his college baseball at Auburn, about a two-hour drive from SunTrust Park.6

“I was a huge Braves fan coming up,” he said. “My very first favorite player was Ron Gant. It’s a very full circle from coming to my very first Braves game, my first major league baseball game, when I was about 12 years old to now being 32 years old [next week], being able to wear this jersey and wear it with pride.”

By committing to Donaldson for only one year, the NL East-winning Braves addressed their top priority while leaving themselves plenty of financial flexibility beyond 2019. They have some of the most talented young players in the game, led by NL Rookie of the Year Ronald Acuna Jr., and didn’t want to make a move that impeded their long-term progress.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“I think it’s a win-win across the board,” Anthopoulos said. “We love Josh. We’re thrilled to have him. But it’s a one-year deal. Beyond one year, we don’t know what’s going to happen, other than we hope we’re pouring champagne over each other’s heads and he’s had an MVP year again. It would be a good problem to have.”

Donaldson was AL MVP in 2015 after hitting 41 homers and leading the league with 123 RBIs in his first year with the Blue Jays. He was acquired from Oakland in a blockbuster deal engineered by Anthopoulos, who was then Toronto’s general manager.

Red Sox re-sign Series MVP Steve Pearce on 1-year, $6.25M deal

“We’re thrilled to have Steve back with us for another year as we think he’s a great fit for our club,” Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski said. “Obviously, we all saw what kind of impact he can have on the field, especially with the postseason that he had. He also provides good depth and balance from the right side for us.”

Pearce, a grinder who has bounced from team to team, was an improbable World Series MVP, hitting .333 with three homers and eight RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Each of his four hits went for extra bases, and he drew four walks without striking out, posting a .500 on-base percentage.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

In Game 4, he launched a tying home run in the eighth inning, then added a three-run double in the ninth that sent Boston to a 9-6 win.

In the clincher, he got the Red Sox rolling, connecting for a two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the first inning, then hitting a solo shot off Pedro Baez in the eighth.5

The 35-year-old first baseman had been a valuable role player for the Red Sox after being acquired in a June 28 trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. He batted .279 for Boston, with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 50 regular-season games.

In early August, with incumbent first baseman Mitch Moreland slumping, Pearce powered Boston to a key four-game sweep of the Yankees by hitting four home runs, three of which came during a statement-making 15-7 rout in the opener.

In the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees, with Moreland nursing a balky hamstring, Pearce started three of four games and hit .333 for the series. In Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against Houston, with the score tied at 2 and the series tied at 1, it was Pearce’s sixth-inning homer off Astros reliever Joe Smith that seemed to tip the scales in Boston’s favor.

He’s a career .257 hitter, with 90 home runs and 294 RBIs in nine seasons.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

When Pearce joined the Red Sox — his ninth team in seven seasons — it completed a rare sweep. He has played for every club in the American League East.

In 2014 with the Baltimore Orioles, he developed a reputation as one of the game’s more underrated utility players, a dangerous right-handed bat who could play almost anywhere on the field. He was signed by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016, and went to Toronto in 2017.

Red Sox starters won the World Series — from the bullpen

It was fitting that when Fox’s cameras scanned the Boston bullpen Sunday to see which relievers were warming up for the ninth inning of Game 5, the two men on the mounds were Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale, a pair of starters.

The 2018 baseball season might well go down as the year that relievers became starters and bullpenning took hold, but the 2018 postseason should be remembered as one in which Boston’s starting pitchers played a starring role by coming out of the bullpen. Sale’s Game 5 World Series appearance is certainly not the first time an ace has trudged in from the outfield: Randy Johnson and Madison Bumgarner were, of course, pretty big deals when they closed out 2001 and 2014 in relief. But the systematic approach Boston took to getting its best pitchers into unfamiliar high-leverage roles was a huge part of how that bullpen — considered a weakness heading into the postseason — got through three grueling rounds. Paired with last year’s postseason,cheap official nike nfl jerseys this approach now appears to be the new normal.

Before Sale in the ninth inning of Game 5, it was David Price pitching the ninth in Game 3, and before that it was Eovaldi taking over the eighth inning in Games 1 and 2, and before that it was Rick Porcello in the eighth inning of games in the division series and ALCS. The Dodgers used Clayton Kershaw in relief for Game 7 of the NLCS and Rich Hill for an eighth inning in that series.6

Those six pitchers threw a total of 15⅔ innings of relief. They allowed seven hits and one earned run, that earned run coming at the end of Eovaldi’s six-inning relief stint in Game 3. They struck out 16 and walked three. Their combined win probability added (including Eovaldi’s loss) was about a half a win, roughly what Milwaukee’s ace fireman Josh Hader’s was. They were collectively the elite closer every team wants in October, and they were cooked up entirely out of ingredients lying around the pantry.

Again, these sorts of appearances have happened before, throughout postseason history. But rarely this systematically. In the past, starters pitching in relief were often pitching very late in the postseason — i.e., after they’d made their last scheduled start, or with the ultimatum of a series clincher — or very early in the postseason, before their first turn had come up in the rotation. Boston, by contrast, had at least one starter between starts who was readily available in the bullpen seemingly every day this October. And rarely have so many different starting pitchers been used in this way in a single postseason.nike jerseys nfl cheap

We looked back since 1969 — when division play began — for pitchers who made at least two starts in a postseason (to avoid including pitchers, like Eduardo Rodriguez this year, who were primarily relievers but were pushed into an emergency start) and at least one relief appearance in the same postseason. From 1969 through 2016, there were about two per year on average, with only two postseasons (2003 and 2011) in which there were more than five in a year. But there were seven last year — those seven allowed just 11 hits and five runs in 23⅔ innings, incidentally — and six this year, the most there have ever been in consecutive postseasons.

