Home Baseball Sunday Notes: Jazz Chisholm and Jean Segura Know Fastpitch

Sunday Notes: Jazz Chisholm and Jean Segura Know Fastpitch

Sunday Notes: Jazz Chisholm and Jean Segura Know Fastpitch


Jazz Chisholm and Jean Segura caught my consideration whereas they have been enjoying catch previous to a current Miami Marlins street sport at Fenway Park. Not like their teammates, the duo was buying and selling tosses underhand, windmilling their throws like fastpitch softball pitchers. Furthermore, they seemed good doing it. Their motions have been clean and straightforward, their deliveries agency and correct. Having by no means seen skilled baseball gamers do that, I used to be very a lot intrigued.

Standing close by was Jennifer Brann. Now an analyst with the Marlins, Brann had excelled on the mound on the College of Pennsylvania and the College of Maryland previous to being employed by Miami two years in the past. I requested her if she had seen them accomplish that beforehand.

“I’ve seen Segura fiddle a little bit bit, however I’d by no means seen Jazz pitch underhand like that,” Brann informed me. “It was cool to observe. They knew what they have been doing, particularly Segura; he threw an increase ball and a changeup. However Jazz seemed fairly good, too.”

The next day, I made it some extent to strategy each gamers within the clubhouse to search out out if they’d any softball expertise. It seems that they did.

“My grandma was knowledgeable [fastpitch] softball participant,” mentioned Chisholm, who grew up in Nassau. “She performed for the Bahamas Nationwide Crew. That’s what actually obtained me into baseball — I realized a number of my baseball expertise from softball — and he or she performed till she was 60, too. She was simply superhuman.”

Chisholm performed fastpitch rising up, partly as a result of the game is performed in Bahamian excessive faculties, whereas baseball will not be. (He did play Little League baseball.). Having attended a Okay-12, he started competing in opposition to upperclassmen as a sixth grader, each as a shortstop and a pitcher. Chisholm subsequently moved to the USA at age 12, thus ending his aggressive softball days,

Segura, who hails from San Juan de la Maguana, performed “a number of softball within the Dominican.” The 33-year-old infielder defined that whereas fastpitch isn’t significantly in style on the island, it’s within the space the place he grew up. His major place was third base.

A lot as Chisholm credit fastpitch for serving to him hone his baseball expertise, Segura sees the game as having helped hone his swing.

“The hitting is completely different,” mentioned Segura. “In fastpitch you must use your arms, and in baseball you must use your physique, with all the things related. In fastpitch, you’re too shut to return after which transfer ahead; you must simply see the ball and throw your arms at it. That’s why I play that sort of sport; my swing carried to baseball. It’s why I’ve obtained fast arms.”

Due to their backgrounds, each Segura and Chisholm might step right into a batter’s field and maintain their very own in opposition to a high-quality fastball hurler. As for almost all of their teammates…. that’s one other story.

“There are in all probability solely three guys on this locker room might sq. up a ball earlier than they obtained used to it,” opined Segura. “I don’t suppose they understand how laborious it’s to hit that sort of pitching.”

“Not lots of them might do it initially,” agreed Brann. “They’d in all probability swing and miss, as a result of they wouldn’t be used to the completely different movement and being nearer, though they might come round to it after seeing a couple of pitches.”

The pitcher-turned-analyst did make a couple of exceptions. Requested if Marlins gamers might hit her choices — her response got here with a smile — Brann mentioned that Luis Arraez “positively might,” and Segura “in all probability might, as a result of he’s performed quick pitch earlier than.” Unaware that Chisholm had additionally performed fastpitch, she added that “Jazz would come round, however he’d in all probability battle at first.”

Advised what Brann had mentioned, Chisholm responded with a smile of his personal. “I understand how to hit a softball,” he mentioned. “I’d hit bombs!”

May any of his Marlins teammates — Segura being a doable exception — hit him?

“I can throw a riser, a changeup, and a little bit slider,” mentioned Chisholm. “Plus, I’d be bringing it and throwing strikes. So no, I don’t suppose too lots of them can be getting hits off of me. They don’t know laborious it’s.”



Vladimir Guerrero went 16 for 27 in opposition to John Thomson.

Felipe Alou went 14 for 22 in opposition to Tracy Stallard.

Moises Alou went 11 for 23 in opposition to Brandon Webb.

