Luis Gil Breaks New York Yankees Rookie Pitching Record

Luis Gil has broken a New York Yankees record…

The 25-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher delivered the best start of his young career on Saturday with 14 strikeouts — a Yankees rookie record — on 98 pitches over six innings to help lead the as the team defeated the Chicago White Sox 6-1.

Luis Gil In the process, the Yankees earned their sixth straight win and improved to an American League-best 32-15.

Gill, a right-hander, recovered from a 29-pitch first inning to produce 27 swing-and-misses behind a fastball that touched 100 mph and a changeup he has developed into a devastating offering.

At one point, he struck out nine of 10 hitters. He held the White Sox to five hits and one walk. In the end, he lowered his team-best ERA to 2.39 across nine starts.

“Today felt like, maybe, his best one,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Gil was expected to begin the season in the minors, honing his craft, waiting for an opportunity. Instead, Gil has continued his unforeseen breakout campaign.

He’s only in the rotation only because Gerrit Cole isn’t. Cole began the season on the 60-day injured list after being shut down in mid-March with an elbow injury.

On Saturday, the team’s ace took a significant step forward in his rehab — logging a 40-pitch bullpen session, divided in two to better simulate a game experience. He remains encouraged in his return to the mound.

For now, Cole is playing the part of assistant pitching coach — and making an impact on his replacement. Gil credited an increased focus and Cole’s tutelage — during games and in between starts — for his success after his performance Saturday.

“I have a teacher, Gerrit Cole, who’s teaching me how to pitch, how to handle situations and how to execute,” Gil said in Spanish. “And that’s what we’re doing, what he teaches me, and we’re applying it in the game.”

Gil has been dominant in May after posting a 4.01 ERA in five April starts. Since then, he has allowed just two earned runs with 27 strikeouts in 24⅓ innings across five outings. He made history Saturday by breaking Orlando Hernández‘s Yankees rookie record for strikeouts in a game. Hernández, who set the mark in 1998 with 13 strikeouts, happened to be in attendance on Saturday to throw out the first pitch.

“It was a pleasure to meet him,” Gil said. “He was a great pitcher. I loved getting to meet him.”

Chicago’s only run off Gil came on Andrew Benintendi‘s two-out, check-swing RBI double to open the scoring in the first inning. The lead was fleeting. Juan Soto responded in the bottom of the frame, smashing a pitch from Brad Keller 112.5 mph for a solo home run. He did it again in the fifth inning, this time launching a pitch from Keller 437 feet to right field for his 11th home run of the season. He finished the day 4-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs.

Soto’s explosion came after he went 4-for-31 (.129) without a home run over his previous eight games. The relative struggles were enough for him to take additional batting practice several hours before the Yankees and White Sox opened their series Friday. Soto took swings with hitting coach James Rowson and assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler. He then went 1-for-4 with a double, hitting the ball hard in play three times, in a Yankees win.

“Last night,” Boone said, “was the prelude to today.”

Soto declined to share what he worked on specifically during Friday’s extra hitting session, but he noted he was searching for the “feeling” he had over the first five weeks of the season when he was dominating pitchers on a daily basis.

Did he get it back?

“I think so,” Soto said with a smile.

Jose Altuve Signs Five-Year, $125 Million Extension with Houston Astros

Jose Altuve isn’t leaving his current universe…

The 33-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball second baseman has signed a five-year extension that all but guarantees he will finish his career with the Houston Astros.

Jose AltuveThe deal is worth $125 million, sources told ESPN, taking him all the way through his age-39 season.

“He’s a franchise-type player; one of the best in Houston history,” owner Jim Crane said at the owners meetings in Orlando, Florida. “And we hope someday he’s a Hall of Famer.”

The Astros announced the agreement on social media, calling their superstar an Astro For Life.

Altuve was heading into his final season — at $26 million — before free agency. His new deal begins in 2025 and takes him through 2029.

He has established himself as a central figure of the most successful era in franchise history, a seven-year stretch that has included two World Series titles, four American League pennants and seven consecutive trips (and counting) to the American League Championship Series.

Signed out of Venezuela in 2007, Altuve defied the odds and turned himself into a superstar despite being one of the most undersized players in baseball history at 5-foot-6.

Through 13 years in the big leagues, Altuve has slashed .307/.364/.471 while accumulating 2,047 hits, 295 stolen bases and 209 home runs. His résumé includes eight MLB All-Star invites, six Silver Sluggers, three batting titles, a Gold Glove and an MVP, won in 2017.

