Brandon Inge has gone from castoff to hero in record time, as a walkoff grand slam gave him his second straight four-RBI game Tuesday in Oakland’s 7-3 win over Toronto.
The slam came off Francisco Cordero, who quickly blew his third save in a row by giving up a double, a sac bunt and an RBI single in what had been a 3-2 game. After that, a steal and two intentional walks set up Inge’s slam. Cordero, who is filling in for the injured Sergio Santos in Toronto, has allowed runs in four straight appearances, taking blown saves in three of them, and his ERA is up to 9.53.
The Inge homer may well have brought an end to Cordero’s tenure as Toronto’s closer. The 36-year-old, who has 329 career saves under his belt, was signed to set up Santos after Cincinnati declined to bring him back. The Jays could go to a combination or Jason Frasor and Darren Oliver in the ninth for the short term.
As for Inge, well, he’s managed a pretty remarkable total of 11 RBI despite having just seven hits this season. His place in Oakland’s lineup seems assured for the foreseeable future.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is entering his 25th season as a professional baseball player and his 17th in the major leagues. The 43-year-old is potentially under contract through the 2018 season if the Marlins choose to pick up his club option.
Few players are able to continue their careers into their mid-40’s. No surprise, Suzuki is the oldest position player in baseball. Only Braves pitcher Bartolo Colon, is older, and only by 51 days. Suzuki, however, wants to play until he’s 50 years old, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports.
“I’m not joking when I say it,” Suzuki said. He continued, “Nobody knows what the future holds. But the way I feel, how I’m thinking, I feel like nothing can stop me from doing it. When you retire from baseball, you have until the day you die to rest.”
When asked about what will happen when Suzuki finally does decide to retire, Suzuki responded, “I think I’ll just die.”
Last season, Suzuki showed he still has plenty left in the tank. He hit .291/.354/.376 with 21 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 365 plate appearances. If the Marlins’ outfielders stay healthy, Suzuki won’t be starting many games in 2017. He started in right field frequently during the second half last year, filling in for the injured Giancarlo Stanton.