From prospects to superstars: 5 best August trades

From prospects to superstars: 5 best August trades

The non-waiver Trade Deadline may have come and gone on Friday, but the wheeling and dealing might not be done just yet.

Though the need to navigate waivers adds another wrinkle to potential August trades, history has proven that some franchise-altering acquisitions can still be made well after the Trade Deadline. This, however, isn't limited to contenders hoping to find that one last piece to give them an edge come October.

More

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beltre joins elite club with third cycle

Beltre joins elite club with third cycle

ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Adrian Beltre had a perfectly plausible explanation as to why he was able to hit for the cycle for the third time in his career in the Rangers' 12-9 victory over the Astros on Monday night.

"When you're fast like me, it's not that difficult," Beltre said.

More

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Gray, Owens, Severino ready for big stage

Trio of potential front-line starters set to make MLB debuts

Gray, Owens, Severino ready for big stage

The year of the prospect continues with three potential front-line starters making their debuts in the span of 24 hours.

This parade of pitchers from the Top 100 prospects list begins with the Rockies' Jon Gray, No. 35 on that list, and Red Sox lefty Henry Owens (No. 48), on Tuesday. Gray will take the mound at Coors Field against the Mariners; Owens faces the daunting task of making his Major League debut in Yankee Stadium. The next day, No. 16 prospect Luis Severino of the Yankees gets a taste of the New York-Boston rivalry.

More

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets rout Marlins to take over 1st in NL East

Mets rout Marlins to take over 1st in NL East

MIAMI -- The Mets may have settled into their South Florida hotel around 4:30 a.m. ET on Monday, but their bats were wide awake come game time. Michael Conforto blasted a three-run homer, his first career shot, and Yoenis Cespedes added three doubles and four RBIs in a 12-1 rout over Miami at Marlins Park.

After sweeping the Nationals at Citi Field, including a 5-2 win on Sunday night, the Mets stayed hot in the series opener, providing Bartolo Colon, who allowed one run over eight innings, with plenty of run support on a night New York moved into sole possession of first in the National League East for the first time since June 19. The Mets win was coupled with the Nationals' 6-4 loss to the D-backs to break the tie atop the division, after several clubhouse veterans addressed the clubhouse pregame to warn against a letdown.

More

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

French girl aims to play in 2017 Classic

French girl aims to play in 2017 Classic

HOOFDDORP, Netherlands -- Melissa Mayeux is one of a kind as the only girl amongst 79 young men. The fact that Mayeux is participating in the MLB European Elite Camp has been huge news, especially in Europe. Sitting at the news conference between Major League greats Barry Larkin and Steve Finley, the 16-year-old is relaxed and open about her ambitions.

"I just finished the minicamp in Germany, and now I want to make a next step this week in Amsterdam," Mayeux said to the Dutch media.

More

Jaap de Groot is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Looking back at the infamous Ryan-Ventura tussle

|
Looking back at the infamous Ryan-Ventura tussle

Tuesday marks the 22-year anniversary of one of the most infamous fracases in history.

In one corner, Robin Ventura, White Sox third baseman: 26 years old, young and full of vigor, still at the beginning of a great Chicago career that would be followed by some heroics in a Mets uniform as well.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Hessman becomes Minors' HR king

Toledo Mud Hens slugger swats 433rd dinger

Hessman becomes Minors' HR king

On Monday night at Fifth Third Field in Toledo, Mud Hens third baseman Mike Hessman stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and hit a grand slam to left-center field, becoming the Minor League home run king in grand style.

Hessman's 433rd Minor League homer -- off a fastball from Lehigh Valley pitcher Dustin McGowan -- broke the record set by Oakland Oaks slugger Buzz Arlett more than six decades ago. It was not, however, enough to push the Mud Hens by the IronPigs as they lost, 10-8, in 11 innings.

More

Lindsay Berra is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Central in the Cards, but Bucs, Cubs won't fold

Central in the Cards, but Bucs, Cubs won't fold

The Cardinals are as efficient as a Swiss watch. They lost their ace in April but never missed a beat. Adam Wainwright had helped the Cards get off to a 12-4 start, and they have kept ticking on a pace to win 100-plus games as well as stay in range to chase the franchise record of 106 wins.

The Cardinals needed to set such a high standard. The Pirates have been almost as strong as they attempt to go to the postseason for a third consecutive year, this time as division champ. They were 18-22 on May 20 before reeling off a 21-5 stretch to drop the surprising Cubs into third place. No team has been more interesting than the one managed by Joe Maddon, which is contending for a Wild Card spot with four rookies, including All-Star Kris Bryant, in the lineup.

