Carlos Beltran quietly having a very productive September

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Carlos Beltran missed the entire first half of the season and then struggled after finally returning from knee surgery in mid-July, hitting just .218 with a .660 OPS through 43 games. That will keep his overall season totals looking ugly no matter how well Beltran plays in September, but he’s quietly having a very solid month.
Beltran went 3-for-5 with a homer and a triple last night, and is now hitting .308/.343/.554 with three homers and eight total extra-base hits in 17 games this month. Those numbers are pretty similar to what Beltran did in his first five seasons with the Mets, when he batted .281/.368/.505 in 677 total games.
Obviously one good 17-game stretch doesn’t mean much, but it makes sense that Beltran would show improvement the further removed he is from surgery and the more at-bats he gets against big-league pitching. And finishing on a high note could be very important if the Mets have any hopes of trading him this offseason. He’s owed $18.5 million in 2011.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.