Earl Webb went 9 for 16 in opposition to Rollie Stiles.

Bob Horner went 9 for 15 in opposition to Rollie Fingers.


The Colorado Rockies didn’t purchase an particularly notable prospect once they traded Mike Moustakas to the Los Angeles Angels final weekend. Connor Van Scoyoc — all six-foot-six inches of him — is a 23-year-old right-hander whom the Halos drafted within the eleventh spherical out of a Cedar Rapids, Iowa highschool 5 years in the past. Relying totally on a sinker/cutter/curveball mixture, he has a 2.63 ERA to go along with 63 strikeouts in 68-and-a-third innings this 12 months between a pair of Excessive-A stops. By all accounts, his ceiling is pretty low.

His blood strains are extra notable than his perceived potential. Older brother Spencer — the household pronounces its final identify “Van Scoy” — pitches within the Philadelphia Phillies system, their father, Aaron, performed three years within the New York Yankees system, and grandfather, Jim, was a scout, minor-league pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers, and a legendary highschool coach in Norway, Iowa. After which there’s the member of the family who received 134 big-league video games whereas logging a 3.80 ERA for 4 groups from 1980-1993.

Mike Boddicker is my nice uncle,” Connor Van Scoyoc informed me final October throughout his stint within the Arizona Fall League. “He had an enormous hook, however his largest factor was sinkers early within the depend. If you may get hitters out within the first two pitches, it saves you in the long term. I’m making an attempt to be like that.”

Van Scoyoc, who by his personal admission isn’t overpowering, allowed 9 hits and two runs over six-and-a-third innings in his first outing since becoming a member of the Rockies group. He walked one and fanned seven.


A quiz:

The identical participant ranks second in Toronto Blue Jays historical past for hits, doubles, and complete bases. Who’s it?

The reply will be discovered beneath.



A touring exhibit sponsored by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is at present in Boston, the place it would stay by August 4. Freed from cost and open from 10am to 5pm, seven days every week (apart from July 3 and 4, when will probably be closed) at Emerson School, 118 Boylston Avenue alongside Boston Widespread, Barrier Breakers tells the story of African American and Latin gamers that broke the colour barrier in Main League Baseball.

Ulysses Hollimon, who pitched within the Negro American League from 1948-1956, died earlier this week at age 92. The Amory, Mississippi native performed for the Baltimore Elite Giants and the Birmingham Black Barons.

A reminder that this 12 months’s nationwide SABR conference is being held in Chicago from July 5-9. Extra data, together with the total schedule, will be discovered right here.


The reply to the quiz is Vernon Wells, who ranks second to Tony Fernandez in hits, and second to Carlos Delgado in each doubles and complete bases.


As a baseball historical past buff who noticed Henry Aaron play on the tail finish of his profession, I’ve lengthy had an appreciation for the Braves franchise. From Boston to Milwaukee to Atlanta, the checklist of iconic gamers contains the likes of Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn, Greg Maddux, Phil Niekro, and Chipper Jones. The present membership has stars as nicely, most notably Ronald Acuña Jr. and Spencer Strider. By most measures — however solely most — the crew and its wealthy historical past needs to be embraced.

The tomahawk chop, and the mantra that goes with it, is offensive to a large number of folks, each inside and outdoors of “Braves nation.” And for good cause. Frankly, that it nonetheless persists is more and more laborious to fathom. Would the widespread recognition of the crew not be enhanced by a squelching of the irritating-to-many custom? I’ve to consider it will. Embracing the Atlanta Braves can be far simpler have been it not for the chop and chant.


On a associated notice, Charlie Culberson returned to the Braves roster on Friday — he’d beforehand performed for Atlanta from 2018-2020 — and that jogged my memory of a still-uncorrected factual error. Each his B-Ref and MLB.com pages state that the 33-year-old infielder is the grandson of former big-league outfielder Leon Culberson, who performed for the Boston Purple Sox and the Washington Senators within the Forties.

“Leon was from Rome, Georgia, which is the place I grew up, however he was really my grandfather’s first cousin,” Culberson informed me in a dialog I shared in my September 2, 2018 Sunday Notes column. “We’ve tried to appropriate everybody on that for years now, however they by no means appear to vary something on-line.”

I took the freedom of passing this alongside to B-Ref after the column ran, and was informed that what Culberson mentioned of his household was inadequate proof to make the change. I stay perplexed as to why that’s.