More

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Royals on top, but don't count out the others

Royals on top, but don't count out the others

The Royals owned the American League in last year's playoffs. But entering 2015, their division felt very much up for grabs. The Tigers had won four straight AL Central crowns, while the seemingly improved White Sox and the Indians both looked capable of making a run at the top spot. If any club was generally counted out of the running before Opening Day, it was the Twins.

Collectively, we should have given more credit to the Royals. Their October run was real, and they've further asserted themselves as one of baseball's best ballclubs by taking a seemingly insurmountable lead in the Central standings with two months left to play.

More

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Price as advertised in superb first act for Blue Jays

Price as advertised in superb first act for Blue Jays

TORONTO -- The anthems hadn't even been sung and a sellout crowd was already on its feet at Rogers Centre, screaming its collective heart out for David Price -- the Blue Jays' newest starting pitcher -- as he made his way from the bullpen to the dugout ahead of Monday afternoon's series opener against the Twins.

It wouldn't be the last time the 45,766 Toronto faithful were on their feet for the ace left-hander, who got another standing ovation when he walked off after pitching eight innings in his debut, and one more as the team celebrated a 5-1 victory over the Twins.

More

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Beltre crafting rock-solid Hall resume

Rangers veteran posting numbers reminiscent of all-time great third basemen

Beltre crafting rock-solid Hall resume

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre's greatest strength also happens to be his greatest weakness, at least in terms of assessing his Hall of Fame credentials. He plays the game so smoothly, so efficiently that he's occasionally easy to overlook even after 18 seasons of playing at such a high level.

That's why what happened in Arlington on Monday night was so outside the norm. If it prompts people to pause and put his greatness in context, even better. It was one of those games that will resonate through an entire sport.

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

DYK: Facts, stats from Beltre's cycle

Rangers 3B fourth player to achieve feat three times

DYK: Facts, stats from Beltre's cycle

Adrian Beltre added another accomplishment to his resume Monday night, hitting for the cycle for the third time in his career in the Rangers' 12-9 home win over the Astros.

The veteran third baseman went 4-for-5 with three RBIs, tripling in the first inning, doubling in the second, singling in the third and capping it off with a homer in the fifth. He became the third player to hit for the cycle this season, joining Brock Holt of the Red Sox and Rangers teammate Shin-Soo Choo.

More

Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elite youngsters show skills at European camp

Larkin among former MLB greats on hand to help players hone craft in the Netherlands

Elite youngsters show skills at European camp

HOOFDDORP, Netherlands -- Within 11 years, MLB's European Elite Camp has grown into an event more and more European kids are dreaming of. Young baseball players in Europe now aim to become such a good player that they're invited to work a whole week with the best coaches in the business.

This week, 80 talented youngsters from 18 countries came together at ETO Ballpark in Hoofddorp, just outside Amsterdam. The players were trained and coached by Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, as well as former Major League players like Steve Finley, Greg Swindell, Dave Bush, Garth Iorg and John McLaren.

More

Jaap de Groot is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pierzynski: King of the pitch-framers

|
Pierzynski: King of the pitch-framers

Framing a pitch is an art form -- one that has been perfected over the years by the likes of Brad Ausmus, Russell Martin and Mike Piazza. Generally, these catchers try to frame their strike on a pitch that is relatively close to the zone. But during Monday's Giants-Braves game, Atlanta catcher A.J. Pierzynski attempted to frame a breaking ball that bounced about five feet in front of home plate.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Not at his best, Felix finds way to 13th win

Mariners ace allows four runs in 6 2/3 frames and strikes out nine

Not at his best, Felix finds way to 13th win

DENVER -- There will be some who look at the 11 hits surrendered by Felix Hernandez on Monday and wonder what's up with the Mariners' ace. But don't count Lloyd McClendon in that group.

The Mariners skipper was plenty pleased with how Hernandez survived his first career outing at Coors Field, allowing four runs over 6 2/3 innings as Seattle held on for an 8-7 victory.

More

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Key things to watch for in today's games

Key things to watch for in today's games

The first full week of August is here, and the playoff races are starting to heat up. Here are six things to watch for tonight, which features 15 games across the country:

Cy Young showdown? TB @ CWS, 8:10 p.m. ET
Two of the American League's top Cy Young Award contenders -- Tampa Bay's Chris Archer and Chicago's Chris Sale -- take the mound, and both are coming off frustrating outings. Archer, because he took another tough-luck loss, giving up two unearned runs over seven innings while striking out seven against the Tigers for his fourth consecutive defeat. And Sale, because he gave up a career-high 12 hits against the Red Sox.

