A.J. Pierzynski pledged not to shave his mustache this month as part of the “Movember” charity effort to raise money for “men’s health issues” like prostate and testicular cancer.
I applaud his efforts, particularly since he’s already raised more than $7,000 via donations from the likes of Darin Erstad and Doug Mientkiewicz, but … well, the actual mustache-growing isn’t going very well.
It took 23 days for Pierzynski’s to go from clean-shaven to “hey, I think you have some food stuck on your lip or something.”
As someone who gets a five o’clock shadow at around noon each day I can’t decide whether to mock Pierzynski or be jealous. I also haven’t shaved for 23 days–partly because of “Movember” but mostly because I’m just really, really lazy–and right now I look like a homeless man’s Brian Wilson. That’s my primary skill. His is playing baseball well enough to earn $35 million in career salary. So we’re basically even.
To track Pierzynski’s adventures in mustache-growing or donate to the worthy cause, click here.
Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.
Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.
ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.
Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.
Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.
It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.
On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.