Carlos Pena sets Rays' franchise homer record


Last night Carlos Pena hit his 13th homer of the year, setting the Tampa Bay franchise record with 129 homers as a member of the Rays. Here’s the rest of the top 10:

CARLOS PENA       129
Aubrey Huff       128
Fred McGriff       99
Carl Crawford      90
Evan Longoria      71
Jonny Gomes        66
Greg Vaughn        60
B.J. Upton         55
Rocco Baldelli     52
Ben Zobrist        47

You know a team hasn’t been around very long when only four players in franchise history have more homers than the MLB single-season record. Slightly more impressive than topping Aubrey Huff for the Rays’ record is Pena’s homer rank among all players over the past four seasons:

Ryan Howard       150
Prince Fielder    139
Adam Dunn         131
Albert Pujols     130
CARLOS PENA       129
Alex Rodriguez    127
Miguel Cabrera    123
Adrian Gonzalez   119
Ryan Braun        111
Mark Teixeira     111

Particularly impressive once you consider that Pena missed the final 25 games of last season when a CC Sabathia fastball to the left hand broke two fingers. Despite that injury he still has more homers than anyone else in the AL since 2007. Of course, Pena is also hitting just .186 with a league-high 66 strikeouts so far this season, so it’ll be interesting to see what kind of market there is for the 32-year-old impending free agent this winter. My guess is he won’t be back in Tampa Bay.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.