Aaron Harang’s three-run bomb off the Cubs’ Randy Wells in the second inning of Friday’s game…
… was his first in 390 career at-bats.
… gave him his first run scored in 233 at-bats since Apr. 8, 2006.
… bumped both his career OBP and slugging percentage over the century
mark. His career line went from .087/.099/.098 to .090/.101/.108.
… upped his career high for RBI in a season from three to six.
Harang has actually improved considerably as a hitter since arriving
from the AL in 2003. He bottomed out in 2005, going 2-for-74 (.027)
without any extra-base hits or walks and 39 strikeouts. Since then,
he’s hit .108 in 2006, .095 in 2007 and .130 in 2008. He entered today
at .143 for this year. Still, he had allowed 367 runs since scoring his
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.