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 Posted: Mon Jul 31st, 2017 10:22 pm
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lobo316



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The Pittsburgh Pirates added a veteran reliever to their bullpen, acquiring right-hander Joaquin Benoit from the Philadelphia Phillies for pitching prospect Seth McGarry, the Pirates announced on Monday.

The deal comes shortly after Pittsburgh parted ways with left-hander Tony Watson, who was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two prospects.

With the trade, Benoit joins his eighth organization and will provide the Bucs with some veteran depth in Watson's absence. In 44 games this season, Benoit pitched to a 4.07 ERA with 43 strikeouts. He'll be a free agent at the end of the year.

McGarry - an eighth-round pick of the Pirates in 2015 - performed to a 1.34 ERA, 14 saves, and 38 strikeouts in 31 games pitching in Single-A.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 31st, 2017 10:22 pm
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Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. has been placed on the 10-day disabled list for the same back issue that caused him to miss approximately two weeks in June.

Right-hander Brad Peacock will temporarily replace McCullers in the rotation, taking his scheduled start Friday against the Toronto Blue Jays, according to Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle.

McCullers admitted Monday he may have rushed himself back from his last stint on the disabled list.

"Coming off (the DL) last time, that's where I thought I needed to be," McCullers told Mark Eisenhauer of the Houston Chronicle. "I knew that at a time when Collin (McHugh) was still out and I think Dallas (Keuchel) was still out, so I knew we were thin and I was trying to eat up innings ... but at some point enough is enough."

In 19 starts this season, McCullers is sporting a 3.92 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 105 2/3 innings while striking out 10.1 batters per nine.

In corresponding roster moves, the Astros recalled hurler Michael Feliz and first baseman AJ Reed.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 31st, 2017 10:23 pm
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lobo316



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Oh, how the tables have turned.

It was back in December - after the Boston Red Sox swung a blockbuster trade to acquire ace Chris Sale - that New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman expressed some jealousy with his chief rival by suggesting an NBA-style superteam was about to take the field in Beantown.

"Boston's like the Golden State Warriors now of baseball," Cashman said on Dec. 6 in reaction to the Sale trade.

Fast forward to July 31, as Cashman pulled off his own heist at the deadline and nabbed Sonny Gray from the Oakland Athletics for three prospects in a move that greatly increases their chances of catching the Red Sox for the AL East title. Adding Gray to a stacked and balanced club that also features burgeoning superstars Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, among other notable names, might even signal the beginnings of a new dynastic era in the Bronx.

So you'll forgive Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski for throwing that Warriors jab back at Cashman while reacting to the Yankees' star-studded deadline move on Monday afternoon.

"You mean the Golden State Warriors, you're talking about? Yeah. Yeah, I think the Golden State Warriors have made some significant moves," Dombrowski quipped to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald when asked about the Yankees' deal.

"I think Brian probably has made them (the Yankees) the Golden State Warriors and we're the significant underdogs, when I'm listening to the MLB Network," he continued. "So it kind of switched.

"I don't know how they'll lose a game right now."

Sale, of course, has been as advertised and then some during his first season pitching at Fenway Park, but there are still problems in Boston despite his dominance. Boston enters play Monday on a 3-7 slide in its last 10 games while sitting a half-game back of the Yankees in the division.

The Yankees, meanwhile, have shaken off a mid-July drought to retake command of the AL East thanks to an 8-2 run. In addition to landing Gray on Monday, Cashman also swung a multi-player deal on July 19 to acquire third baseman Todd Frazier plus relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle from the White Sox for a package of prospects.

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 Posted: Mon Jul 31st, 2017 10:24 pm
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Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow wanted to make a big trade-deadline splash. It didn't happen, though, and the executive didn't hide his disappointment after the fact.

The Astros were rumored to be in pursuit of relievers Zach Britton and Justin Wilson, and starters Lance Lynn and Ervin Santana, but in the end, the club added only southpaw Francisco Liriano, from Toronto, who will pitch out of the bullpen.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say I was disappointed in not getting some of the moves done that we were working on," Luhnow said Monday post-deadline, according to the Houston Chronicle's Jake Kaplan. "We had some that were close to and almost over the finish line and at times I wouldn't put them at 90-percent plus that we were going to get them done. But there are a lot of dynamics that happen with these deals, and for reasons I can't really talk about they didn't happen.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow on OF Derek Fisher: “Fisher is here and I don’t see him going anywhere."

— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) July 31, 2017
"But I do believe that this team has what it takes to win in the postseason with the players we have. It doesn't mean we didn't try hard to improve those chances even just a little bit. Each little bit that you can improve your chances of winning in the postseason helps and we tried. Early in the trading season the cost was extremely high on all players. They did come down a little bit in certain areas to the point where we thought we had some deals done. And they were deals that we were excited about getting over the finish line. But they didn't happen and so we move on."

The Astros remain the class of the American League, with the West all but locked up already. It's clear, though, that Luhnow wanted to push his team over the top - much like the Los Angeles Dodgers did in the National League West.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:38 pm
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Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had a busy deadline weekend, shipping off veterans Yu Darvish, Jonathan Lucroy, and Jeremy Jeffress in three separate transactions.

At least one player who's still in the Rangers' organization is apparently wishing he was added to that list.

Jurickson Profar, the Rangers' former top prospect who was once billed as a potential superstar, is reportedly unhappy about not being dealt to another club and has apparently expressed these feelings to his current organization, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Several teams, including the Atlanta Braves, were reported to have interest in the 24-year-old prior to the deadline, though it's not clear if the Rangers came close to dealing him.

Profar's stock has fallen from his days as the top prospect in baseball. Once thought to be a key part of the Rangers' future, the Curacaoan has regressed this year to the point that he's found himself stuck in Triple-A. He's hit just .172/.294/.207 (10-for-58) in 22 big-league games this season, only seven of which have come after April 25. He's also failed to stick at multiple positions defensively, and has played five different positions for the Rangers in the last two years.

On the farm he's been excellent, however, hitting .300/.386/.440 with 24 doubles and more walks (35) than strikeouts (21) for the Round Rock Express, while playing primarily as a shortstop. However, his season ground to a halt on Monday when the Express announced Profar had been placed on the disabled list with an undisclosed injury.

Profar, who missed all of the 2014 and '15 seasons due to shoulder issues, owns a .638 OPS in 206 big-league games with the Rangers.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:40 pm
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Jose Altuve is probably sad to see July go - although the way he's hitting, August won't be slowing him down any time soon.

The diminutive second baseman closed out his incredible month with a 2-for-4 night in the Houston Astros' 14-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Monday that ensured his work over the past 31 days won't be forgotten for some time. Altuve hit .485 over the month of July - a mark that left him tied for the fifth-highest average over a single calendar month (minimum 75 at-bats) in baseball's expansion era (since 1961), according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Per ESPN's David Schoenfield, Altuve narrowly missed out on becoming just the third player since 1961 to hit .500 for a month. Only two men - Todd Helton in May 2000, and Ivan Rodriguez in June 2004 - have surpassed the .500 mark during a single calendar month since the sport first expanded from 16 teams.

Altuve's 48 hits in July were the most by an Astros player in a calendar month since Lance Berkman had 49 in May 2008.

— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) August 1, 2017
The 27-year-old Altuve also posted a .525 on-base percentage in July, and struck out just nine times.



Altuve now leads all American League hitters in a variety of categories this season, including batting average (.368), hits (148), doubles (33), and on-base percentage (.430). He's on pace to record his fourth straight 200-hit campaign and third batting title in four years.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:43 pm
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Chicago White Sox outfielder Willy Garcia was placed on the seven-day disabled list Tuesday with a concussion, the team announced.

Garcia was involved in a scary collision with baseball's top prospect, Yoan Moncada, Monday night against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yoan Moncada inadvertently knees Willy Garcia in the head. pic.twitter.com/N0c6Ix2rtP

— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) August 1, 2017
Moncada ended up being carted off the field with what was later diagnosed as a right knee contusion.

Garcia told reporters postgame he was fine after the violent-looking collision, which saw Moncada's knee drill him in the head, knocking him unconscious. He later said he didn't remember what happened until he saw the video.

"When I saw the video, I saw the collision, I was like, 'Wow, that was hard.'" he explained, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin. "I feel much better now. At first I wasn't feeling good."

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:44 pm
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During a Tuesday appearance on "Prime Time Sports," Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said he's optimistic injured second baseman Devon Travis will make his long awaited return by the end of the month, according to Sportsnet's Mike Wilner.