His career batting average is the highest of any active player with at least 2,000 at-bats, and the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Freddie Freeman (2,017) is the only other player with more than 2,000 hits since Altuve made his debut on July 20, 2011.

But some of Altuve’s greatest work has been done in the postseason. Most recently, Altuve hit the dramatic winning home run to cap a contentious game against the division-rival Texas Rangers and force Game 7 of the ALCS. He did something similar in the 2019 ALCS, walking off the New York Yankees with a ninth-inning home run against MLB All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to send the Astros to the World Series.

In 103 playoff games, Altuve has 27 home runs and 89 runs scored, which both rank second all time. His 117 hits are tied for third. He is one of just four players in MLB postseason history to surpass 100 hits and 50 RBIs, joining Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams and Manny Ramirez.

Carlos Carrasco Agrees to Minor League Contract with Cleveland Guardians

Carlos Carrasco is returning to Cleveland…

The 36-year-old Venezuelan-American professional baseball pitcher, who spent 11 seasons pitching for the Cleveland Guardians, has agreed to a minor league contract with the team featuring an invitation to spring training, per ESPN.

Carlos Carrasco

Carrasco’s base salary will be $2 million if he is on the big league team, according to ESPN sources.

The Athletic was first to report Carrasco’s return to the Guardians.

Carrasco, nicknamed Cookie, was a dependable part of Cleveland’s rotation for several seasons. He led the American League with 18 wins in 2017, and he became one of the team’s most popular players because of his warm personality and later for his courage in battling cancer.

In 2019, Carrasco was diagnosed with leukemia and was sidelined for three months. He was recognized during an emotional appearance on the field during the All-Star Game in Cleveland that season.

Carrasco went 88-73 with a 3.77 ERA in 242 games (195 starts) with Cleveland from 2009 to 2020.

He was traded as part of the deal that sent MLB All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets in 2021. Carrasco went 19-20 in three seasons with the Mets, going 15-7 in 2022. Carrasco went 3-8 in 20 starts last season.

Carrasco was sidelined during Cleveland’s run to the World Series in 2016 after he was struck by a line drive on his pitching hand in the final month of the season.

Félix Bautista Named the American League’s Reliever of the Year

Félix Bautista is experiencing a bit of relief

The 28-year-old Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles was the unanimous winner of the Mariano Rivera American League Reliever of the Year Award.

Félix BautistaBautista, nicknamed “The Mountain,” was 8-2 with a 1.48 ERA and 33 saves in 39 chances for the AL East champion Orioles.

The right-hander made his final appearance August 25 and had Tommy John surgery on October 9, which likely will cause him to miss the 2024 season.

Bautista, who made his MLB debut in 2022, was named 2023 MLB-All-Star.

Milwaukee Brewers‘ Devin Williams won the Trevor Hoffman National League honor Wednesday.

Eugenio Suarez Acquired by Arizona Diamondbacks in Trade with Seattle Mariners

Eugenio Suarez is headed to the desert…

The Arizona Diamondbacks have acquired the 32-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball infielder in a trade with the Seattle Mariners, filling their vacancy at third base and adding much-needed power to their lineup.

Eugenio SuarezThe Mariners received right-hander Carlos Vargas and veteran catcher Seby Zavala for Suarez, who has belted at least 21 home runs in each of the past seven full seasons.

The reigning National League champion Diamondbacks were in need of a third baseman when three-time All-Star Evan Longoria became a free agent this month. Longoria, 38, appeared in just 74 games during the regular season but started 16 of 17 games at the hot corner during Arizona’s postseason run.

“It adds a little bit of stability at that spot,” Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen said. “He’s a guy we’ve liked for a long time.”

Suarez will make just over $11 million in 2024 — the final guaranteed year of a seven-year contract that also includes a $15 million club option for 2025. His 7.2 WAR over the past two seasons is ninth among all major league third basemen.

Suarez batted .232 with 22 homers and 96 RBIs but also struck out a league-leading 214 times this past season, his second with the Mariners. He was an MLB All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds in 2018 and enjoyed his best season in the majors the following year, when he had a career-high 49 homers and 103 RBIs.

But Suarez has struggled to make consistent contact over the past four years, starting with the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season when he batted just .202 despite hitting 15 homers in 60 games with Cincinnati.

