* Included among the many international signings yesterday was the Mets inking Ugueth Urbina’s son,
16-year-old left-hander Juan Urbina. The elder Urbina was a two-time
All-Star who ranks 30th on the all-time list with 237 career saves, and
is now serving a 14-year prison term after being convicted of attempting to murder two people with a machete in a 2005 dispute over a stolen gun.
* After a brief quarrel yesterday, Rany Jazayerli and the Royals are back on speaking terms. Sort of. My guess is that if Joe Posnanski didn’t have such a large, devoted following the Royals would probably try to blackball him
too. After all, it’s easier than actually improving the team. Kansas
City has finished above .500 exactly one time since 1995, winning 83
games in 2003, so it’s tough to blame their fans for speaking out.
* Not wanting position players to corner the market on Tommy John surgery after this week’s news on Xavier Nady and Mike Aviles, left-hander Neal Cotts underwent the operation yesterday.
* Magglio Ordonez hasn’t been very good at playing baseball lately, but he’s great at raising money for charity.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.