Mike Hessman is the new minor league home run king.
Hessman, who is playing for the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, hit a grand slam tonight for his 433rd minor league home run. By doing so, he passed Buzz Arlett for first on the all-time list in United States-based minor league baseball. Arlett had held the record for 80 years.
Hessman, now 37, has played a grand total of 109 games in the majors and made his last appearance in 2010 as a member of the Mets. There’s something bittersweet about setting the all-time minor league home run mark, but you have to admire his perseverance. HBT sends along congratulations for the accomplishment.
According to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, Hessman intends to go into coaching or managing after this season.
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg has been sidelined since July 4 with a left oblique strain, but it sounds like he’s rounding into form for the stretch run.
According to Chase Hughes of CSNMA.com, Strasburg struck out 11 batters over 5 2/3 innings tonight in his latest minor league rehab start with Triple-A Syracuse. He threw a total of 85 pitches while allowing two runs on five hits and no walks. This was his second minor league rehab start, as he gave up three runs over four innings last Wednesday. He currently lines up to return this weekend against the Rockies.
This has been a frustrating season for Strasburg, who previously missed four weeks with a trapezius strain. He has an uncharacteristic 5.16 ERA with a 63/18 K/BB ratio over 61 innings and will look to finish the season strong.
UPDATE: Freeman left tonight’s game with a right oblique injury. He’s being called day-to-day, but these type of injuries are notoriously tricky.
8:36 p.m. ET: Troubling development here for the Braves, as Kevin McAlpin of the Braves Radio Network notes that Freddie Freeman left tonight’s game against the Giants in the fifth inning with an apparent injury.
No word on the reason for his exit, but Freeman recently missed five weeks with a right wrist contusion and just returned on July 25. It’s fair to wonder if he aggravated the injury.
Including tonight, Freeman is batting just .184 (7-for-38) with two home runs and a double since coming off the disabled list.