With a third-inning double against the Nationals on Thursday evening, Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera extended his hitting streak to 20 games. According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, that’s the longest streak in the majors this season. Only three other players — Jose Altuve, Bryce Harper, and Whit Merrifield — got a hitting streak to 19 games.
That seemed low, so I looked up the longest hit streaks of this decade. There have only been 42 hitting streaks since 2010 that went at least 20 games. The longest last season was Freddie Freeman‘s 30-gamer. There were only six streaks that lasted 20 games in 2016. Four in 2015, peaking at 26 games. Five in 2014, also peaking at 26. There have been only three games reaching the 30-game plateau this decade: Dan Uggla (33 in 2011), Freeman, and Andre Ethier (30 in 2011). Interesting.
Herrera added a single in the fifth, making him 2-for-2 with a walk on the evening. He entered Thursday’s action batting .288/.333/.465 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 472 plate appearances.
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.