The Rangers shipped out catcher Taylor Teagarden to make room for Neftali Feliz on the roster Friday and now we know why: Alexi Ogando is again dealing with a finger blister and is iffy to pitch Sunday.
So, at the moment, the Rangers have 13 pitches on the roster, even though they’ve barely needed 12 so far. Long man Dave Bush, who has pitched just four times all year, is likely choice to start Sunday if Ogando can’t go.
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Ogando is currently wearing an acrylic nail to protect the blister. Ogando previously had blister trouble in an April 18 start against the Yankees. It’s the only time in six trips to the mound this year that Ogando has allowed more than two runs. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA this season.
With the Rangers going to 13 pitchers, we won’t see anymore of Mike Napoli at DH. Manager Ron Washington was afraid to use Napoli as a DH before Teagarden was called up because of the possibility that Yorvit Torrealba would get hurt. Napoli is struggling of late anyway, but anything that costs him at-bats is good news for the Rangers’ rivals.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.