No, this isn’t a big story, and no it’s not surprising at all. Shin-Soo Choo is coming back, a roster spot is needed and Kearns — who is hitting .200/.302/.287 — is the dictionary definition of expendable, so he’s gone.
But it is notable for one reason. For years Kearns was always such a saber-boy darling, with so many — myself included — figuring that his plate patience and skills would turn him into a star. It never happened, for a number of reasons.
I am still and always will be partial to the saber-boy thinking, but I think Kearns — and Jack Cust and some others — are good reminders that, at least a few years ago, there was a habit of going a bit too crazy about players with certain skill sets at a young age. I think the people who seriously evaluate young talent with a sabermetric bent — Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, etc. — have long since abandoned such credulity even if they ever truly had it, but a lot of us dilettantes haven’t, even if we’re better about it than we were in 2004.
Just a quasi-deep thought for a Thursday morning.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.