According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Mets have signed left-hander Duane Below to a minor league contract. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York notes that he will not receive an invite to major league camp.
Below previously appeared in the majors with the Tigers and Marlins, posting a 4.23 ERA over 40 relief appearances and three starts. He had a brief stint with the Kia Tigers of the Korea Baseball Organization in 2013. The 29-year-old mostly pitched as a starter last season with the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate and compiled a 3.70 ERA and 62/41 K/BB ratio over 116 2/3 innings.
Josh Edgin is the lone lock as a left-hander in New York’s bullpen, so it’s still possible that Below will be considered this spring. Rule 5 pick Sean Gilmartin along with Scott Rice, Dario Alvarez, Darin Gorski, and Jack Leathersich are the other current candidates as second left-handers.
There’s no two ways about it: Aristides Aquino is having a rookie year for the ages. The hot-hitting Reds outfielder tacked another item onto his already lengthy list of accomplishments on Friday, clubbing a two-run, 396-foot home run off of Adam Wainwright in the sixth inning of the Reds’ 13-4 loss to the Cardinals.
The blast came far too late in the game to upset the Cardinals’ nine-run lead, but was otherwise perfectly timed for the rookie. It marked his 10th career home run in just 16 major-league games, officially making him the fastest MLB player to 10 homers in league history. (On a less-thrilling note, it was also the first home run allowed by the Cardinals in 32 2/3 consecutive innings.)
So far in 2019, Aquino is batting a robust .353/.400/.961 with 11 extra-base hits, 19 RBI, a 1.361 OPS, and 0.8 fWAR through 55 plate appearances. Friday’s feat follows other impressive performances from the 25-year-old, who collected three homers against the Cubs last Saturday and tied Trevor Story‘s previously unbeaten record for most homers through his first 10 career games. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon adds that Aquino’s torrid home run pace also eclipsed the standing record held by the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins, who delivered nine home runs through his first 16 career games in 2017 (per Elias).