Sunday Notes: Tampa Bay Rookie Taj Bradley is Very A lot Chill


Taj Bradley has had an up-and-down rookie season with the Rays, however solely when it comes to promotions and demotions. The 22-year-old right-hander has twice been optioned to Triple-A, and thrice he’s been summoned again to the massive leagues. He is likely to be in Tampa Bay to remain. Over six begins comprising 30 innings, Bradley has logged a 3.62 ERA and a 2.82 FIP, with wins in three of 5 selections. Furthermore, he’s fanned 42 batters whereas issuing simply 5 free passes.

The extent of composure he’s displayed belies his age and inexperience. Whereas many gamers acting on the massive stage for the primary time have a quick heartbeat, his has been borderline bradycardia. In a phrase, Bradley is chill.

“I’m not the form of individual to get too caught up in something,” the 2018 fifth-round pick of Stone Mountain, Georgia’s Redan Excessive College advised me on Friday. “If I had been to fulfill a star, or pitch in a giant recreation, I wouldn’t be making an excessive amount of of a second of it. I all the time downplay issues. I imply, you do get your nerves, however I don’t construct it up. Somebody may say, ‘Oh, you made your debut,’ or ‘Oh, you bought a win towards the Purple Sox,’ however I simply go about my day.”

Bradley’s debut, which got here at residence in a spot begin towards Boston on April 12, did elicit feelings. Being unflappable could also be in his DNA, nevertheless it’s not as if he’s an unfeeling cyborg. Almost two months later, the sport stays a blur.

“I used to be form of in awe the entire time,” Bradley admitted. “I attempted to take all of it in, however the day was shifting so quick. I received to share it with mates and my household [his mother was there on her birthday], and I received a win — that was cool — however I really feel like I’d should go have a look at a video to be like, ‘I bear in mind when that occurred.’”

One factor the teen does recall just isn’t figuring out the Purple Sox lineup forward of time. Every time a batter got here to the plate within the early innings, his thought was, “Oh, he’s right here.” Not that it mattered all that a lot. Bradley held Boston to 3 runs in 5 stable frames, with eight punch outs. No matter nerves he had had been each inconsequential and onerous to detect.

“He seemed like he’s been there earlier than,” stated Christian Bethancourt, who was behind the plate for Bradley’s preliminary outing. “And he pitched like he’s been there earlier than, too. There was nothing I may see that advised he was nervous.”

“I don’t know what was occurring inside his thoughts on the time, but when he was [nervous], he does an excellent job of hiding it,” agreed Tampa Bay supervisor Kevin Cash. “From what he’s proven right here, even in spring coaching, is a really mature mindset… the best way he’s dealt with arising, happening, arising, happening — though we attempt to keep in entrance of that with him — that’s powerful for any 22-year-old. I’ve been blown-away impressed.”

The extent to which Bradley has been impressed along with his accomplishments — ditto his smattering of disappointments — is troublesome to discern because of his demeanor. My citing his first profession strikeout prompted little greater than an acknowledgement that Rafael Devers was the sufferer. Once I subsequently requested about his first gopher — Houston’s Alex Bregman took the righty deep in his third begin — his response got here with a shrug. “All I believed was, ‘He hit a house run,’ Bradley stated. “It wasn’t like I may pause and give it some thought. The sport was nonetheless occurring.”

The rookie will make his seventh profession begin this afternoon at Fenway Park, and that he’ll accomplish that in unseasonably chilly climate — the forecast excessive is 54 — received’t daunt him within the least. Bradley is not only a proficient younger pitcher, he’s very a lot chill.



Chris Speier went 18 for 100 towards Rick Reuschel.

Scott Brosius went 5 for 47 towards Chuck Finley.

Carlos Delgado went 4 for 36 towards Kevin Appier.

Ed Romero went 3 for 31 towards Frank Viola.

Steve Lyons went 1 for 25 towards Dave Stieb.


David Bell had a reasonably nondescript taking part in profession, logging 1,239 hits and an 86 wRC+ over 12 big-league seasons. He did have his moments. Amongst them had been 4 residence runs as a visiting participant at Fenway Park, which I requested him about when the Cincinnati Reds staff he now manages visited Boston.

“I didn’t hit so many who I don’t really bear in mind,” replied Bell, whose profession residence run complete was 123. “Particularly in a ballpark like this. One was off the knuckleballer, [Tim] Wakefield. One other one was off Pedro [Martinez]. I positively keep in mind that one. I believe it was a slider.”

The erstwhile, right-handed-hitting infielder cleared the Inexperienced Monster with all 4 of his Fenway residence runs — two had been off Wakefield — and he wouldn’t have minded common alternatives to attempt for extra.

