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Mike Marjama retires from baseball

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Mariners catcher Mike Marjama has retired from Major League Baseball. Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Marjama informed the team of his decision on Friday and will accept a new position with the National Eating Disorders Association.

The 28-year-old catcher had but a few cups of coffee in the majors over the course of his eight-year career. He was acquired by the Mariners in a multi-player swap with the Rays last August and made his MLB debut shortly thereafter, finishing the year 3-for-9 with two extra-base hits. He stayed the course as one of several backups for Mike Zunino when the 2018 season rolled around, but was demoted to Triple-A Tacoma by the end of April and slashed .247/.302/.424 with five homers and a .726 OPS before hanging up his cleats for good.

Even taking Zunino’s recent injury and offensive woes into account, Marjama’s path to a full-time role in the majors was blocked by the slightly hotter bats and defensive skills of fellow backup backstops Chris Herrmann and David Freitas. He’ll finish his brief career in the majors with a .167/.211/.361 batting line, one home run, and a .572 OPS through 38 plate appearances. His decision, says Johns, was made for both philanthropic and personal reasons, as he struggled to overcome eating disorders in high school and is looking to make a positive change in the lives of those who might be struggling with the same issues.

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.