As the 2023 regular season continues, here are three things we’ll be keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Freeman approaching milestone:
Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman sits at 299 career home runs. With his next trip around the bases, he’ll become just the 155th player in MLB history to hit 300 home runs in his career, joining Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Evan Longoria, Paul Goldschmidt, and Nolan Arenado as the only active players to reach the milestone. Freeman is playing up to his usual excellent standards so far in 2023, with a .310/.382/.511 slash line that puts him right in line with his career averages.
2. Will Sanchez be promoted?
Rumors percolated yesterday that the Mets were considering a promotion to the big league club for veteran catcher Gary Sanchez, who is in Triple-A on a minor league deal. Sanchez, who spent seven seasons in New York with the Yankees, has posted a 1.077 OPS in 32 plate appearances for the club’s affiliate in Syracuse. Sanchez would take the spot of Michael Perez on the roster if promoted, forming a tandem with longtime top prospect Francisco Alvarez for the time being. The Mets, of course, would need to re-evaluate their catching tandem upon the return of Omar Narvaez, who is due back from a calf strain sometime next month. The potential promotion for Sanchez comes against the backdrop of his looming opt-out, which he can exercise tomorrow.
3. Stripling exits:
Giants right-hander Ross Stripling exited yesterday’s start against the Phillies with lower back tightness, as relayed by MLB.com’s Maria Guardado. The 2023 season has been a struggle for Stripling so far. The 33-year-old righty owns a 7.24 ERA and 6.74 FIP in 32 1/3 innings, with five starts and four appearances out of the bullpen. The Giants have an off-day today, meaning it’s possible that Stripling’s status going forward won’t be made clear until tomorrow. With that being said, if Stripling is set to miss time, that could open the door for left-hander Sean Manaea to return to the rotation. Manaea has struggled similarly to Stripling so far this year, with a 7.81 ERA and 6.74 FIP in 27 2/3 innings of work split between six starts and three appearances out of the bullpen.