Suarez, who has batted just .221 since 2020 and has led the American League in strikeouts in each of the past two seasons, will join a Diamondbacks lineup that finished tied for 10th in the National League this season with 166 homers.

Arizona ranked 26th in baseball in WAR by third basemen in 2023. Of the five players who played that position for Arizona last season, three are already off the roster — Longoria is a free agent, Josh Rojas was traded to Seattle at the trade deadline, and Buddy Kennedy was lost on waivers to the St. Louis CardinalsJace Peterson and Emmanuel Rivera remain from the group and figure to fill reserve and/or platoon roles.

Vargas, 24, made five relief appearances during the regular season while Zavala, 30, is a .210 career hitter in parts of four seasons with the Diamondbacks and White Sox.

Jerry Dipoto, president of baseball operations for the Mariners, said the club envisions Zavala as the backup to Cal Raleigh entering the season.

Moving on from Suarez will be hard to sell to a fan base full of skepticism about the direction of the club after Seattle missed the playoffs and Dipoto’s misstep with some of his postseason comments. From the outside, it appears to be a move to clear salary, erases a key leader from Seattle’s clubhouse and leaves a hole at third base.

“Adding Seby and Carlos is another step toward building the type of deep roster that is required at the major league level,” Dipoto said. “Seby is an experienced catcher with excellent defensive skills who will team with Cal behind the plate. And Carlos is a young reliever with the type of ‘big stuff’ that our staff has done a wonderful job developing over the years.”

Ronald Acuna Jr. Wins National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in Unanimous Fashion

Ronald Acuna Jr. is the unanimous choice…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, an outfielder for the Atlanta Braves, has been named the Most Valuable Player of Major League Baseball’s National League, in unanimous fashion no less.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,In the American League, Shohei Ohtani was the unanimous choice for MVP.

Acuna and Ohtani’s unanimous wins are historic, since it’s an unprecedented occurrence in the 92-year history of the award.

Acuna beat out Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who came in second on all 30 ballots.

A force at the leadoff spot for a fearsome Braves lineup, Acuna combined 41 home runs with an NL-leading 73 stolen bases, easily becoming the first ever member of the 40-70 club.

He also led the NL in on-base percentage (.416), OPS (1.012), hits (217) and runs scored (149). His .337 batting average trailed only Miami Marlins second baseman Luis Arraez (.354) for the major league lead.

Acuna did not attend his scheduled conference call with BBWAA members because he debuted for the Tiburones de La Guaira of the Venezuelan winter league shortly after claiming the award. The game was pushed back an hour to accommodate the announcement.

Acuna won the NL Rookie of the Year Award during his age-20 season in 2018 — Ohtani won the AL version that year — and finished fifth in NL MVP voting during his age-21 season in 2019, clearly establishing himself as one of the most dynamic forces in the sport. But he suffered a torn ACL in the middle of the 2021 season, forcing him to merely watch from the dugout while his Braves teammates won a championship later that fall. The following year, he was admittedly not himself. The explosiveness that helped elevate him to stardom was lacking. His timing in the batter’s box was off.

Acuna spent the ensuing offseason working diligently on his conditioning and trained with Fernando Tatis Sr., father of his good friend Fernando Tatis Jr., on slightly lowering his hands to lessen some of the moving parts in his swing and get his bat through the zone more quickly. Through six months of baseball’s regular season, Acuna’s OPS never fell below .900.

Acuna’s stolen-base total was aided by new rules that introduced a pitch clock, increased the size of bases and limited the number of pitcher disengagements, but he hit 13 more home runs than the next-closest player ever to 70 stolen bases and stole 27 more bases than the next-closest player ever to 40 home runs.

“I don’t know what to say — just super excited, happy,” Acuna, surrounded by family and friends in his native Venezuela, told MLB Network in Spanish. “Hopefully, by the grace of God, I can have an even better year next year than the one I just had.”

Tampa Bay Rays’ Star Yandy Diaz Wins His First Silver Slugger Award

Yandy Diaz is celebrating his first silver moment…

The 32-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and Tampa Bay Rays star has won his first Silver Slugger Award, which is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball.

Yandy DiazDiaz, who has played for the Rays since 2019, won the award in the American League’s first base position. He was this year’s AL batting champion.

Seattle Mariners’ star Julio Rodriguez has picked up his second Silver Slugger Award.

The 22-year-old Dominican professional baseball center fielder won one of the outfield awards in the American League.

