We already know that Carlos Beltran is awesome, but now he’s historically awesome.
Beltran is the first switch-hitter in major league history to amass 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases. He accomplished the feat by stealing second base in the second inning last night. Appropriately enough, it was against the Royals, the team which selected him in the second round of the 1995 draft.
Beltran is the eighth member of the 300-300 club, joining Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Andre Dawson, Steve Finley, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Reggie Sanders. But he’s the first switch-hitter in the group.
Mike Still of MLB.com reports that the second base bag was pulled off the Busch Stadium infield and awarded to Beltran in the clubhouse after the game. The 35-year-old outfielder is considering sending his spikes from last night’s game to Cooperstown.
Beltran is off to a fantastic start with the Cardinals this season, batting .301/.384/.603 with an NL-best 19 home runs. He has 321 lifetime home runs.
Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.
Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.
Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.