The Diamondbacks will open play tonight 9.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and seven back for a Wild Card spot, but while it will take a remarkable run to secure a playoff spot, they are getting reinforcements back for the stretch run. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that catcher Miguel Montero and infielder Eric Chavez have been activated from the disabled list while infielder Matt Davidson and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch have been optioned back to the minors.
Montero has been out all month with a lower back strain. This has been a disappointing year for the 30-year-old backstop, as he owns a .228/.316/.345 batting line to go along with nine home runs and 34 RBI, but the Diamondbacks will have to hope that the extended rest will allow him to finish strong.
Chavez, sidelined since August 9 with hip and knee injuries, is batting .299/.343/.526 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 62 games this season. His return gives Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson the ability to rely on Martin Prado more in left field moving forward.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer homers in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.
Following the announcement of the 24-year-old’s death, Major League Baseball observed a moment of silence for José Fernández before each of today’s games. While this afternoon’s Marlins-Braves game was cancelled out of respect for the organization, Miami painted Fernández’s jersey number on the mound in honor of their former pitcher.
Other teams, like the Mets, Mariners, and Dodgers, chose to honor Fernández by hanging his No. 16 jersey in their dugout:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reports that David Ortiz‘s pregame retirement ceremony at Tropicana Field was canceled at the player’s request:
The Astros and Diamondbacks each displayed a personal tribute to Fernández, writing the number 16 on their caps and etching his number and initials in the bullpen:
Rest in peace, Fernández.