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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:29 am
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The Cleveland Indians' biggest strength took a major hit Wednesday when the team placed left-handed reliever Andrew Miller on the 10-day disabled list with patella tendinitis in his right knee, the team announced.

"It's something Andrew has been battling for the last month," team president Chris Antonetti said, according to MLB Network.

"It just got to the point where, given his workload and volume that he pitches, it's been tough for him to get through. Rather than ask him to continue to pitch through it, we went to Andrew and thought this made the most sense. We can get it behind us and have him strong for the balance of the season, rather than have him continue to compensate for it."

Miller, 32, is in the midst of another fine season, posting a 1.67 ERA and a strikeout rate of 13 per nine innings in 46 appearances for the Indians.

The two-time All-Star has worked a total of 147 2/3 innings - including the playoffs - across the last two seasons and hasn't posted an ERA above 2.64 since 2013 with the Boston Red Sox.

Over the course of his career, he owns a 4.02 ERA and 1.34 WHIP across 12 big-league seasons, although he's enjoyed most of his success as a reliever.

Cleveland is in a tight race atop the American League Central, leading the Kansas City Royals by two games.

In a corresponding move, the Indians recalled right-hander Adam Plutko from Triple-A Columbus.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:30 am
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Thanks to a cumulatively brilliant July, Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve was named American League Player of the Month by MLB on Wednesday.

In 23 games, Altuve put up video-game-like numbers at the dish, hitting .485/.523/.727 with an absurd 1.251 OPS. He also swiped a team-high eight stolen bases during that span.

Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was the pick out of the National League. The three-time All-Star hit an impressive .389/.423/.744 with a 1.167 OPS and eight home runs to go along with 30 RBIs.

Switching over to the pitcher's mound, southpaws James Paxton and Rich Hill were handed the hardware. The Seattle Mariners stud pitched to a 6-0 record with a 1.37 ERA, 46 strikeouts, and no home runs allowed. Hill also went undefeated for the Los Angeles Dodgers in July, posting a 4-0 record with 40 strikeouts while limiting hitters to a .171 batting average.

Altuve's teammate, first baseman and 33-year-old Yuli Gurriel, took home AL Rookie of the Month. In 22 games, he hit .304/.333/.565 with five home runs and 20 RBIs.

St. Louis Cardinals rookie shortstop Paul DeJong was the NL choice after a torrid stretch that included a home run in his first at bat in the majors. The 24-year-old finished July hitting .298/.347/.638 with eight doubles, eight home runs, and 16 RBIs.

And another Mariners pitcher grabbed monthly honors. Right-hander Edwin Diaz was chosen as the AL Reliever of the Month after converting eight saves, striking out 21 batters, and recording a 1.98 ERA.

In the NL, San Diego Padres lefty reliever Brad Hand earned Reliever of the Month thanks to a brilliant performance that included a stretch of 11 1/3 scoreless innings. During that span, the 27-year-old struck out 19 batters and converted four saves.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 12:31 am
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The Boston Red Sox crave far more than Big Papi's elite-level offence.

In an interview on Wednesday, Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts opened up about how members of the team - specifically himself - have struggled to maintain consistent leadership, adding that the loss of David Ortiz has effected the clubhouse in more ways than one.

"This year has just been rough. Just a lot of failure. A lot of adversity," Betts said during his appearance on the Bradfo Sho. "You come off a good year last year, had David to kind of protect us. Now that he's not here we don't have one big person to oversee everything. We just have to kind of collectively as a unit pick up where he left off. I feel like I haven't done my part. I do what I can. Pedey has been great. He's been playing great. Other guys. Sale has been pitching great."

"...All we knew here was David Ortiz. Just knowing that not one guy has taken the brunt, we have to understand that. And it took a little while to understand that. It took us a little while to find our identity. I think we're starting to figure it out. Nobody is going to take a month and we are going to know. It may take us a couple of more years to fully understand it."

The topic of leadership, or lack thereof, has been a topic of discussion all season in Boston. It began earlier in the season when Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, leading to several days of commotion.

Separately, David Price has been questioned and centered out by reporters several times this year, and it persisted after his confrontation with analyst Dennis Eckersley became public.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 09:09 pm
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ATLANTA (AP) The Braves relied on their specialties - pinch-hit homers and last at-bat wins - against baseball's best team.

