Matt Holliday is on the way.
Joe Mauer is just around the corner.
And there’s another big star who could be arriving back in the major leagues this week.
According to beat writer Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman went 2-for-4 with a double and played a full nine innings at the hot corner Saturday evening in a rehab game at Triple-A Syracuse. He’s now 8-for-18 with four doubles and a triple since beginning his minor league rehab assignment last week.
The Nationals aren’t giving out a public timetable just yet, but Zimmerman is clearly seeing the ball well and feeling strong enough to handle defensive duties at third base, so the guess here is that he will be back in the major league lineup at some point during Washington’s upcoming three-game series in St. Louis. That three-game set starts Tuesday and ends Thursday. You get the point.
Zimmerman has been out since early April with abdominal issues. He was 10-for-28 (.357) before the injury.
UPDATE: Kilgore is now reporting that Zimmerman will be in the Nationals’ lineup Tuesday. He went 0-for-5 on Sunday in his final rehab game at Triple-A Syracuse and will use Monday as a day of rest.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.