Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Thames goes on DL with torn UCL in left thumb

MLB.com

Slugging Brewers first baseman Eric Thames faces an extended absence after an MRI scan on Wednesday revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

The Brewers placed Thames on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday and recalled right-hander Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs. While Thames is sidelined, hot-hitting Jesus Aguilar is the leading candidate to play regularly at first base, with Ryan Braun as the backup.

View Full Game Coverage

Slugging Brewers first baseman Eric Thames faces an extended absence after an MRI scan on Wednesday revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

The Brewers placed Thames on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday and recalled right-hander Brandon Woodruff from Triple-A Colorado Springs. While Thames is sidelined, hot-hitting Jesus Aguilar is the leading candidate to play regularly at first base, with Ryan Braun as the backup.

View Full Game Coverage

Similar injuries sustained by MLB stars Bryce Harper and Mike Trout in recent seasons suggest Thames will miss at least six to eight weeks. Harper, a left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower like Thames, tore the UCL in his left thumb sliding headfirst into third base on April 25, 2014, underwent surgery and returned to the Nationals' lineup on June 30 after missing a little more than two months.

Trout's comeback in 2017 was quicker. He tore the UCL in his left thumb last May 28, also sliding into a base. Trout underwent surgery, and he returned to the Angels about six weeks later on July 14.

Thames leads the Brewers with seven homers this season. He went 1-for-4 on Tuesday night, and he was injured diving for a grounder in the eighth inning before Aguilar entered as his defensive replacement in the ninth.

Asked after Tuesday night's 5-2 win over the Royals if the injury could be notable, Brewers manager Craig Counsell replied: "It could be."

The right-handed-hitting Aguilar has been a force in limited opportunities, batting .429 with a 1.116 OPS in his first 39 plate appearances. He has had a relatively even split so far between left-handed pitchers (17 plate appearances, 1.145 OPS) and righties (22 plate appearances, 1.091 OPS).

Braun has not appeared at first base since starting the Brewers' first two games of the regular season. But he got experience there in Spring Training in anticipation of playing some first to help ease a logjam in the outfield.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Eric Thames

Seven April callups who made a big impact

Harper, Bryant, Trout among top recent early promotions
MLB.com @williamfleitch

As you might have heard simply by sticking your head out the window and hearing the wail of the wind, the Braves have called up MLB Pipeline's No. 2 prospect Ronald Acuna to make his Major League debut against the Reds on Wednesday night.

Acuna is considered one of the top hitting prospects of the past several years, and he instantly becomes one of the must-watch players in baseball. He's also another example of a relatively recent phenomenon: The April superstar callup.

As you might have heard simply by sticking your head out the window and hearing the wail of the wind, the Braves have called up MLB Pipeline's No. 2 prospect Ronald Acuna to make his Major League debut against the Reds on Wednesday night.

Acuna is considered one of the top hitting prospects of the past several years, and he instantly becomes one of the must-watch players in baseball. He's also another example of a relatively recent phenomenon: The April superstar callup.

Either because of changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement or because teams want players to have an extra bit of seasoning in the Minor Leagues (or both), MLB teams only started bringing up their best players a couple of weeks into the season this decade. Obviously, teams call up players from Triple-A all the time; there were nearly a dozen Tuesday. But these top prospect callups have become commonplace.

Albert Pujols made his MLB debut on April 2, 2001 (Opening Day); Acuna is showing up with the season a month old, and his Braves already 22 games in. But Atlanta is only 3 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East and a game out of the second NL Wild Card spot; all told, not a bad place to be when you're adding the top hitting prospect in the game.

Let's take a look at past April callups this decade to see how they did when they were promoted to the Majors, and what happened soon thereafter. You'll note they span back to one particular superstar.

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
Callup date: April 25, 2017

Video: LAD@SF: Bellinger beats throw for his first hit

Bellinger was MLB Pipeline's No. 10 prospect when the Dodgers called him up after multiple injuries to their outfielders, even though he'd primarily played first base in the Minors. He batted eighth and played left field against the Giants' Ty Blach.

Bellinger popped out in his first at-bat, then in the seventh inning, he was awarded an honor that's rather rare for a player making his MLB debut: An intentional walk. His first Major League hit came in the ninth off Neil Ramirez. The lefty then went 0-for-his-next-7 before going nuts -- he hit two homers against the Phillies and never really stopped, bashing 39 long balls en route to running away with the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

Kris Bryant, Cubs
Callup date: April 17, 2015

Video: SD@CHC: Bryant ties the game with first MLB hit

Bryant's start to the season in Triple-A was well documented and hotly debated, though ultimately it was, of all things, an injury to Mike Olt (now playing for Boston's Triple-A affiliate, Pawtucket) that got him the call. Instantly put in the cleanup spot, Bryant went 0-for-4 in his first game, but he had two hits in his next.

