The Orioles claim Jo-Jo Reyes, release Justin Duchscherer

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The Blue Jays waived starter Jo-Jo Reyes and the Orioles have taken a flyer on him.  They also released the last starter they took a flyer on, Justin Duchscherer.

Reyes was 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 110 IP for the Jays this year. You can’t really call it a “bad year,” however, because it’s pretty much the Jo-Jo Reyes we all know.  For his career he’s 10-23 with a 6.04 ERA, all but four games as a starter.  He’ll consume innings as the Orioles play out the string. Nothing more.

The release of Duchscherer was inevitable, but a bit of a bummer all the same. He hadn’t pitched since early last season and didn’t pitch at all in 2009.  Hip problems and depression have basically wrecked his career. A career that, at one time at least, looked promising.

In an ideal world, Justin Duchscherer is pitching major league innings someplace and Jo-Jo Reyes is probably not.  But health is everything when you’re a pitcher, and their example shows it pretty plainly.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
Getty Images
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Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.

It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.

Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.