MLB 2023 | J.P. Martínez hits first HR, Moncada perfect at plate, Arozarena swipes three bags Sunday
Major League Baseball (MLB) and other Cuban Players News for the 2023 season. A compendium from several sources
J.P. Martínez knocks first homer. Martínez went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Sunday's 7-6 extra-innings loss to the Twins. Martínez's second-inning homer, his first of the year, snapped an 0-for-10 skid across his last six contests. The 27-year-old continues to operate as a reserve outfielder for the Rangers. He's slashing .281/.306/.406 with four RBI, seven runs scored and no stolen bases through 36 plate appearances this season. Martínez's best path to playing time remains in left field, where he can compete with Robbie Grossman and Travis Jankowski, though he was covering for a resting Adolis García in right field Sunday.
Yoán Moncada was perfect at plate Sunday.
Yoán Moncada went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBI on Sunday afternoon, propelling the White Sox to a 6-1 victory over the visiting Athletics. Moncada led off the sixth inning with a double off of Paul Blackburn, then scored on an RBI single off the bat of Gavin Sheets. He tacked on a two-run single of his own in the seventh inning — extending the White Sox’ advantage to five runs at 6-1. He has been swinging a hot bat as of late and has gone 12-for-32 (.375) with five extra-base hits and eight RBI over his last nine contests. Moncada is now hitting .246/.288/.381 with five homers, 28 RBI and one stolen base in 260 plate appearances on the season.
Randy Arozarena went 2-for-4 with three steals and three runs scored against the Yankees on Sunday.
Arozarena posted his first three-steal game and second multi-steal game this season to bring him up to 18 thefts on the year. Two of those steals came in between benches-clearing incidents in the eighth. Arozarena became the Rays’ fourth HBP of the day when he was plunked by Albert Abreu, and he took issue, though no punches were thrown. The benches cleared again after Arozarena swiped third and he and Abreu jawed at the each other, but nothing really came of it. Arozarena was struggling badly post All-Star break through the rest of July, but Sunday was a continuation of a strong month at the plate for the 28-year-old. In 23 games, he's slashing .276/.390/.425 with three homers, 10 RBI, 22 runs, six steals and a 14:24 BB:K and has hit safely in six of his last seven games while scoring 11 times over that span.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. swatted a solo home run on Sunday as the Diamondbacks rallied to beat the Reds.
Gurriel Jr. blasted a 415-foot game-tying solo shot off of Graham Ashcraft in the seventh inning to make it a 2-2 ballgame. He also drew a walk in the ballgame, finishing the day 1-for-3 officially. On the season, the 29-year-old is now hitting .253/.303/.459 with 20 long balls and 67 RBI.
Aroldis Chapman gave up a run in the ninth to take a blown save against the Twins on Sunday.
Chapman was his own worst enemy in this one. He walked Michael A. Taylor with one out and then advanced Taylor to second with a rare disengagement violation. Donovan Solano then singled the runner in. Chapman is still throwing a whole lot better than Will Smith at the moment, so we’d continue to view him as the favorite for saves in Texas.
Yennier Cano was handed tough-luck loss. Cano (1-3) allowed an unearned run on one hit and struck out one over one inning to take the loss Sunday versus the Rockies. Cano hadn't given up a run over 10.2 innings in August, logging three holds and a save prior to an unlucky loss Sunday. The right-hander has received the first look at ninth-inning assignments since Felix Bautista (elbow) was injured Friday. Cano has a 1.57 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 58:10 K:BB with five saves and 28 holds over 63 innings this year. Those numbers aren't as dominant as Bautista's, but it's still likely Cano can handle closing duties for as long as necessary. Lefty Danny Coulombe may also be in the mix for save chances if manager Brandon Hyde shifts to a matchup-based approach.
Jorge Soler homered Sunday to account for both Marlins runs in a 2-1 win over the Nationals.
Soler went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and a double in Sunday's 2-1 win over the Nationals. Soler's two-run blast in the third was enough to propel the Marlins to a narrow victory over the Nationals. He's now up to 35 home runs this year and is tied with Mookie Betts for fifth-most in baseball. Soler’s 35th homer means he’s alone in sixth place on the Marlins franchise single-season list. He’s not catching leader Giancarlo Stanton at 59 homers in 2017, but he has a shot of overtaking Gary Sheffield’s 42-homer 1996 season of the second spot and he’s pretty much a lock to get the 38 homers he needs to move into third place. Soler's power continues to be the staple of his game, as he lacks a high batting average and doesn't steal bases. He's got home runs in back-to-back games and 10 total in August and is now slashing .241/.328/.516 with 71 RBI, 70 runs and a 56:129 BB:K in 525 plate appearances.
White Sox's Yasmani Grandal: Starting Sunday, but losing time. Grandal started at catcher and batted seventh in Sunday's game against the Athletics. He went 1-for-4 with a double. Though he was back in the lineup for the series finale, Grandal was on the bench for each of the previous four games and appears to have moved into a reserve role while the White Sox prioritize younger players down the stretch.
Yandy Díaz was available as a bat off the bench in Sunday’s finale against the Yankees.
He wasn’t needed on Sunday. He should return to the Rays starting lineup for Tuesday’s contest against the Marlins.
José Abreu got day off. Abreu was out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Tigers. Abreu got a breather for the day game after he started in three of the Astros' first four games following his activation from the 10-day injured list Wednesday.
Luis Robert Jr. was not in the White Sox’ starting lineup for Sunday’s finale against the Athletics.
It was a normal day off for the 26-year-old superstar. Robert Jr. has been outstanding this season, hitting .265/.321/.554 with 34 homers and 16 swipes across 516 plate appearances.