Alex Rodriguez passed Willie Mays to move into fourth-place on baseball’s all-time list with his 661st career home run tonight against the Orioles. He’s currently 53 home runs away from tying Babe Ruth for third all-time. It’s not impossible. Heck, most had pretty low or even non-existent expectations for him coming off his year-long absence with a PED suspension, so he has already proved a lot of people wrong. Still, it’s a lot to ask from someone who turns 40 in July and is playing on two surgically-repaired hips. Who knows how long this will last.
While catching Ruth is likely a longshot, 3,000 career hits could be Rodriguez’s next milestone. After going 2-for-3 tonight against Baltimore, he’s sitting on 2,962 career hits. That puts him just 38 away from becoming the 29th player in MLB history to join the historic club. With the way Rodriguez is swinging the bat right now, it’s realistic that he could be able to do it by the All-Star break if he can stay healthy. Derek Jeter (2011) was the last player in MLB to reach 3,000 career hits.
Only four players have reached 500 career home runs and 3,000 career hits: Hank Aaron, Mays, Eddie Murray, and Rafael Palmeiro. It’s easy to forget that Palmeiro is in that club with the way he has faded into oblivion since being disgraced, but Rodriguez has a good chance to be the fifth member soon.
While these don’t register nearly as high on the attention-getting scale, here are a couple of other numbers to follow with A-Rod:
- Rodriguez is fifth on MLB’s all-time list with 1,987 RBI. He’s just eight away from tying Lou Gehrig for fourth and nine away from Barry Bonds. That could happen pretty quickly, which would leave only Ruth (2,213) and Aaron (2,297).
- Rodriguez is ninth all-time with 1,935 runs scored. He’s just 14 away from tying Stan Musial for eighth while he’s 65 away from Tris Speaker. Reaching Speaker this year would likely be a bit of a stretch, but he should pass Musial this summer if his health cooperates.
Good news here for the Giants, as Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com reports that Hunter Pence is likely to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Sacramento.
Pence is currently working his way back from a fractured left forearm which he suffered when he was hit by a pitch on March 5. He recently progressed to batting practice and Giants manager Bruce Bochy said there’s “no hesitation” in his swing and that the outfielder feels “ready to go.”
Pence missed nearly all of spring training, so this rehab assignment figures to be lengthy. Giants general manager Bobby Evans said earlier this week that it might be 7-10 games before they activate him.
The defending World Series champion Giants have managed to go 14-14 without Pence so far, but getting him back will be a big boost to their lineup. Only the White Sox and Phillies have scored fewer runs in MLB so far this season.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians are in the process of signing reliever Carlos Marmol to a minor league contract.
Marmol, now 32, began last season with the Marlins and was given his release after posting an ugly 8.10 ERA and 14/10 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings. He quickly latched on with the Reds, but appeared in just three games with their Triple-A affiliate before leaving the team.
Marmol’s control has only gotten worse over the years and he hasn’t been an effective pitcher for quite some time now, so he’s no sure thing to make it back to the majors, but Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported last month that he’s throwing with a new arm slot and was clocked in the mid-90s by scouts. It’s worth a shot for Cleveland.
Alex Rodriguez now stands alone in fourth place on baseball’s all-time home run list.
Rodriguez launched a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning tonight against Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman. It was his 661st career home run, passing Willie Mays on the all-time list. The feat was acknowledged on the scoreboard at Yankee Stadium and Rodriguez received a curtain call from the fans after returning to the dugout. Perhaps the Yankees could successfully market this accomplishment after all? Just a thought.
Rodriguez nearly passed Mays in the bottom of the first inning, but he was robbed of a three-run homer by Delmon Young in right field. I promise you are reading that correctly.
Rodriguez is now looking up at Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762) on MLB’s all-time list.
In order to clear a spot for J.J. Hardy to make his season debut tonight against the Yankees, the Orioles placed infielder Everth Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list with a left foot contusion.
Cabrera suffered the injury when he was hit in the foot by a pitch last night against the Mets. The Orioles sent him for X-rays today which apparently ruled out a fracture, but he’ll now get some extended rest.
Cabrera, 28, was batting just .205/.227/.229 through 89 plate appearances this season and figured to have a diminished role even after Hardy’s return.