Tyler Flowers had a tiebreaking pinch-hit, two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift Atlanta to a 5-3 win over Los Angeles on Wednesday night, ending the Dodgers' nine-game winning streak.

The Braves have hit six pinch-hit homers this season to share the major league lead with San Diego. Their 16 wins in their final at-bat lead the majors.

Cody Bellinger hit his 30th homer in the second inning to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Danny Santana's two-run homer in the bottom of the second gave Atlanta the lead.

Flowers' first career pinch-hit homer off Pedro Baez (3-2) drove in Johan Camargo, who walked with two outs. He certainly wasn't surprised to be told he had never hit another homer as a pinch-hitter. He is 2 for 18 in his career as a pinch-hitter, so it has been easy for him to track the hits.

''I've only got two hits pinch-hitting so yeah, that's the first one,'' Flowers said.

Flowers said pinch-hitting ''hasn't been very kind to me.''

The Braves ended the Dodgers' major league-record streak of 53 consecutive wins when leading at any point of a game. The Dodgers led 1-0 and 3-2.

The last time the Dodgers lost after leading in a game was May 15, when they led 1-0 before losing 8-4 at San Francisco.

The Braves, who were swept in a four-game series by last-place Philadelphia to close July, have played much better against the Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors. The Dodgers are 20-3 in their last 23 games, with all three losses against the Braves.

''They play hard,'' said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. ''They play the right way. It's a good offense. ... They're a scrappy bunch. They've got some athleticism.''

Rex Brothers (2-2) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Atlanta, which snapped a six-game losing streak.

Arodys Vizcaino, who has taken the closer's role from Jim Johnson, pitched a perfect ninth for his third save.

Julio Teheran allowed three runs on four hits in five innings for Atlanta. He left the game after five innings with cramping in his right thigh that he felt in a fourth-inning at-bat.

Braves manager Brian Snitker said he was being cautious by pulling Teheran and said he expects the right-hander to make his next start.

Brock Stewart allowed two runs in four innings for Los Angeles.

The loss prevented the Dodgers, who have the best record in the majors, from having three winning streaks of at least 10 games in a season for the first time in franchise history. The Dodgers won 10 in a row from June 16-25 and 11 straight from July 4-19.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 09:11 pm
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Former president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Dodgers Jamie McCourt is being tapped to serve as the United States ambassador to France and Monaco.

President Donald Trump announced the White House's intention to nominate McCourt in a press release last week.

McCourt served as the co-owner, president, and CEO of the Dodgers at different times throughout 2004-12. She relinquished her stake in the team to her ex-husband Frank during their divorce for a reported $130 million.

Jeffrey Loria, the owner of the Miami Marlins, was previously reported to be under consideration for the position of U.S. ambassador to France. Loria donated $125,000 to the Trump campaign prior to POTUS' election.

The Marlins are still searching for a new ownership group, with Loria's stake in the team for sale since the offseason.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 09:12 pm
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Three days after Michael Fulmer gave up six earned runs over six innings, the Detroit Tigers placed the starting pitcher on the 10-day disabled list with elbow ulnar neuritis, the team announced. The move is retroactive to Aug. 1.

Fulmer has been a bright spot during an underwhelming season for the Tigers, as the 24-year-old starting pitcher has posted a 3.59 ERA and 3.44 FIP over 140 1/3 innings in his sophomore campaign.

As a corresponding move, the Tigers promoted 33-year-old reliever Edward Mujica.

Mujica hasn't pitched in the major leagues since the 2015 season, during which he split time between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 3rd, 2017 09:13 pm
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Yu still loves you, Texas.

Less than a week after being acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers, right-hander and former Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish thanked fans from the Lone Star State in a full-page ad in Thursday's edition of the Dallas Morning News.

Check out the ad Yu Darvish took out in @dallasnews to thank the Rangers fanshttps://t.co/IXoQ7K2ZAG pic.twitter.com/oUqXeFY0z0

— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) August 3, 2017
"Thank you very much for the past five and a half years since 2012," Darvish wrote.

"Coming from Japan, I could not have adjusted to the new environment if it weren't for the courteous fans, teammates, team staff and all affiliates who supported me. It is my biggest regret that I gave up 10 runs on my last outing as a Ranger."

Despite apologizing for his disastrous final outing, he defended himself against skeptics who believed he was only ever interested in racking up big strikeout numbers.

