Link-O-Rama: Dunn, Pujols, Mortensen, Posada, Glaus

Leave a comment

* Sadly, Adam Dunn’s odd/impressive streak of hitting exactly 40 homers has come to an end after four straight seasons. He went deep “only” 38 times this year, going homerless in his final 10 games. Dunn’s homers by year: 19, 26, 27, 46, 40, 40, 40, 40, 38. His 316 long balls through the age of 29 ranks 12th all time between Frank Robinson and Harmon Killebrew.
* Speaking of homerless stretches to finish the season, Albert Pujols hasn’t gone deep since September 9. At that point he had 47 homers in 139 games and looked poised for his first 50-homer campaign, but instead he’ll have to settle for merely leading baseball with 47. Zero homers over a 21-game stretch is the longest drought of Pujols’ career, but he still managed to hit .308 with eight doubles.
* Miguel Cabrera wasn’t the only big leaguer to get into alcohol-related trouble over the weekend. A’s rookie Clayton Mortensen was arrested Saturday night for suspected drunk driving.
* Jorge Posada revealed this afternoon that Jose Molina will catch A.J. Burnett in the ALDS. “I just hope we win that game,” Posada said. “That’s all I’ve got to say. It’s not like I didn’t see it coming.” Burnett started 32 times this season and Posada was behind the plate for 16 of them, but the right-hander had more success in 11 games working with Molina.
* Troy Glaus batted just .172 and got only 32 plate appearances for the Cardinals in an injury wrecked season, but he’s been added to the playoff roster as a bench bat over Khalil Greene.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
2 Comments

Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.