In a battle of the Vargases (Vargi?) earlier today, Kennys Vargas of the Twins was the undisputed winner against Royals left-hander Jason Vargas. Check out this laser beam of a home run. Don’t blink or you might miss it:
That one got out of there in a hurry. In fact, the exit velocity on the ball was 113 mph. Andrew Ettel, coordinator of baseball research for the Twins, notes that it was one of the three hardest tracked home runs in MLB so far this season. I believe it.
Vargas, a 24-year-old switch-hitter, batted .274/.316/.456 with nine home runs and 38 RBI in 53 games as a rookie last season. Today’s home run was his first of 2015.
Five years ago, Octavio Dotel retired following a 15-year career in which he pitched for a then-record 13 different teams. I’m not exactly sure what he’s been up to since then, but I know that today he got arrested, as did former Marlins, Twins and Mets second baseman Luis Castillo.
That’s the report from Héctor Gómez, and from the Dominican Today, each of whom report that the two ex-big leaguers were arrested today in connection with a longstanding money laundering and/or drug investigation focused on one César Peralta. also known as “César the Abuser.” So he sounds fun. Gómez characterizes it as a money laundering thing. Reporter Dionisio Soldevila characterizes it as “drug trafficking charges.” Such charges often go hand-in-hand, of course. I’m sure more details will be come out eventually. For now we have the report of their arrests. According to the Dominican Today, four cars belonging to Dotel were confiscated as well.
Dotel didn’t debut until he was 25, and for his first couple of years with the Mets and Astros he struggled to establish himself as a starter. He was switched full-time to the Houston bullpen at 27, however, and went on to make 724 relief appearances with a 3.32 ERA and a .207 opponents’ batting average while racking up 955 strikeouts in 760 innings. At the time of his retirement his career strikeout rate — 10.8 per nine innings — was the best in the history of baseball for right-handed pitchers with at least 900 innings, edging out Kerry Wood and Pedro Martinez.
Castillo also played 15 seasons, with a career line of .290/.368/.351. He was a three-time All Star and won three Gold Glove awards.