“If I’d have performed on this park, I might even have been an okay participant,” stated Bell, whose .766 OPS over 102 plate appearances at Fenway was higher than his .716 profession mark. “I pulled all the pieces, and I didn’t have very a lot energy, so it could have helped me to have that wall there. It was enjoyable taking part in there.”

The opposite of Bell’s Fenway blasts got here off Curt Schilling.


A quiz:

Which pitcher holds the single-season document for wins in Texas Rangers franchise historical past?

The reply will be discovered beneath.



Mike Young, an outfielder who performed for 4 groups, primarily the Orioles, from 1982-1989, died earlier this week at age 63. The Oakland native bashed 28 residence residence runs and logged a 134 wRC+ with Baltimore in 1985.

Miguel de la Hoz, a utility infielder who performed for 3 completely different groups from 1960-1969, died final weekend at age 84. A local of La Habana, Cuba, he had his greatest season in 1964 when he batted .291 with the Milwaukee Braves.

The 2023 SABR Jerry Malloy Negro League Convention might be held in Detroit on July 20-23. Data, together with the whole schedule, will be discovered here.


The reply to the quiz is Ferguson Jenkins, with 25 wins in 1974.


An unusual incidence came about at Fenway Park on Tuesday evening. Cincinnati’s Stuart Fairchild drew a bases loaded stroll, and proceeded to face a handful of steps up the third bottom line whereas meticulously eradicating his protecting gear. The runner coming in from third, Spencer Steer, involved concerning the chance that he might be referred to as out for passing Fairchild, took care to attend — he actually stood in place for a number of seconds — earlier than finishing his journey to residence plate.

What if Steer hadn’t waited? Would the run have counted, or would he have been referred to as out?

The reply is that the run would have counted. Per the rule in query, a runner is just referred to as out when he passes a runner who’s entrance of him on the bottom paths. On this case, the participant being handed would have been behind the passing runner, making the rule irrelevant.

An excellent odder incidence was theoretically doable. I’ll do my greatest to elucidate it.

First, it is very important know {that a} play stays dwell when a bases-loaded stroll is issued; runners can try and advance past the bottom they’re entitled to at their very own danger. That is more than likely to occur on a wild pitch, with the ball caroming removed from the catcher. That didn’t occur on Tuesday’s play, however let’s nonetheless think about the runner who’d been on first base inexplicably passing the runner who had been on second base. Would Steer’s run have counted?

The reply is that it depends upon when the unlawful passing occurred. If Steer had already crossed residence plate, the reply is sure. Had it occurred earlier than Steer crossed residence plate, the reply isn’t any. In umpire vernacular, this is called a timing play.



Roki Sasaki, again on the mound after lacking time with a blister concern, allowed two runs over six innings because the Chiba Lotte Marines beat the SoftBank Hawks 9-5 on Tuesday. The 21-year-old right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.18 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 38 innings this season.

Shunpeita Yamashita raised his document to 5-0 by pitching the Orix Buffaloes to a 9-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp. The 20-year-old right-hander has a 0.84 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 42-and-two-thirds innings this 12 months.

Koutaro Ohtake is 6-0 with a 0.40 ERA — he’s allowed simply two runs in 44-and-two-thirds innings — for the Hanshin Tigers. The 27-year-old southpaw has a pedestrian 27 punch outs, however has walked simply three batters.

Sócrates Brito is slashing .298/.352/.455 with six residence runs for the KBO’s Kia Tigers. The 30-year-old outfielder is in his second season with the Korean membership following stints with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Toronto Blue Jays.

Adam Plutko is 8-0 with a 1.88 ERA in 67 innings with the LG Twins. The 31-year-old right-hander is in his second KBO season after beforehand taking part in with the Cleveland Indians and the Baltimore Orioles.


MLB historical past contains 11 gamers who had been born within the Netherlands — Bert Blyleven is by far essentially the most distinguished — and Sem Robberse stands an excellent likelihood of being the twelfth. A local of Zeist who was signed as a world free agent in 2019, the 21-year-old right-hander is No. 6 on our Toronto Blue Jays Top Prospects list. Presently with Double-A New Hampshire, he has a 4.44 ERA and a 4.95 FIP with 36 hits allowed and 52 strikeouts in 48-and-two third innings.

Robberse started taking part in baseball at age six, in the end changing into a pitcher-only a decade later. His expertise outdoors of his homeland was sparse. Once I talked to the righty throughout spring coaching, he advised me that he “solely performed in a few tournaments outdoors of the Netherlands, and only one outdoors of Europe.” After his staff received a event within the Czech Republic, they traveled to Indiana to compete within the Colt World Sequence. It was round that point when taking part in professionally in the US turned his purpose.

Robberse’s father, who had himself competed on the diamond within the Netherlands, performed an vital function in his growth. One of many classes stands out to the appreciative son.

