Derek Jeter went 1-for-4 with a single yesterday and in doing so surpassed Tony Gwynn on the all-time hit list, moving into a tie with Robin Yount for 17th place with 3,142 hits.
Next up is Paul Waner with 3,152, followed by George Brett with 3,154 and Cal Ripken Jr. with 3,184. If healthy Jeter should be able to pass all three easily by the end of the season even if his batting average falls significantly from his current .372 mark.
And if he keeps hitting well over .300 he also has a chance to pass Nap Lajoie with 3,242, Eddie Murray with 3,255, and Willie Mays with 3,283.
Based on his average production during the past three seasons Jeter has notched 1.23 hits per game and the Yankees have 128 games remaining. If he plays in, say, 120 of those 128 games and gets 1.23 hits per game Jeter would amass another 147 hits this season and climb to 3,289 for his career.
That would enable him to narrowly move past Mays in late September and finish the season ranked 11th on the all-time list, with Eddie Collins at 3,315 and Paul Molitor at 3,319 in his sights for 2013.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.