It took a while for the power hitter to get going, though; Bryant didn't hit his first home run until May 9, his 21st big league game. He then hit homers in two of his next three contests and finished with 26 for the year, helping lead the Cubs to their first postseason series victory in 12 seasons. It would get even better the year after that, as he won the NL Most Valuable Player Award.

George Springer, Astros
Callup date: April 16, 2014

Video: KC@HOU: Springer records his first Major League hit

Springer wasn't quite as highly regarded as some of the other prospects on this list; he was ranked No. 20 in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline. Houston called him up because it wasn't getting much offense, but it took him a while to provide help; it would take Springer a month to get his average above the Mendoza Line and even longer than that for his first homer.

Springer figured it out, though, and has been a lineup mainstay ever since. He also ended up winning the 2017 World Series MVP, so he's got that going for him. Carlos Correa wouldn't be called up until June 8, 2015, not that it stopped him from winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award anyway.

Anthony Rendon, Nationals
Callup date: April 21, 2013

Video: STL@WSH: Rendon's first MLB hit good for RBI double

It's funny to think that all people could talk about when Rendon was called up was "he's stuck behind Ryan Zimmerman." Rendon ended up being sent back down to Triple-A Syracuse after just eight games, but he was called back up because Danny Espinosa was struggling at second base. Rendon hadn't played second base regularly since Little League, but he was installed there somewhat out of desperation. Because he's Rendon, he started hitting; and once Zimmerman's throwing issues necessitated his move to first, Rendon took over the job for good. He's since finished in the top six in the NL MVP Award voting on two occasions (2014, '17).

Nolan Arenado, Rockies
Callup date: April 28, 2013

Video: COL@LAD: Arenado singles for first Major League hit

(It's amazing how many of these first hits are of the infield variety, isn't it?)

Arenado is a star now, but when he made his MLB debut, he was somewhat of a fallen phenom: After spending time in the MLB Pipeline Top 20 years before, he had in fact been left off some Top 100 lists entirely.

Thus, Arenado was more a desperation callup for the Rockies, hoping to catch fire from a guy who happened to be hot at Triple-A Colorado Springs at the time. He was wobbly his first season -- he actually had an OPS-plus under 100 in 133 games his rookie year, a below-average hitter -- but ended up figuring it out.

Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels
(Second) Callup date: April 28, 2012

Video: SEA@LAA: Angels score on Trout's first career hit

All right, all right, so this one is cheating a little bit. After all, Trout famously made his MLB debut in 2011, when he hit .220 in 40 games and made everyone wonder whether he was all he was cracked up to be. He actually spent the first 20 games of '12 with Triple-A Salt Lake, where he hit .403 and looked like he could eat the whole league alive in two huge bites. So the Angels called him back up, the same day as Bryce Harper as it turned out, and he immediately became the best player in baseball, a designation he still holds today. He has still yet to win a postseason game, however.

Bryce Harper, Nationals
Callup date: April 28, 2012

Video: WSH@LAD: Harper doubles for his first MLB hit

Harper was famously only 19 when the Nationals brought him up from Triple-A, where he was hitting only .243 with one homer in 21 games for Syracuse. His first hit was classic Harper: A drive over the center fielder's head, a dead sprint toward second base, even knocking his helmet off along the way.

It would be a couple of weeks until Harper hit his first homer, but he held onto his spot in the lineup all season, and really ever since. Perhaps most tellingly: Before Harper arrived, the Nationals/Expos had made the postseason just once in their 43-year history. The franchise has reached the playoffs four times since -- even if it still hasn't won a series.

The Braves own the sixth-longest postseason drought in the Major Leagues; They dream of Ronald Acuna being their Bryce Harper, in more ways than one.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Nolan Arenado, Cody Bellinger, Kris Bryant, Bryce Harper, Ronald Acuna Jr., George Springer

Acuna set for debut, batting sixth vs. Reds

MLB.com @basebollie

The highly anticipated Major League debut of MLB Pipeline's No. 2 overall prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. is here.

Acuna is in the Braves' lineup Wednesday versus the Reds and left-hander Brandon Finnegan. He is batting sixth, playing left field and wearing No. 13.

The highly anticipated Major League debut of MLB Pipeline's No. 2 overall prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. is here.

Acuna is in the Braves' lineup Wednesday versus the Reds and left-hander Brandon Finnegan. He is batting sixth, playing left field and wearing No. 13.

Tweet from @Braves: It���s happening! #ChopOn pic.twitter.com/wK9JQIqJNl

The 20-year-old phenom tore up Major League Spring Training, batting .432/.519/.727 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in 16 games with Atlanta.

Widely regarded as the top hitting prospect in the game, Acuna has struggled out of the gate in the Minors in 2018. He is batting .232/.321/.304 with one home run and two RBIs in 17 games for Triple-A Gwinnett. However, he has 11 hits -- including a double and homer -- over his last 33 at-bats.

