As the calendar turned to September for the second and final full month of the coronavirus-stricken 2020 MLB regular season, the chase began for the league’s 16 playoff spots. A hectic trade deadline on Monday saw Kailua’s Joey Cantillo get dealt from the San Diego Padres to the Cleveland Indians.
[Latest stories from Hawaii’s Sports Station — KHON2 Sports]
Meanwhile, on the field, Hawaii’s Kolten Wong and Mid-Pacific’s Isiah Kiner-Falefa both had big weeks at the plate. Here’s how players with Hawaii ties fared during another week of the 2020 MLB season:
Kolten Wong, second baseman, St. Louis Cardinals (Kamehameha-Hawaii and University of Hawaii): Kolten was molten at the plate this week, hitting .391 (9-for-23) as the Cardinals went 5-2, including taking three of four from the Chicago Cubs, the current leader in the National League Central division. Wong is currently hitting .257 for the Cardinals, who at 17-15 are currently the No. 5 seed in the NL playoff standings. Wong also continues to flash the leather at second base, where he was the 2019 NL Gold Glove Award winner.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, third base, Texas Rangers (Mid-Pacific): Like Wong, Kiner-Falefa’s bat has also started to heat up. He was 8-for-22 this week, including his second home run of the year. He’s also currently on a nine-game hitting streak.
Kiner-Falefa, who is hitting .295, has been one of the few bright spots this season for the Rangers, who are on a five-game losing streak. At 13-26, they are second to last in the in the American League standings behind the Boston Red Sox.
Kurt Suzuki, catcher, Washington Nationals (Baldwin): Suzuki’s hitting streak came to an end at 12 games when he went 0-for-4 in a 6-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. The defending World Series champion Nationals continue to struggle at 14-25, as they are only ahead of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL standings.
Greg Garcia, infielder, San Diego Padres (University of Hawaii): Garcia remains active but played sparingly this week, flying out in his lone at-bat of the week on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels. However, the Padres (25-17) continue to win and are currently third place in the NL playoff standings.
Josh Rojas, utility, Arizona Diamondbacks (University of Hawaii): Rojas was recalled from the 60-man player pool earlier in the week, joining the active roster for the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. He’s played at third base, second base and designated hitter during his five consecutive starts this week, going 3-for-14 at the plate with one RBI.
Rico Garcia, pitcher, San Francisco Giants (Hawaii Pacific): Garcia was brought back to the active MLB roster over the weekend but has not appeared in any games since.
Other players with Hawaii ties in MLB 60-man player pools:
Joey Cantillo, pitcher, Cleveland Indians (Kailua): Cantillo was traded to the Indians during the trade deadline as one of the centerpieces of the Mike Clevinger deal that brought him to San Diego.
Kodi Medeiros, pitcher, Chicago White Sox (Waiakea): Medeiros, the 12th overall pick of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers, was added to 60-man player pool for the White Sox at the end of August. He has yet to appear in an MLB game.
Jordan Yamamoto, starting pitcher, Miami Marlins (Saint Louis)
David Freitas, catcher, Milwaukee Brewers (University of Hawaii)
Inactive players with Hawaii ties on MLB rosters:
Kirby Yates, closer, San Diego Padres (Kauai)