Eric Chavez to Serve as New York Yankees Assistant Hitting Coach

Eric Chavez is headed to the New York…

The New York Yankees have finalized manager Aaron Boone‘s staff for 2022, with the 44-year-old Mexican American former professional baseball third baseman joining the team.

Eric ChavezChavez, who won six Gold Glove Awards and a Silver Slugger Award during his professional career, will serve as an assistant hitting coach alongside Casey Dykes.

Other new coaching staff members include hitting coach Dillon Lawson, third-base/outfield coach Luis Rojas, first-base/infield coach Travis Chapman and assistant pitching coach Desi Druschel.

Bench coach Carlos Mendoza and pitching coach Matt Blake are back for their third seasons in pinstripes, while bullpen coach Mike Harkey returns for a 13th year.

New York fired hitting coach Marcus Thames, third-base coach Phil Nevin and assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere after the Yankees went 92-70 and lost the American League Wild Card Game against the Boston Red Sox. First-base coach Reggie Willits left to coach at the University of Oklahoma.

Chavez had a 17-year MLB career and spent the past five seasons as a special assistant with the Los Angeles Angels.

 

Rojas was fired by the New York Mets in October after two underwhelming years as manager. The 40-year-old Latino baseballer was with the Mets organization for 16 years. He was replaced in Queens by Buck Showalter, who held his introductory news conference Tuesday.

 

Chavez, 44, who played third base for the Yankees, Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks, was in the mix for Rojas’ old job with the Mets, before they ultimately hired Showalter.

Ronald Acuña Jr. Receives First-Ever Silver Slugger Award

It’s a silverfirst for Ronald Acuña Jr.

The 21-year-old Venezuelan Major League Baseball baseball outfielder for the Atlanta Braves has received his first Silver Slugger Award, awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers. 

Ronald Acuna Jr.

For the year, Acuña hit .280/.365/.883, with 127 runs (leading the National League), 41 home runs, and 37 stolen bases (leading the league). He missed the 40–40 club by three stolen bases.

Acuña’s Braves teammates Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies are among the first-time winners on the National League side, along with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Cody Bellinger.

First-timers for the American League are Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos SantanaNew York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieuHouston Astros infielder Alex Bregman and Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver.

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout was awarded his seventh Silver Slugger Award after batting .291 with 45 home runs and 104 RBIs this season.

World Series champion and Washington Nationals slugger Anthony Rendon, a two-time winner, Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. RealmutoColorado Rockies shortstop Trevor StoryMilwaukee Brewers star Christian Yelich and former Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, who was dealt by the D-backs to the Astros at the trade deadline, completed the National League list.

Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz, a three-time winner, Astros outfielder George Springer and Boston Red Sox teammates Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts rounded out the American League winners.

Selections are based on a combination of offensive stats, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in addition to the managers’ and coaches’ views of a player’s overall offensive value.

Luis Gonzalez to Serve as Pallbearer at Sen. John McCain’s Memorial Service

Luis Gonzalez will play a special role at the memorial service for the late U.S. Senator John McCain.

The 50-year-old Cuban-American former Major League Baseball outfielder, an Arizona sports legend, will serve a pallbearer at Thursday’s service.

Luis Gonzalez

Gonzalez, who spent his best years with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was one of the most popular players in the organization’s history, released a statement after the death of McCain, praising the senator’s patriotism and friendship.

“Senator McCain was not only a great man and patriot but also a loyal D-backs fan. I’m proud to have called him a dear friend. On behalf of my entire family, our thoughts and prayers are with Cindy and the McCain family,” tweeted Gonzalez, who shot a television ad supporting McCain’s reelection bid for the U.S. Senate in 2016.

McCain, an avid Arizona sports fan, died Saturday at age 81.

Thursday’s ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. ET at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix. About 1,000 seats were made available to the public.

Luis Gonzalez

Gonzalez, nicknamed “Gonzo“, had the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series against New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera to clinch the Diamondbacks’ first and only World Series championship to date.

He was a five-time MLB All-Star and won a Silver Slugger Award in 2001.

Houston Astros Star Jose Altuve Wins Silver Slugger Award for Fourth Straight Season

It’s a grand slam, of sorts, for Jose Altuve

The 27-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball player, a second baseman for the World Series champion Houston Astros, is among the winners of this year’s Louisville Slugger Silver Slugger Award.

Jose Altuve

The award goes to one player per league, per position and is selected by a vote of MLB coaches and managers.

Eleven of the 18 winners are under 30, including Altuve, who won for the fourth straight season.

