8/21/2013 10:57 A.M. ET
MLB Notebook: Cano in elite company at second
Yankees star on pace to match some of game's all-time greats at position
By Roger Schlueter / MLB.com
Along with Nap Lajoie, Eddie Collins and Craig Biggio, Rod Carew is one of four players in history to have at least 1,000 games at second base and to have at least 3,000 hits in his career. Debuting as a 21-year-old in April 1967, Carew collected 150 hits (and the American League Rookie of the Year Award) in that first year, and by the end of 1976 (his age-30 season), had 1,658 hits.
In 2005, another second baseman with the initials R.C. made his Major League debut (as a 22-year-old) and cranked out 155 hits in that first season. Robinson Cano -- now playing in his age-30 season -- has 1,603 hits, and with his Yankees having 37 games left to play, he could get very close to Carew's total.
Tuesday, in the first game of a doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays, Cano doubled, singled twice, hit his 200th career home run and drove in four runs. Cano added another pair of singles in the second game.
Among all players in history to have at least 75 percent of their games at second base through their first nine seasons, Cano is one of three to reach 200 homers by the end of that ninth year. Dan Uggla hit 230 and Joe Gordon had 214.
For all players through their first nine seasons, Cano is one of three to have at least 200 homers and at least 350 doubles. Albert Pujols had 366 homers and 387 doubles, and Todd Helton had 271 homers and 373 doubles. Cano has 359 two-base hits. Overall, among all players through their first nine seasons, Cano is tied with Eddie Mathews for 23rd in extra-base hits, is 21st in total bases and is 18th in hits. In hits, he is sandwiched between Hugh Duffy (1,607) and Ty Cobb (1,600).
Arizona Gold mine
Arizona defeated Cincinnati, 5-2, with Paul Goldschmidt hitting a grand slam to pace the offense. With the homer -- his 31st of the year -- Goldschmidt reached the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his career.
The first baseman -- who is playing in his age-25 season -- is tied for the National League lead in home runs, leads in RBIs and total bases, and he is second in the NL in extra-base hits. In the live-ball era, two players have been in their age-25 or younger season and led the NL in homers, RBIs and total bases. In his age-25 season in 1937, Ducky Medwick did this as part of his Triple Crown season, and 20 years later, Hank Aaron (in his age-23 season) accomplished this feat.
Goldschmidt is the second D-backs player to post a 30-100 season in his age-25 season (no player has been younger), joining Mark Reynolds who hit 44 homers and drove in 102 in 2009.
Goldschmidt's grand slam was his third of the year, the most for the franchise in one season.
Corbin's numbers impressive
Patrick Corbin went the distance for the D-backs, allowing two runs and six hits while striking out 10 without a walk. Corbin owns a 1.021 WHIP, a 3.57 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a 156 ERA+.
Among qualifying left-handers in their age-23 season, since 1920:
• Two -- Jim Merritt in 1967 and Clayton Kershaw in 2011 -- have finished a season with a lower WHIP. Madison Bumgarner -- pitching in his age-23 season in 2013 -- owns a 1.018 mark.
• Five have finished with a higher strikeout-to-walk ratio: Merritt (5.37 in 1967), Kershaw (4.59 in 2011), Cole Hamels (4.12 in '07), Greg Swindell (4.00 in 1988) and Chris Sale (3.76 in 2012).
• Six have finished with a higher ERA+: John Candelaria (169 in 1977), Dick Ellsworth (167 in '63), Herb Score (166 in '56), Joe Magrane (161 in '88), Kershaw (161 in 2011) and Hal Newhouser (159 in 1944).
Beltre moving up the ranks
Adrian Beltre doubled and homered, scored twice and drove in two runs to help the Rangers push past the Astros, 4-2.
Beltre is among the top 10 in the AL in the following categories: batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, OPS, OPS+, runs, hits, total bases, homers, RBIs, extra-base hits and WAR.
Among all players in history through their age-34 season, Beltre ranks 31st in hits, 11th in doubles, 38th in home runs, 39th in RBIs, 18th in total bases and 17th in extra-base hits.
Harper's extra effort
Bryce Harper singled, doubled and drew a walk in the Nationals' 4-2 win over the Cubs. Harper has 92 extra-base hits in his career, which are the seventh most for any player through his age-20 season. Those with more: Mel Ott (142), Phil Cavarretta (108), Tony Conigliaro (105), Alex Rodriguez (104), Mickey Mantle (96) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (96).
Harper's OPS+ this season now stands at 139. Although he may not reach the number of plate appearances required to qualify for rate stat leaderboards, it is worth noting that only 11 qualifying players in the modern era have been in their age-20 season and finished with an OPS+ higher than the one currently owned by Harper.
Here and there
• The Rockies defeated the Phillies, 5-3, with Jorge De La Rosa picking up his 13th win. De La Rosa went 6 1/3 innings and did not allow a home run, and he is averaging 0.48 HR per nine innings for the season. Teammate Jhoulys Chacin is averaging 0.35 HR per nine innings. Those two figures would be the lowest and third lowest in Rockies history for a pitcher who qualified for the ERA title. Chacin leads the NL in this category while De La Rosa is fifth.
• Justin Morneau drove in four of the Twins' six runs as Minnesota defeated Detroit, 6-3. Morneau has 25 games with four or more RBIs in his 11-year career with the Twins, the fourth-most games for the franchise since moving to Minnesota. Harmon Killebrew tops this list at 39, and he is followed by Gary Gaetti (28) and Kirby Puckett (26).
• Detroit's Prince Fielder hit his 20th home run of the year, giving him 280 for his career. Fielder's 280 tie him with Mantle and Darryl Strawberry for the 15th most in history for any player through his first nine seasons.
• Yasiel Puig hit a solo homer (his 12th home run of the season) in the eighth inning to give the Dodgers a 5-4 lead that turned into a 6-4 victory. Puig has 30 extra-base hits in his 68-game career -- the fifth most for any Dodgers player since 1916. Johnny Frederick leads with 36 through his first 68 games, and is followed by Del Bissonette (35), Babe Herman (34) and Gibby Brack (33).
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.