Link-O-Rama: Big Papi ties Big Hurt (sort of)

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* Last night David Ortiz tied Frank Thomas for the most homers ever at designated hitter with 269. The big difference between Big Papi and Big Hurt is that Thomas had 252 non-DH homers while Ortiz has just 43.
* San Diego is sending out DVDs to NL managers in an effort to boost Kevin Kouzmanoff’s chances of winning an undeserved Gold Glove, which is something I preemptively railed against last month. There’s a lot more to defense than errors.
* Raul Ibanez homering twice yesterday made the Phillies just the 12th team in baseball history with at least four 30-homer hitters. Interestingly, just one of those dozen teams came before 1995 and four of them called Coors Field home.
* Remember last week, when I wondered why Matt Murton hasn’t been able to stick in the majors? I’m still wondering, but after another strong season in the minors he’s at least back in the big leagues as a bench player in Colorado.
* In a move that was first reported several months ago, the Red Sox have finalized an $8.2 million contract with 19-year-old Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias. As part of the deal he’s been added to the 40-man roster and will play in the Arizona Fall League next month. Baseball Prospectus called him “Ryan Theriot with better hands” while Baseball America described Iglesias as an “Orlando Cabrera clone.”

Daniel Szew: “Landa was a leader, happy-go-lucky guy”

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 1:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins poses for a photo during the Twins' photo day on March 1, 2016 at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Twins’ right-handed pitching prospect Yorman Landa passed away in a tragic car accident on Friday night, per a team statement. According to Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, 22-year-old Landa was in the passenger seat of the vehicle when it struck a fallen tree.

Daniel Szew, Landa’s agent, spoke highly of the young pitcher, who was one of his first clients back in 2010. Szew acknowledged Landa for helping him expand his company, LA Sports Management, and referred to the late pitcher as a leader and his “little brother.”

Per Berardino:

He was very even-keeled,” Szew said. “That was his personality. He wasn’t wild. That’s why this is so tragic. He wasn’t a wild guy. He was a happy-go-lucky guy who took life as it came, and he was super happy — always happy.

If leadership was one facet of Landa’s personality, so was loyalty. The 22-year-old agreed to a minor league contract with the Twins on Tuesday after getting cut from the 40-man roster, fulfilling a promise to re-sign with the club despite fielding multiple offers from competing teams. The deal included an invite to spring training, and comments from his agent suggested that the right-hander was “super confident” he’d break through to the major leagues in 2017, notwithstanding a troublesome shoulder injury that hampered his progress in High-A Fort Myers during the 2016 season.

“He never wanted to leave,” Szew told Berardino. “It was the only organization he ever knew.”

Our condolences go out to Landa’s family and the Twins organization during this terrible time.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.