By releasing Luis Castillo last week and optioning Justin Turner to Triple-A this morning the Mets have cleared the way for Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus to be their Opening Day starter at second base.
Luis Hernandez and Daniel Murphy now stand as his only competition, but Hernandez is no one’s idea of an everyday player and Murphy is expected to be used off the bench, with Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com both reporting that Emaus is a near-lock for the job.
Or as Turner put it after being told he was headed to Triple-A: “I’m sure Brad is feeling pretty good about himself right now.”
Selected from the Blue Jays with the 11th pick in the Rule 5 draft back in December, the 25-year-old Emaus hit .290 with a .397 on-base percentage and .476 slugging percentage in 125 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season, drawing more walks (81) than strikeouts (69), swiping 13 bases, and homering 15 times.
Angels DH Albert Pujols smacked his 597th career home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning during Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Rays. The blast was off of Erasmo Ramirez and marked No. 6 on the season for the future Hall of Famer.
Pujols finished 1-for-3 with the homer and a walk. After Wednesday’s game, he’s hitting a lackluster .244/.296/.378 with 34 RBI and 14 runs scored in 186 trips to the plate.
Pujols currently ranks ninth on baseball’s all-time leaderboard and is three shy of joining the 600-homer club. He’s currently 13 home runs away from tying Sammy Sosa for eighth all-time.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale entered Wednesday’s outing against the Rangers with at least 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive starts, tying a record he already shared with Pedro Martinez. He failed do break the record, racking up only six strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Fortunately, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to put him in line for the win. Sale gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk.
After Wednesday’s outing, Sale is sitting on a 2.34 ERA with a 101/14 K/BB ratio in 73 innings. So far, so good for the Red Sox, who acquired Sale from the White Sox in December.
Sale previously racked up 10 strikeouts in eight consecutive games between May 23 and June 30 in 2015 with the White Sox. Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat for the Red Sox between August 19 and September 27 in 1999.