In the National League voting, 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player William Contreras, who plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, has claimed his maiden Silver Slugger.

NL batting champion Luis Arraez (.354) of the Miami Marlins won his second in a row after winning in 2022 with the AL‘s Minnesota Twins.

Atlanta Braves’ Ronald Acuna Jr. collected his third Silver Slugger Award in the outfield, alongside San Diego PadresJuan Soto, who claimed his fourth award.

Francisco Lindor, the 29-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop for the New York Mets, picked up the third Silver Slugger prize of his career.

The Texas Rangers received their first American League Offensive Team of the Year honor.

Louisville Slugger presented the Atlanta Braves with the inaugural National League Offensive Team of the Year award as determined by a combination of offensive statistics and a fan vote for finalists between September 25-October 1.

Both the Rangers and Braves led their leagues in runs, hits, home runs, RBIs, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Here’s the full list of winners: 

American League
C: Adley Rutschman (Baltimore)
1B: Yandy Diaz (Tampa Bay)
2B: Marcus Semien (Texas)
SS: Corey Seager (Texas)
3B: Rafael Devers (Boston)
OF: Kyle Tucker (Houston), Julio Rodriguez (Seattle), Luis Robert Jr. (Chicago)
DH: Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles)
UTIL: Gunnar Henderson (Baltimore)

National League
C: William Contreras (Milwaukee)
1B: Matt Olson (Atlanta)
2B: Luis Arraez (Miami)
SS: Francisco Lindor (New York)
3B: Austin Riley (Atlanta)
OF: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta), Mookie Betts (Los Angeles), Juan Soto (San Diego)
DH: Bryce Harper (Philadelphia)
UTIL: Cody Bellinger (Chicago)

Ronald Acuna Jr. Named a National League MVP Finalist

Ronald Acuna Jr. has landed on the MVP finals list…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player and Atlanta Braves outfielder is among the finalists for the National League MVP award, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced in a show televised on MLB Network.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,Acuña had a record-breaking season for the Braves, becoming the first player to finish a season with 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases.

The other two finalists for the award include former Braves star Freddie Freeman and his Los Angeles Dodgers teammate, Mookie Betts.

Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas is among the American League Rookie of the Year finalists include Baltimore shortstop Gunnar Henderson and Cleveland right-hander Tanner Bibee.

The AL Cy Young Award will come down to three right-handers vying for their first plaque: the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, Toronto Blue Jays’ Kevin Gausman and Minnesota Twins’ Sonny Gray, who officially hit free agency at 5:00 pm ET on Monday.

In the NL, left-hander Blake Snell — also a free agent — is the favorite to win his second Cy Young, while San Francisco’s Logan Webb and Zac Gallen of NL champion Arizona are seeking their first.

Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll is the distinct favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year and is a finalist alongside New York Mets right-hander Kodai Senga and Dodgers outfielder James Outman.

The final BBWAA award, Manager of the Year, is headlined in the NL by Craig Counsell, who was hired away Monday from Milwaukee by the Chicago Cubs. He’s opposed by Atlanta’s Brian Snitker and the favorite, Miami manager Skip Schumaker, who led the Marlins to the postseason despite a -57 run differential.

The AL slate is led by Rangers manager Bruce Bochy — who last won the award in 1996 — along with two-time winner Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay and Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde, who led the Orioles to a 101-win season and the AL East title.

Rookie of the Year results will be announced next week, with Manager of the Year on November 14, Cy Young on November 15 and MVP on November 16.

Texas Rangers Star Adolis García Wins First-Ever Gold Glove Award

It’s the golden hour for Adolis García.

The 30-year-old Cuban professional baseball player and Texas Rangers outfielder has earned his first-ever Gold Glove, an award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League and the American League. Garcia earned the award as a right fielder in the American League.

Adolis García While his career-high 39 home runs during the regular season and eight in the postseason made headlines, you can’t overlook García’s tremendous defense in 2023. He earned the award, the fourth by an outfielder in Rangers history, due in particular to his cannon of an arm — his average arm strength of 93 mph. García had a team-best 11 outfield assists this season, which was tied for third in the American League. It was his third straight season with 10-plus outfield assists. He ranked third among qualified MLB right fielders in defensive runs saved (seven).

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher José Berríos is also first time winner. The 29-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball pitcher, known as “La Makina,” managed to bounce back from his worst season in the big leagues in 2022, when he struggled to a 5.23 ERA, to win a Gold Glove.

