Rockies interested in Troy Glaus as Todd Helton’s backup

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Troy Glaus finished the season in a horrible slump, going from the Braves’ starting first baseman to completely out of the team’s plans, so predictably there’s been little reported interest in him as a free agent.

However, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post the Rockies may have some interest in Glaus as “a right-handed version of Jason Giambi” who would “play a little first base and pinch-hit.”

Giambi filled that role for the Rockies this season, but wasn’t an ideal fit to back up Todd Helton because they’re both left-handed hitters. Glaus would offer a right-handed bat to back up Helton and his ability to at least serve as an emergency option at third base would also give the Rockies some added flexibility over Giambi.

Whether or not Glaus can still make a positive impact in even a part-time role is another question. He signed a one-year contract with the Braves after sitting out nearly all of 2009 due to a shoulder injury and got off to a strong start, hitting .280 with an .874 OPS and 14 homers through his first 70 games.

Glaus then went 39 consecutive games without homering and batted .183 with a .557 OPS overall in 58 games after June 20, finishing the season with a .240 batting average, .340 on-base percentage, and .400 slugging percentage in 483 plate appearances. Even that modest season line would make him somewhat useful as a backup to Helton who could be spotted primarily against left-handed pitching and the Rockies seem like a good fit considering how little interest there figures to be elsewhere.

Report: Braves extend Kurt Suzuki

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Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.

Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.

It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.

“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”

Mikie Mahtook is likely done for the season

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Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.

This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.

With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.