The Miami Marlins today made Martin Prado‘s three-year extension official. We all knew that was happening. They also made another move: they exercised Ichiro Suzuki‘s option for 2017.
Ichiro will cost the Marlins $2 million next year. It will be the third straight year he’s made that much for Miami. In the two seasons to date, he’s hit .257/.314/.323 in 803 plate appearances across 296 games. His 2016 was better than that — .291/.354./,376 — and he picked up his 3,000th major league hit during the season. He did fall off considerably in the second half, however.
Ichiro will turn 43 this month, so there is a very, very good chance that he will not replicate his decent 2016, let alone his strong first half of this year. But at only $2 million, it’s not a risk to keep a well-loved future Hall of Famer on board who, if things break just right, could still give you some decent part time production.
On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!
Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.
José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.
Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.
Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.