Tag: Torii Hunter

Anibal Sanchez

Video: Anibal Sanchez jokingly mocks former teammate Torii Hunter


Remember that time Twins outfielder Torii Hunter disrobed in protest of his ejection from a game? And then was suspended two games for it? Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez — a teammate of Hunter’s in Detroit in 2013 and ’14 — jokingly mocked it as Hunter took batting practice prior to Friday night’s game.

Joe Davis of FOX Sports has video:

Sanchez pitched on Wednesday, so he won’t be starting in the three-game weekend set against the Twins. Hunter, however, will be in the lineup in an attempt to exact revenge against his former team.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Mike Montgomery

Mariners 5, Padres 0: Mike Montgomery has made six big league starts. Two of them — the last two of them — are shutouts. This was a one-hitter, in which Yangervis Solarte’s ground rule double in the seventh was the only thing that Padres could muster off of him. Montgomery is the third M’s pitcher to have back-to-back shutouts, with the other two being Randy Johnson and Mark Langston. Johnson once had three shutouts in a row. Montgomery will get a chance to do it against Oakland on Sunday.

Rangers 8, Orioles 6: Game two in which, in my mind, the O’s and Rangers battle for the Rafael Palmeiro Cup, which goes to the winner of the season series between these guys each year. Sort of the Little Brown Jug of big-bopping, band box-dwelling, PED-fueled teams of the 90s. God, what a glorious time. Anyway, Mitch Moreland hit two homers for the second straight game and the Rangers had four homers against the Orioles for the second straight game, with Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Chirinos hitting dingers too.

Brewers 4, Phillies 3: This is, I dunno, the Ricky Bottalico Bowl. Same thing as the Rangers-O’s thing, but named after a guy who played for both of these less exciting teams. Here Aramis Ramirez drove in three runs and Ryan Braun had four hits. This one was delayed nearly an hour and a half by rain. Either from clouds or from God crying for having to watch these two squads play.

Cubs 1, Mets 0: Kyle Hendricks and three of his friends combined on the shutout, outdueling Jon Niese. If you’re a Mets pitcher you basically have to be perfect these days, it seems.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Break up the Red Sox, who have won three in a row and are now only six back. David Ortiz and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit homers and Eduardo Rodriguez allowed only one run over six innings. Not-so-fun fact for Toronto: Jose Bautista is hitless in 24 straight at bats.

Pirates 5, Tigers 4: The Pirates broke through in the 14th inning in spite of themselves. Tied 4-4 with Gorkys Hernandez on first, Josh Harrison hit a double. Hernandez started breaking back to first base because he thought the ball was caught for some reason. Then turned around and headed to third, missed second and ended up being called out. That sort of thing has to be totally dispiriting to a team playing after midnight on the road, but Neil Walker saved Hernandez’s bacon by doubling in Harrison for the eventual winning run.

Nationals 6, Braves 1: That’s nine straight for the Nats over the Braves, who are now legally foreclosed from referring to Washington as a “rival.” Jordan Zimmermann took a shutout into the eighth inning and the Braves’ only run came on an it-doesn’t-matter Juan Uribe homer in the ninth. Danny Espinosa was 3-for-5. Clint Robinson drove in two.

Twins 8, Reds 5: This one featured a two hour delay for a storm that never came. That’s some absurdist, existential stuff. It’s some Feudian and Jungian overtones away from being a Beckett play. Once it started, Torii Hunter hit his fourth homer in his past four games Eduardo Nunez had three hits and an RBI single and Kurt Suzuki drove in two. Phil Hughes was solid — the Reds closed a big gap late due to some sloppy Twins play after Hughes had left the game — and has allowed only two runs over his last two starts, which totaled 16 innings.

Marlins 5, Giants 3: An inside-the-park homer from Dee Gordon was the highlight here:


Is it rude of me to point out that maybe this should be a triple and an error due to the little glove-flippy nonsense going on by the Giants in the outfield? Oh, OK then. I won’t point it out. In Gordon’s defense, though, he booked it like crazy out of the box and never slowed down on the basepaths.

