Texas is reportedly shopping reliever Koji Uehara, but that didn’t stop the Rangers from adding some bullpen depth by signing right-hander Sean Green and left-hander Mitch Stetter to minor-league contracts.
Both pitchers will get invitations to spring training, although it’ll be tough for them to claim spots in the Rangers’ deep bullpen even if Uehara is traded.
Green has been a pretty typical middle reliever, with a 4.41 career ERA, mediocre strikeout rates, and iffy control to go along with a high-80s fastball. His biggest strength is inducing ground balls and avoiding homers, which could play well in Texas if he ever got the opportunity.
Stetter was very effective for the Brewers in 2008 and 2009, but the 31-year-old lefty has spent most of the past two seasons in the minors or on the disabled list and even when healthy his fastball tops out in the mid-80s.
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.