He is a career .305/.374/.475 hitter with 30 homers and 121 RBIs in 253 games at the Minor League level and was named MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year in 2017 after batting .325 with 21 homers and 44 stolen bases as he worked his way up the organizational ranks last season.

Acuna will be the youngest player to appear in a big league game in 2018 when he takes the field, surpassing teammate Ozzie Albies.

With a record of 12-10, the Braves are just 3 1/2 games out of first place upon Acuna's arrival. Atlanta has scored a National League-best 122 runs and should only get a boost from its top prospect.

Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter at @basebollie.

Atlanta Braves

Bryant held out of finale vs. Indians

MLB.com @castrovince

CLEVELAND -- Kris Bryant was held out of the Cubs' lineup again Wednesday for the finale of a two-game set with the Indians. Bryant was hit in the head by a fastball from Rockies starter German Marquez on Sunday and has passed concussion tests, but this was his second straight day on the shelf.

"I think he's fine," manager Joe Maddon had said before Tuesday's game. "He just has to work through some things."

View Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- Kris Bryant was held out of the Cubs' lineup again Wednesday for the finale of a two-game set with the Indians. Bryant was hit in the head by a fastball from Rockies starter German Marquez on Sunday and has passed concussion tests, but this was his second straight day on the shelf.

"I think he's fine," manager Joe Maddon had said before Tuesday's game. "He just has to work through some things."

View Full Game Coverage

Bryant saw a doctor on Tuesday and took indoor batting practice, but on Wednesday, Tommy La Stella was again in the starting lineup in his absence.

"Getting hit in the head is kind of a traumatic experience, especially at 96 [mph]," Maddon said. "That's probably the first time that's happened to him."

After being struck by Marquez's 1-2 pitch in the brim of his helmet, Bryant walked to the dugout. He stayed on his feet while talking to Maddon and team trainers before he was helped off the field. He had a small laceration above his left eye from his sunglasses.

Bryant is hitting .319/.467/.536 (22-for-69) with two homers, seven doubles and 11 RBIs through 19 games this season, his fourth in the big leagues.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

Moncada hits 1st leadoff HR -- off King Felix

MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada didn't take long to provide a rude welcome to Chicago for Seattle starting pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Moncada connected on the first pitch he saw from Hernandez on Wednesday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, launching his fifth home run of the season and his first leadoff blast to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. It was also the White Sox first leadoff home run this season.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- White Sox second baseman Yoan Moncada didn't take long to provide a rude welcome to Chicago for Seattle starting pitcher Felix Hernandez.

Moncada connected on the first pitch he saw from Hernandez on Wednesday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field, launching his fifth home run of the season and his first leadoff blast to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. It was also the White Sox first leadoff home run this season.

View Full Game Coverage

The homer came off of an 87.1 mph changeup and had an exit velocity of 108.5 mph, traveling 394 feet per Statcast™.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Yoan Moncada

Beckham placed on DL with groin strain

MLB.com

The Orioles have placed infielder Tim Beckham on the 10-day DL (retroactive to April 24) with a left groin strain and added infielder Jace Peterson to the 25-man roster.

The Orioles have placed infielder Tim Beckham on the 10-day DL (retroactive to April 24) with a left groin strain and added infielder Jace Peterson to the 25-man roster.

Baltimore Orioles, Tim Beckham, Jace Peterson

These 9 quotes would make Yogi proud

Baseball players and managers have a knack for winding up in some pretty unusual circumstances, both on and off the field. And sometimes, those circumstances cause them to say some very, very weird things. Which brings us here today. 

We've taken nine extremely strange (and extremely specific) quotes from baseball history, taken them out of context and asked you to see if you can remember who said them. Good luck:

Longest home runs for every MLB team

Statcast measures farthest blast since 2015 for all 30 clubs
MLB.com

Ever since Babe Ruth launched Major League Baseball into the live-ball era with his awe-inspiring home runs, wowed fans have been asking: "How far did that ball go?"

Teams had their own methods for estimating home run distance for nearly a century. But now, the launch of Statcast™ has given us a whole new tool to answer the question, thanks to the tracking technology at every MLB ballpark.

Ever since Babe Ruth launched Major League Baseball into the live-ball era with his awe-inspiring home runs, wowed fans have been asking: "How far did that ball go?"

Teams had their own methods for estimating home run distance for nearly a century. But now, the launch of Statcast™ has given us a whole new tool to answer the question, thanks to the tracking technology at every MLB ballpark.

Here is a look at the longest homers hit by each of the 30 MLB clubs since Statcast™ began tracking home run distances at the start of the 2015 season.

American League East

Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson, April 23, 2015, vs. BAL; Sept. 17, 2017, at MIN

Distance: 481 feet (Watch them: HR No. 1; HR No. 2)
Both of these big flies were demolished. The first, with a 112.5-mph exit velocity, Donaldson launched into the second deck at the Rogers Centre. He hit the second even harder, at 113.5 mph, reaching the upper tank at Minnesota's Target Field.

