On-Base Perception

Newsday's new all-encompassing baseball blog on the Yankees, Mets, MLB and more from around the sport.

Tracy McGrady, former NBA All-Star, slated to pitch vs. Ducks

Former NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady is slated to

(Credit: AP)

Tracy McGrady is taking his reinvention tour to Long Island.

The former seven-time NBA All-Star is trying to make a go of it as a righthanded pitcher and is currently a member of the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. McGrady is now slated to pitch against the Ducks, the team announced, during their game at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday at Bethpage Ballpark. McGrady's start will be in the...

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Mets prospects Steven Matz, Brandon Nimmo, Dilson Herrera promoted to Double-A

Mets pitcher Steven Matz looks on during spring

(Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa)

Now all that separates three of the Mets top prospects from Citi Field is two levels and 185 miles.

Lefthanded starter Steven Matz, centerfielder Brandon Nimmo and second baseman Dilson Herrera have all been promoted to Double-A Binghamton, according to multiple reports. The news was first reported by Jon Santucci, an area journalist who said he spoke to Nimmo. T.J. Rivera and Randy Fontanez...

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Scouting the return for Ike Davis

Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Ike Davis looks on

(Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke)

If he's even the least bit successful in his professional career, you probably won't read the name "Blake Taylor" again for at least four years.

The "upside" return from the Ike Davis trade has finally trickled into the Mets system in the form of an 18-year-old lefthander with 21 minor league innings to his name. Taylor pitched for the Gulf Coast League affilliate of the Pirates in 2013 and...

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Yankees minor league report

Yankees first-round draft picks, pitcher Ian Clarkin (33rd

(Credit: AP)

1. BRADY LAIL, RHP, Charleston Riverdogs (A): 3.49 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 71 K, 13 BB

Lail, 20, was an 18th rounder in 2012, but has a career 5.96 K/BB and has raised his K/9 each season.

2. ROB REFSNYDER, 2B, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AAA): .333 BA, .375 OBP, .529 SLG, 6 HR

His hot-hitting earned a recent promotion to Triple-A. Possesses excellent patience and contact.

3. AARON JUDGE,...

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Yoenis Cespedes makes two must-see throws

Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp, right, congratulates Yoenis Cespedes

(Credit: AP / Mark J. Terrill)

If the U.S. ever needs to launch men back to the moon, it's good to know we could just use Yoenis Cespedes' rocket arm.

The Athletics leftfielder made tremendous -- and that might be underselling it -- throws on back-to-back nights to cut down Angels baserunners at home and third, respectively.

Of course, Cespedes didn't play the balls in play all that well, which is why he had to uncork...

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The case of Jonathan Lucroy and how it applies to Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud of the Mets looks on during

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Four years ago, before he matured into one of the best catchers in baseball, Jonathan Lucroy was languishing as a rookie with the Milwaukee Brewers.

At age 24, he had been promoted on his reputation as a hit­-first catching prospect. But he quickly fell into a familiar trap. He threw himself into learning the nuances of handling a pitching staff, a catcher’s most important job, even at the...

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Chase Headley could be the answer to the Yankees offensive issues

Padres third baseman Chase Headley, center, walks to

(Credit: AP)

Despite committing $197 million in salary to their 2014 roster, the Yankees are missing something on offense.

The Yankees are below average offensively at multiple spots in the order, notably designated hitter, where they rank 14th in the American League in OPS, beating the Mariners by just a single point, .601 to .600. Even a position of strength such as first base, however, is a weakness,...

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Wheeler calls talk of hitting Pence on purpose 'just dumb'

Zack Wheeler delivers a pitch during a spring

(Credit: Alejandra Villa)

Giants manager Bruce Bochy told KNBR radio he thought that Zack Wheeler’s plunking of Hunter Pence on Sunday appeared to be a “cheap shot.” But the Mets righthander called the notion of any intent behind the pitch “just dumb.”“They were up 3-2 in the third and I obviously didn't have my stuff,” Wheeler told Newsday. “That's the last thing I would want to do is hit him right there and put him on...

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Mets vs. Brewers series preview

Carlos Gomez, left, and Lucas Duda will face

(Credit: AP collage)

The Mets begin a three-game set with the Brewers on Tuesday at Citi Field. The Brewers lead the AL Central by five games over the Cardinals and have the second-best record in the National League. The Mets enter play five and a half games back of Atlanta and Washington, which are tied for the NL East lead.

Here’s what to watch for in this series:

OPPOSING PITCHER SCOUTING REPORT

GAME...

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Yankees have worst DH production in the American League

Alfonso Soriano of the Yankees reacts after striking

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Not much is expected from a designated hitter. No fielding prowess is necessary. Speed is not a requirement. The only thing the position demands that you do is produce at the plate.

DHs are hitting .248 with a .325 on-base percentage and .430 slugging percentage across MLB this season. The .756 on-base plus slugging percentage ranks DH as the second-most productive “defensive” position in...

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