There’s still time for the Phillies to change their mind before playoff rosters are due, but all indications are that they’ll go with 11 pitchers and 14 position players.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that David Herndon and Joe Blanton are likely competing for the final bullpen spot and Domonic Brown will not be on the roster as an extra outfielder, instead heading to an instructional league to stay ready in case the Phillies need him later on.
Herndon has thrown 56 innings with a 3.38 ERA, but his strikeout-to-walk ratio and home run rate are both far less impressive than his ERA and Blanton has looked pretty solid as a reliever since coming off the disabled list.
What’s interesting about the Phillies’ apparent decision to carry an 11th pitcher instead of Brown is that teams rarely use more than eight or nine pitchers in the playoffs, because the rotation shrinks from five to three or four and the setup men and closers take nearly all of the bullpen work. Philadelphia’s excellent starting pitching makes them even less likely to need all those extra arms.
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.