Full Blue Jays leaderboard

Orioles: Jonathan Schoop, Aug. 26, 2015, at KC
Distance: 484 feet (Watch it)
The Orioles have had their share of big sluggers in recent years, but it's Schoop who holds this title. One of baseball's best sluggers at second base, he jumped on this Johnny Cueto pitch that tailed in off the inside corner and kept it just fair down the left-field line at Kauffman Stadium.

Full Orioles leaderboard

Rays: J.P. Arencibia, Sept. 7, 2015, at DET
Distance: 464 feet (Watch it)
Arencibia played only 24 games for Tampa Bay -- all in 2015, his final MLB season -- but he had no shortage of power. The opposing pitcher, Randy Wolf, was also in his final season, when he pitched in just eight games for the Tigers. Nonetheless, they combined here for an entry in the Rays' Statcast™ record book.

Full Rays leaderboard

Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez, April 29, 2017, vs. CHC
Distance: 469 feet (Watch it)
Before this, Ramirez was tied with Red Sox legend David Ortiz for the club's longest homer, at 468 feet. But here, facing former Boston hurler John Lackey at Fenway Park, he took that honor all for himself. Ramirez drilled a center-cut two-seamer way over the Green Monster for a monstrous solo shot.

Full Red Sox leaderboard

Yankees: Aaron Judge, June 11, 2017, vs. BAL
Distance: 495 feet (Watch it)
Judge became a sensation in 2017 because of feats like this one. The AL Rookie of the Year Award winner destroyed a hanging slider at 118.6 mph, clearing the left-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium. It was the longest homer of 2017 and pulled Judge into a tie for the second-longest big fly in Statcast™ history.

Full Yankees leaderboard

AL Central

Indians: Mike Napoli, Sept. 9, 2016 vs. MIN
Distance: 463 feet (Watch it)
The Party at Napoli's reached the highest deck at Target Field on this September night, as this blast helped the first baseman reach a career-high 93 RBIs on the season. Napoli had also hit a 464-foot ball in foul territory the night before at Progressive Field.

"That's good for bragging rights," Napoli's teammate, Rajai Davis, told MLB.com. "That's an awesome, great feeling. I don't think I've ever hit the ball that far in batting practice. He's doing it in games. That's awesome. We can all admire that."

Full Indians leaderboard

Royals: Brandon Moss, July 1, 2017, vs. MIN
Distance: 471 feet (Watch it)
Moss left his mark during his lone season in Kansas City, golfing this pitch to help spur a four-run comeback for the home side against the rival Twins. Moss would retire the following spring, but his power clearly remained in his bat until the end.

Full Royals leaderboard

Tigers: J.D. Martinez, July 21, 2015, vs. SEA
Distance: 467 feet (Watch it)
Not to be outdone by Nelson Cruz's 455-foot shot in the top half of the third inning, Martinez one-upped Seattle's slugger in the bottom half with this impressive blast to straightaway center at cavernous Comerica Park. The dinger impressed just about everyone in the ballpark, except perhaps the slugger who hit it.

"It all means the same to me," Martinez told MLB.com about his big fly. "I don't care. People get caught up on [distance]. To me, I really pay no mind. I just hit it, and I just hope it gets out."

Full Tigers leaderboard

Twins: Kennys Vargas, June 20, 2017, vs. CWS
Distance: 483 feet (Watch it)
There really wasn't any doubt about this homer as soon as Vargas' bat met this pitch from White Sox starter Derek Holland with a scorching 114.1-mph exit velocity. Vargas' shot climbed high above the bullpen in left-center at Target Field for one of four 450-plus foot homers the first baseman hit in less than 800 at-bats in a Twins uniform.

Full Twins leaderboard

Video: CWS@MIN: Vargas crushes a 483-foot home run

White Sox: Avisail Garcia, April 3, 2018, vs. TOR
Distance: 481 feet (Watch it)
Garcia was coming off a terrific 2017 campaign in which he finished second in the AL batting race with a .330 average, but he showed he could be much more than a slap hitter with this prodigious blast at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ's slider caught too much of the plate, and Garcia punished it with a blistering 116.7-mph exit velocity.

"It was a pretty impressive blast, just from standing in the dugout and watching it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria told MLB.com. "Anybody who is a fan of baseball must have been impressed by that shot."

Full White Sox leaderboard

AL West

Angels: Mike Trout, July 8, 2015, vs. COL
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Trout's second homer of the night travelled deep to straightaway center field, landing halfway up the bleachers at Coors Field. Better yet, Trout's solo blast tied the ballgame and led to an eventual 3-2 win for the Angels.

Full Angels leaderboard

Astros: George Springer, May 31, 2017, vs. MIN
Distance: 473 feet (Watch it)
Springer's blast, like Trout's, also capped a two-homer day against the Twins, coming as part of a massive series for the eventual World Series-champion Astros in which they set a franchise record for most runs scored in a three-game series. Springer himself finished the day 4-for-4 with four runs scored and two walks.

