Detroit’s shortstops have been incredibly bad this season, hitting a combined .191 with one homer and a .484 OPS in 54 games, and today the Tigers made a move to address that mess by calling up minor leaguer Eugenio Suarez from Triple-A.
Suarez isn’t considered a top prospect and almost surely wouldn’t be arriving in the majors at age 22 if not for the Tigers’ terrible production at the position, but he’s hit very well between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
He began the year at Double-A and then got a promotion to Triple-A two weeks ago, batting .288 with eight homers and an .870 OPS in 54 games between the two levels. Suarez’s track record isn’t as promising–he hit just .264 with a .744 OPS last year–but between his age and current production there’s a chance he could hold his own versus big leaguers. And obviously it won’t take much for him to be a huge upgrade.
As expected, Major League Baseball’s league-wide home run record, set in 2000, was tied and surpassed on Tuesday night, both by players named Alex who play for AL Central teams.
Tigers outfielder Alex Presley tied the record at 5,693, per MLB.com’s David Adler, with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning against Athletics starter Daniel Gossett. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon broke the record roughly 12 minutes later with a solo home run to lead off the top of the eighth inning against Blue Jays reliever Ryan Tepera.
Major League Baseball saw the record nearly broken last year, when 5,610 home runs were hit. The only other season above 5,500 was 1999 at 5,528.
Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.
The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.
Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.