Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton on Sunday became the first player to have a 50-homer season since 2013. Stanton broke a 2-2 tie with the Padres in the bottom of the eighth inning, scorching a 2-1 slider from Clayton Richard to straightaway center field for a two-run home run. The Marlins went on to win 6-2.
Stanton, of course, furthers his single-season franchise record for home runs. He is the first player to have a 50-homer season since the Orioles’ Chris Davis hit 53 in 2013. He’s the first National League player to have a 50-homer season since Prince Fielder in 2007 with the Brewers. Stanton also has 17 home runs in August, becoming the first player with that many in a month since Sammy Sosa hit 17 in August 2001, per ESPN Stats & Info.
With 129 games in the books, Stanton is on pace to finish the season with 63 home runs.
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.