Paul Konerko landed on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion on Friday after taking an elbow to the head during a play at first base last Tuesday, but the White Sox are encouraged by his progress.
According to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Konerko underwent a battery of concussion tests at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago today and was cleared to begin limited physical activity tomorrow.
“Everything is looking good,” Ventura said. “(Tuesday) he’ll probably start riding bike and doing physical stuff. I don’t know if he will do a whole lot of baseball stuff, but he will start getting some activity in to see how that goes. But things are progressing.”
Konerko will likely be limited to riding a bike and perhaps playing catch before progressing to to other baseball activities. It remains to be seen how he’ll respond to the increased activity, but Ventura didn’t completely rule out the possibility that he could return when he’s first eligible Friday.
Konerko, 36, is batting .318/.388/.504 with 18 home runs, 54 RBI and an .892 OPS in 101 games played this season. The White Sox are 2-2 during his absence.
Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.
While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.
Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.
Cooperstown, here he comes.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.
The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.
Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.