"There was a small number of voices that said 'Darvish only cares about strikeouts.' Although I may have had strikeouts in my mind, fans, teammates, and team staff were always my top priority. Thank you very much for everything! Please take care," he said.

A pitching sensation in Japan, Darvish came to Texas in 2012 after the organization posted a winning bid of $51.7 million. Both sides later agreed to a six-year, $56-million contract. He combined to a 52-39 record and posted a 3.42 ERA with just under 1,000 strikeouts throughout his time with the Rangers.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2017 09:31 pm
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Following Monday's trade deadline, members of the Houston Astros have been outspoken about the front office's failure to bring in reinforcements for the postseason push. However, a new report suggests it might not be all the Astros' fault.

"We thought we had a couple deals done," Astros owner Jim Crane told ESPN 97.5 on Tuesday, "and they got vetoed." Discussing one potential trade in particular, Crane said "medicals were exchanged and then (it) got vetoed at the top," but added that it wasn't in his interest to call out "another owner."

Though Crane didn't name names, sources told Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports that the Astros had a deal done for Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton, and the Orioles killed it on deadline day.

There is reportedly some disagreement, however, about how that trade fell apart. Sources connected to the Orioles say it never got to the stage requiring owner Peter Angelos' approval, and Baltimore actually pulled out based on at least one Astros player's medical.

That's not quite what Crane implied in his comments about the Astros' difficulty making moves.

"It wasn't because (general manager Jeff Luhnow) wasn't trying. We realize we could have made some adjustments," Crane said. "People weren't willing to let go of some of the players we wanted."

In the weeks leading up to the deadline, it was reported that Angelos had granted Dan Duquette, the team's long-tenured general manager, permission to trade away Baltimore's top relievers.

The lone deadline deal the Astros pulled off was a swap with the Toronto Blue Jays to acquire left-hander Francisco Liriano, whom they plan to use out of the bullpen.

Conversely, the Orioles toed the line of buying and selling by acquiring Jeremy Hellickson and Tim Beckham in separate deals while maintaining a competitive roster, including the squad's premium late-relief options.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2017 09:38 pm
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CHICAGO (AP) Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday because of a strained right foot.

An All-Star last season, Russell is batting .241 with 10 homers and 36 RBIs. He has 11 errors after committing 14 a year ago. Manager Joe Maddon said the foot has been ''bothering him noticeably'' in recent days.

''We just thought it was wise to get it settled down right now,'' Maddon said. ''And that's what we're doing.''

Russell also has been bothered at times by shoulder pain. Maddon said the foot problem is unrelated.

''That's not been part of the issue,'' he said.

Chicago also called up left-handed pitcher Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa before Friday's game against the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. Zastryzny made one appearance for the Cubs in May and pitched in eight games for them last season.

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 Posted: Fri Aug 4th, 2017 09:40 pm
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Jaime Garcia may have to take a look in the mirror to make sure he knows which team he's starting for Friday.

The left-hander is set to make his New York Yankees debut against the Cleveland Indians exactly one week after he made his Minnesota Twins debut, and two weeks after his final start for the Atlanta Braves.

Garcia's been traded three times since last December and twice since July 24. He'll make some history when he takes the mound in Cleveland, becoming the first pitcher to make three straight appearances as a starter for three different teams since Gus Weyhing in 1895, according to Yankees PR.

While being traded twice in the span of a week wasn't ideal for Garcia, he was happy that his final destination ended up being the Bronx.

"The Yankees have always been my family's favorite team and my favorite team growing up," Garcia said Tuesday, according to Wallace Matthews of the New York Times. "My grandfather loved the Yankees, and he always told me when I was a kid he saw me playing for the Yankees someday. He passed away when I was 13. So the first call I made was to my mom. She got very emotional when I told her I was going to be a Yankee."

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2017 02:01 am
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Ichiro notches career hit No. 3,061, moving past Hall of Famer Craig Biggio for 22nd on all-time list. pic.twitter.com/XOsZa49kgC

— MLB Stat of the Day (@MLBStatoftheDay) August 5, 2017
Ichiro Suzuki is still adding to his surefire Hall of Fame resume.

The Miami Marlins' iconic outfielder slapped a pinch-hit, eighth-inning single to the gap in right-center field Friday off Atlanta Braves pitcher Jim Johnson for the 3,061st hit of his career. That nudged him past Houston Astros legend Craig Biggio for 22nd in hits all time.

