With an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning against Rockies reliever Chad Bettis on Friday, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt extended his hitting streak to 26 consecutive games. Goldschmidt finished the 2013 season with hits in 19 consecutive games and has hit in seven consecutively to begin the 2014 season.
Last season, Rockies outfielder and NL batting champion Michael Cuddyer hit in 27 consecutive games between May 28 and June 30. Nationals center fielder Denard Span hit in 29 consecutively between August 17 and September 18. Luis Gonzalez holds the Diamondbacks record with hits in 30 consecutive games, accomplished between April 11 and May 18 in 1999. Only 55 players in Major League history have hit in 30 or more consecutive games, which is barely more than halfway to Joe DiMaggio’s record of 56 games.
The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.
This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.
The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.