White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki have been named Players of the Month for April.
Not bad for Abreu, who also happened to be playing his first ever month in the big leagues. In all, Abreu batted .270 (31-for-115) with eight doubles, one triple, 10 home runs, 32 RBI and 20 runs scored in 29 games, leading the Majors in homers, RBI, total bases (71) and extra-base hits (19). He set major league records for rookies in all four of those categories.
Tulowitzki led the majors with a .477 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage. He was second in hitting behind teammate Charlie Blackmon, posting a .364 average for the month, he scored 24 runs scored (1st), had 64 total bases (2nd), knocked in 22 runs (T-3rd), had seven home runs (T-4th) and nine doubles (T-5th) too.
Abreu, at 27, is clearly a fully-formed product. Tulowitzki is, after a lot of injuries, healthy as can be. Both of them just had a whale of a month.
Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.
Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.
J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.
Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.
This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.