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Mike Trout, Mookie Betts among Thursday’s Silver Slugger Award winners

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Awards season continued on Thursday evening as MLB Network announced the winners of the Silver Slugger Awards presented by Louisville Slugger. Here they are.

American League

National League

In the National League, Joey Votto and Kris Bryant were snubbed, arguably. It was a close one at shortstop in the AL between Bogaerts and Carlos Correa. In the outfield, one could’ve justifiably picked J.D. Martinez in the AL and Ryan Braun in the NL. And, of course, one could make an argument for Madison Bumgarner over Jake Arrieta for the pitcher’s Silver Slugger.

The Red Sox had the most Silver Slugger winners as a team with three (Bogaerts, Betts, Ortiz). The Cubs, Nationals, and Rockies tied with two each in the National League.

As we saw with Tuesday’s Gold Glove Award winners, there’s lots of fresh blood earning hardware now. 11 of the 18 Silver Slugger Award winners on Thursday earned the award for the first time. In fact, Nolan Arenado was the only National League player who had won the award previously. Another three, including Arenado, earned it for just the second time. I have a feeling most of them will be winning more in the coming years.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
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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.