Cardinals rookie third baseman David Freese is off to an incredible start this season and is on a short list of early favorites for the National League’s Rookie of the Year award. I’m under the belief that either Braves outfielder Jason Heyward or St. Louis lefty Jaime Garica would take the cake if the prize was awarded today.
Freese hit what could be his first road block on Saturday, when he suffered a right ankle sprain in an inter-division game against the Brewers. The news comes to us via B.J. Rains of Fox Sports Midwest. Freese was replaced at third base by Aaron Miles, who rejoined the Cardinals this week after about 14 months away from the club. Miles may get his first start of 2010 on Sunday with Felipe Lopez nursing a bruised finger.
Freese, a native St. Louisan, is batting .316 with a .385 on-base percentage and 32 RBI in only 52 games this season. He’s considered “day-to-day,” at least for now.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.