New pickup Brian Fuentes is latest to join Twins' infirmary

Leave a comment

Brian Fuentes struck out Russell Branyan for a one-out save in his Twins debut, but it may be a while before he pitches a second time for Minnesota.
Fuentes is expected to be unavailable for at least 2-3 days after tweaking his back, which is a tough break for the Twins considering that represents about 10 percent of his total time with the team following last week’s trade with the Angels.
Of course, the Twins likely picked up Fuentes as much for the playoffs as for the final six weeks of the regular season, so as long as he’s healthy enough to face Josh Hamilton, Robinson Cano, Carl Crawford, Curtis Granderson, and Carlos Pena in October they’ll be happy with the move.
Minnesota is also dealing with recent injuries to Jason Kubel, Jim Thome, and Orlando Hudson, with Kevin Slowey, Nick Punto, Ron Mahay, and Jose Mijares on the disabled list, and Justin Morneau still isn’t close to returning from a concussion suffered on July 7, so as Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com writes the stretch run may be a battle of attrition for the AL Central leaders.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

Getty Images
7 Comments

Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

Getty Images
4 Comments

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.