Matt Stairs ties MLB record with 20th career pinch-hit homer

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Matt Stairs homered off the bench last night, delivering the 20th pinch-hit homer of his career to tie Cliff Johnson for the all-time record.
In general most players tend to underperform their usual production when pinch-hitting, but Stairs has had amazing success off the bench throughout his career.
He’s hit .262 with a .369 on-base percentage and .501 slugging percentage in 412 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, topping his OPS as a starter by 45 points.
By comparison Lenny Harris holds the all-time hits record for pinch-hitters with 212 but was actually pretty awful off the bench, batting .264 with a .317 on-base percentage and .337 slugging percentage in 883 plate appearances.

The Cards dealt Stephen Piscotty to the A’s, in part, so he could be near his ailing mother

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Last night we wrote about the rumored deal between the Cardinals and the Athletics for Stephen Piscotty. The deal is now official, with Piscotty going to Oakland for minor leaguers Yairo Munoz and Max Schrock.

Something else emerged about the deal today: a big reason why St. Louis traded Piscotty to Oakland as opposed to another team was so that he could be near his mother, who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease last May. Piscotty and his family are from Pleasanton, California, about 35 miles from Oakland.

Here’s Cardinals GM John Mozeliak:

This was certainly a baseball trade — Piscotty became expendable for the Cardinals after they acquired Marcell Ozuna yesterday — but it was one which could’ve been made with any team with a couple of red or white chip prospects. That Mozeliak considered Piscotty’s personal situation in making the deal with the A’s is a credit to him and his staff.

The 26-year-old Piscotty hit .235 with nine homers and 39 RBIs in 107 games last season. He has hit .268 with 38 homers and 163 RBIs in 2+ major league seasons. He agreed to a six-year, $33.5 million contract extension last spring.

As for the prospects in return: Munoz, 22, hit .300 with 13 homers and 68 RBIs this year for Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville. Schrock, 23, batted .321 with seven homers and 46 RBIs for Midland, and was a Texas League All-Star.