Adrian Beltre moved up another rung on the all-time home run list after recording a two-RBI home run off of the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka on Friday, the 469th such blast of his career to date.
The home run — a 365-footer that put the Rangers on the board after three scoreless innings in the Bronx — was just his seventh of the season, but added to an impressive total that now ranks higher than that of Hall of Famer Chipper Jones (468 home runs, 34th all-time). He needs just four home runs to pass up Carlos Delgado (473 homers, 32nd all-time) and another six to pass up both Stan Musial and Willie Stargell (475 homers, tied for 30th all-time).
Beltre currently holds the second-most home runs by an active player, though he’s unlikely to surpass Albert Pujols‘ 632 career homers in his lifetime. Miguel Cabrera, meanwhile, is close to catching Beltre after putting up 465 career home runs of his own, even if the biceps surgery he underwent in June means that he won’t try to eclipse Beltre’s record until 2019 at the earliest.
The Rangers currently lead the Yankees 10-4 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.