"That's all I've got," Springer said of the homer. "That's about all I can hit it."

Full Astros leaderboard

Athletics: Matt Olson, Sept. 15, 2017, vs. PHI
Distance: 483 feet (Watch it)
Olson's sky-high blast at Citizens Bank Park came at the peak of an incredibly powerful rookie season in which he crushed 24 homers in just 189 at-bats for Oakland. Phillies starter Mark Leiter Jr. knew he was in trouble as soon as Olson connected; all there was left to do was wait and see where the slugger's blast would eventually land.

Full A's leaderboard

Mariners: Nelson Cruz, Sept. 24, 2016, vs. MIN
Distance: 493 feet (Watch it)
Few players in the game can put their weight behind a baseball like Cruz, and Seattle's Boomstick found the third deck at Target Field with this neck-craning blast. Cruz's shot remains among the longest hit outside of the thin air at Denver's Coors Field, and it came one night after he had launched a separate 454-foot homer for the Mariners. When Cruz gets hot at the plate, opposing pitchers feel it.

Full Mariners leaderboard

Video: SEA@MIN: Cruz crushes 493-ft homer

Rangers: Nomar Mazara, May 25, 2016, vs. LAA
Distance: 491 feet (Watch it)
The rookie Mazara raised his profile substantially with this towering drive to the upper deck at Globe Life Park, turning on and punishing an offspeed pitch from Angels starter Hector Santiago.

"That was loud," said Rangers catcher Bobby Wilson of Mazara's dinger. "You need earplugs for that one."

Full Rangers leaderboard

National League East

Braves: Freddie Freeman, June 13, 2015, vs. NYM
Distance: 464 feet (Watch it)
Atlanta's most consistent slugger got a hold of this first-inning fastball from Mets ace Jacob deGrom, pulling it high and deep onto the right-center-field bridge at Citi Field.

Full Braves leaderboard

Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, Aug. 6, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 504 feet (Watch it)
This is it -- the longest home run since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015, and the only one projected at more than 500 feet. The 504-foot distance may have been aided by the thin air at Coors Field, but Stanton has shown plenty of times that he doesn't need any help to clear the fence.

Full Marlins leaderboard

Video: Must C Crushed: Stanton connects on 504-foot home run

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes, April 24, 2018 vs. STL
Distance: 463 feet (Watch it)
Cespedes was off to a tough start to the 2018 season, batting .195 with an MLB-most 37 strikeouts entering this Tuesday night matchup in St. Louis. But with a pair of runners on in the fifth, New York's big slugger proved his power was still very much intact. Cespedes tied up the Cardinals with this moonshot that landed next to the "Big Mac Land" seating section in left field, surpassing Justin Ruggiano's 461-foot homer from Aug. 23, 2016, which also came at Busch Stadium. 

Full Mets leaderboard

Nationals: Michael A. Taylor, Aug. 20, 2015, vs. COL
Distance: 493 feet (Watch it)
Rockies starter Yohan Flande was cruising against the Nationals until Taylor gave his club a humongous game-tying lift on this blast to left-center. Taylor's dinger may have received an assist from the friendly Coors Field environment, but his 110.1-mph exit velocity was no joke. Taylor's ideal 26-degree launch angle also helped this ball go a long way.

Full Nationals leaderboard

Phillies: Maikel Franco, July 10, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 471 feet (Watch it)
Rockies reliever Jason Motte attempted to go up and in on Franco with a fastball, but the Phillies third baseman was ready for the challenge. Franco turned quickly on the pitch, pulling it into the high altitude at Coors Field for a long line-drive homer.

Full Phillies leaderboard

NL Central

Brewers: Domingo Santana, July 26, 2017, vs. WSH
Distance: 476 feet (Watch it)
Nationals Park has housed plenty of its own sluggers, from Bryce Harper to Anthony Rendon to Ryan Zimmerman. But it was the visiting Santana who etched his name atop the ballpark's list of longest home runs on this summer evening. Santana turned on an inside fastball from Gio Gonzalez and crushed it over the visitors' bullpen, high into the left-field concourse.

Full Brewers leaderboard

Cardinals: Marcell Ozuna, April 3, 2018, vs. MIL
Distance: 479 feet (Watch it)
Ozuna's first Cardinals home run also established him atop his new team's home run distance leaderboard. Facing Brewers starter Chase Anderson, Ozuna connected with a 117.2-mph exit velocity and sent Anderson's offering deep to left-center -- also setting a new Statcast™ mark for the longest homer at Miller Park.

Full Cardinals leaderboard

Cubs: Kris Bryant, Sept. 6, 2015, vs. ARI
Distance: 495 feet (Watch it)
Wrigley Field can become a launching pad when the wind blows out toward the bleachers, but even as a rookie, Bryant proved he didn't need much help launching prolific blasts. This one bounced off the new scoreboard in left field -- fittingly right next to Bryant's own picture -- to further build Bryant's prestige with the North Siders.

