Angel Pagan’s season-ending back injury forced the Giants to move left fielder Gregor Blanco to center field and now manager Bruce Bochy has decided on career-long first baseman Travis Ishikawa as his left fielder for the Wild Card game.
Ishikawa is 31 years old and has started a grand total of three career games in the outfield, so things could get ugly.
Making the decision especially questionable is that Ishikawa is hardly an offensive force, hitting .252 with three homers and a .703 OPS in 62 games this season and .259 with a .719 OPS for his career.
San Francisco’s options just aren’t very appealing, especially with Michael Morse unlikely to be on the roster due to an oblique injury.
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.