Josh Harrison has struggled to duplicate his breakout 2014 performance and now the Pirates infielder/outfielder is headed to the disabled list with torn thumb ligaments suffered Sunday while sliding into second base.
Harrison is expected to miss six weeks, meaning he’ll likely be out until late August or early September. Last season he came out of relative nowhere to hit .315 and make the All-Star team at age 26, earning him a long-term contract extension from the Pirates, but Harrison has hit just .279 with four homers and a .696 OPS in 75 games this year.
Pittsburgh will probably miss his defensive versatility as much or more than his offensive production, and for tonight at least Jung Ho Kang is starting at third base.
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.