Aristides Aquino
AP Images

Video: Aristides Aquino ties Trevor Story’s rookie home run record

2 Comments

Through Aristides Aquino’s first nine career games in Major League Baseball, he racked up four home runs. During his 10th career game, he hit three more, becoming the second player to notch a three-homer game in 2019 and the 29th franchise player to hit three or more home runs in a single game.

The Reds right fielder got his first opportunity in the second inning of Saturday’s set against the Cubs. Against Chicago righty Kyle Hendricks, Aquino took a first-pitch sinker out to left field, just clearing the wall for a 344-foot leadoff blast and his fifth home run of the year.

Aquino made efficient use of Hendricks’ pitches again in the third inning, lifting another middle-of-the-zone sinker out to left field for his second solo home run of the night. From there, the wheels started to fall off: Hendricks issued five consecutive hits to Nick Senzel, Tucker Barnhart, José Peraza, Sonny Gray, and Jesse Winker and was finally lifted for the newly-recalled Dillon Maples, who brought a swift and merciful end to the Reds’ four-run rally.

Aquino didn’t take it any easier on Maples than he had on Hendricks, however. In the fourth, he battled through a 1-2 count before returning Maples’ 96.7-m.p.h. fastball to center field for his third home run of the night. With seven home runs under his belt now, he tied Trevor Story‘s league-best rookie record of seven homers in his first 10 career games — a mark no one else has reached since Story first set it in 2016.

Had the rookie slugger tacked on another dinger to his performance on Saturday, he could have become the first MLB player to craft a four-homer game since 2017 and the first rookie to do so — ever. Alas, it was not to be: he took a four-pitch walk in the sixth and struck out swinging against Alec Mills for his final at-bat in the seventh. Still, it’s quite the accomplishment for the 25-year-old: through Saturday, he’s batting a cool .464/.500/1.250 with 13 RBI, a 1.750 OPS, and 0.5 fWAR across his first 30 PA.

Andrew McCutchen ‘ready to go’ whenever season begins

Andrew McCutchen
Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
1 Comment

Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.

2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.