Carlos Gomez

Carlos Gomez is one of the dozen best players in baseball

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I was looking up some of Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez’s numbers today, basically just to make myself sad as a Twins fan frustrated by his becoming another player to thrive after leaving Minnesota. I then tweeted about how good Gomez has been, calling him one of the dozen best players in baseball, and I was surprised by how many replies I got acting like that was a ridiculous notion.

It’s not.

Look at how he’s developed as a hitter during the past three seasons:

2012: .260 batting average, 19 homers, 42 total extra-base hits, 37 steals, .768 OPS in 137 games.

2013: .284 batting average, 24 homers, 61 total extra-base hits, 40 steals, .843 OPS in 147 games.

2014: .317 batting average, 11 homers, 27 total extra-base hits, 9 steals, .974 OPS in 47 games.

Add it all up and during that two-and-a-half year span Gomez has hit .281 with 54 homers, 60 doubles, 16 triples, 86 stolen bases, and an .838 OPS in 331 games. Among the hitters with a lower OPS during that span: Evan Longoria, Nelson Cruz, Bryce Harper, Albert Pujols, Ryan Zimmerman, Allen Craig, Carlos Beltran, Mike Napoli, Justin Upton, Adam Jones, Adrian Gonzalez, Alex Rios, Jay Bruce.

Oh, and Gomez is a Gold Glove center fielder too.

Wins Above Replacement attempts to measure a player’s offensive, defensive, and baserunning contributions and dating back to 2012 he has the eighth-highest WAR total in all of baseball among position players. It’s fine to be surprised by how good Gomez has been lately, but at this point the only reason “he’s one of the dozen best players in baseball” might be mockable is that it undersells just how good he’s become at age 28.

And trust me, as a Minnesotan it pains me a great deal to say that.

Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2017 option vests, but salary still undetermined

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Hisashi Iwakuma #18 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.

Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).

This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.

Ichiro Suzuki passes Wade Boggs for 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 28: Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins grounds out during the 2nd inning against the San Diego Padres at Marlins Park on August 28, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Eric Espada/Getty Images
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Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki deposited a single to left-center field in the fourth inning of Monday night’s game against the Mets, then added a double to center field in the eighth. Those mark hits No. 3,010 and 3,011 for Suzuki in his major league career, tying and then moving past Wade Boggs for sole possession of 27th on baseball’s all-time hits list.

Suzuki would come around to score on a double by Xavier Scruggs to break a scoreless tie in the eighth.

Here’s the video of Ichiro’s first hit.

By the end of the season, Suzuki will have presumably moved ahead of Rafael Palmeiro (26th; 3,020) and Lou Brock (25th; 3,023).

Suzuki was 2-for-4 after the double. With baseball’s fifth month nearly complete, the 42-year-old is currently batting .298/.371/.373.