Shunpeita Yamashita continues to be top-of-the-line younger pitchers in NPB. The 20-year-old right-hander is 7-1 with a 1.36 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 59-and-two-thirds innings for the Orix Buffaloes.

Tsuyoshi Wada is 5-3 with a 3.04 ERA in 47-and-a-third innings with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. A veteran of 16 NPB seasons, the 42-year-old left-hander pitched for the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and 2015.

J.B. Wendelken is 1-1 with a 1.82 ERA in 24-and-two-thirds reduction innings for the Yokohama Bay Stars. The 30-year-old right-hander is in his first NPB season after beforehand pitching for the Oakland Athletics and the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ricardo Sánchez is 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA in 42-and-two-thirds innings for the KBO’s Hanwha Eagles. Launched by the Chicago White Sox in April, he 26-year-old left-hander appeared in three video games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2020.

Yeong Hyun Park is 2-2 with a 2.09 ERA for the KBO’s KT Wiz. The 19-year-old right-hander has 42 strikeouts in 38-and-two-thirds innings.


Johan Rojas has a vivid future in Philadelphia. No. 4 on our Phillies Prime Prospects checklist, the 22-year-old outfielder is, within the phrases of Eric Longenhagen, “an unbelievable athlete with blazing pace [and] ridiculous vary in heart subject.” Our lead prospect analyst does have some issues along with his swing, however the San Francisco de Macoris native has been doing his greatest to dispel them. Over 317 plate appearances with Double-A Studying, Rojas is slashing .308/.365/.455 with 16 doubles, 4 triples, and half a dozen house runs. He’s swiped 26 luggage in 34 makes an attempt.

Requested how he profiles, his supervisor accentuated his defensive sport.

“For me, he’s a big-league participant,” mentioned Al Pedrique, who performed 174 MLB video games from 1987-1989 earlier than occurring to handle the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second half of the 2004 season. “He’s a pure, true centerfielder. Defensively he’s excellent. He will get good reads and jumps, his routes are excellent. Defensively, he might play within the massive league proper now.

“With the bat, he’s getting so significantly better,” Pedrique replied after I adopted up by asking about his offensive sport. “And never simply because he’s hitting .320. He’s extra extra aggressive, attacking the fastball, and his plate self-discipline is enhancing. He’s not afraid to get deep within the depend. From what I see, he’s maturing fairly good for somebody at a younger age.”

Requested about comps, Pedrique named a handful of centerfielders he’s seen a number of through the years. One particularly struck me as apt.

Michael Bourn was excellent,” mentioned Pedrique. “His instincts in heart have been nice. Rojas does the identical factor. He anticipates, and when the ball is hit within the hole, he runs to the spot. That’s laborious to show. The pure issues he does in heart subject are wonderful.”



Abimelec Ortiz is slashing .333/.409/.677 with 18 house runs in 238 plate appearances between Low-A Down East and Excessive-A Hickory. The 21-year-old first baseman was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Florida SouthWestern State School by the Texas Rangers in 2021.

Jordan Beck is slashing .291/.384/.562 with 18 house runs and a 147 wRC+ in 310 plate appearances for the Excessive-A Spokane Indians. No. 10 on our recently-released Colorado Rockies Prime Prospects checklist, the 22-year-old outfielder was drafted thirty eighth total final 12 months out of the College of Tennessee.

Tsung-Che Cheng leads the minors with 9 triples. Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as a global free agent out of Taiwan in 2019, the 21-year-old center infielder is slashing .285/.379/.523 with 9 house runs between Excessive-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona.

Thomas Harrington is 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 59-and-two-thirds innings between Low-A Bradenton and Excessive-A Greensboro. The 21-year-old right-hander was drafted thirty sixth total final 12 months by the Pirates out of Campbell College.

Payton Martin is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 32-and-two thirds innings for the Low-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. The 19-year-old right-hander was drafted within the seventeenth spherical final 12 months out of Cumming, Georgia’s West Forsyth Excessive Faculty by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ryan January is slashing .281/.488/.449 with three house runs in 125 plate appearances for the unbiased Atlantic League’s York Revolution. The 26-year-old catcher/outfielder was within the Arizona Diamondbacks group from 2016-2019, and the Los Angeles Dodgers group in 2021 and 2022.


