Yesterday was a huge day in the world of baseball. Multiple trades involving contenders, the Astros getting bad news, and the sport as a whole getting great news.
There are so many different places I could start it’s hard to pick one, but let’s start with the bad news for Houston. The Astros announced that All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa will be out six to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his thumb. That’s horrible news and the kind of thing that would derail most teams, but it tells you something about just how good this team is, and just how massive their division lead is, that they can lose an All-Star having a career year and not slam the panic button. Now that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing, but when you’ve got a 16 ½ game lead after last night and you’ve got a super-utility player in Marwin Gonzalez, it’s not going to derail the season. You never want to see a player like Correa miss time, but if there’s ever a time for Houston to lose an All-Star, it’s right now. They don’t need Correa in mid-July, they’ll need him in October.
Tuesday also saw two significant trades, with Arizona getting things started by trading for J.D. Martinez from Detroit. Love this move for the Diamondbacks. Totally brass. That’s a statement trade. The statement being that they aren’t just happy to make the postseason, they want to make some noise when they get there. They have really struggled against left-handed pitching this season, so they go out and add the best right-handed bat on the trade market and will most likely stick him behind Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup. And even better than what they got in J.D. Martinez is that they didn’t have to give up much to get him.
The Martinez trade was just an appetizer for the 7-player trade that went down late last night between the Yankees and White Sox. New York acquired Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle in exchange for four prospects.
Like the Diamondbacks, the Yankees are looking to address a need with their lack of production at third base and first base and hope that Frazier’s numbers this year, which aren’t great, are more about bad luck than anything else. If nothing else, he gives them some pop. But if you’re a Yankee fan, the thing that has to get you really worked up is the fact that a nasty bullpen just got nastier. I know, I know, Yankee fan, the bullpen has been a real issue of late. And that those arsonists back there seem hell bent on burning every stadium they walk into, right into the ground. And that you hate Tyler Clippard. Well, he’s gone. And sticking Kahnle and Robertson in front of Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman is nasty. Just filthy. And keeping with the model that has worked in the postseason, where bullpens start ending games earlier and earlier and earlier.
But the real news from yesterday is the return of Bartolo Colon. Big Sexy is back, which means baseball is back. Bart made his debut for the Twins last night against the Yankees and looked awesome doing it. You knew it was a special night when the stadium DJ was bumping “Sexy and I Know It” as Colon warmed up. And then he went out and dropped a 1-2-3 inning on the Yankees heads, including a backwards K of Aaron Judge on a two-seamer that was just awesome. Grab some pine, young fella, Bart is back.
Yes, his stat line wasn’t great. 4 innings pitched, 8 hits, 4 earned runs, and 3 strikeouts. ERA of 9.00? Pfffft, please. First off, would it kill the Twins bullpen to pick my guy up?!? He’s out there busting it, laying his heart on the line, and you come in and can’t keep his runners from scoring? Secondly, Bart isn’t a show horse. He’s not coming in here to be a flash in the pan for a game or two. He’s in it for the long haul. And so am I.
The Diamondbacks made a big move yesterday and the Yankees made an even bigger move, but the biggest move of all was the return of Bartolo Colon. And the Twins, the State of Minnesota, and the whole world is better for it.