Full Cubs leaderboard

Video: ARI@CHC: Statcast™ on Bryant's blast off scoreboard

Pirates: Pedro Alvarez, Oct. 4, 2015, vs. CIN
Distance: 479 feet (Watch it)
Pittsburgh's hulking slugger decided the right-field seats at PNC Park weren't enough on the final day of the 2015 regular season, instead clearing the bleachers completely and depositing this ball into the Allegheny River. Alvarez simply demolished the pitch, connecting with a 115.4-mph exit velocity and uppercutting with an ideal 29-degree launch angle.

Full Pirates leaderboard

Reds: Eugenio Suarez, June 2, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 465 feet (Watch it)
Listed at just 5-foot-11 and 213 pounds, Suarez struck a blow for undersized infielders with this massive shot to left-center at Coors Field. This was actually Suarez's second homer of the game, capping an impressive evening for the third baseman.

Full Reds leaderboard

NL West

D-backs: Jake Lamb, April 29, 2017, vs. COL
Distance: 481 feet (Watch it)
In the days before the humidor, balls flew out of Chase Field. What's surprising about Lamb's blast isn't where it was hit, but the opposing pitcher he victimized. The Rockies' Tyler Anderson is a left-hander, and southpaws overall had been extremely effective against Lamb. But in this at-bat, the platoon disadvantage didn't bother Lamb at all.

Full D-backs leaderboard

Dodgers: Joc Pederson, June 2, 2015, at COL
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Considering how often they play in Denver's thin air, it's no surprise that the Dodgers hit their longest homer at Coors Field. Pederson did the honors with a majestic blast way up into the center-field bleachers. It was part of a series in which Pederson walloped four home runs -- one in each game.

Full Dodgers leaderboard

Giants: Brandon Belt, May 22, 2015, at COL
Distance: 475 feet (Watch it)
Another NL West club, another entry from the friendly environment of Coors Field. Belt jumped on a hanging changeup and launched it far into the third deck in right field. This type of blast has been a rarity for the Giants, who hit the second-fewest homers of 420-plus feet (74) from 2015-17, ahead of only the Braves.

Full Giants leaderboard

Padres: Franchy Cordero, April 20, 2018 at ARI
Distance: 489 feet (Watch it)
Franchy absolutely crushed this one. The D-backs' Matt Koch grooved Cordero a fastball, and Cordero hammered it 116.3 mph all the way up the scoreboard in dead center at Chase Field, instantly establishing a new longest home run of the 2018 season and a Padres Statcast™ record. He obliterated the team's previous best of 465 feet, set by Melvin Upton Jr. Cordero's blast is also the longest hit at Chase Field since Statcast™'s introduction in 2015, and the 10th-longest hit by anyone in baseball since 2015.

Full Padres leaderboard

Rockies: Mark Reynolds, July 21, 2016, vs. ATL
Distance: 484 feet (Watch it)
Yes, the Rockies' longest home run came at home. Reynolds, the powerful veteran, got ahead in the count 2-0 against a rookie left-hander, Hunter Cervenka, who fired a fastball over the middle of the plate. Reynolds demolished it at 108.8 mph, sending a drive most of the way up the bleachers beyond the left-center-field wall.

Full Rockies leaderboard

Video: ATL@COL: Reynolds crushes a 484-foot HR to left fiel

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSimonMLB.

Abreu forced to leave with flu-like symptoms

MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu left in the top of the fourth inning during Wednesday afternoon's game against the Mariners with flu-like symptoms.

Abreu popped out to first off of Felix Hernandez in the first inning and then flew out to left in the third. Matt Davidson replaced him at first base to start the fourth.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu left in the top of the fourth inning during Wednesday afternoon's game against the Mariners with flu-like symptoms.

Abreu popped out to first off of Felix Hernandez in the first inning and then flew out to left in the third. Matt Davidson replaced him at first base to start the fourth.

View Full Game Coverage

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu

Believe the hype: Why Acuna is No. 2 prospect

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

It was always a matter of when, not if, when it came to Ronald Acuna Jr.'s Major League debut. The answer to when came on Tuesday night, as it was reported the five-tool outfielder, No. 2 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, would join the Braves in Cincinnati for Wednesday's game.

Sure, the argument could easily be made that Acuna should have been on Atlanta's Opening Day roster, and the complaints about keeping him down to prevent his service-time clock from starting have been noted and filed away. Now the fun can begin in watching the 20-year-old do his thing at the big league level and trying to set a fair level of expectations out of the gate.

It was always a matter of when, not if, when it came to Ronald Acuna Jr.'s Major League debut. The answer to when came on Tuesday night, as it was reported the five-tool outfielder, No. 2 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects list, would join the Braves in Cincinnati for Wednesday's game.

