Is Mark DeRosa a fit for the Mets at first base?

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In his weekly column for the Boston
Globe, Nick Cafardo reports that Mark DeRosa’s asking price — once in
the $10 million range —
has come down recently.
He follows that up with a pretty innocent statement that the Mets could
“pull the trigger and use him at first base.” This seems like pure
speculation on Cafardo’s part, not backed by any real information or
sources, but now that this specific passage has been noted in a few
places, the possibility should at least be addressed.




The Mets don’t make any sense for
DeRosa. In fact, any first baseman who craves regular playing time and
a multi-year contract doesn’t. The Mets seem committed to using Daniel
Murphy as part of a platoon at first base, ideally with a right-handed
hitting compliment, but possibly with Carlos Delgado on an
incentive-laden contract.

The Mets surely hope that whoever fills first
base in 2010 is a mere stopgap until Ike Davis arrives, possibly as
soon as next season. Davis, who turns 23 in March, batted
.298/.381/.524 with 20 home runs and 71 RBI in his first full
professional season in 2009, and was recently named the No. 4 prospect in the organization by Baseball America.



On top of all that, the 34-year-old DeRosa has only played 23 games at first base during his major league career. DeRosa is average or better in the
outfield, according to defensive metrics, but should the Mets sign
Jason Bay, as many expect they will, he wouldn’t find any regular
playing time there, either. DeRosa’s versatility is a huge reason why he is so coveted, but agent Keith Grunewald should be able to do better than the Mets, otherwise he has completely misread his client’s market.

Albert Pujols is eighth on the all-time home run list

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Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.

With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.

The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

Nationals place Max Scherzer on 10-day disabled list with neck inflammation

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The Nationals placed right-hander Max Scherzer on the 10-day disabled list with left neck inflammation, the team announced Friday. Scherzer was scratched from his scheduled start against the Padres and replaced by left-hander Matt Grace, though an official roster move has yet to be made to fill his spot on the roster. The assignment is retroactive to August 15.

Scherzer experienced a similar pain on the right side of his neck at the start of the month, though this is the first official stint he’ll serve on the disabled list in 2017. While comments from club manager Dusty Baker suggest that the injury wasn’t caused by any particular trauma, it seems likely that the ace right-hander will be sidelined for at least one more start.

It’s a terrible time to lose a star pitcher, especially with the Nationals positioned to make a deep run in the postseason, but their 14-game cushion in the NL East should buy them some time while Scherzer’s on the mend. Prior to his bout of inflammation, the 33-year-old looked remarkably healthy this season. He pitched through his fifth consecutive All-Star campaign and currently boasts a 12-5 record in 24 starts, complete with a 2.25 ERA (good for second-best among qualified starters), 2.2 BB/9 and 12.3 SO/9 in 160 1/3 innings.