But Altuve isn’t the only Astros player to make the list…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican and Panamanian American baseball star, who became Major League Baseball All-Star for the first time this year, also earned a Silver Slugger Award.

Springer, an outfielder for the Astros, was named the 2017 World Series Most Valuable Player (MVP), hitting a record-tying five home runs as the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games.

All told, the eight first-time winners included outfielders Aaron Judge, Miami MarlinsMarcell Ozuna, Springer, Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez and pitcher Adam Wainwright. Like Altuve, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey also won for the fourth time.

Outfielder Justin Upton and Seattle Mariners DH Nelson Cruz rounded out the American League winners. It was Upton’s third award and the second for Cruz.

The National League selections featured plenty of previous winners as first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado both won for the third time. Second baseman Daniel Murphy, shortstop Corey Seager and outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton each won for the second time.

Selections are based on a combination of offensive stats, including batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage in addition to the managers’ and coaches’ views of a player’s overall offensive value.

Ramirez Logs First-Ever Three-Homer Game Against the San Francisco Giants

Hanley Ramirez is celebrating his Giant(s) night…

The 32-year-old Dominican professional baseball player, a first baseman for the Boston Red Sox, hit three home runs for the first time in his career and drove in a career-high six runs on Wednesday night as he helped his team hold on for an 11-7 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Hanley Ramirez

Boston won for the eighth time in nine games and moved into first place in the American League East, a half-game ahead of the Baltimore Orioles.

Ramirez also reached base when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth, glowering at Giants reliever Albert Suarez before the umpire quickly warned both benches. With the crowd chanting Ramirez’s name for his final at-bat in the eighth, he grounded out weakly to the pitcher.

Ramirez began the day with eight home runs this season before connecting for his first three-homer game. He hit two-run drives in the second, third and sixth inning.

The major league record for home runs in a game is four. It’s been done 16 times, most recently by Josh Hamilton for the Texas Rangers in 2012.

Ramirez, a three-time MLB All-Star and a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, also made a few good plays in the field. He dove to his right to stop a line drive in the first inning, and made a play to his right on a hard grounder from Grant Green. Then, with the bases loaded in the sixth, he gloved a sharp grounder, stepped on first and threw home.

Martinez Agrees to Two-Year $18.5 Million Deal with the Detroit Tigers

J.D. Martinez isn’t leaving Detroit anytime soon…

The 28-year-old Cuban American outfielder and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms on a two-year deal worth $18.5 million pending a physical, according to ESPN.com.

J.D. Martinez

The new contract, which will pay the MLB All-Star player $6.75 million in 2016 and $11.75 million in 2017, allows Martinez and the Tigers to avoid salary arbitration, which was slated to take place later this month.

When the two sides exchanged salary figures the past month, they found themselves with a significant gap to bridge, with Martinez’s camp reportedly submitting an annual average value of $8 million and the team an AAV of $6 million. The deal reached Monday evening comes in with an AAV of $9.25 million.

Martinez becomes the fourth and final arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal with Detroit this offseason. The Tigers also signed Justin WilsonJose Iglesias and Andrew Romine.

Martinez, who won the Silver Slugger Award in 2015, is coming off a sensational 2015 season in which he led the team with 38 home runs and batted .282. Martinez finished the season with 102 RBIs, 93 runs, 168 hits, 33 doubles and two triples.

Beltrán Named This Year’s Recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award

Carlos Beltrán may need a larger trophy mantle…

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball star, an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, has been named this year’s recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award.

Carlos Beltrán

Beltrán, a three-time Golden Glove Award, two-time Silver Slugger Award and two-time Fielding Bible Award winner, was seated next to Clemente’s widow, Vera, when he was honored on Saturday, about an hour prior to Game 3 of the World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Members of Clemente’s family also attended the news conference.

“I must say this year’s recipient truly exemplifies Roberto’s philosophy,” said Vera Clemente. “Carlos Beltrán, you are the pride of all Puerto Ricans.”

Beltrán has contributed more than $4 million to his Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico and has hosted fundraising efforts throughout the year.

“A leader by example on the field, Carlos has demonstrated his leadership off the field as well,” said Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig. “The academy has made a real difference in the lives of young men in Puerto Rico.”

The award recognizes the player whose contributions on and off the field best represent the game. The award was named for the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer  who died on December 31, 1972, in a plane crash while on a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Beltran grew up idolizing Clemente’s achievements.

“I never got a chance to watch him play or anything like that,” Beltran said. “When I was a kid I always wanted to be like him, having an opportunity to play baseball and having an opportunity to give back.”