Sure, the argument could easily be made that Acuna should have been on Atlanta's Opening Day roster, and the complaints about keeping him down to prevent his service-time clock from starting have been noted and filed away. Now the fun can begin in watching the 20-year-old do his thing at the big league level and trying to set a fair level of expectations out of the gate.

• Braves' Top 30 Prospects list | Braves prospects stats

Of course, Acuna has done his best to make any attempts to limit projections of what he can do seem like a waste of time. After ripping through three levels of the Minors in 2017 and finishing with a 20-40 season and a .325 average, after clearly being the best prospect in the Arizona Fall League and earning Most Valuable Player Award honors upon finishing with a 1.053 OPS and topping the fall circuit in home runs, all before he turned 20, after being the best player in the Grapefruit League this spring, hitting .432 and slugging .727, it seems less than prudent to forecast anything but superstardom.

Video: PHI@ATL: Acuna hits first HR of season at Triple-A

But let's not engrave Acuna's plaque in Cooperstown just yet, OK? There is no doubt that he is ready to showcase all of his tools at the highest level. He is one of just three overall 70s (on the 20-to-80 scouting scale) on the Top 100, matched only by Angels two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, who gets a 70 as a pitcher, and Blue Jays third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. And Acuna is the only hitter with grades of 60 or higher across all five tools (hit, power, run, arm, field). His hands are as fast as any hitter's, with plus-plus bat speed that allows him to make hard contact to all fields on a ridiculously consistent basis.

The power that showed up last year is for real, and many think Acuna has only started scratching the surface with the 21 homers he hit during the 2017 regular season. (If you add in his AFL at-bats, he hit 28 in 640 at-bats -- as a teenager.) He's only going to be able to tap into it more as he continues to refine his approach.

Acuna has close to top-of-the-scale speed, and the 44 steals he had in 2017 seems about right as a regular projection. That speed allows him to cover a ton of ground in the outfield. With Acuna in left field, the Braves will have two plus defensive center fielders in him and Ender Inciarte, something that will make Atlanta's pitching staff happy, no doubt.

Video: ATL@HOU: Acuna collects three singles vs. Astros

While it might not seem like it, Acuna has struggled at times, often at the start of a season or new level. In 2017, he hit just .231 over his first 15 games in the Florida State League before things started to click. He raked right when he got to Double-A, but he took a minute to adjust to Triple-A, hitting .225 over his first 11 games there.

Acuna's slow start this year has been well-documented. He went 0-for-11 over his first three games and was hitting just .139 through nine games. Acuna then proceeded to hit in eight of his next nine games to raise his average nearly 100 points, giving the Braves confidence that he had his feet under him and was ready for this highly anticipated callup.

The only other remotely negative thing on Acuna's Minor League resume has been his strikeout rate. Including his 27.4-percent K rate this season, Acuna has struck out in 21.3 percent of his plate appearances in his career. He lowered that rate each time he moved up a level in 2017, and he has shown some willingness to draw walks.

These "weaknesses" are only brought up to temper what's sure to be wild expectations. Acuna's K rate has hardly kept him from hitting and being productive, and there's reason to believe his approach will continue to improve as he matures. He's quickly gotten past slow starts, so even if he doesn't set the world on fire starting on Wednesday -- and he might -- he'll figure it out sooner rather than later.

The last time Atlanta was so excited about a young outfield phenom coming up, Andruw Jones joined the club as a teenager in 1996 and ended up playing in the World Series, then finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year Award voting in '97. It should be noted that from '96-97, Jones hit just .228 over 505 at-bats, albeit with 23 homers and 23 steals. Seeing Acuna surpass that benchmark doesn't seem unreasonable.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Atlanta Braves

5 batting stances you can't help but imitate

As baseball fans born in the mid-90's, we were lucky enough to grow up in the golden age of weird and notable batting stances. From Jeff Bagwell to Craig Counsell to Gary Sheffield to Tony Batista, the 2000's featured a remarkably deep collection of players with unique stances.

That being said, there's still a pretty awesome crop of weird and unique stances in the game today. Here are the five best batting stances in baseball right now:

Myers enjoying opportunity to play 1B again

Padres outfielder returns to his old stomping grounds in Hosmer's absence; MLB umpires hold 10th annual charity auction
MLB.com @AJCassavell

DENVER -- Wil Myers spent the entirety of the last two seasons anchoring first base in San Diego.

But from the moment Eric Hosmer signed his franchise-record eight-year deal in February, Myers hadn't taken a single grounder there. Until Wednesday morning, that is.

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- Wil Myers spent the entirety of the last two seasons anchoring first base in San Diego.

But from the moment Eric Hosmer signed his franchise-record eight-year deal in February, Myers hadn't taken a single grounder there. Until Wednesday morning, that is.

View Full Game Coverage

"I don't think it'll be that difficult," said Myers, who played first base on Wednesday with Hosmer on the family leave list. "I played there for two years. It's like riding a bike. "

He paused a second, adding: "Hopefully."

