Jake Arrieta turned to sports psychologist amid struggles

2 Comments

Jake Arrieta is back with the Orioles following a midseason demotion to Triple-A and the 26-year-old right-hander told Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that his struggles led to consulting a sports psychologist.

Arrieta started on Opening Day for the Orioles, but posted a 6.26 ERA in 18 total starts and then continued to get knocked around in the minors. Then in early August he called sports psychologist and former MLB pitcher Don Carman.

I had so much clutter in my mind, I just had so many thoughts racing through my mind at one time that it was so hard for me to put all of that aside and just pitch. You never know what it’s going to be that helps you click. But talking to Don was one of those things.

Connolly notes that Arrieta had a 1.82 ERA in his final four starts at Triple-A, racking up 31 strikeouts in 25 innings. Just one of his 128 career appearances in the minors and majors have come as a reliever, but for now Arrieta will pitch out of the Orioles’ bullpen.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

Getty Images
1 Comment

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.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

Getty Images
2 Comments

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.