By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your MLB highlights for the week of August 12-18, 2019:

Mazel tov

  • 2B Ian Kinsler (Padres), who joined the injured list on August 16 with a herniated cervical disk, played just one game last week, on August 12. It was a memorable one. Entering the game in the top of the 9th inning, Kinsler took the mound for the first time in his career, and while his performance was laughable — 2 walks, a hit, and a hit batter on 27 pitches — he held the Rays scoreless. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Kinsler hit a 2-run HR for his 1,999th career hit.

  • The Blue Jays optioned 1B Rowdy Tellez to Triple-A on July 15 to work on his hitting. A month later, on August 13, Toronto recalled him. Tellez had left the club little choice. In 93 minor-league at-bats, the rookie hit .366 with 7 HRs, 9 doubles, a .450 on-base percentage, and a 1.138 OPS (on-base plus slugging).

Stats to share

  • OPS is a measure of a player’s ability to get on base and hit for power, and Jewish players had both in spades last week. Ryan Braun’s 1.458 OPS ranked #6 in the National League, while Kevin Pillar’s 1.310 ranked #13. Over in the American League, Alex Bregman’s 1.350 OPS ranked #7.
  • Max Fried (Braves) has 14 wins, second only in the National League to Stephen Strasburg’s 15.

At the plate

  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) hit .458 (11-for-24) with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 6 RBIs, and a .519 OBP. The highlight was a 5-for-5 performance on August 17, his first five-hit game in a 7-year MLB career. Pillar’s 68 RBIs are a career high, and after starting the season 1-for-17 with Toronto, he is hitting .268 with the Giants.

  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .400 (8-for-20) with 2 HRs, 3 doubles, 9 RBIs and a .500 OBP. The highlight was a 4-for-4 performance on August 18, including a home run, double, and 3 RBIs. It was the fourth 4-hit game of his career and the first in nearly a year. At 30 HRs — tied for #5 in the American League — Bregman is one HR away from matching his career high of 31, set in 2018.

  • LF Ryan Braun (Brewers) hit .444 (8-for-18) with 2 HRs, a double, 2 RBIs, and a .524 OBP. The highlight was a 2-HR performance on August 17, including a go-ahead shot in the 9th inning. It was the 33rd multi-homer game of Braun’s career.

  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) hit .222 with a .364 OBP.
  • LF Joc Pederson (Dodgers) hit .118 (2-for-17) with one RBI and a .167 OBP. On the bright side, Pederson reported has become an “above-average corner outfielder,” statistically speaking (see article).

On the mound

  • Max Fried (Braves) went 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA across 2 appearances, yielding 14 hits and 6 walks across a combined 11 innings while striking out 12. In an August 18 no-decision, Fried struggled at first, yielding a 3-run HR to Cody Bellinger before retiring a batter. But he calmed down afterward and didn’t allow another run. At the plate, Fried hit .400 (2-for-5) for the week, with 2 doubles.
  • Richard Bleier (Orioles) went 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA across 2 appearances, yielding 2 hits and 2 walks over a combined one inning while striking out none.
  • Robert Stock (Padres), who has been on the injured list since early July, is on a rehab assignment.

Staying close by

  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros/AAA/Round Rock Express) hit .273 (3-for-11) with a HR, 2 RBIs, and a .333 OBP. Since being sent down to the minors, he has a five-game hitting streak.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Reds/AAA/Louisville Bats) hit .000 (0-for-10).

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