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Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Happy Monday! (is there such a thing?) It was great to see Trent Thornton bounce back with six scoreless innings yesterday after the worst outing of his career against the Red Sox.

Sadly, losing two-of-three games to the worst team in the majors, the Orioles (27-62) means the Jays hit the All Star break after a 5-5 homestand with a 34-57 record. This .374 win percentage is the third lowest at the all-star break in franchise history after going 16-42 (.276) in 1981 and 29-64 (.312) in 1979.

There have been encouraging signs from the young players though, something that Justin Smoak reflects on. Its also good they get a chance to rest after a challenging first half grind.

Meanwhile ‘CrossFit Pastor’ Eric Sogard gets a well earned break too after a strong (and perhaps miraculous?) first half.


And with the All Star break imminent, Vlad Guerrero Jr. is getting ready to dazzle in the home run derby

Talking of dazzling, how about Nate Pearson in the All Star Futures Game yesterday?

So far, 2019 has been full of promise for Pearson, first with Dunedin and now with the Fisher Cats. In 49 innings pitched between the two teams, Pearson has a tidy ERA of 2.39 , 67Ks and 8 walks, and for the remainder of the year will no longer be under a strict innings watch. Fun times ahead!

Of course, while the MLB All Star Game has changed a lot, it still matters.

Jeff Conine was a two time All Star and unsurprisingly, there are no power shortages from his top prospect son Conine.

The Buffalo Bisons head into their All Star break at a time when they would rather just carry on playing:


MLB Bit

Yesterday Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy was carted off the field during his team’s game against the Astros after a huge collision at the plate with center fielder Jake Marisnick. The Astros outfielder was called out for it while Lucroy was taken to hospital for a CT scan and was being evaluated for a nose fracture and concussion. WARNING: Its not pleasant:

Angels’ manager Brad Ausmus (who knows a wee bit about catching) was pretty clear on how he felt:

“It certainly didn’t look like a clean play. I don’t know what actually happened. It looked like Marisnick took a step to the left and bowled into him with his arm up. The call was right. Major League Baseball should probably take a look at it and consider some type of suspension, quite frankly.”

I’ve watched it a few times now and im inclined to agree with Ausmus. It seems to me that Marisnick altered his path to the plate, was well inside baseline and initiated contact by leading with his forearm. There also appeared no attempt to slide/avoid contact. Marisnick was definitely trying to take Lucroy out but not trying to hurt him.

Of course, years ago this type of play at home plate was commonplace and then Buster Posey got hammered and the rule was rightly changed.

Personally? I think Marisnick’s play was dirty as hell and i think it was ridiculous of the Astros to challenge it as it makes them look stupid. I would be interested to know what some of you think about this play...im certainly interested to see what, if anything MLB does.

One thing for certain is that Yadier Molina has Lucroy’s back- i wont put his NSFW Instagram post here but he has a few choice words on the collision!


Plays of the Day

Max Muncy is used to playing in sunny weather in LA...honest

Nolan Arendo - ‘nuff said: