Jose Valverde’s trek back to the majors involved throwing two innings in an extended spring training scrimmage against the Canadian junior national team yesterday.
Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that the 35-year-old former closer held a bunch of 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds hitless while getting four of the six outs via strikeout.
After failing to find guaranteed big-league work all offseason Valverde signed a minor-league deal with the Tigers two weeks ago. He has a May 5 opt-out clause, so the Tigers are expected to send him to Triple-A at some point to more accurately evaluate his ability to pitch against hitters who’re, say, legally allowed to drink.
With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.
Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.
Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.
With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.