Rockies place closer Rafael Betancourt on the DL again

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After blowing two consecutive saves in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday, the Rockies have placed closer Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right elbow, reports MLB.com’s Michael Radano. He will undergo an MRI on Monday which the club hopes assuages their fear he has torn his ulnar ligament.

On Wednesday, Betancourt recorded just one out while allowing two doubles and an intentional walk before Michael Young hit a walk-off single to left field. On Thursday, Betancourt got two quick outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Betancourt then allowed a double, a stolen base, an infield single, and a walk before Domonic Brown laced a walk-off RBI single to right field. The two shaky outings caused the 38-year-old Betancourt’s ERA to rise from 2.93 to 4.08.

Betancourt was on the DL twice previously this season: from June 1-28 with a strained right groin, and from July 15 through August 16 with appendicitis.

In related transaction news, the Rockies called up Rob Scahill, activated Jhoulys Chacin from bereavement leave, and designated Edgmer Escalona for assignment.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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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

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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.