Curtis Granderson took over the AL home run lead by launching his ninth and tenth homers in last night’s 4-1 win over the Rangers. Ivan Nova yielded one unearned run over 7 1/3 innings while Mariano Rivera tossed a one-two-three ninth inning for his league-leading 12th save in 14 chances.
Granderson already has four home runs over 29 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season. He hit just four in 158 at-bats against southpaws for all of last season and two in 180 at-bats in 2009.
As Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted following last night’s power display, Granderson has 24 homers since last August 14. The only player with more? Jose Bautista.
Here’s the top of the leaderboard since last August 14:
Jose Bautista – 27
Curtis Granderson – 24
Troy Tulowitzki – 24
Jay Bruce – 21
Albert Pujols – 20
Miguel Cabrera – 19
Paul Konerko – 19
Ryan Braun – 19
David Wright – 17
Alex Rodriguez – 17
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.