Dan's Dugout: Does Cespedes Have 4-HR Future? • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Does Cespedes Have 4-HR Future?

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FLUSHING, NY – Anytime Yoenis Cespedes steps into the batter’s box, fans pay attention. Even his teammates watch the muscular Cuban slugger.

Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes could join 4-homer club Photo Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes could join 4-homer club
Photo Credit: George Napolitano/Latino Sports

When he steers clear of the hamstring problems that forced his early exit Thursday, he’s capable of hitting a home run at any time – especially when he gets into one of his hot streaks – and proved it this season with a three-homer game.

Cespedes could even hit four in a game, joining 16 others who did it previously.

Willie Mays is on the list, along with Mike Schmidt, Lou Gehrig, Gil Hodges, and ex-Met Shawn Green, who holds the record for total bases in a game (19, thanks to four home runs, a double, and a single).

But many more legendary sluggers never came close. The names of Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Mickey Mantle, and Harmon Killebrew are not on the short but select list.

No catcher, shortstop, designated hitter, or pitcher has done it, and nobody over age 31 (Cespedes is 29). And some of those who did it suddenly wilted like week-old tulips.

More than a dozen ballplayers have hit home runs in four consecutive bats, including Schmidt twice, and both Stan Musial and the illustrious Nate Colbert hit five in a single day.

But nobody has hit five in one game – not in the majors at least – and probably never will, thanks to the endless stream of fresh arms introduced for the late innings of every game.

Josh Hamilton, the last man to hit four, is probably finished. Just released by the Texas Rangers, the former American League MVP is having knee surgery. Again.

Albert Pujols is closing in on 600 home runs Credit: Lisa Luevanos

Albert Pujols is closing in on 600 home runs
Credit: Lisa Luevanos

And Albert Pujols, who hit four straight over a two-game span in 2006, is on a steep downhill slope that coincided with his transfer from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (suffice to say he’s no angel in St. Louis).

What current big-leaguers could produce a four-homer game? Now that Big Papi is gone, how about Bryce Harper (Nationals), Mike Trout (Angels), or Edwin Encarnacion (Indians)? And don’t forget Cespedes, who has become a folk hero in Flushing.

Elsewhere in baseball:

Seattle’s chances in the American League West took a hit when stud lefthander Felix Hernandez was sidelined with shoulder inflammation that may keep him out for a month . . .

The San Francisco Giants are so desperate for offensive help that they promoted veteran Mike Morse, a member of their 2014 world championship team, and jumped into the trade talks for Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun (coveted by the Dodgers) . . .

Long-time Giants batting coach Hensley (Bam Bam) Meulens, the first major-leaguer from Curacao, was actually knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands . . .

Mets lefty reliever Jerry Blevins, who stranded a best-in-baseball 47 inherited runners last year, left 13 of his first 15 on base so far this year . . .

The Los Angeles Dodgers are signing the praises of blue-chip rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger, recently promoted for the first time . . .

Ex-Met R.A. Dickey, now with the Braves, went 19-15 with a 2.77 ERA at

R.A. Dickey's pet pitch helps him eat innings

R.A. Dickey’s pet pitch helps him eat innings

CitiField before starting Thursday’s day game there . . .

Cubs centerfielder Albert Almora, who succeeded free agent deserter Dexter Fowler with the World Champion Cubs, was the first amateur draft choice made by Theo Epstein for the club in 2012 . . .

Psst, pass it on: in the 55 years of their existence, the Houston Astros have never won a World Series game . . .

Albert Pujols is about to become the ninth member of the 600 Home Run Club . . .

 

He doesn’t get much ink but Atlanta rightfielder Nick Markakis ranks third in hits since 2008 . . .

The Houston Astros believe they can dethrone the Texas Rangers, champions of the AL West the last two years . . .

Future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki, finishing career with the Marlins, has already made seven visits to Cooperstown . . .

The Boston Red Sox are raving about rookie leftfielder Andrew Benintendi.

Ecuador native Jamie Jarrin, 81, is in his 59th year as Spanish-language broadcaster for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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