When Hosmer arrived, the Padres committed to remaking Myers as their long-term right fielder. The sample size is limited, but he's held his own in right thus far.

In Spring Training, manager Andy Green noted that he'd shy away from using Myers at first base, but the Padres have since walked that back. Had it not been for Myers' right-arm injury, he would've played first base earlier this month, while Hosmer served as DH for a day in Houston.

"I'm looking forward to playing there again," said Myers. "It's a position I really enjoy, and I'm looking forward to talking to some people. It's too boring out there in the outfield."

In Myers' debut season at first, he posted an outstanding defensive 2016, finishing among the National League's three Gold Glove Award finalists. He took a step back in '17, then moved away from the position entirely with four-time Gold Glover Hosmer on board.

Hosmer is expected to return to the lineup on Friday against the Mets, meaning Myers will soon return to the outfield. But he could see a few more games at first as the season progresses, possibly in American League ballparks.

Charity auction underway
MLB umpires are offering more than 300 items -- including priceless autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences, and upgraded ticket packages -- during its 10th Annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction.

The auction is currently underway at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare and closes at 7 p.m. PT on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos, and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball. There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the Online Auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop® experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.

"Each year thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said Gary Darling, former MLB umpire and Board President for UMPS CARE Charities. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."

Among the Padres items up for bid are a batting-practice experience and game tickets for four, and a two-night stay at the Andaz Hotel with two tickets to see the Padres.

Padres to attend Monarch School fundraiser
A number of prominent Padres will be on hand Thursday night for the Monarch School's annual fundraiser. Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman, Green and executive chairman Ron Fowler will take part in the "Building Bright Futures" event, with the aim to raise more than $500,000 to educate homeless students in San Diego.

Hoffman and his wife, Tracy, will serve as chairpersons for the event. It's expected to be the largest fundraising event in the 30-year history of the Monarch School, which exclusively serves homeless students, students at risk of being homeless, or students impacted by homelessness.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Wil Myers

Healy progressing, needs to produce in return

Creating off-days for Nicasio beneficial to his long-term outlook
Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy has progressed enough with his timing at the plate that he is expected to rejoin his teammates at some point this weekend in Cleveland, manager Scott Servais said on Wednesday.

Healy, who has been sidelined with a right ankle injury, went 1-for-3 with a two-run single with Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday. Healy has gone 5-for-15 in four games with the Travelers and has homered and driven in six runs.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy has progressed enough with his timing at the plate that he is expected to rejoin his teammates at some point this weekend in Cleveland, manager Scott Servais said on Wednesday.

Healy, who has been sidelined with a right ankle injury, went 1-for-3 with a two-run single with Double-A Arkansas on Tuesday. Healy has gone 5-for-15 in four games with the Travelers and has homered and driven in six runs.

View Full Game Coverage

Servais said he watched video of Healy on Wednesday morning and believes he is ready to re-acclimate himself to Major League pitching. Servais said earlier this week that Healy would not return until he could make an impact on the Mariners' offense.

"Things have gone OK with him on the rehab assignment," Servais said before Wednesday's game against the White Sox. "He looks fine."

Healy was hitting .091 (2-for-22) when he sprained his ankle in a postgame workout earlier this month. Healy drove in three runs on April 7. The Mariners sent him to Arkansas to help provide him a chance to improve his timing.

Video: SEA@MIN: Healy clears the bases with a double

The true test will come, however, once Servais inserts Healy back in the everyday lineup.

"He needs to come in and contribute -- he knows that," Servais said. "He was off to a slow start. Giving him the extra days of at-bats and playing time on the rehab assignment hopefully helps him, but facing Minor League pitching versus Cleveland pitching is a little bit different."

In sync
Right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio showed much better tempo in his one inning of work in Tuesday's 1-0 victory over the White Sox. Servais said Wednesday that Nicasio was getting down the mound better and displayed better tempo and delivery. Nicasio -- who had a strikeout in his appearance -- showcased more fastball velocity, which Servais was encouraged by, especially for the long-term.

Servais said a couple of days of not being called on benefited Nicasio, who has struck out nine hitters over 10 2/3 innings this season.

"He's never going to say, 'No, I need a day,' so sometimes you kind of have to create that day and put some other guys in some different spots," Servais said. "But he looked really good."

Roster moves
The Mariners announced Wednesday that left-handed relief pitcher Dario Alvarez has been outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma. With the move, the 40-man roster is now at 38.

Alvarez, 29, was claimed off of waivers from the Cubs in March and went 0-0 in five appearances with Tacoma with a 2.84 ERA. Alvarez has struck out seven and walked six.

In 2017, Alvarez went 2-0 with a 2.76 ERA in 20 games with the Rangers and held opponents scoreless in 16 of the 20 appearances.

Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com and is based in Chicago.

Seattle Mariners, Ryon Healy