Jacob deGrom had to work his butt off to get where he is. A converted shortstop, he has climbed through the Mets system for the past three seasons, pitching well at times, but never getting the press or the push that his better-pedigreed colleagues like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler andNoah Syndergaard have received. And for good reason, of course. His stuff is not as noteworthy. He’s already 26. It’s not like he had “superstar” stamped on his forehead.
But whatever his promise is and whatever his future holds, his recent performance has been quite a thing. Last night he allowed one run in seven innings while striking out seven in beating the Mariners. Over his last six starts he’s 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He’s 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA over his past three, walking three and striking out 26 in those three games. Last night he was particularly dominant, dialing it up to a consistent 94 m.p.h. and getting 14 swings-and-misses from M’s batters.
Is this indicative of what he’ll always do? Doubtful. But he’s been quite a revelation for the Mets this season. And just the latest bit of evidence that the Mets’ future is looking pretty bright.
Marlins’ outfielder Ichiro Suzuki set a new record for the Marlins on Sunday afternoon, and all he had to do was take the field. The 43-year-old made his second start of the year in center field, becoming the oldest starting center fielder in Major League Baseball since 1900.
Suzuki made his first start in center field back on May 6, but came 15 days shy of beating the record Rickey Henderson established in 2002 when he patrolled center field at a sprightly 43 years and 211 days old. During Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs, Suzuki’s 43 years and 246 days set a new record for aging outfielders.
Naturally, Ichiro commemorated his moment in history by doing what he does best — proving that age is just a number. He reached on a fielding error by Addison Russell in the first inning and came home to score on a Marcell Ozuna RBI single to pad the Marlins’ three-run lead. His defense wasn’t too shabby, either, as he gloved a shallow fly ball in the second inning to bail Edinson Volquez out of a bases-loaded jam.
The Marlins currently lead 3-2 in the seventh.
There’s something irresistible about Michael Martinez, at least where the Indians are concerned. Six weeks after parting ways with the utility infielder/outfielder, the Indians re-signed Martinez for the fifth time in three years, committing to a minor league contract that will see the 34-year-old in Triple-A Columbus this week. He was designated for assignment by the Rays last Thursday after slashing just .077/.172/.077 through his first 29 PA with the club.
Martinez bounced around the American League last season, logging four games with the Red Sox after the Indians jettisoned him in a trade for cash considerations. He returned to Cleveland on waivers and finished the year with a cumulative .238/.267/.307 batting line, contributing one home run and a .574 OPS in just 106 PA. He found more consistency in the minors, touting a .288 average, 11 extra-base hits and 12 RBI in 114 PA for Triple-A Columbus last season, but didn’t receive enough playing time to develop his stuff at the big league level.
Martinez will rejoin fellow infielders Chris Colabello, Nellie Rodriguez, Josh Wilson, Ronny Rodriguez, Todd Hankins, Yandy Diaz, Eric Stamets and Giovanny Urshela on the Clippers’ roster.