AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Dioner Navarro helped John Danks stop tipping his pitches

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White Sox starter John Danks was hit hard in his March 13 start against the Diamondbacks, surrendering eight runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. He had a conversation with catcher Dioner Navarro, who told him that he was tipping his pitches by holding his glove in a different position based on whether he was throwing a fastball or breaking ball, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.

“Dioner has been around awhile,” Danks said. “He has seen me and faced me. If he says something, I don’t need to look at it on video. He told me exactly what I was doing. We fixed it and it has not been an issue since.”

He’s right. In his next start, last Friday against the Cubs, he threw five scoreless innings, yielding only one hit and two walks with seven strikeouts. He started again on Wednesday against the Padres and threw six scoreless innings on seven hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

Navarro is optimistic about Danks going forward.

“I noticed it against the Diamondbacks,” Navarro [said]. “That is my job as a catcher — to see those things. I think his last two outings have been great. I know he will continue to do it the whole season.”

Danks, 30, has had a rough go of things over the last five seasons. He has compiled an aggregate 4.71 ERA over 120 starts in that span of time. The White Sox inked him to a five-year, $65 million extension prior to the 2012 season and he’s now in the final year of that deal.

Video: Pete Alonso hits home run no. 50

Pete Alonso
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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.