Indians 6, Rays 2: Danny Salazar was on his game and pitched two-hit ball into the eighth. He had some offensive help in the form of three homers backing him. And some defensive help in the form of plays like this gem from Francisco Lindor:


Astros 4, Royals 0: This practice run for a possible ALCS is not going too well for the Royals, as the Astros shut them out and win for the second straight day. Dallas Keuchel, of course, who has been nothing short of fantastic all year. Here he Here he shut KC out for eight innings, striking out seven and lowering his ERA to 2.03. George Springer hit a two-run homer and Jose Altuve doubled in a run.

White Sox 2, Cardinals 1: A Tyler Flowers homer in the 11th was the difference here. And while Chris Sale didn’t figure in the decision, he went eight innings, allowing only one run and striking out 12. That extends his double-digit strikeout streak to eight. The only other guy who has done that is Pedro Freakin’ Martinez.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4: Another extra inning game on a night with several. Yasmani Grandal was the hero for L.A., homering early and hitting a two-run double in the 10th inning, driving in four in all.

Angels 2, Yankees 1: Three runs in the game, all coming on homers. Albert Pujols and Erik Aybar went deep for Anaheim and Mark Teixeira hit one for the Bombers. Besides that one, however, Andrew Heaney was stingy, allowing only two hits and one run over seven while striking out seven. Huston Street got the save and has pitched in four straight games. Careful: relief pitchers don’t do that too often. You don’t want to take him out of his routine. He may retire.

Rockies 2, Athletics 1: Jorge De La Rosa tossed seven shutout innings. Rubby De La Rosa pitched for the Dbacks in their game against Lost Angeles. We need to get these two on the same team. the Rockies scored the run that gave them their margin of victory on a Fernando Rodriguez wild pitch.

Who will be the next player to join the 3,000-hit club?

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19:  Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees hugs teammate CC Sabathia #52 after hitting a solo home run in the first inning for his 3,000th career hit against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium on June 19, 2015 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Last night, Alex Rodriguez became the 29th player in MLB history to join the 3,000-hit club. He’s the first player to reach the milestone since former teammate Derek Jeter on July 9, 2011.

After Jeter reached 3,000, I attempted to make a guess about who would be next. I went with Rodriguez, but figured he would get there in 2013. I was only off by two years. His hip surgery and year-long PED suspension obviously pushed back that timeline significantly. Still, better late than never. Rodriguez reaching 3,000 hits almost seemed like a longshot a year ago.

Who will be next to reach 3,000 hits? Removing Rodriguez from the mix, here’s the list of the current active leaders in hits (their ages in parentheses):

Ichiro Suzuki (41) – 2,886
Adrian Beltre (36) – 2,657
Albert Pujols (35) – 2,587
Miguel Tejada (41) – 2,407
Torii Hunter (39) – 2,386
Carlos Beltran (38) – 2,373
Jimmy Rollins (36) – 2,353
Miguel Cabrera (32) – 2,268
Aramis Ramirez (37) – 2,230
David Ortiz (39) – 2,211

Not surprisingly, the great majority of these players are toward the end of their respective careers. Tejada is still technically active, but we can effectively scratch him off as a possibility. Similarly, it’s highly unlikely that Ortiz, Ramirez, Rollins, Beltran, and Hunter will get there.

That leaves Suzuki, Beltre, Pujols, and Cabrera as our best options. Suzuki has played well in a part-time role with the Marlins this season, but he has only had 42 hits. Let’s say he can double that the rest of the way. That would put him at 2,928 hits, just 72 away from the milestone. The Marlins have reportedly had internal discussions about bringing Ichiro back for 2016, which makes sense given that they could market his chase. I think he’ll be the next to reach the milestone if he decides to come back.

Beltre and Pujols are both still young enough where 3,000 is within reach. Beltre is currently sidelined with a thumb injury and his .257/.294/.408 batting line isn’t on par with his usual lofty standards, but he likely has some productive seasons left in him and 343 hits doesn’t feel like a stretch here. However, he appears unlikely to get there until at least 2017. Pujols is 413 hits away and while he’s not putting up the monster numbers we saw during his peak with the Cardinals, he’s still very good. Keep in mind that he’s under contract through 2021. Barring injury, he’ll get there eventually.

