Here are your MLB highlights for the week of June 21-27, 2021:

Mazel tov

  • The Dodgers surprised Champ Pederson, older brother of LF Joc Pederson, with a World Series ring.
  • Israel, one of six baseball teams competing in the 2021 Summer Olympics, will begin by facing South Korea on June 29.

Stats to share

  • P Max Fried (Braves) may have headed to the injured list on June 19, but he left on a high note. According to Talking Chop: “After a rough start to the season, Fried has been Atlanta‚Äôs most consistent starter. Since returning from the injured list on May 5, Fried has allowed three runs or less in seven of eight starts.”
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Indians) has never pitched once as a pro, not even in the minors. But on June 18, Cleveland nearly called him to the mound in the 8th inning.

Weekly overview

  • Last week was momentous for Jewish players, but not in a good way. Three were optioned to their team’s Triple-A club, two were designated for assignment, and stars Max Fried (Braves) and Alex Bregman (Astros) lingered on the injured list. On the bright side, one of the players designated for assignment — Cubs P Robert Stock — was grabbed off waivers by the Mets.
  • Jewish batters hit a combined .170 (8-for-47) last week, with 2 HRs, 4 doubles, 5 RBIs, one hit-by-pitch, a stolen base, and a .200 on-base percentage. As a group, the players struck out 15 times and walked just once. The performance lowered their collective batting average from .246 to .241, versus the Major League average of .238.
  • Jewish pitchers went a combined 0-1 with a 49.09 ERA last week, thanks to a June 24 meltdown by Dean Kremer. The performance raised their collective ERA from 4.95 to 5.29, versus the Major League average of 4.08.

On the mound

  • Richard Bleier (Marlins) had a rare slow week, pitching a scoreless inning on June 25. Bleier yielded one hit, struck out a batter, and retired the side on 13 pitches.
  • Dean Kremer (Orioles) suffered the worst performance of his career June 24, yielding 6 earned runs on 2 hits and six walks over just 0.1 innings while lowering his 2021 record to 0-7. Kremer was optioned to Triple-A later that day.
  • Max Fried (Braves) was on the injured list and did not play.
  • P Robert Stock (Cubs/Mets) did not pitch.

At the plate

  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros) stroked a pinch-hit, RBI double on June 21, his only at-bat of the week. He was optioned to Triple-A two days later.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Indians) went 1-for-4 and doubled on June 22, his only appearance. He was designated for assignment two days later.
  • CF Kevin Pillar (Mets) hit .167 (4-for-24) with 2 HRs, 2 RBIs, and a .617 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage). Both of Pillar’s home runs came when New York was behind in the score, including a pinch-hit, game-ting shot on June 26. The centerfielder also made a diving catch on June 27.
  • LF Joc Pederson (Cubs) hit .111 (2-for-18) with 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, a hit-by-pitch, a stolen base, and a .372 OPS. Pederson struck out 8 times but drew zero walks.
  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros) was on the injured list and did not play.
  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) did not play. He was optioned to Triple-A on June 22.

Players to watch

  • C Ryan Gold (Blue Jays/High-A/Vancouver Canadians) hit .353 (6-for-17) last week, with 3 doubles, 4 RBIs, and 5 walks.
  • C Scott Manea (Astros) hit .357 (5-for-14) with 2 HRs, 3 doubles, and 6 walks. Manea is one of three Jewish catchers in Houston’s minor-league system, joining Garrett Stubbs and brother CJ Stubbs.
  • P Noah Davis (Reds/High-A/Dayton Dragons) earned his second straight win June 22, tossing 6 scoreless innings on 2 hits, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts.
  • P Ryan Sherriff (Rays/Triple-A/Durham Bulls) was perfect in 3 appearances, yielding no hits or walks over 2.1 combined innings while striking out 4.

Transactions

  • P Dean Kremer (Orioles) was optioned to Baltimore’s Triple-A club on June 25.
  • C Ryan Lavarnway (Indians) was designated for assignment on June 24, meaning he was removed from Cleveland’s 40-man roster. Within 7 days, he either can be traded, placed on waivers, sent to the minors, or released. It’s possible Lavarnway’s designation was pre-planned so that he could play for Team Israel in the upcoming Summer Olympics.
  • C Garrett Stubbs (Astros) was optioned to Houston’s Triple-A club on June 23.
  • 1B Rowdy Tellez (Blue Jays) was optioned to Toronto’s Triple-A club on June 22.
  • P Robert Stock (Mets) was designated for assignment by the Chicago Cubs on June 20. The New York Mets claimed Stock off waivers June 22 and optioned him to the club’s Triple-A team the same day.

Injured list

  • P Max Fried (Braves), blister on left index finger, since June 19.
  • 3B Alex Bregman (Astros), left quad strain, since June 17.

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