Ryan Boyer

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Mookie Mania

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


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David Ortiz has understandably absorbed much of the spotlight for the Red Sox this season. However, on Tuesday it was time to shine a light on a man named Mookie.

 

Mookie Betts became the first Red Sox leadoff hitter to homer three times in one game since 1913, as he had a pair of solo shots and a three-run dinger in a win over the Orioles. He sprayed the longballs all over the field, hitting a tape-measure shot to center field to lead off the game, a wall-scraper to left in the second and an opposite-field shot to right in the seventh. Betts had a chance in the ninth inning to become the first Red Sox player to ever homer four times in a game, but he grounded out to second base.

 

Betts’ .283 batting average and .325 on-base percentage are a little disappointing considering he entered the season with a career .291 average and .348 OBP. That said, the 23-year-old has put up some monster counting stats in the first two months of the season with 12 homers, 40 RBI, 49 runs scored and eight stolen bases. Those numbers put him on a current pace for 37 homers, 125 RBI, 153 runs and 25 steals. Talk about filling up the stat sheet.

 

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Profar Staying?

 

The assumption was that Jurickson Profar was only supposed to be up with the Rangers for a week, but he might be playing his way into a longer look.

 

On Tuesday against the Indians, Profar launched his first home run at the major league level since September of 2013. It was one of two hits on the night for the infielder, and he’s batted .348 with six runs scored from the leadoff spot while filling in at second base for the suspended Rougned Odor.

 

Odor is slated to be reinstated on Saturday, and manager Jeff Banister said Tuesday that one scenario the club has talked about is keeping both Profar and fellow infielder Hanser Alberto on the roster and going with seven relievers. It remains to be seen if this might be the likeliest scenario or is just one of the ones Texas is kicking around.

 

Finding regular playing time for Profar with Odor around could be difficult. Third base, second base and shortstop are settled, and while Profar played a little left field back in 2013, that’s surely not something the Rangers would consider now after the 23-year-old’s shoulder issues. There could potentially be at-bats to be had in the designated hitter spot if Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland continue to struggle. However, Banister hasn’t even moved the .194-hitting Fielder out of the No. 3 spot in the batting order, let alone mulled benching him. It doesn’t sound like anything will change on that front anytime soon.

 

"He's still well above the Major League average even though his batting average may not be where it's going to be,” Banister said of Fielder. “There is a look, a presence, you know there are certain hitters in your lineup that command respect and poses challenges for pitchers."

 

Even if Profar is ultimately sent back down to Triple-A Round Rock so that he can continue to play every day, the good news is it appears he’s put his shoulder issues behind him. That’s obviously huge for him and the Rangers after it looked like his career might be in jeopardy following consecutive lost seasons.

 

Summer of George

 

The Astros have needed a spark, and they might have found one with a simple lineup tweak.

 

George Springer and Jose Altuve were flip-flopped in the first and second spots in the batting order a week ago, and the Astros have reeled off seven wins in eight games since. The club has scored eight runs in three straight contests and averaged 5.1 runs per game over the stretch.

 

The move seems to have really put a charge into Springer in particular. He’s sporting a .457/.513/.800 batting line with three homers and eight RBI from the top of the order, having gone 3-for-4 with a three-run homer and four RBI in Tuesday’s victory over the Diamondbacks. Altuve has been heating up himself. After two hitless games in his first two tries from the No. 2 spot, the second baseman has put up a .440/.444/.520 line over his last six games.

 

The leadoff spot isn’t new to Springer. He spent more time at the top of the order than anywhere else before moving to the two-hole late in the regular season and in the playoffs. In reality, it doesn’t make a ton of difference for fantasy purposes whether he’s batting first or second. Springer has given his fantasy owners plenty of production from both spots, as he entered play Tuesday as a top-15 fantasy outfielder and certainly didn’t do anything to hurt that standing against the D’Backs. He’s up to .288/.376/.509 on the season and is currently on pace for 37 home runs.

 

National League Quick Hits: Julio Urias has been recalled to take Alex Wood’s (elbow) spot in the Dodgers’ rotation … Nolan Arenado ripped two of the Rockies' seven home runs in Tuesday's thrashing of the Reds. Charlie Blackmon had a pair of longballs of his own, including a grand slam ... Matt Carpenter went  4-for-5 with a double, two triples, two RBI and four runs scored in Tuesday’s win over the Brewers … Corey Seager went 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and two runs scored in Tuesday's win over the Cubs … Jake Arrieta struck out eight over seven scoreless frames but settled for a no-decision against the Dodgers … Bryce Harper (knee) sat out Tuesday’s game … Scott Kazmir whiffed seven over six shutout innings versus the Cubs on Tuesday … Jose Fernandez held the Pirates to three singles over seven scoreless innings and recorded six strikeouts Tuesday … Daniel Murphy singled and ripped a solo home run in Tuesday's win over the Phillies … David Wright was given a pain-killing injection for his neck injury on Tuesday and will avoid the DL for now … Jose Reyes (suspension) will join Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday for a rehab assignment … Jonathan Lucroy doubled and belted his ninth home run of May on Tuesday against the Cardinals … Jake Peavy held the Braves to one hit over seven scoreless innings on Tuesday … Yasiel Puig was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup due to a sore left hamstring … James Shields was destroyed for 10 earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Mariners … Brandon Phillips was scratched from the Reds' lineup Tuesday due to a sore left foot … The Dodgers designated Alex Guerrero for assignment … Anthony DeSclafani (oblique) could join the Reds' rotation next week against the Cardinals … Kenta Maeda could miss a start with swelling in his right hand … Andre Ethier (leg) still hasn't been cleared to begin baseball-related activities … Ryan Braun (neck) had an RBI double in his return to the lineup Tuesday … Dexter Fowler (heel) singled and drew a walk in his return to the lineup Tuesday … Travis d'Arnaud (shoulder) could begin a rehab assignment this weekend … Domingo Santana (shoulder) began a rehab assignment Tuesday …

 

American League Quick Hits: Miguel Sano suffered a left hamstring strain on Tuesday and could be headed to the disabled list … Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) will rejoin the Indians’ rotation on Thursday … C.J. Cron socked a pair of home runs, including a walk-off, two-run shot, while driving in five runs in Tuesday’s victory over the Tigers … Ian Kinsler singled and smashed a grand slam against the Angels on Tuesday … Brad Boxberger suffered a left side muscle strain in his season debut Tuesday and might need to go back on the DL … Seth Smith cranked two home runs in Tuesday’s blowout win over the Padres … Lorenzo Cain went 2-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored against the Rays on Tuesday … Corey Dickerson went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run and four RBI on Tuesday versus the Royals … Eduardo Rodriguez pitched well in his season debut, holding the Orioles to two runs over six innings … Tyler Saladino went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run, two stolen bases and two walks in Tuesday’s win over the Mets … J.A. Happ spun six innings of one-run ball in Tuesday's victory over the Yankees … Glen Perkins (shoulder) is scheduled to throw off a mound this Saturday … An MRI taken Monday on C.J. Wilson's left arm showed no new damage … Sonny Gray (shoulder) threw off a mound on Tuesday … Rich Hill (groin) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Wednesday … The Blue Jays acquired Jason Grilli from the Braves for Sean RatcliffeDustin Ackley will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the torn labrum in his right shoulder … Yunel Escobar (wrist) sat out again on Tuesday … Jackie Bradley was placed on the paternity leave list Tuesday … 



Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.
Email :Ryan Boyer



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