“My dad taught me my mechanics backwards,” Robberse defined. “He began with instructing me find out how to end my supply. That means, once we labored again to the beginning, just like the leg carry, I knew what was taking place subsequent. My supply is fairly easy— all of it blends collectively and is environment friendly — which I can thank my dad for.”

Robberse’s repertoire includes a four-seam fastball, a slider, a cutter, and a changeup. He doesn’t think about himself an influence pitcher. Command and inducing weak contact are his self-identified strengths.



Yu-Min Lin struck out 13 of the 17 batters he confronted final evening within the Excessive-A Hillsboro Hops’ 9-6 loss to the Everett AquaSox. The 19-year-old Taitung, Taiwan native was signed as a world free agent by the Arizona Diamondbacks in December 2021.

Junior Caminero is slashing .349/.396/.639 with 11 residence runs in 182 plate appearances between Excessive-A Bowling Inexperienced and Double-A Montgomery. The 19-year-old third baseman is No. 5 on our Tampa Bay Rays Top Prospects list and No. 38 on our Top 100.

Chris Newell is slashing .305/.414/.655 with 16 residence runs in 210 plate appearances between Low-A Rancho Cucamonga and Excessive-A Nice Lakes. The 22-year-old outfielder was drafted within the thirteenth spherical final 12 months by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the College of Virginia.

Bobby Bradley is slashing .283/.369/.667 with 12 residence runs in 122 plate appearances for the unbiased Atlantic League’s Charleston Soiled Birds. The 27-year-old first baseman has performed elements of three seasons with the Cleveland Guardians, together with 2021 when he logged a 99 wRC+ and went deep 16 occasions.

Christian Capuano is 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA and 34 strikeouts and 20 hits allowed in 33-and-two-thirds innings for the Atlantic League’s Staten Island Ferry Hawks. The 25-year-old right-hander pitched collegiately at Fairleigh Dickson and hasn’t performed affiliated ball.

Lew Ford has eight hits in 34 at-bats with the Lengthy Island Geese. The 46-year-old former Minnesota Twins and Baltimore Orioles outfielder is a player-coach for the Atlantic League membership.He has 2,533 skilled hits.


LINKS YOU’LL LIKE’s Kennedi Landry wrote about how the Texas Rangers — a staff that went 18-9 within the month of Could — are proving they’re for actual.’s Sarah Langs looked at what it means to be in first place coming into June.

Kohei Wong is the primary native of Singapore to play skilled baseball, having signed with the Ibaraki Astro Planets, who compete in Japan’s Baseball Problem League. Kimberly Kwek has the story at The Straits Instances.

Our Esquina’s José de Jesus Ortiz wrote about how Minnesota Twins flamethrower Jhoan Duran was captivated by Josh Beckett’s efficiency within the 2007 postseason.

Broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose had been inducted into the New York Mets Corridor of Fame yesterday. Tim Britton wrote about the duo’s intertwined journey for The Athletic (subscription required).



Of the 19 longest video games the Boston Purple Sox performed this season, all however one has been at Fenway Park.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been profitable on every of their final 29 stolen base makes an attempt. They’ve 81 steals on the season, essentially the most within the majors.

Javier Báez has 223 plate appearances and is slashing .226/.270/.317 with a 63 wRC+. Luis Arraez has 222 plate appearances and is slashing .390/.441/.485 with a 156 wRC+. Baez has 20 runs scored and 27 RBIs. Arraez has 20 runs scored and 26 RBIs.

The Cleveland Indians traded Roger Maris, Norm Cash, and Rocky Colavito over a 22-month interval spanning June 1958-April 1960. The trio mixed for 147 residence runs and 413 RBIs in 1961.

Don Drysdale threw his sixth consecutive shutout on at present’s date in 1968 because the Los Angeles Dodgers topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-0. The Corridor of Fame right-hander’s 58-and-a-third innings scoreless streak got here to finish in his subsequent outing.

On at present’s date in 1958, Corridor of Fame left-hander Warren Spahn drove within the successful run with an Eleventh-inning pitch-hit single because the Milwaukee Braves beat the San Francisco Giants 10-9.

Gamers born on at present’s date embrace Chang-Yong Lim, a local of Gwangju, South Korea whose MLB profession comprised six aid appearances with the Chicago Cubs in 2013. The proper-hander performed 24 skilled seasons — 18 within the KBO, 5 in NPB, and one stateside — and was credited with 142 wins and 390 saves.

Additionally born on at present’s date was George Washington, an outfielder who batted .268 whereas taking part in for the Chicago White Sox in 1935 and 1936. Washington received 4 batting titles within the minors, certainly one of them in 1947 when he hit .404 for the Large State League’s Texarkana Bears.

Groups within the Class-B Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League throughout the Nineteen Thirties included the Bloomington Bloomers, Moline Plow Boys, and Terre Haute Tots. Peanuts Lowrey, who went on to make an All-Star staff with the Chicago Cubs, was a Plow Boy.

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