More than 1.3 million fans voted online with results taken into consideration.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw won the award last year, and David Ortiz of the Red Sox won in 2011.

Valenzuela Inducted into Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame

Fernando Valenzuela has earned his place in the hall

The 52-year-old legendary Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher and current Dodgers Spanish-language broadcaster will be inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend during a ceremony at the Universidad Sonora as part of the Caribbean Series in Hermosillo, Mexico.

Fernando Valenzuela

Valenzuela, born in Sonora, is being honored for his Major League Baseball career and his Mexican league play. Like those at Cooperstown, the Caribbean winter league inductees are required to be named on 75 percent of the ballots. Valenzuela garnered 175 of a potential 200 points.

During his illustrious career, Valenzuela was named an MLB All-Star for six consecutive years (1981-1986), earned his World Series champion ring in 1981 and won the Gold Glove Award (1986). He was also a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner (1981, 1983), the 1981 National League Cy Young Award and was named the 1981 National League Rookie of the Year.

Fernando Valenzuela

Valenzuela made his major league debut with the Dodgers in 1980 as a 19-year-old with an exceptional screwball and spent 17 years in the majors.

Valenzuela threw out the first pitch Friday in the new 16,000-seat Estadio Sonora ballpark before the opening game of the 2013 Caribbean World Series between Mexico’s Yaquis de Obregón and the Dominican Republic’s Leones del Escogido.

Cabrera ThisClose to Making MLB Batting History…

Miguel Cabrera is chasing history…

The 29-year-old Venezuelan third baseman for the Detroit Tigers is thisclose to joining an elite list of the Major League’s batting stars.

Miguel Cabrera

Baseball hasn’t seen a Triple Crown winner — a hitter leading the league in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average — since 1967.

But Cabrera could change that this season… by becoming the first Latino Triple Crown winner.

The seven-time All-Star player is currently leading the American League in batting average and RBIs, and he trailed the Texas RangersJosh Hamilton by just two home runs as of September 19, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Cabrera—who homered to help the Tigers beat the Oakland Athletics 6-2 on Wednesday night—is already a World Series Champion (with the Florida Marlins), a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and two-time recipient of the Luis Aparicio Award, which is given annually to honor the Venezuelan player who recorded the best individual performance in Major League Baseball.

Here are the eight players who have pulled off the feat in the American League:

Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox, 1967 (.326 batting average, 44 HRs, 121 RBIs) – Yaz is the last player to win the Triple Crown. His greatest competition came in the home-run race where he tied Harmon Killebrew with 44.

Frank Robinson, Baltimore Orioles, 1966 (.316, 49, 122) – Just a year before Yastrzemski won his Triple Crown, Frank Robinson won one of his own for Baltimore. Robinson’s .316 average was the lowest ever for a Triple Crown winner.

Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees, 1956 (.353, 52, 130) – Mantle joined Gehrig as the two Triple Crown winners in the long history of success for the Yankees. The Mick led the league by a whopping 20 home runs over Cleveland’s Vic Wertz.

Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox, 1947 (.343, 32, 114) – It’s fitting that the man who many feel is the greatest hitter ever won not one but two Triple Crowns. Williams’ second, in 1947, featured the third of his six batting titles. He edged out Hall of Famer Joe Gordon, then of the Indians, by three for the home-run title.

Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox, 1942 (.356, 36, 137) – 1942 was Teddy Ballgame’s last year before missing three years for military service. He made sure baseball would miss him. Though his average dropped by a full 50 points over his amazing 1941 season, he still won the batting title by 25 points. Amazingly, he did not win the AL MVP in either of his Triple Crown seasons.

Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees, 1934 (.363, 49, 165) – In accomplishing the Triple Crown, Gehrig pulled off what his more famous teammate — Babe Ruth — never did. Gehrig’s 165 RBIs were the most ever in a Triple Crown-winning season.

Jimmy Foxx, Philadelphia Athletics, 1933 (.356, 48, 163) – Foxx won the second of his thee MVPs for this season. This was part of a remarkable streak in which Foxx drove in 100 or more runs for 13 straight seasons.

Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers, 1909 (.377, 9, 107) – It’s amusing in today’s era to see a player lead the league with just nine home runs. Cobb dominated the 1909 season. In addition to the Triple Crown categories, he led the American League in runs, stolen bases, hits, total bases, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

Nap Lajoie, Philadelphia Athletics, 1901 (.426, 14, 125) – Lajoie produced the highest batting average for a Triple Crown winner. A Hall of Famer, Lajoie led the AL in 11 offensive categories in 1901. He won the batting title by 86 points that year.