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The Atlanta Braves are fighting for home-field advantage this weekend at Citizens Bank Park

Posted by laiyongcai92 
The Philadelphia Phillies are just trying to end their season-worst losing streak.The National League East champion Braves and the Phillies open their final regular-season series of 2018 on Friday night in Philadelphia. The Braves (89-70) clinched the division with a win over the Phillies last Saturday and are hoping to gain home-field advantage in the NLDS with a few wins this weekend.Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (12-10 http://www.giantsfanproshop.com/authentic-deion-sanders-jersey , 2.88 ERA) will be on the mound against Jerad Eickhoff (0-0, 9.00), who is making his first and only start of the year for Philadelphia.Article continues below ...The Braves will most likely face the winner of the NL West in the NLDS next week, and they had the same number record as the West-leading Colorado Rockies after Thursday’s action.The Rockies have surged into first place after sweeping the Phillies, who have completely collapsed in September. The Phillies (78-81), who were in first place and led the Braves by 1 1/2 games on Aug. 5, are 6-19 in September, in the midst of a season-worst eight-game losing streak and have fallen to third place in the division.Philadelphia’s skid started last Thursday in Atlanta, where they were swept by the Braves in a four-game series. The Phillies lost another four games to the Rockies at Coors Field and were outscored on the trip, 60-19.“It’s really bad baseball. There’s no excuse for it, none at all,” Phillies’ first-year manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after a 14-0 loss against Colorado on Wednesday. “We all have to look ourselves in the mirror, individually and collectively, and figure out how to get better. And we have to do it right now.”Foltynewicz faced the Phillies in his last outing, and he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He allowed just two hits and two runs in 7 1/3 innings at SunTrust Park Alen Hanson Jersey , as he helped Atlanta get the win that clinched the division last Saturday.“It was very different knowing what’s at stake, but at the same time you can’t get overhyped, like I tended to do in the past with bigger games,” Foltynewicz told MLB.com after the win. “To be able to do it in front of our home crowd was pretty special.”Foltynewicz, a first-time All-Star in 2018, has a 2.08 ERA in five starts against the Phillies this season and is 5-3 with a 3.39 ERA and 1.236 WHIP against the Braves’ divisional foe in 12 career appearances.Eickhoff, meanwhile, will be starting for the first time this year after his season was derailed by injuries. Eickhoff started the season on the disabled list due to a lat strain and his return was set back because of a nerve issue on his right hand. He was activated off the DL earlier this month and has made two appearances out of the bullpen.Eickhoff, 28, made a total of 57 starts for Philadelphia in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. He has a lifetime 2.91 ERA against the Braves. At least one person is confirmed to be ready for Eloy Jimenez to join the Chicago White Sox.This person is Jimenez himself, who wrote in an essay for The Players' Tribune: "I'mbeyondready."When the 21-year-old鈥攚ho's a top-three prospect for Bleacher Report, MLB.com and Baseball America鈥攚ill get the call to Chicago remains a good question. Although the White Sox have promoted prized pitching prospect Michael Kopech, they remain noncommittal on when they're going to call up their future slugging star from Triple-A Charlotte."We're judging each individual based on what's best for them," general manager Rick Hahn told reporterson Aug. 20. "As for Eloy, he's going to remain in Charlotte at this time and continue on the path that he's on."But whether it's this September or next spring http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-edgar-martinez-jersey , the Eloy Jimenez Show will be coming to The Show soon. To get an idea of what it will be like, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge are two good comps to start with.Here's a hint as to why:That's Jimenez flashing literal light-tower power in the High-A Carolina League's 2017 Home Run Derby, when he was just weeks away from being traded from the Chicago Cubs organization to the White Sox organization in the Jose Quintana deal.The 6'4", 205-pounder's power is typically rated as a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale.That's a rare gift, and its existence isn't confirmed only by the eye test or the 40 home runs he's slugged over the last two minor league seasons.Jimenez's exit velocity was clocked as high as 119.4 mph at the Arizona Fall League in 2016. If not for singular appearances by David Freese, Eric Hosmer and Gary Sanchez, that would be exclusively Stanton-and-Judge territory among major league hitters.And yet, comparing Jimenez to the two most powerful sluggers in Major League Baseball is a little too easy. As an all-around hitter, he's more of a Miguel Cabrera. Or, if equating him to one of the greatest hitters ever is a bit too much, at least a J.D. Martinez.Mark Cunningham/Getty ImagesStanton and Judge share a similar approach in that they're conservative (see here and here) with their swings. Beyond guiding them to their extreme power outputs, this also results in their share of walks. However, it frequently leads them deep into counts and puts them under constant threat of striking out.CabreraandMartinez, on the other hand, are more aggressive hitters who've typically operated with above-average swing rates. Such approaches are easy to frown upon Ryon Healy Jersey , as they risk too many ill-advised swings at bad pitches.Yet, this approachcost neither peak Cabrera nor present-day Martinez in thepower department. They've also typically avoided extremestrikeout ratesabrera certainly more so than Martinez, although the latter is improving with agend trafficked in high batting averageswithout sacrificing manyfree passes.Aggressive hitters don't typically check all these boxes. What makes Cabrera and Martinez exceptions to the rule is how they're wired to put good swings on the ball.Each boasts simple hitting mechanics that keep his head still, hands back and hips closed. They also display a willingness to let the ball travel. These things allow them to read and track pitches better than most. From there, it's about turning their uncanny knack for getting the barrel to the ball into regular contact and effortless power.Which brings us back to Jimenez, who looks cut from the same mold.Although he does have a good eye for the strike zone, his 6.9 minor league walk percentage is evidence that he prefers to swing the bat than to work counts.He's nonetheless a .313 career minor league hitter who's peaking with a .370 average at Triple-A.His swing offers some clues into how he does it:Jimenez's timing device is a little leg kick that falls well below those of Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista in extremity. He also keeps his head, hands and hips steady as the ball travels to the plate.Thus, he is able to stay on a low-and-away breaking ball. And with the help of his sheer strength and quick bat speed, he doesn't need to swing out of his shoes to knock it over the right field fence."I just try to hit the ball on the barrel," Jimenez said in July, per Steve Lyttle of the Charlotte Observer.In theory, a hitter like this should difficult to fool anddifficult to contain. Lo and behold, that's exactly what Jimenez is in reality.To wit, his combination of a low strikeout rate (12.3 percent in Triple-A) and high power rate (.250 ISO http://www.marinersfanproshop.com/authentic-dee-gordon-jersey , which measures extra bases per at-bat) make him an outlier among fellow International League hittersgrinning smileyata courtesy of FanGraphsAnd whereas Jimenez tended to favor his pull side through his first four professional seasons, he's unlocked the whole field in 2018:Image courtesy of MLB.comThe obligatory "yeah, but..." with Jimenez is that he doesn't figure to have much value outside the batter's box.He runs only about as well as you'd expect of a guy his size. Between that and his allegedly poor throwing arm, he's best suited for left field duty. Down the road, he may have to be knocked down to first base or designated hitter.But if he hits the way he should, his limitations will be easy to overlook. After all, it's not every day that a Cabrera- or Martinez-like hitter who A) has a dangerous bat and cool smiley knows how to use it comes along.Of course, Jimenez has to actually come along first. Since he's ready, it's just up to somebody in the White Sox front office to pick up a phone. Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and MLB.com.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/11/2019 07:44PM by laiyongcai92.
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