Welcome to Three Up, Three Down: The MLB hot/cold report. Every week, we’ll try our best to break down who’s heating things up in the baseball world and who’s currently stuck in the back of the refrigerator in a state of deep chill.
Shohei Ohtani leaves with a bang
It appears that our journey with the pitching-hitting hybrid known as Shohei Ohtani will be coming to an end in the near future. There was a glimmer of hope for fans when Ohtani was allowed to start a game this past Sunday. Sadly, it appears the elbow issues that everyone was aware of when he signed have come to the forefront once again, as the prodigy will have to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair his torn UCL.
You’re probably wondering why this is in the “Up” section since I just hit you across your head with such a bummer of news surrounding one of the game’s most exciting players. While it is indeed true that we probably won’t see Shohei Ohtani pitching until the 2020 season at the earliest, that doesn’t mean that Ohtani is going quietly into that good night.
Instead, Ohtani decided to defy the baseball gods and their verdict upon him by going out and hitting dingers on the day of his diagnosis. Indeed, Ohtani started as a DH for the Angels on Wednesday night and proceeded to hit not just one, but two home runs against the Rangers. It’s such a shame that he’s going to be on the shelf for such a long period of time, because we’re going to miss gargantuan feats like what he pulled off on the same day he got the bad news.
Yankees will give Andrew McCutchen another playoff chance
Andrew McCutchen hasn’t quite had one of those seasons that brings back memories of what he was doing during his prime with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he still has been productive enough to where he can definitely help a team down the stretch. Sure enough, he caught the eye of the New York Yankees, who acquired him from the Giants as a bit of an insurance policy in case Aaron Judge doesn’t exactly come back from his injury in prime condition.
This is good news for McCutchen because it means he’s going to get another crack at the playoffs. The Pirates made it to the postseason three times between 2013 and 2015. However, two of those appearances were just one-game wild card stints, so we’ve really only gotten to see McCutchen do his thing in the playoffs just once. It’s one of those cruel baseball fates that feels like a robbery.
Knowing this means that we neutral fans now have a bit of an upshot to rooting for the Yankees to win their presumptive wild card game, since we’d get to see McCutchen finally have a shot at a deep playoff run — even if it’s the new, weirdly clean-shaven version of the former Pirates superstar.
Trevor Story furiously adds another chapter to his…story
So let’s talk about Trevor Story for a moment. Specifically, let’s discuss how this man went absolutely bananas on Wednesday night against the Giants. Before we discuss this, let’s get the whole “it’s Coors Field” thing out of the way, because when you really examine what Story did during this game, it’s safe to say that he probably would have done this in any ballpark in America.
With that being said, the man hit three homers and each of them was incredibly impressive. He hit the first one while he was falling down, and it “only” went 459 feet. He topped that by hitting his second homer of the night an incredible 505 feet. Five-hundred-and-five feet! Story wasn’t done writing this latest chapter in his book, as he decided to be merciful and actually give the fans in the seats a chance to catch one by hitting one there instead of into the concourses of Coors Field.
Story has been having a pretty good season, and he’s established himself as an upper-echelon shortstop during his third full season in the bigs. While there’s nowhere near as much hype now as there was when he went on that memorable tear as a rookie, it’s still clear that he’s not done writing his Story yet (I’m sorry), and there are still plenty of twists and turns left to be put in this particular book.
By Demetrius Bell