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Trea Turner is hitting home runs like David Ortiz


Trea Turner may not have as many home runs as David Ortiz, but he’s hitting them just as far.

The 23-year-old outfielder hit a pair of homers during the Nationals’ 5-4 rout of the Phillies on Friday, including a walk-off blast that measured 440 ft. over the center field wall in Turner Stadium. It’s hardly enough to place him in the upper echelon of home run hitters, with home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez routinely exceeding 470 ft. and topping out at 495 ft. on the year, but it’s enough to land Turner in some impressive company.

One of the home run hitters he’s keeping company with is Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who carries 31 home runs to Turner’s eight. While there’s no universe in which we can reasonably compare Turner’s power-hitting capabilities over five weeks to that of a career .286/.380/.551 hitter, both Turner and Ortiz are seeing some similar results off the bat.

Per Andrew Simon and ESPN’s Home Run Tracker, both hitters carry a couple of home runs exceeding 440 ft., from Ortiz’s 451-foot long ball against San Francisco’s Jake Peavy to Turner’s 450-foot moonshot off of Arizona’s Zack Godley. They’re hitting the ball at similar speeds, too, with Ortiz’s maximum speed off the bat topping out at 116.2 m.p.h. and Turner’s sitting at 114.4 m.p.h.

Although Turner isn’t getting a full season’s worth of playing time in the majors this year, he’s raking enough to make his time with the Nationals count. Apparently, that’s just the way manager Dusty Baker planned it.

Everybody was hollering that he should have been up here sooner, but I disagree,” Baker said. “I think we left him down there long enough to get his confidence and to fine-tune his skills.

Not only have the rookie’s home runs landed among some of the farthest and fastest in the league, but they’ve arrived at just the right time. The Nationals have seen 17 of their last 30 games decided by two or fewer runs and have gone 17-13 in that stretch, thanks in no small part to Turner’s .372/.381/.558 slash line over the last month.

On the heels of a conversation in which the 23-year-old slugger disparaged some hitting advice (reminiscent of Ichiro Suzuki’s declaration that while he could hit for power, he preferred to hit for average), it appears he’s made his point.

Octavio Dotel, Luis Castillo arrested in drug, money laundering investigation

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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.