Paul Konerko

Someone really good is getting snubbed from the All-Star Game next year

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The American League now has all of the following at first base (presented with 2011 stats):

Albert Pujols (Angels): .299/.366/.541, 37 HR, 99 RBI
Miguel Cabrera (Tigers): .344/.448/.586, 30 HR, 105 RBI
Adrian Gonzalez (Red Sox): .338/.410/.548, 27 HR, 117 RBI
Mark Teixeira (Yankees): .248/.341/.494, 39 HR, 111 RBI
Paul Konerko (White Sox): .300/.388/.518, 31 HR, 105 RBI

There’s also a very promising 22-year-old in Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer who seems poised to join the elite in short order, though All-Star appearances figure to elude him for a few years yet.

It brings to mind the mid-to-late 90s, when Mark McGwire, Frank Thomas, Jim Thome, Carlos Delgado, Mo Vaughn, Rafael Palmeiro and Tino Martinez were all gunning for All-Star appearances in the AL. That crunch resulted in Delgado participating in just two All-Star Games as a Blue Jay. Palmeiro had a stretch of five straight years from 1993-97 in which he received MVP votes every years, yet never went to an All-Star Game. After Tino was voted in as the starter in 1997, McGwire, Thomas and Thome all made the team as backups.

Orioles signed Tommy Hunter to a major league contract

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 12:  Pitcher Tommy Hunter #48 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the ninth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 12, 2016 in Anaheim, California. The Indians defeated the Angels 8-3. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
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The Orioles announced, prior to Sunday’s game against the Yankees, that the club signed pitcher Tommy Hunter to a major league contract. In related roster moves, the club recalled pitcher Oliver Drake from Triple-A Norfolk and designated pitcher T.J. McFarland and outfielder Julio Borbon for assignment.

The Indians released Hunter on Thursday after he struggled in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Hunter was recovering from a non-displaced fracture in his lower back. The right-hander put up a respectable 3.74 ERA with a 17/5 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings for the Indians.

This will be Hunter’s second stint with the Orioles. The O’s had acquired him along with first baseman Chris Davis at the trade deadline from the Rangers in 2011 in the Koji Uehara trade.

The Orioles are only responsible for paying Hunter the prorated major league minimum.

Orioles’ Mark Trumbo becomes the first to 40 home runs this season

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a home run during the eighth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.

Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.

Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.