Cabrera, is the closest thing we have to a lock on this list. He has averaged 191 hits per season since 2004 and has showed no signs of slowing down since his offseason foot surgery, leading the American League in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS this season. He doesn’t turn 33 until next April and appears poised to blow well past 3,000 if he can remain healthy. Still, he wouldn’t figure to get there anytime before 2018.

The marginalization of Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

There are currently seven major leaguers 24 and under with a career OPS+ over 100 in at least 500 at-bats.

167 – Mike Trout
135 – Bryce Harper
108 – Manny Machado
105 – Christian Yelich
104 – Oswaldo Arcia
103 – Avisail Garcia
101 – Nolan Arenado

Six of those guys are considered building blocks by their teams. The other, Arcia, seems to be at a career crossroads already, even though he’s hardly tasted failure at any point in his career.

Arcia arrived in the majors before his 22nd birthday, debuting in April 2013. He was demoted a few times that season, even though his numbers were decent, if unspectacular, throughout. He finished up at .251/.304/.430 with 14 homers in 351 at-bats.

The next spring, Arcia was penciled right in as the Twins’ right fielder, only to develop wrist troubles very early on. He was placed on the DL on April 9. He went on to excel in his rehab assignment, hitting .308/.349/.487 in 12 games, yet the Twins optioned him to Triple-A for a spell anyway. He came back in late May and played regularly the rest of the way, finishing up at .231/.300/.452. Despite the low average, he had a 108 OPS+, largely because of his 20 homers (second on the Twins).

After last season, the Twins took away Arcia’s position by signing Torii Hunter, but he was still seemingly assured the left field job. However, weird things happened right off the bat. The left-handed-hitting Arcia started Opening Day against lefty David Price, only to find himself on the bench against a righty three days later. Arcia went on to sit three times in the first nine games. He slumped. He only started to pull out of it at the end of April, going 7-for-13 with a homer in four starts. That’s what a hip injury put him on the disabled list.

Despite that promising surge, it was apparent right away that Arcia might not immediately reemerge in Minnesota’s plans following his return. For one thing, the team needed a break from playing three liabilities in the outfield, as it often was with Arcia in left, Jordan Schafer in center and Hunter in right. Arcia’s struggles against lefties and his strikeout rate were also problems, even though he didn’t fan overly much during April (15 K’s in 65 PA).

Sure enough, Arcia was sent down after going hitless in the first four games of his rehab assignment. It’s the third time in three years he’s been optioned out. Whether it’s the hip, his frustrations over being buried or something else, he’s continued to slump since the demotion, hitting .214/.227/.310 in 12 games.

Arcia is a flawed player. The troubles against lefties aren’t going away, and he’s a poor outfielder perhaps best suited to DH duties. That seemed like a big problem at the start of the year, following Kennys Vargas’s emergence. But with Vargas also struggling to find his way with these 2015 Twins, there’s plenty of room for Arcia at DH should the team decide to go that route. Obviously, it hasn’t happened yet.

Still, it’s not at all reasonable that the Twins are so down on him. Beat writers have speculated that he’ll be traded. One writers suggested this spring that he should begin the season in the minors. Of late, there’s been more talk about prospect Miguel Sano becoming the Twins’ DH than Arcia. Oddly enough, Arcia is playing regularly in right field in Triple-A, even though the team surely won’t ask Hunter to change positions this year. It makes little sense. Right-handed power is difficult to come by these days, and young hitters as productive as Arcia rarely prove to be flops.

Maybe all of this turns around if Arcia turns it on in Triple-A over these next few weeks. After all, the Twins have given Shane Robinson two starts and Eduardo Escobar one start in left field over these last five games. Vargas has slumped since his return from Triple-A and has no sort of handle on the DH job. It’s not hard to imagine Arcia spending the final three months of the season as one of the Twins’ best hitters. Unfortunately, it’s also not hard to imagine him getting traded for a veteran security blanket as the Twins try to gear up for a playoff run.