Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera sent a grand slam deep into the left field seats in the fourth inning this afternoon against the Orioles, his 17th home run on the season. Current leader Chris Davis, sitting on 19 homers, did not leave the confines of Camden Yards today. Cabrera already leads the American League in batting average (.369) and runs batted in (65) as he attempts to repeat as a Triple Crown winner. Cabrera became the first player since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967 to achieve the Triple Crown.
The Tigers’ 10-run output this afternoon — thanks to homers from Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila, and Prince Fielder — boosts their runs per game average to 5.24, an MLB-best mark.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.