MLB error totals are decrease than one would possibly moderately count on, and never as a result of a plethora of defenders have morphed into Omar Vizquel. Quite, it has change into more and more frequent for balls in play to be dominated hits. This isn’t merely my observational opinion; I’ve heard a number of broadcasters specific disbelief after an infielder botched what seemed like a positive out, solely to have the official scorer award the hitter a single. In a nutshell, “extraordinary effort” ain’t what it was.

Why is that this taking place? Many (together with yours actually) are of the idea that the MLB workplace has been pushing official scorers on this course, with declining batting averages factoring into their efforts. To the detriment of pitchers and their earned-run averages, the powers that be seemingly wish to see extra hits within the field scores, and better numbers on the entrance finish of hitters’ slash strains.

As affordable as that will appear on the floor, a number of the rulings being made are questionable at greatest. In a current three-game collection, Miami’s Joey Wendle was awarded hits on 4 floor balls that had an anticipated batting common of .170 or decrease. A number of weeks in the past, I used to be watching a sport the place Kansas Metropolis’s slow-footed Salvador Perez was awarded successful on a routine chopper to 3rd base that had an .080 anticipated batting common. That’s not a typo; the xBA was actually .080.

MLB has an official scoring drawback. Furthermore, it’s unlikely that the women and men performing the duty in press packing containers are at fault. They’re merely doing what they’re being requested to do, the absurdity of some rulings be damned.



The St. Louis Dispatch’s Derrick Goold wrote about the protection final week’s London Sequence between the Cardinals and Cubs obtained from UK newspapers.

Andscape’s Clinton Yates wrote about how former big-league outfielder Dwayne Hosey has carved out an all-star popularity as a youth baseball teacher in Omaha.

Psychological Floss’s Ellen Gutoskey introduced us with a short historical past of baseball on the Fourth of July.

Jen Pawol is the primary feminine umpire to succeed in Triple-A in over three many years. Brittany Ghiroli wrote about her for The Athletic (subscription required).

The common time of an MLB sport has been 2:37 this season, down from 3:06 final 12 months. The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey wrote about the nameless subject timing coordinators who’re chargeable for regularly resetting the pitch clock in each sport (subscription required).



The Boston Purple Sox are 2-13 in inter-league house video games. The San Diego Padres are 0-7 in extra-inning video games.

Andrew McCutchen has 2,018 hits and 1,600 strikeouts.
Invoice Madlock had 2,008 hits and 510 strikeouts.

Rickey Henderson had 3,055 hits, together with 297 house runs.
Chris Davis had 1,160 hits, together with 295 house runs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers received the Nationwide League pennant in 1959 whereas scoring 705 runs and permitting 670 runs. The third place San Francisco Giants scored 705 runs and allowed 613 runs.

The Minnesota Twins received the American League West in 1987 whereas scoring 786 runs and permitting 806 runs. The third place Oakland Athletics scored 806 runs and allowed 789 runs. The Twins went on to win the World Sequence, simply because the Dodgers had in 1959.

On in the present day’s date in 1973, Boots Day hit a Tenth-inning walk-off house run to present the Montreal Expos a 2-1 win over the New York Mets at Parc Jarry. Buzz Capra took the loss; Steve Renko went the space for the win.

Willie Mays hit a Sixteenth-inning walk-off house run to present the San Francisco Giants a 1-0 win over the Milwaukee Braves on in the present day’s date in 1963. Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn went the space for his or her respective groups in what’s extensively thought to be the best pitching duel of all-time.

Gamers born on in the present day’s date embrace Chuck Stobbs, who in 1953 surrendered a house run to Mickey Mantle that reportedly traveled a big-league document 565 toes. Pitching for the Washington Senators on the time, the southpaw took the mound for 4 groups from 1947-1961.

Additionally born on in the present day’s date was Steve Sparks, a knuckleball pitcher from 1995-2004 who has spent the final 11 years as a radio broadcaster for the Houston Astros. His greatest season on the mound was 2001 when he went 14-9 with a 3.65 ERA and a league-best eight full video games for the Detroit Tigers.

Bob Addy was the primary Canada-born participant in MLB historical past. A local of Port Hope, Ontario who broke in with the Nationwide Affiliation’s Rockford Forest Citys in 1871, Addy later performed for the Nationwide League’s Chicago White Stocking and Cincinnati Reds.



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