Cubs right-hander Jason Hammel left his final start before the All-Star break — an important outing against the rival Cardinals — after experiencing tightness in his left hamstring. But it appears he won’t miss a single turn in Chicago’s rotation.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Hammel made it through a successful side session on Saturday afternoon and is lined up to start Tuesday night against the Reds. “It was as close to normal as I could get,” Hammel said of Saturday’s workout.
The 32-year-old owns a superb 2.86 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 105/18 K/BB ratio in 103 2/3 total innings this season for the Cubs. He’s been a bargain so far on a two-year, $20 million free agent deal.
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.