Paul Konerko

Paul Konerko’s odd streak: home runs in nine straight vs. Mariners at the Cell

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Shannon Drayer points out on Twitter that Paul Konerko made it nine in a row tonight.  He’s taken Mariners pitching deep that last nine times he’s faced the team in home games at U.S. Cellular.

The streak dates back to April of last year.  The Mariners and White Sox played seven times in Chicago last year and Konerko homered in all seven games.  Now he’s started this year 2-for-2 with homers the last two days.

Of course, it’s a pretty exclusive set of conditions, but it’s still a very notable streak, especially considering that no major leaguer has ever homered in more than eight games in a row.  Only Dale Long (PIT, 1956), Don Mattingly (NYY, 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (SEA, 1993) have ever made it that far.

Also interesting is that Konerko has done nothing else at all during the streak.  Tonight’s game is just in the third inning as of this writing, so we’ll ignore it for now.  But in the first eight games, he had a total of 10 hits and nine RBI.  Tonight’s homer, just like all of the others, was a solo shot.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.