As expected the Phillies have exercised their $5 million team option on catcher Carlos Ruiz for next season.
Among the biggest no-brainer decisions of the offseason, as the 33-year-old Ruiz is coming off a career-year in which he hit .325 with 16 homers and a .935 OPS in 114 games. He’d previously never reached double-digit homers or topped an .850 OPS.
Ruiz will be eligible for free agency after 2013, so it’ll be interesting to see if the Phillies try to keep him off the open market with an extension. On one hand he’s been hugely valuable and a key part of Philadelphia’s success over the years. On the other hand he’s already 33 years old and the career-year means his asking price may never have been higher.
In the meantime he’s a helluva bargain for 2013.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas belted his 37th home run on Wednesday evening, setting a new club record for homers in a single season. Moustakas had been tied with Steve Balboni, who hit 36 home runs in 1985.
The home run came on a 2-0, 82 MPH slider from Blue Jays reliever Carlos Ramirez, boosting the Royals’ lead to 13-0 in the top of the sixth inning.
Moustakas, 29, entered the night batting .271/.313/.523 with 82 RBI and 71 runs scored in 560 plate appearances.
Red Sox starter Chris Sale recorded his 300th strikeout of the 2017 season on Wednesday night against the Orioles. The momentous occasion occurred with two outs in the eighth inning. Facing Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a slider that caught the strike zone low and inside for called strike three.
Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002, and Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000. Pedro Martinez had been the only other Red Sox pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season.
Through eight scoreless innings, Sale limited the Orioles to four hits with no walks and 13 strikeouts. The Red Sox offense gave him plenty of run support. Mookie Betts and Devin Marrero each hit two-run home runs in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added a two-run double in the sixth and Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run double of his own in the eighth to make it 8-0.