David Ortiz has been on fire since returning from the disabled list to make his 2013 debut, hitting .487 with three homers and seven doubles in 10 games for an incredible 1.409 OPS.
Ortiz missed nearly the entire second half of last season, but he ended the year with a hitting streak that has now stretched to 22 games dating back to July 2. That’s a career-long streak for Ortiz at age 37 and Chris Toman of MLB.com notes that it’s the longest streak by a designated hitter since Paul Molitor had a hit in 39 straight games in 1987.
Hitting streaks can often be kind of silly and obviously Ortiz isn’t making a run at Joe DiMaggio, but what he’s done since coming off the DL is ridiculous and the fact that his streak picked up from last July just makes it even more impressive following such a long layoff.
Since the beginning of 2012 he’s now hitting .336 with 26 homers, 33 doubles, and a 1.067 OPS in 100 games.
The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.
Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.
Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.