Just last week I wrote about how Ervin Santana was on pace to allow the third-most homers in baseball history, but now he’s not even the MLB leader in long balls allowed this season.
Phil Hughes took over that honor by serving up four homers in 4.1 innings against the Braves today and has now allowed 19 homers in 78.1 innings overall this season compared to 18 homers in 89 innings for Santana.
Oddly enough Hughes’ last outing versus the Nationals on June 15 was the only time in 13 starts this season that he hadn’t allowed a homer. So of course he allowed four today to make up for it. It’s also worth noting that despite all the homers Hughes had given up two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts before this afternoon’s quick hook.
Assuming he stays in the Yankees’ rotation to make 33 starts, Hughes’s current pace would equal 45 homers, narrowly avoiding a top-three spot all time.
The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.
Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.
Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.