The only thing that gives me pause about Jason Heyward’s career prospects is the sneaking sense that he’s going to be injury prone. He had a nagging sore knee at the end of the year. And, of course, he had the ligament issue in his thumb in the middle of the season that probably cost him the Rookie of the Year award.
The thumb was more serious, and Heyward says he’s swinging a bat pain-free. Still, it’s not perfect:
“I don’t have any pain in it, but I still don’t have the full range of motion in it. I still can’t bend it anywhere close to where it was before. I don’t know if I ever will be able to do that. But I know it’s not holding me back from hitting.”
It’s probably nothing. How much does one really move their thumb when hitting anyway? But I worry that he’s going to have nagging injuries. And no, this is not backed up with any empirical evidence whatsoever. This is a 100% emotional reaction.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.