Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is really good at introductions.
You might remember that the 24-year-old catcher hit two home runs in his major league debut last August. Well, Arencibia hit two more in last night’s 13-3 drubbing of the Twins.
Arencibia became the first rookie to hit two homers on Opening Day since Gary Gaetti in 1982. He’s the first player to have multi-homer games to start a season in consecutive years since Joe Torre did it with the Braves in 1965 and 1966. If that isn’t enough history for you, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Arencibia became the first Jays rookie to homer on Opening Day since Carlos Delgado in 1994 and the sixth Jays player to have a multi-homer game on Opening Day. Maybe I’m just weird, but I have missed hearing obscure stats like this.
You wouldn’t know it by last night’s results, but Arencibia was flat out awful this spring. He batted just .161 with 19 strikeouts over 62 at-bats. Many expect him to struggle to hit for a high batting average — remember, he went 1-for-30 after his historic exploits last season — but nobody has ever questioned his power.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.