Finishing "a triple short of the cycle" is really not a big deal

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Joe Mauer remained red hot last night, going 4-for-5 with a homer and a double as the Twins extended their AL Central lead to five games, and afterward various reports about the game noted how the reigning MVP finished “a triple short of the cycle.”

That phrase appears constantly in game stories throughout every season and I’m guilty of using it plenty myself, so I’m certainly not picking on the writers who do the same. However, for some reason it finally occurred to me last night that perhaps “a triple short of the cycle” isn’t all that noteworthy.

Thanks to the amazing “Play Index” on Baseball-Reference.com, I looked up how many times this season a hitter has been “a triple short of the cycle” and the answer is … 172. Seriously. Mauer has done it three times all by himself, and he’s not even the leader. Matt Holliday and Carlos Gonzalez have done it four times apiece. Hitting for the cycle is almost as rare as throwing a no-hitter, but coming up “a triple short of the cycle” happens almost 10 times a week.

Or, put another way: This season a hitter has finished “a triple short of the cycle” 172 times and there have been a grand total of 644 triples hit by all 30 teams. Given that, maybe we’ll start to see some game stories about how someone was “a single, double, and homer” short of the cycle when they hit a triple.

Nathan Eovaldi to undergo surgery to remove loose bodies in elbow

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi will undergo surgery on his right elbow to remove loose bodies. Rosenthal notes that Eovaldi had a similar procedure done last year while he was with the Rays and missed two months. The general timetable is between one and two months.

Eovaldi, 29, went on the 10-day injured list on Saturday. Through four starts, the right-hander owns a 6.00 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 11 walks in 21 innings. This is certainly not what the Red Sox envisioned when they inked him to a four-year, $68 million contract in December.

The Red Sox recalled pitcher Bobby Poyner from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Eovaldi’s spot on the active roster.