Oakland gives long-term extensions to Bob Melvin, Billy Beane

The Oakland Athletics believe they have stability in their leadership structure to keep a good thing going and build momentum from their 2018 playoff return.

Manager Bob Melvin has been rewarded for guiding another turnaround, receiving a long-term contract extension. The A’s also reached new deals with executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst.

The extensions for all three were announced Monday by the small-budget franchise. Under Melvin’s guidance, a young, slugging Oakland club went 97-65 and lost the American League wild-card game 7-2 to the New York Yankees.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“From the moment I got here, it’s been a special place for me for a lot of the reasons I’ve already talked about in the past,” Melvin said. “It just seems like every year it gets more and more comfortable for me being at home, the people that you work for, the continuity in the organization.”5

With MLB home run leader Khris Davis leading the way, the A’s reached the postseason for the first time since 2014 following last-place finishes in the AL West each of the previous three years. They trailed the Mariners by 11 games in the wild-card race on June 15 before a strong second half — not to mention all the comeback wins and walk-offs — pushed them into the playoffs.

Last year, Melvin received a contract through the 2019 season. Melvin’s new contract is through 2021 with a club option for 2022, Beane said. Forst’s deal goes through 2023.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

“There are some things we don’t have, which are obvious, and there are some things we do have: We have stability and we have loyalty,” Beane said. “It goes back a long way. Listen, we have our challenges, but we all love working here, we love working with each other.”

The surprising A’s caught the country’s attention. They went 63-29 from June 16 through the rest of the season for the fourth-best record in baseball. Yet it was the top mark in the majors during that stretch — ahead of World Series champion Boston’s 60-31. Oakland also went a majors-best 31-14 in one-run games and had 10 walk-off victories.

October hero Steve Pearce completed AL East cycle with his beloved Sox

Steve was the eldest and most fanatical of the three Pearce boys, but Chad and Kyle weren’t far behind. Whenever they’d play Wiffle ball, they were always the Sox. Even though Steve was a right-handed shortstop obsessed with Nomar Garciaparra, he always hit lefty in those games, using the ultra-light plastic bat to practice his swing from the opposite side. He was always Mo Vaughn.

Years passed, and Steve Pearce got really good at swinging the bat, be it plastic, aluminum or wood. He got so good at swinging it that, in 2005, the Pittsburgh Pirates saw fit to draft him in the eighth round. He made his big league debut in 2007 and spent the next five seasons playing for the Bucs.nfl cheap jerseys nike That is, when he wasn’t hurt.

Every time Pearce felt like his career was gaining some momentum, an injury would crop up. At the end of the 2011 season, the Pirates decided they’d had enough of Pearce’s on-again, off-again relationship with the disabled list and cut ties. It was the beginning of his on-again, off-again relationship with, well, a lot of teams.8

On June 28 of this year, when Pearce was traded from the Blue Jays to the Red Sox, he became the sixth man in major league history to play for every team in the same division. He also became the second person to play for every club in the American League East. More importantly, as far as the Pearce brothers were concerned, he became the first member of the family to play for the home team.

“The best part was telling my brothers,” says Pearce of breaking the Boston news. He speaks with a slight Southern twang, the kind that might come in handy if a ballplayer were to ever find himself in an AL East clubhouse (or four) where concealing his New England roots could theoretically make his life just a little bit easier. “They always pulled for whatever team I was playing for, but deep down they were always Red Sox fans. To be able to tell them the news that I got traded to the Red Sox, that was a great feeling for me. They were pumped. nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap They were like, ‘Holy cow, you’re playing for the Red Sox!'”

To be sure, Pearce isn’t the first big leaguer to play for the team he grew up worshipping. Minnesota native Joe Mauer has spent the entirety of his 15-year career with the Twins. Maryland’s own Cal Ripken Jr. was a lifelong Oriole. Tony Gwynn (Padres) and Brandon Crawford (Giants) come to mind as well. But unlike each of those hometown heroes, Pearce’s path to Boston — the sports-crazed city that’s in his de facto DNA — was infinitely indirect and dappled with deprivation.

What it means for the Dodgers to get all the way back to the World Series

The Dodgers begin a star-laden, highly anticipated World Series showdown against the juggernaut Boston Red Sox on Tuesday. It is yet another opportunity to claim the championship trophy that has eluded this franchise for 30 years. But nothing the Dodgers do the rest of this month can erase what took place 355 days ago, when the Houston Astros defeated them in Game 7.

“We can win two or three World Series in the future,” Turner said, “and I’ll probably remember losing the Game 7 more than winning the championships.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

The culprit was actually Game 5. The Dodgers jumped to a 3-0 lead with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, a premium opportunity to capture a pivotal swing game in the 2017 World Series. But they blew three leads and lost in 10 innings. They came back to win Game 6 but couldn’t recover from Yu Darvish’s five-run meltdown in Game 7.5

“We had plenty of chances,” Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “The whole series came down to a few pitches.”

“It stung, man,” starter-turned-reliever Alex Wood said. “It stung for a long time.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Dodgers players did their best to distance themselves from the memory in the offseason, but they couldn’t keep from bumping into each other. Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Austin Barnes, Turner and Wood all got married over the winter, constantly bringing everybody together again.

The World Series loss was a frequent topic of conversation early, but it quickly dissolved, replaced by the typical camaraderie of a team that grew so close throughout the journey.