Any time a rebuilding team with no money can lock up a thirty-five year-old middle infielder who hits like a pitcher, they HAVE TO MAKE THAT MOVE:
The Padres took another step toward the future yesterday by
extending the contract of the second-oldest player on their active
roster. David Eckstein will return as the Padres’ second baseman in 2010 . . . He will make $1 million in 2010 after making a base of $850,000 this
season with another $50,000 possible in performance bonuses.
I realize a million bucks isn’t much money these days, but it is to the Padres. What, exactly, does Eckstein bring to the table for San Diego that some 22 year-old making the league minimum doesn’t? And don’t tell me grit and hustle. All of that moxy just makes for dirty uniforms, and the Padres are so broke that they need to watch their laundry budget too.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).