The 26-year-old, who hasn't played since June 4, had surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his right knee. In his place, the Blue Jays have relied on Darwin Barney, Ryan Goins, and the recently acquired Rob Refsnyder.

Travis made his debut in 2015 but has been hampered by various ailments since his arrival to the majors.

He missed parts of his rookie year with a shoulder injury that led to surgery and was removed from last year's postseason roster due to a bone bruise in his knee - the same issue that led to surgery this season.

Prior to his injury, Travis was mashing at the plate, hitting .352/.363/.611 with 16 doubles since May 1.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:44 pm
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It's been a rough season for Dustin Pedroia in terms of health, which became further complicated Tuesday when the Boston Red Sox placed the second baseman on the 10-day disabled list with left knee inflammation, retroactive to July 29.

Pedroia hasn't appeared in a game since July 28 and hits the DL for the second time this season.

In April, Pedroia suffered a knee injury - missing nearly a week - after being spiked by Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles at second base.

He also hit the DL near the end of May because of a severe sprain of his left wrist.

Newly acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez will start at second on Tuesday, while Brock Holt is also an option to receive playing time in Pedroia's absence.

Pedroia, the 2008 American League MVP has appeared in 85 games this season, hitting .307/.381/.411 with six home runs and 54 RBIs.

The scrappy 33-year-old owns a career slash line of .301/.367/.443 with 139 home runs and 716 RBIs.

In a corresponding move, the Red Sox added right-handed trade acquisition Addison Reed to the 25-man roster.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:45 pm
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Edinson Volquez's up-and-down first season in Miami has come to a sudden end.

Marlins manager Don Mattingly announced Tuesday that the 34-year-old right-hander - who's currently on the disabled list with left knee tendinitis - will miss the rest of the season due to the issue.

"Not good at all," Mattingly told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald about Volquez's knee. "He's definitely out."

Volquez received a second opinion on his knee this week which confirmed the prognosis, Mattingly said.

Tendinitis sent Volquez to the 10-day DL on July 6, one day after he'd allowed four earned runs in four uneven innings of work against the Cardinals. At the time, Mattingly told MLB.com's Jonathan Hawthorne that he expected Volquez to return to the rotation in the first series following the All-Star break. That return never happened, however, making Volquez's July 5 outing his final appearance of the 2017 season.

Volquez, who joined the Marlins on a two-year, $22-million contract last winter, finishes his first year with the club owning a 4-8 record, 4.19 ERA, and 1.419 WHIP, while averaging 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings across 17 starts. On June 3, he threw the sixth no-hitter in Marlins history against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Volquez isn't the only player the Marlins lost for the year on Tuesday, as Mattingly also revealed that rookie shortstop J.T. Riddle won't play again this year. Riddle, who took over as the Marlins' starting shortstop after Adeiny Hechavarria was traded to Tampa Bay in June, has been out with biceps tendinitis since July 22; he may require shoulder surgery.

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 Posted: Tue Aug 1st, 2017 10:46 pm
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With several contending teams such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals improving their lineups at the trade deadline, the Houston Astros - second in the league with 69 wins - decided to stand pat.

The front office's decision appears to have rubbed its ace and 2015 American League Cy Young award winner the wrong way.

"I'm not gonna lie, disappointment is a little bit of an understatement," Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel said when speaking to reporters on Tuesday, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.

"A bunch of teams really bolstered their rosters for the long haul and for a huge playoff push, us kind of staying pat was really disappointing to myself. I know a lot of the guys feel like we can win in here and that's a pretty accurate statement and that's why we built such a great lead. I think now when it comes down to it, we're gonna win for each other," he said.

The Astros did acquire left-hander Francisco Liriano from the Toronto Blue Jays. But after being linked to several big names including Sonny Gray and Zach Britton among others, the club's lack of upgrades was noticeable.

To make matters worse, the Astros placed right-hander Lance McCullers - their second-best starter - on the disabled list with a back injury. He joins Carlos Correa (thumb) and George Springer (quad) as other key members currently sidelined.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:23 am
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On April 8, 2001, a 20-year-old left-hander named CC Sabathia strode to the mound for the Cleveland Indians in the top of the first inning to begin his first career start. On Tuesday - 499 major-league appearances later - he did it again in the Bronx.

In between, Sabathia's been busy starting on cue every five days for the past 17 summers, and on Tuesday the New York Yankees southpaw reached a significant milestone by making his 500th career start.

