It’s still early enough to turn around, but there are a lot of hitters this year with many more homers than doubles:
Jose Bautista – 25 HR, 9 2B
Adam Dunn – 24 HR, 10 2B
Curtis Granderson – 21 HR, 9 2B
Carlos Beltran – 20 HR, 9 2B
Dayan Viciedo – 13 HR, 4 2B
Matt Kemp – 12 HR, 6 2B
Mike Napoli – 12 HR, 6 2B
Justin Smoak – 11 HR, 3 2B
That’s the list of players with at least 10 homers and no more than half as many doubles. There’s also Ryan Braun at 20 homers and 12 doubles, Edwin Encarnacion at 22 homers and 14 doubles and Josh Hamilton at 24 homers and 15 doubles.
Some of these are going to even out a bit, but it seems like a given that at least one or two guys here will become the first player(s) since 2008 to finish with at least 20 homers and have twice as many homers as doubles. Napoli (20 HR, 9 2B) and Marcus Thames (25 HR, 12 2B) both did it that year.
It’s also possible that someone will have at least 20 homers and three times as many homers as doubles since Frank Thomas finished with 39 homers and 11 doubles for the A’s in 2006. Viciedo and Smoak are both on such a pace at the moment, and Bautista is barely off.
Still, it seems safe to suggest no one is touching Mark McGwire, who had 29 homers and four doubles in his final season in 2001. He also had 32 homers and eight doubles the year before in 2000. He finished his career with 583 homers and 252 doubles, so he was pretty much the king of this stat.
Kurt Suzuki will wear a Braves’ uniform through the 2018 season after signing a one-year, $3.5 million extension with the club on Saturday, per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal adds that the two had been in talks for weeks and Suzuki made it clear that he wanted to remain in Atlanta for the foreseeable future. The team has yet to announce the extension.
Suzuki, 33, initially signed a one-year contract with the Braves back in January. The veteran backstop stepped into a backup role behind starting catcher Tyler Flowers, but still found a way to impress at the plate with a .271/.343/.525 batting line, career-best 18 home runs and an .868 OPS through 287 PA. According to FanGraphs, Suzuki’s 2.2 fWAR makes 2017 his most valuable season since his run with the 2009 Athletics.
It’s a prudent move for the Braves, who would have lost one of their most dynamic second-half hitters to the free agent market this offseason. Entering Saturday, Suzuki is second only to Freddie Freeman with 11 homers and 1.4 fWAR since the All-Star break. His stunning comeback also confirmed the team’s decision to look outside the organization for a backup catcher, rather than turning to fellow veteran Anthony Recker behind the plate.
“On a personal level, this season exceeded my expectations,” Suzuki told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s just one of those things I can’t explain. I put a lot of work in and really didn’t have a job until late January. I got an opportunity here and took advantage of it. It was definitely a good fit.”
Tigers’ outfielder Mikie Mahtook is unlikely to play again this season, club manager Brad Ausmus announced Saturday. Mahtook was diagnosed with a Grade 2 left groin strain following Friday’s series opener against the Twins, when he appeared to injure himself after chasing down Byron Buxton‘s two-RBI double in the fourth.
This is the second time Mahtook has sustained a groin injury over the past month. The 27-year-old exited Friday’s game with a .276/.330/.457 batting line, 12 home runs and a .787 OPS through 379 plate appearances with the team.
With the Tigers out of contention, there’s no reason to trot out Mahtook for the remaining eight games of the regular season. The club has yet to specify a timetable for his return, but there’s no reason to believe he won’t be in fine shape to compete for a starting role next spring.