Ichiro could be eyeing a spot in the top 20 by the end of the season. In his way are both Dave Winfield and Alex Rodriguez, who smacked 3,110 and 3,115 hits in their careers, respectively.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2017 02:03 am
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The Seattle Mariners have placed Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 2 with biceps tendinitis in his right throwing arm.

Hernandez last pitched on July 31 against the Texas Rangers, during which the right-hander allowed four runs on six hits and three walks.

King Felix has already spent time on the disabled list in 2017, missing nearly two months with shoulder bursitis. Since coming back from that injury, the 31-year-old has posted a 4.02 ERA and 5.32 FIP over eight starts - struggling in his last two outings in particular.

In a corresponding move, the Mariners have recalled left-handed pitcher Marco Gonzales.

The Mariners acquired Gonzales ahead of the trade deadline from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Tyler O'Neill.

The 25-year-old starter has made seven career starts in the big leagues and has a 5.53 ERA and 5.72 FIP. In a pair of starts with the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate, Gonzales has a 4.50 ERA and 3.76 FIP.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2017 02:04 am
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I bet benlen is happier than pigs in shit upon hearing this news.





The Kung Fu Panda is back in the Bay Area.

Ahead of Saturday's game at AT&T Park, the Giants added to their active roster third baseman Pablo Sandoval, the longtime fan favorite in San Francisco who signed a minor-league deal with his former club last month after being released by the Boston Red Sox.

Sandoval will replace Brandon Belt on the active roster. The 29-year-old first baseman took a pitch off his head in Friday's 2-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Sandoval, a two-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion during his first stint with the Giants, will now look to get his career back on track in his old digs following a disastrous three-year run in Boston. The 30-year-old struggled hard in the first season of his five-year, $90-million deal, and barely played over the following two campaigns due to injury and poor performance, finishing with a meager .646 OPS in 161 games with the Red Sox from 2015 through 2017.

Before his career turned sour in Boston, though, Sandoval was considered among the better third basemen in the National League, as the colorful Venezuela native hit .294/.346/.465 (123 OPS+) from 2008 through 2014, averaging 15 homers and 27 doubles per season.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2017 02:06 am
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired utility man Sean Rodriguez from the Atlanta Braves, the team announced Saturday.

Following last Monday's non-waiver trade deadline, the Braves placed Rodriguez on revocable waivers. After being claimed by the Pirates, the two teams worked out a deal to send the 32-year-old back to Pittsburgh.

In exchange, the Braves acquired corner infield prospect Connor Joe from the Pirates. The 24-year-old is posting a .718 OPS through 74 games at Double-A this season.

Rodriguez spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons with the Pirates, slashing .260/.321/.447 over 279 games. The only defensive position Pittsburgh didn't use Rodriguez in during the two-year span was catcher.

Rodriguez's tenure with the Braves was an abbreviated one. After signing a two-year deal with the team worth $11.5 million this past offseason, Rodriguez was involved in a car crash which kept him out of big-league action until July 17. Rodriguez ultimately played just 15 games across four defensive positions with the Braves.

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 Posted: Sun Aug 6th, 2017 02:06 am
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Chad Bettis' triumphant return to the majors after battling cancer is getting closer.

The Colorado Rockies officially activated Bettis from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday, two days after he completed his final rehab start with the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. But he was immediately optioned to Albuquerque as part of a series of roster moves on Saturday, meaning his official return to the big leagues will have to wait a bit longer.

Rockies skipper Bud Black told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post on Friday that Bettis will make at least one more appearance for the Isotopes. The 28-year-old appears to be on track to return on Aug. 13 when the Rockies visit Miami, the Post's Nick Groke reported Friday.

Because they optioned Bettis to the minors, the Rockies cannot recall him to the big leagues for another 10 days unless he's needed as an injury replacement.

Bettis was diagnosed with testicular cancer last November and underwent surgery to remove one of his testicles. Though he was initially given a clean bill of health at that time, the cancer had spread during spring training and he needed chemotherapy; the chemo treatments ended in May, and in June he rejoined the Rockies in Denver with an eye on returning to the mound this year.

In five rehab outings split between Albuquerque and the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, Bettis owns a 4.91 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, and has struck out 15 batters while issuing seven walks.

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