After 384 games and 1,466 at-bats, Phillies outfielder Ben Revere finally hit his first major league home run last night. It came in the seventh inning of the Phillies’ 6-2 loss to the Rockies when Revere got a hold of a 1-1 fastball from Boone Logan and turned on it.
As John Finger of CSNPhilly.com points out, Revere had been waiting a long time for that one. Indeed, it was the longest homerless streak to start a career since Frank Tavares of the Pirates went 1,594 at-bats without a homer from 1972-77. It was so long, Revere wasn’t quite sure what to do:
“When I got to second base, I didn’t know what to do,” Revere said. “When I hit it I knew I got it good. When I looked up and saw [rightfielder Michael Cuddyer] look up it kind of hit me a little bit. I was trying not to smile, but some of the guys got on me. It was hard not to smile.”
Watch out Duane Kuiper: you’re about to be passed on the all-time homer list. In maybe three years, if historical rates hold.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.