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Roansy Contreras is the Next Big Thing

Roansy Contreras

Roansy Contreras

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates’ fifth top prospect Roansy Contreras has put together some interesting outings in his first few games pitched in the Major Leagues.

On Tuesday, Contreras earned his second career win by authoring five innings of one-run ball, giving up just a leadoff homer to Patrick Wisdom. The Cubs made him throw 30+ pitches in the first inning, yet he was able to escape unscathed. He also pitched a repeat performance of five one-run innings on Sunday against the Rays. He gave up four hits and only allowed one run to score, but more concerning, however: he also issued five walks.

The hard-throwing righty has a fastball with great spin and velocity, and an absolutely filthy breaking pitch in his slider. The slider holds an impressive 41.2% whiff rate and has been used as an effective put-away pitch. Contreras does not have much of a changeup, but could certainly rev his game with an offspeed pitch in his repertoire. In the few starts we’ve seen him, efficiency and command will need to be something for Contreras to work on for future outings, as he falls behind in counts and runs his pitch count high, early. He’ll certainly need to tame the difference between his ERA (2.76) and FIP (4.16).

The 22-year-old carries one of the better chase rates in the league, and has 42 punch outs this year, accompanying a 2.76 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 42 1/3 innings pitched over 10 appearances, seven games started.

While we have yet to see the best from Contreras, we may just have the makings of a future fantasy ace.

Notable Performances

Aaron Judge hit a walk-off blast on Sunday – a three-run bomb in the bottom of the tenth to break a 3-3 tie. That was the 10th walk-off for New York this season, as the Yankees appear to be an unstoppable baseball juggernaut. This was also the second walk-off for Judge in this series versus the Astros; he also hit a walk-off RBI single on Thursday in the bottom of the ninth, breaking a 6-6 tie. Today’s homer was Judge’s 28th of the season; he currently leads the major leagues in that category.

Shohei Ohtani had a two three-run homer evening on Tuesday. His first three-run homer occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning, clocked at 111.5 mph. He wasn’t finished there, however. He cranked up the ninth inning dramatics with a game-tying three-run homer off Scott Barlow, a no-doubter blasted at 438 feet, with a 113.5 mph exit velocity. He went 3-for-4, including a pair of three-run homers and set a career-high with eight RBI – yet the Angels still managed to fall 12-11 to the Royals, in extra innings. Even more impressive - Ohtani followed his eight RBI performance with a 13 strikeout pitching performance on Wednesday.

Pete Alonso made history on Sunday as he now has 69 RBI this season. This is the most RBI through June in Mets history; he also leads the National League in the RBI category. He passed Mike Piazza, who had 68 RBI in 2000. Alonso’s 22 homers is also tied for the second-most in the majors. Alonso’s tied with three others with nine homers in June - and this month isn’t even over yet.

Alejandro Kirk may just be the best offensive catcher right now. He had a great game on Friday, where reached on a base hit in the second inning, and was later plated by a Matt Chapman double. He also knocked a two-run homer off Trevor Kelley in the seventh, and singled twice. On Sunday, he hit a three-run blast in the first inning off Chi Chi Gonzalez. Kirk is up to ten home runs with a .322/.409/.523 triple-slash across 232 plate appearances, and has homered in four out of his last five last games.

Cristian Javier, Héctor Neris, and Ryan Pressly combined to throw a no-hitter against the Yankees on Saturday. An impressive feat to stifle one of the strongest offenses in Major League Baseball. Javier finished a strong start, going seven innings; he walked one and struck out 13. Neris and Pressly followed Javier’s strong start, for the 14th no-hitter in Astros history. Javier threw 115 pitches, Neris threw 20, and Pressley ended the evening with 15 pitches thrown. Javier picked up the well-deserved win, Neris received a hold, and Pressly earned his 15th save. The Astros are also the only team to no-hit the Yankees since 1958.

Frankie Montas came dangerously close to no-hitting the Mariners on Thursday, issuing just a pair of walks, and taking a no-hit bid into the eighth inning before Adam Frazier and Luis Torrens delivered back-to-back singles with two outs in the frame. He’s maintained a glittery 3.21 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 92/22 K/BB ratio across 89 2/3 innings (15 starts).

Injury Report

Byron Buxton has returned to the Twins following a three-game absence due to lingering right knee soreness. On Saturday, he went 1-for-5 with an RBI triple in the Twins’s victory over the Rockies. The fantasy superstar is slashing .226/.308/.568 with 38 runs scored, 19 home runs, 34 RBI, and a stolen base across 224 plate appearances.

Hunter Renfroe is back on the injured list after an MRI revealed more damage to his left calf than initially thought. Renfroe underwent treatment in an effort to avoid the injured list, but was shut down with the injury. This is Renfroe’s second IL stint as he was sidelined with a hamstring injury earlier this year.

Royals star catcher Salvador Perez sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Perez took a swing that left him in pain, and left Tuesday’s game soon after. This is Perez’s second IL stint; he went on the IL in May with a thumb sprain, then re-aggravated the thumb on Tuesday. Perez was placed on the 10-day injured list Friday morning and has undergone surgery to repair the torn UCL. MJ Melendez will handle the catcher’s role in Perez’s absence.

White Sox placed infielder Danny Mendick on the 10-day injured list with a torn ACL in his right knee, after a scary collision with teammate Adam Haseley left Mendick on the ground in pain. Mendick’s season is done as we know it; he ends 2022 with a .289/.343/.443 triple-slash line including three homers, 15 RBI, a stolen base, and 22 runs scored in 31 games played. The White Sox also put outfielder Adam Engel on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain.

Honor Roll

Jarren Duran (4-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 SB on Saturday), Corbin Burnes (7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 9 K on Saturday), German Marquez vs. Twins (7 2/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 2 K on Friday), Edward Olivares (2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI on Friday), Devin Smeltzer (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K on Thursday), Cody Bellinger (3-for-4, 3 R, HR,, 3 RBI, SB on Thursday), Austin Hays (Cycle: 4-for-4, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R on Wednesday), Charlie Morton (7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 11 K, 0 BB on Wednesday), Dylan Cease (6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 11 K on Tuesday), Javier Baez (3-for-5, HR, 2 R on Tuesday), Max Fried (7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K on Monday), Andrew Benintendi (2-for-4, HR, BB, SB, 2 RBI, 2 R on Monday), Nick Pivetta (7 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 10 K on Sunday), Christian Walker (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R on Sunday)

Batting Around

The Brewers donned their City Connect uniforms on Friday, and the blue and yellow accents are meant to be reminiscent of summer living in Milwaukee – vivid skies, tailgating, and warm, sunny afternoons. While the players looked especially crisp wearing the new uniforms, a coach stole the show when it came to accessorizing.

Brewers first base coach Quintin Berry was caught on camera sporting some gold shoes with white soles and blue lights. Berry’s gold patent kicks with gold laces are so shiny, you can see reflections including the bright stadium lights. Being able to express yourself through cool shoes on the field never goes out of style.

A cycle, a combined no-hitter, and a smorgasbord of delicious, game-altering homers. That’s the end of a perpetually-eventful Week that Was. Join us next week for more updates and stories from around Major League Baseball.