More

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans host Old School Hip Hop Night

|
Myrtle Beach Pelicans host Old School Hip Hop Night

There are three certainties in life: death, taxes and most importantly, Minor League promotions. MiLB.com's Ben Hill has the inside scoop on the last of those certainties, and he'll be sharing a taste with us and you each and every week. Check out a unique upcoming promo below and read his full recap of the week's best promotions right here. You can follow Ben on Twitter @Bensbiz.

It's been more than a quarter-century since Biz Markie scored a top-10 hit with "Just A Friend," probably the highest-charting song ever to be performed on a piano by a warbling beat-boxer dressed up as Beethoven.

Continue Reading on Cut4

Tomlinson has memorable big league debut

Infielder delivers pinch-hit single, scores go-ahead run in Giants' loss

Tomlinson has memorable big league debut

ATLANTA -- The frustration of the Giants' 9-8, 12-inning loss Monday to the Atlanta Braves actually included some jubilation.

Kelby Tomlinson, freshly arrived from Triple-A Sacramento, delivered a pinch-hit single in his first Major League at-bat and came around to score what was briefly the Giants' go-ahead run in the 12th.

More

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rags to Richards: Halos win after rocky start

Rags to Richards: Halos win after rocky start

ANAHEIM -- Garrett Richards settled in after a rough first inning and the Angels plated a combined five runs in the fifth and sixth, surging to a 5-4 victory over the Indians on Monday night and snapping their season-long six-game losing streak.

The Indians, last in the Majors in runs since the beginning of June, took a three-run lead against Richards in the first, getting an RBI single by Michael Brantley and a two-run homer from Yan Gomes. But then the Angels began to chip away against Corey Kluber.

More

Jordan Bastian and Alden Gonzalez are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kang proving to be amazing investment

His .485 average against fastballs 95 mph or higher ranks No.1 in baseball

Kang proving to be amazing investment

When the Pirates signed Korean shortstop Jung Ho Kang in January to a four-year deal worth $11 million -- on top of the $5 million posting fee they'd sent to his old team, the Nexen Heroes -- it represented something of a risk.

There had never been a successful Korean Baseball Organization position player in Major League Baseball. (Shin-Soo Choo has been a star in America, but he arrived as an amateur.) No one knew if Kang had the defensive range to unseat Jordy Mercer at shortstop, but his other options were limited since Josh Harrison was coming off an All-Star year at third base and Neil Walker had second base locked down. And while Kang had hit 40 homers for Nexen in 2014, baseball in the country had seen such a wild increase in offense that home runs were up 80 percent over just two seasons before (based on research from former major leaguer Ryan Sadowski), casting doubts on what his true offensive skill level really was.

More

Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kipnis on DL with right shoulder inflammation

Indians recall infielder Ramirez from Triple-A Columbus

Kipnis on DL with right shoulder inflammation

ANAHEIM -- Jason Kipnis could have fought through his nagging right shoulder discomfort, staying in the Indians' lineup as a designated hitter until the soreness calmed down. Cleveland felt that would not be fair for the second baseman and that it might risk a more severe injury.

Prior to Monday's game against the Angels, the Indians placed Kipnis on the 15-day disabled list due to the inflammation in his shoulder and sent him back to Cleveland to begin a period of rest and recovery. The All-Star second baseman will receive a cortisone shot, and the team is hopeful that he can be activated when his two-week stint on the shelf is up.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles erupt behind Wilson to thump A's

Orioles erupt behind Wilson to thump A's

OAKLAND -- Chris Davis and Caleb Joseph homered, Adam Jones, Jimmy Paredes and Joseph doubled home runs and the Orioles crushed the A's, 9-2, on Monday night in the first game of a three-game set at the Coliseum.

Tyler Wilson, the Orioles' No. 9 prospect, pitched admirably filling in for Chris Tillman -- who was sidelined with a left ankle injury -- tossing 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball in his second career start. Wilson picked up his second win of the season, giving up six hits on 100 pitches.

More

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves battle back to beat Giants in extras

Braves battle back to beat Giants in extras

ATLANTA -- Adonis Garcia's two-run homer off Ryan Vogelsong in the 12th inning erased San Francisco's one-run lead and gave the Atlanta Braves a 9-8 triumph Monday night over the Giants.