Sabathia is the 48th pitcher in baseball history to reach the mark - but only the second to start 500 games without one regular-season relief appearance. According to ESPN Stats & Info. Hall of Famer Tom Glavine is the only other pitcher to make at least 500 starts without throwing out of the bullpen; Glavine's 682 career starts rank 12th all time.

Sabathia's only career relief appearance came in Game 5 of the 2011 ALDS, when he pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed one run.

Reaching the 500-start mark is yet another testament to the durability of Sabathia over his storied career. He's failed to make at least 30 starts in a season just four times, and only once - during an injury-plagued 2014 campaign - did he make less than 28 starts. The 37-year-old is a three-time league leader in games started, and has pitched at least 200 innings in eight separate seasons.

The majority of his 500 starts have come in a Yankees uniform (246), with another 237 coming for the Indians, and 17 for Milwaukee in 2008.

Earlier this season Sabathia passed Frank Tanana for the fourth-most strikeouts by a left-handed pitcher in history.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:24 am
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Edinson Volquez may have thrown his last pitch with the Miami Marlins.

Hours after it was revealed that the right-hander would be shut down for the rest of the season due to left knee tendinitis, Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill revealed to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com that Volquez has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow and is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery.

The procedure will be performed on Friday, per ESPN's Buster Olney.

Volquez has been on the disabled list since early July with his knee issue, and it was announced earlier in the day that a second opinion confirmed the tendinitis would end his season. According to Hill, the right-hander felt pain in his elbow while rehabbing his knee injury, leading to an MRI and the discovery of the torn UCL.

"It's a devastating blow, no question," Hill said, according to Frisaro. "We brought him in to be a veteran stabilizer to this rotation. To lose him with the knee was a big blow. But now to know the elbow needs to be repaired is definitely difficult to deal with."

This will be the second time Volquez has been forced to have his UCL surgically repaired. He first underwent Tommy John surgery while a member of the Cincinnati Reds on Aug. 3, 2009 - nearly eight years to the day of Tuesday's announcement of the second procedure being required.

Volquez ends his 2017 season sporting a 4-8 record with a 4.19 ERA and 1.419 WHIP, while averaging 7.9 strikeouts per nine innings across 17 starts. He threw the sixth no-hitter in Marlins history on June 3.

The 34-year-old joined the Marlins this past winter on a two-year, $22-million contract. He'll make $13 million next season.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:26 am
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Adrian Beltre is getting too old to be playing on rebuilding clubs.

Despite his request to the front office to not have it sell off pieces at the non-waiver deadline, the Texas Rangers went ahead and dealt Yu Darvish, Jonathan Lucroy, and Jeremy Jeffress.

While Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels claimed the moves were not a sign that the club was giving up on the season, trading away a perennial All-Star in Darvish did not sit well with Beltre.

"We're not pleased with the trade," Beltre said, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. "I don't think we are completely sold on the situation being (hopeless) for this year. It was a tough situation.

"I know he's going to be a free agent and they were trying to get something. I try to understand the business side of it and I understand what they are doing, but on the baseball side you are not happy. That doesn't matter. That's not going to change our mentality."

The Rangers, who have reached the postseason in each of the past two seasons, lost their fourth straight game Tuesday to fall 19 games back in the division, and 5 1/2 back in the wild card.

Beltre is currently in his 20th major-league season and recorded his 3,000th career hit Sunday. He's owed $18 million in the final year of his contract next season when he'll be 39. The four-time All-Star has reached the World Series once in his career, losing with the Rangers in 2011.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:28 am
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Cleveland Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a hamstring issue, is now expected to miss at least six weeks due to a mild-to-moderate strain of his left hamstring tendon, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

Tomlin exited his start on Sunday after feeling hamstring tightness, and was placed on the DL the next day. Although manager Terry Francona told Cleveland.com on Monday that the club was hopeful Tomlin would only miss one or two starts, an MRI revealed that more recovery time would be needed.

Tomlin owns a 5.38 ERA in 20 starts this season, but has quietly put together a stellar 2017 season in other aspects. The 32-year-old has walked just 12 batters this year - lowest among all qualified starters - and is averaging a league-leading one walk per nine innings pitched. He's also held batters to a .169 average over his last four starts.

The news of Tomlin's extended absence comes on the same day that All-Star reliever Andrew Miller was placed on the 10-day DL due to right knee tendinitis.

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