Bill Baer

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Former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton dies at 55 from brain cancer

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Former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton died on Sunday at the age of 55 as a result of brain cancer, the team announced in a press release. Daulton underwent surgery for glioblastoma in July 2013.

Daulton spent parts of 14 seasons in the majors, 13 and a half of which came with the Phillies. Most memorably, he helped the 1993 Phillies reach the World Series, where they lost in six games to the Blue Jays. Over his career, Daulton hit .245/.357/.427 with 137 home runs and 588 RBI. He spent most of his career behind the plate, but played some first base and right field when the Phillies traded him to the Marlins in July 1997.

Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles said in a statement, “Darren was a true leader of men. The Phillies would not have gone to the 1993 World Series without his leadership. In addition to being an outstanding clubhouse leader, he was also a fighter. He battled through five knee operations to become an All-Star. I really enjoyed watching him for 14 years in uniform. Darren was a super human being. His teammates loved him, I loved him like he was one of my own. In fact, he called me ‘Uncle Bill.'”

Daulton was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2010.

Matt Shoemaker to undergo season-ending forearm surgery

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The Angels announced on Sunday that starter Matt Shoemaker will undergo surgery to release the radial nerve in his right forearm. Dr. Steve Shin will perform the surgery on Tuesday in Los Angeles. Shoemaker is expected to be out of action for 12-14 weeks, which means he should at least be ready for spring training next year.

Shoemaker, 30, hasn’t pitched since making a rehab start on July 4 with High-A Inland Empire, after which he suffered a setback. The right-hander had another setback on Friday when he had a bullpen session. He ends his 2017 season with a 4.52 ERA and a 69/28 K/BB ratio in 77 2/3 innings.

Mike Trout has 999 career hits and he turns 26 years old tomorrow

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout hit a solo home run off of Athletics lefty Sean Manaea in the third inning of Sunday’s game, boosting his team’s lead to 2-0 and notching the 999th hit of his seven-year career. Trout struck out in his first at-bat, then walked twice following the homer before popping out to end the game in an 11-10 loss.

Trout will celebrate his 26th birthday tomorrow. Of his 999 hits, 190 are home runs, 191 are doubles. He’s knocked in 548 runs and scored 651 times. He has also stolen 156 bases.

Dating back to 1901, there have been only 11 players to accrue at least 950 hits and 175 home runs before their 26th birthday. Trout is one of them along with Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey, Jr., Orlando Cepeda, Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx. That is some rarefied air. If we add stolen bases into the mix, only Trout and A-Rod had 950 hits, 175 homers, and 150 stolen bases by their 26th birthday.

Trout also just surpassed 53 Wins Above Replacement for his career, per Baseball Reference. Selecting some notable Hall of Famers, Trout has already eclipsed Kirby Puckett, Orlando Cepeda, Ralph Kiner, and Jim Rice.

Had Trout not missed a month and a half earlier this season with a torn ligament in his thumb, he would be well on his way to winning his third career AL MVP Award. He’ll have to contend with Aaron Judge and Jose Altuve for more hardware. Trout is also a six-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger winner, and the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year Award winner. What Trout has been able to accomplish in fewer than seven full seasons in baseball is simply remarkable. We are undoubtedly witnessing one of the greatest players of all time.