Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports the Diamondbacks have interest in signing a backup catcher and that Henry Blanco is “at or near the top” of their list.
Blanco, 39, batted .215/.271/.300 with two home runs and eight RBI in 144 plate appearances with the Mets this past season while throwing out 50 percent (11-for-22) of would-be basestealers. The veteran backstop has a good reputation in the clubhouse and is known as a mentor to younger catchers, but much like the newly-signed Geoff Blum, he also has a connection with new Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers from their time together in San Diego. By the way, Blanco also looks like a good guy to have on your side during a fight.
I know, I know, this isn’t really anything particularly noteworthy, but anything involving Blanco has extra meaning to me, since I sponsor his page on Baseball Reference. Good luck to Hank.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.