When the Angels optioned 19-year-old stud prospect Mike Trout to the minors earlier this week I wondered why they sent him back to Double-A, where he’d already dominated for 75 games, instead of Triple-A, where he’d yet to play.
Turns out, they want him to get playoff experience.
Mike Scioscia told Jordan Garretson of MLB.com that the level of competition isn’t much different between the two levels and the Triple-A team is below .500 while the Double-A team is in first place.
We really feel strongly that in a player’s development it’s important to experience the playoffs. In Mike’s case, he’s a guy that’s leading a team to the playoffs. There’s a comfort level there. He just needs to play.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Angels bring Trout back to the majors for a playoff run of their own, because even if his bat isn’t quite ready to thrive in the majors as a teenager his incredible speed and outfield defense would definitely come in handy.
With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.
Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).
This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.
Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.
Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.
By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).
Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.