In ’23, he was more like the Berríos of old, posting a 3.65 ERA over 32 starts. But Toronto also got stellar defense off the mound from the right-hander, who joins Marcus Stroman (2017) and R.A. Dickey (2013) as the only pitchers in franchise history to win a Gold Glove Award.

Another first time winner… Houston Astros utilityman Mauricio Dubón. The 29-year-old Honduran professional baseball utility player appeared at every position on the diamond except pitcher and catcher for Houston in 2023, spending the majority of thetime either at second base or in center field.

He was a slightly below-average hitter, so most of his value came from his defense. Despite spending about half of a season playing second base (616 2/3 innings), he finished with five defensive runs saved at the position and two in the outfield.

Cleveland Guardians second baseman Andrés Giménez won his second consecutive Gold Glove award. The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball shortstop and second baseman led American League second basemen with 18 outs above average and 23 defensive runs saved.

 

Giménez is the second Cleveland player to win multiple Gold Glove Awards at second base, joining Roberto Alomar, who won three straight from 1999-2001.

 

Gabriel Moreno has become the first Arizona Diamondbacks catcher to win a Gold Glove award.

The 23-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball catcher led MLB backstops in defensive runs saved (20) and Statcast‘s caught stealing above average (nine) in 2023. And with only 19 Major League games played behind the plate entering the season, only two non-rookies (excluding pitchers) — Ramón Urías (10 games at third base entering 2022) and Pokey Reese (11 games at second base entering 1999) — played in fewer games at the position for which they won the Gold Glove Award. At 23 years and 229 days old, Moreno is the sixth-youngest catcher to win his first Gold Glove honor.

San Diego Padres Fernando Tatis Jr. has won his first Gold Glove.

Tatis took home the National League award in right field ahead of finalists Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Lane Thomas of the Washington Nationals.

When Tatis was moved from shortstop to right field to begin 2023, we wondered how he’d fare out there. He was a revelation defensively, leading MLB with 29 defensive runs saved, and his average arm strength of 96.6 mph trailed only Rockies rookie Nolan Jones in the NL. Tatis’ 24 career games in the outfield before the ’23 campaign were the fourth fewest played at a position for which a non-rookie won a Gold Glove Award.

The Toronto Blue JaysTexas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs tied for the high among clubs with three winners each, Rawlings announced Sunday.

Berríos, and Giménez earned $50,000 bonuses in their contracts..

Voting was conducted among managers and up to six coaches from each team, who can’t select players on their own club. Since 2013, voting has been factored with a Society for American Baseball Research defensive index, which comprises about 25% of the total.

The utility category is based on a SABR formula and additional defensive statistics.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Named MLB’s Player of the Year by Major League Baseball Players Association

Ronald Acuña Jr. is this year’s Major League Baseball all-star, according to his peers…

The 25-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball outfielder and Atlanta Braves right fielder has been voted player of the year and the National League‘s outstanding player by fellow major leaguers in the annual Players Choice Awards of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Ronald Acuña Jr.,Los Angeles Angels designated hitter and pitcher Shohei Ohtani was voted the American League‘s outstanding player, the union said Thursday.

Acuña became the first player with 40 homers and 70 stolen bases in a season, hitting .337 with 41 homers, 106 RBIs and 73 stolen bases. No player previously had 40 homers and 50 steals in a season.

Ohtani hit .304 with 44 homers, 95 RBIs and 20 stolen bases and went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings. His pitching season ended August 23 because of a torn elbow ligament, an injury that will keep him from the mound until 2025. His hitting season ended September 3 due to an oblique strain.

Ohtani is expected to be the top player on the free agent market.

Marcus Semien, the second baseman of the World Series champion Texas Rangers, won his second Marvin Miller man of the year award, given to a player whose leadership inspires others. Semien, who also received the award in 2021, is a member of the union’s eight-man executive subcommittee.

Former outfielder Phil Bradley was awarded the Curt Flood Award for advancement of players’ rights and devotion to the union. Bradley is a union special assistant for international and domestic special events.

The New York Yankees‘ Gerrit Cole was selected as the AL outstanding pitcher and San Diego‘s Blake Snell the NL outstanding pitcher.

Comeback players were Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger in the NL and Chicago White Sox reliever Liam Hendriks in the AL.

Outstanding rookies were Arizona outfielder Corbin Carroll in the NL and Baltimore infielder Gunnar Henderson in the AL.