Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Astros have signed Bill Hall to a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2012. He’ll make somewhere around $3 million.
Hall, who turns 31 later this month, batted .247/.316/.456 with 18 home runs, 46 RBI, nine stolen bases and a 772 OPS over 382 plate appearances this past season. While he played six different positions with the Red Sox — and even pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in May — Rosenthal hears that he will be the regular second baseman in Houston. The Astros already added Clint Barmes in a trade with Colorado last month, so the club will have a brand new double play combination in 2011.
Rosenthal adds that this signing “pratically ensures” that Jeff Keppinger will be traded. And as he wrote earlier in the day, the Yankees like him as a potential utility player.
Following his phenomenal performance on Friday, Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter found another page on which to ink his name in the history books. He hit a pair of home runs in the first and second games of the Cardinals-Cubs doubleheader on Saturday, becoming the first player to hit six homers in a single series at Wrigley Field and the 28th MLB player to ever hit a home run in six straight games.
Coming out of the All-Star break, the 32-year-old infielder extended his two-game home run streak with a solo blast off of the Cubs’ Anthony Bass during the series opener on Thursday. He followed that up with three home runs in Friday’s staggering five-run, seven-RBI performance, then teed off another solo homer against Tyler Chatwood in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. Even more remarkable: He didn’t start Game 2, but subbed in for Jose Martinez in the seventh and promptly hit one deep to center field in his first at-bat of the evening.
Entering Sunday’s game, Carpenter is riding a .277/.386/.593 batting line with an NL-best 30 doubles, 25 home runs and 163 OPS+. If he collects another home run during the club’s series finale, he’ll be the first with a seven-game home run streak since former outfielder Kevin Mench did it for the Rangers in 2006. Only three players — Mench (2006), Barry Bonds (2004) and Jim Thome (2002) — carried similar streaks, while the all-time record is currently held by Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly and Dale Long, at eight consecutive games with a home run.