By Scott Barancik, Editor

Here are your MLB highlights for the week of August 5-11, 2019:

Mazel tov

  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) recently talked to the Jewish News of Northern California about his bar mitzvah, a religious studies course he took in high school, and being one of the few Jewish players in the Major Leagues. Click here to see the article.
  • Nick Rickles, a 29-year-old catcher and former minor leaguer who played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, is obtaining Israeli citizenship — and will join Israel’s national team in its ongoing quest to make the 2020 Olympics. Israel’s next stop is the European Championship A-Pool tourney in Germany, from September 7-15. More roster additions are expected in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
  • Astros fans are lucky. According to a recent article, Houston offered to trade 3B Alex Bregman to Detroit in 2017, but the Tigers refused.

Stats to share

  • Max Fried’s 4.11 ERA is below the MLB average of 4.51, but not substantially. So how has the Braves ace managed to go 13-4 this season? His teammates have played a key role. According to this table, Fried ranks #4 in run support per start(R.S.) among all MLB pitchers.
  • Last week was a banner one for Jewish players, who collectively hit .421 (32-for-76).

At the plate

  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) hit .500 (8-for-16) with a home run, 5 doubles, a hit-by-pitch, 7 RBIs, and a .619 on-base percentage. The highlight: a 3-for-3 performance on August 10, including 2 doubles and a HR. Bregman’s 28 HRs rank #6 in the American League, and his .956 OPS (on-base plus slugging) ranks #4. He is hitting .315 since the All-Star break.

  • CF Kevin Pillar (Giants) hit .400 (10-for-25) with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, a triple, a hit-by-pitch, 5 RBIs, a stolen base, and a .423 OBP. He also made a slick catch in left-center. Pillar is hitting .394 in August.

  • LF Joc Pederson (Dodgers) hit .500 (8-for-16) with a HR, double, hit-by-pitch, 2 RBIs, and a .600 OBP. A running catch also made Los Angeles fans happy that Pederson has moved back from 1st base to right field. Pederson is hitting .333 in August, but his home-run productivity has dropped off considerably since April/March, when the slugger hit 10 HRs in 92 at-bats.

  • LF Ryan Braun (Brewers) hit .375 (6-for-16) with a double, triple, hit-by-pitch, one RBI, and a .474 OBP. He is hitting .304 since the All-Star break.
  • 2B Ian Kinsler (Padres), currently riding the bench, went 0-for-3. His career hit total remains at 1,998.
  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros) drew a walk on August 7, his only plate appearance since getting called-up on August 2. The 26-year-old returned to Triple-A on August 8.

On the mound

  • Max Fried (Braves) improved his record to 13-4 on August 7, yielding 3 earned runs over 5.1 innings on 6 hits, a walk, and a season-high 10 strikeouts. The highlight: fanning Minnesota 2B Jonathan Schoop on three curveballs.
  • Richard Bleier (Orioles) went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA across 2 appearances, yielding 3 hits and a walk across 3 combined innings while striking out one.
  • Robert Stock (Padres), who has been on the injured list since early July, was sent to the AZL Padres (Rookie) on a rehab assignment. He pitched a perfect inning of relief on August 10, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.

Staying close by

  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays/AAA/Buffalo Bisons) hit .478 (11-for-23) with 7 doubles, a HR, 2 RBIs and a .520 OBP.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Reds/AAA/Louisville Bats) hit .333 (2-for-6) with a double, RBI, and a .500 OBP.

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