The front-runners for the National League and American League Rookie of the Year awards both had pretty good nights Monday.
Pete Alonso socked a pair of solo home runs for the Mets and Yordan Alvarez followed suit for the Astros on Monday in their respective teams’ victories. Although, if we’re being honest, Alvarez’s second long ball probably should have counted as two dingers.
Alonso’s bombs off of the Diamondbacks’ Merrill Kelly were his 46th and 47th of the season, extending his NL rookie record. The Mets have 19 games remaining, and “Polar Bear” would need to hit six more out of the yard to top Aaron Judge’s major league rookie record of 52.
Alonso’s current home run pace? 53.
As for Alvarez, he broke the Astros’ rookie record with his first home run Monday and extended it to 24 bombs with his second of the night. If you combine the 22-year-old’s 23 taters at Triple-A Round Rock prior to his promotion, he has matched Alonso with 47 homers this season.
Sure, we’re dealing with a juiced ball that had made home runs seem more routine than ever. Still, what these two young sluggers have done has been pretty remarkable.
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Javy Out, Nico In
On Saturday we found out that Javier Baez has a hairline fracture in his left thumb. On Monday we found out he’s officially done for the regular season.
A hand specialist ruled out any damage to Baez’s ulnar collateral ligament, which is certainly good news. They did confirm the fracture, though, and it means Baez will not make it back before the end of this month. He will continue to rehab the injury in hopes that he’ll be able to rejoin the Cubs at some point during the playoffs, should the club qualify.
It’s an unfortunate end to what was a terrific follow-up season to Baez’s breakout, NL MVP runner-up campaign last year. The 26-year-old put together a .281/.316/.532 batting line with 29 home runs, 85 RBI, 88 runs scored and 11 stolen bases across 560 plate appearances. Baez is currently a top-five fantasy shortstop and top-25 hitter overall in your standard 5x5 roto leagues.
With Addison Russell still in concussion protocol after being hit in the head with a pitch on Sunday, the Cubs are suddenly running thin at shortstop. It has led to the promotion of one of their top prospects.
Former first-round pick Nico Hoerner was summoned from Double-A Tennessee on Monday, skipping over Triple-A Iowa to make his major league debut against the Padres. The Stanford product started at shortstop and batted sixth in his debut.
Hoerner is ranked by MLB.com as the team’s No. 1 prospect and the No. 47 overall prospect in baseball. With that being said, there’s not much in his statistical profile to suggest he will be of much help to fantasy owners down the stretch even if he plays regularly. Hoerner played just 70 games for Tennessee this season due to an injury of his own, and he put up a pedestrian .284/.344/.399 batting line with three homers and eight steals across 294 plate appearances. Mixed leaguers probably shouldn’t bother.
Trout (Briefly) Put on Ice
You never want to see “procedure” and “Mike Trout” in the same sentence, but thankfully it doesn’t appear that we need to sound any alarm bells.
Trout underwent a cryoablation procedure on Monday morning to address a neuroma in his right foot. Basically, it was a minimally invasive procedure that used extreme cold to deaden tissue around a nerve that was causing pain. The condition is what caused Trout to be out of the lineup for a third straight day Monday, but it sounds like he should be back in action soon.
“He has what’s called a neuroma in his right foot,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “I’m not in the medical field, but it’s a buildup of tissue around the nerve that causes pain. Today, he had a cryoablation that deadens the tissue, deadens the nerve area. So he’ll miss a couple days but we don’t expect him to miss more than a couple days. But that’s why he’s not in the lineup.”
Trout could need to undergo another procedure over the offseason to address the issue, but he’s been told that he can’t make the condition worse by playing on it. It’s just a pain tolerance issue.
Brian Goodwin got another start in center field Monday with Trout sidelined and he has batted either first or second in the three games Trout has missed. The 28-year-old entered play Monday hitting .293/.352/.624 with nine home runs and two stolen bases over 145 plate appearances in the second half. He’s had a nice year for the Halos and isn’t a bad deep-league option even if it’s just a short-term play.
National League Quick Hits: Jacob deGrom fanned 11 while pitching seven innings of one-run ball Monday in a victory over the Diamondbacks. … Kris Bryant was out of the Cubs' lineup again Monday after receiving a cortisone injection in his ailing right knee Sunday. … Mike Foltynewicz limited the Phillies to one run in seven innings and struck out seven in a win Monday. … Ronald Acuna homered, walked twice and scored three times Monday against the Phillies. … Bryce Harper (hand) was hitless in his return to the lineup Monday … Trent Grisham went 5-for-6 with a triple, a double and two RBI as the Brewers topped the Marlins on Monday … Nick Markakis (wrist) could be activated from the injured list as soon as Friday. … Reyes Moronta will undergo surgery on Tuesday to repair a labrum tear in his right shoulder and could be out until 2021.
American League Quick Hits: Giancarlo Stanton (knee) could be activated from the injured list sometime during the Yankees' homestand that begins next week. … Robinson Chirinos went 3-for-4 with two homers and six RBI in a crushing of the Athletics on Monday. … Zack Greinke gave up just two hits in six scoreless innings on Monday in a blowout victory over the Athletics on Monday. … James Paxton blanked the Red Sox for 6 2/3 innings Monday in the Yankees' victory, fanning seven batters along the way. … Jose Altuve went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer and a pair of runs scored in a blowout win over the Athletics on Monday. … An MRI on Max Kepler's left shoulder came back negative. … The A’s called up top prospect Jesus Luzardo on Monday and are expected to use him in a relief role. … Eduardo Rodriguez took a tough loss after allowing one run in six innings and striking out nine Monday against the Yankees. … Mike Tauchman is expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks after being diagnosed with a Grade 2 left calf strain.