Notes on Bostick, Simms, Harper, Strasburg and Turner

Second baseman Chris Bostick, a late addition to Arizona Fall League play, unloaded Thursday with two homers as Salt River outpaced Peoria 9-7.

Bostick went 3-for-4 with two-run shots in the sixth and eighth innings. He finished with three runs and four RBIs. Each of his homers gave the Rafters the lead: Down 4-3, his first made it 5-4 and tied at 5-5, his homer made it 7-5. He had two stolen bases on Wednesday and is hitting .375 in his first three games in Arizona. The speedy Bostick replaced Trea Turner representing the Nationals in AFL play.

Dating back to the end of the minor league season, Bostick has now hit five homers in his last 12 games.

John Simms (1-0) notched the victory with three innings of work. He allowed one run on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Reliever Abel del los Santos gave up two runs late, including a solo shot, but managed to get three outs to preserve the win.

Turner-Swings-Blue-Sidebar.jpg* There's a great review of N.C. State's 2011 top recruiting class in Baseball America, with lots of information on Turner, who received only one other Division I scholarship offer besides the Wolfpack. Check it out here.

* Mets reliever Jeurys Familia recorded a rare six-out save in lifting his team to the National League Championship Series, a moment that had to turn some stomachs in Nationals nation.

Familia has been lights-out in the postseason so far for the Mets, recording two saves in 5 1/3 innings of work without allowing a hit or a run and tossing 43 strikes. You imagine what Drew Storen might have been able to do if given the shot in the eighth. Of course, he did have some eighth innings that didn't work out. Or for that matter, the use of Stephen Strasburg (or lack thereof in 2014 postseason relief) in the seventh inning like manager Terry Collins employed starter Noah Syndergaard to help defeat the Dodgers.

The Nationals and other teams can definitely learn from the Mets' formula in that you need to put your best pitchers out there, regardless of regular season pedigree, in must win-situations, similar to the use of Jordan Zimmermann in postseason relief back in 2012 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series must-win vs. St. Louis.

* Today is Bryce Harper's 23rd birthday. Happy birthday, Bryce!

Here he is getting ready for church with his new "Frozen: The Movie" hair color from last week.

Harper is very likely to be named the NL Most Valuable Player this season after jacking 42 homers and bringing home 99 runs while hitting .330. His OPS of 1.109 was also a career high.

Harper is arbitration-eligible in 2017 and can become a free agent in 2019. When is it too early to talk about a contract extension? You certainly don't want teams like the Yankees to be able to grab him in his extended prime. With Mike Rizzo having so many Scott Boras clients under the Nationals umbrella, one would hope that relationship will pay dividends with these players as they near their free agent years. There is still some time with Harper, but I am sure it is becoming a bigger blip on the radar screen with every passing season.

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