"He's got some pop, especially to right-center," said Braves catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who had a four-hit night with a clutch homer of his own. "I tell you what, if you give him a pitch out over [the plate], he'll whack you pretty good, and he's done that against some pretty good guys."

More

Carlos Collazo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red-hot Cruz homers in fourth straight game

Outfielder helps power Mariners over Rockies on Monday

Red-hot Cruz homers in fourth straight game

DENVER -- One thing the Mariners have learned this year about Nelson Cruz, he tends to hit home runs in bunches. And the big right fielder is on one of those tears right now, going deep for a fourth straight game Monday in Seattle's 8-7 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field.

Cruz went 3-for-4 with a home run and a walk and continues to share the longest active hitting streak in the Majors with Jose Abreu of the White Sox at 14 games. During that span, he's batting .427 with four doubles, nine homers and 13 RBIs.

More

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Godley dazzles as D-backs hold off Nats

Godley dazzles as D-backs hold off Nats

WASHINGTON -- The D-backs smacked four home runs and got another outstanding performance from right-hander Zack Godley as they beat the Nationals, 6-4, on Monday night at Nationals Park.

Godley (3-0) tossed six shutout innings and has thrown six innings in each of his first three Major League starts. His outing Monday, in which he allowed three hits and struck out six, lowered his ERA to 1.50. Five of the six runs the D-backs scored came via the home run as Nick Ahmed, Welington Castillo and Jake Lamb each hit solo shots and David Peralta chipped in a two-run blast.

More

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. Jacob Emert is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inciarte barehands, throws out baserunner on single

|
Inciarte barehands, throws out baserunner on single

Baseball is founded on certain agreed-upon conventions -- some a bit weirder than others, yes, but without which America's pastime would devolve into utter chaos ruled by the whims of an imparital universe and ... well, that's pretty much what we've ended up with anyway, actually, but you get our point. Adorable babies do not justify fan interference, spectators may not inject themselves into the proceedings via banana peel; this is what separates man from mascot.

Case in point: Baseballs that reach the outfield on a bounce are generally regarded as base hits. D-backs right fielder Ender Inciarte, however, cares nothing for your social contract. Where some may see a single, he just sees a ground ball that doesn't know it yet. 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Ill-fated send home costs White Sox in ninth

Third-base coach McEwing takes blame for Alexei being thrown out by Kiermaier

Ill-fated send home costs White Sox in ninth

CHICAGO -- Joe McEwing has sent thousands of runners home safely over his four seasons as White Sox third-base coach without much fanfare.

But it was his ill-fated decision to send Alexei Ramirez in the ninth inning of the Rays' 5-4 victory Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field that earned McEwing unwanted notice. Ramirez tried to score from second on Adam LaRoche's broken-bat single to center, but he was nailed by Kevin Kiermaier's throw, catcher Curt Casali's short-hop grab and McEwing's decision not to hold Ramirez with nobody out in a one-run game.

More

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mahtook lifts Rays with go-ahead 1B in ninth

Mahtook lifts Rays with go-ahead 1B in ninth

CHICAGO -- Mikie Mahtook's two-out single in the ninth off of David Robertson scored Logan Forsythe with the game-winning run in a 5-4 Rays victory over the White Sox on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Robertson had appeared to get out of trouble when he struck out James Loney with runners on first and third and one out, but Mahtook connected on a hanging curve.

The White Sox had the tying run thrown out at the plate in the ninth, when Kevin Kiermaier nailed Alexei Ramirez on Adam LaRoche's single to center with nobody out. Catcher Curt Casali made a short-hop catch of Kiermaier's throw and was able to tag Ramirez as he tried to jump out of the way.

More

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bourn soars to rob HR with spectacular catch

Bourn soars to rob HR with spectacular catch

ANAHEIM -- For a few seconds, Michael Bourn let the Angel Stadium audience believe that Kole Calhoun had hit a home run in the first inning on Monday night. Cleveland's center fielder was down on the warning track, and the baseball that had just rocketed off Calhoun's bat was nowhere in sight.

Then, Bourn grabbed the ball from his glove and raised it in the air, creating a stunned groan from the crowd.

More

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Burnett has strain, aims to return this season

With recovery time roughly four weeks, relieved Bucs veteran says he's '100 percent sure' of comeback

Burnett has strain, aims to return this season

PITTSBURGH -- Right-hander A.J. Burnett was diagnosed on Monday with a flexor strain in his right elbow, and the veteran pitcher also received an injection of platelet-rich plasma to abet the recovery he hopes will have him back on a mound.

Estimated time of Burnett's return was set at approximately four weeks.

More

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.