David Ortiz becomes the all-time hit leader among designated hitters

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David Ortiz is in the middle of perhaps the best season of his career and had another big game last night. Big for its own sake and big for the milestone he passed: Otiz is now the all-time hit leader among designated hitters.

Ortiz passed Harold Baines on the list, rapping his 1,689th hit as a DH.

Nice touch: after the scoreboard at Safeco Field noted the accomplishment, the Seattle fans gave Ortiz a standing ovation. If anyone appreciates a good DH its Seattle, where Edgar Martinez plied his trade.

So far the Hall of Fame doors have been shut to Edgar Martinez, with the thinking being that a DH is somehow not deserving of a spot in Cooperstown. Or, at the very least, that a DH’s offensive contributions need to be head and shoulders above that of other players given his lack of defensive value. I don’t subscribe to this inasmuch as being one of the few best at your position should get you into the Hall, regardless of what that position entails. I think Edgar passes muster. I think David Ortiz certainly does too.  And I think both of them should be, and one day will be, in the Hall of Fame.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.