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lobo316



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Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols has become the fourth-youngest player to record 550 or more home runs and 1,700 RBIs after driving in a run Saturday night against the Texas Rangers.
With a fielder's choice groundout, @PujolsFivebecomes just the 11th player all-time to log 1,700 RBI & 550 HR.https://t.co/OgI8UR2cM8
— Angels (@Angels) April 10, 2016
Only New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez and Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron have accomplished the feat quicker.
Pujols, who boasts 560 career homers on his resume, also moved into sole possession of 24th on the all-time RBI list, and is closing in rapidly on Reggie Jackson and Frank Thomas.


The 36-year-old slugger is off to a slow start this season, hitting .125/.125/.125 in four games prior to Saturday's contest.



RANK       PLAYER           RBI
20       Frank Robinson    1812
21       Honus Wagner     1732
22       Frank Thomas      1704
23       Reggie Jackson     1702
24       Albert Pujols         1700 

Last edited on Sun Apr 10th, 2016 08:42 am by lobo316

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PHOENIX - Kyle Schwarber says he wouldn't change a thing about the way he pursued that flyball in the gap.

Except, of course, how it turned out.

On crutches, his voice cracking at times, the young Chicago Cubs slugger said Saturday that he's already getting ready to play in 2017.

''I look at it as I've got a whole year to prepare for a new season,'' Schwarber said. ''I'm going to be feeling like I'm coming back even better.''

Schwarber's 2016 season ended just as it was getting started when he tore ligaments in his left knee Thursday in an outfield collision at Arizona.

Schwarber is headed for surgery sometime in the next three weeks.

Normally a catcher, the 23-year-old Schwarber was playing left field when he banged into center fielder Dexter Fowler chasing a drive by Jean Segura that wound up as an inside-the-park home run.

''That was just a perfect placed ball,'' Schwarber said. ''It's just a freak accident.''

Schwarber found out Friday that he was sidelined for the season. He said he was very disappointed for about 30 minutes, especially with the Cubs considered World Series contenders, but added his teammates helped boost him.

''Now I have to be there for them in a different way,'' Schwarber said. ''They reiterated that I'm still going to be a part of this team, which means a lot to me. Obviously a long process ahead, but that means a lot coming from the players and staff.''

Schwarber hasn't been told yet when his surgery will take place or when rehabilitation will begin. He said he knew it was serious when his knee swelled up the night of the injury.

''I could definitely feel bad if I did something wrong, or if I wasn't playing hard or something in that nature. But me and Dex did everything that we possibly could to catch that ball,'' Schwarber said.

''My spirits won't get down. I know it's going to be a long road, there's going to be ups and downs, so I just have to keep a good attitude with this,'' he said.

Schwarber made his major league debut last year. He went to hit a franchise-record five homers in nine postseason games.

Fowler described the collision as a ''car crash,'' and that neither player called for the ball to make the catch.

''That's a big man right there,'' said Fowler, who has been playing despite hip soreness from the accident. ''But you respect the hell out of him for the way he handled it. We both were going hard and stuff like that happens.''

Schwarber originally thought his ankle was hurt the worse. Those X-rays came back with nothing more than a sprain, but an MRI revealed the torn knee ligaments. He's going back to Chicago to meet with the Cubs' doctor when the team leaves Arizona after Sunday's game.

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New York Yankees southpaw CC Sabathia made a jubilant return to the mound Saturday, throwing six-plus innings of three-run ball to pick up the win in an 8-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

It was Sabathia's first start since undergoing rehab for alcohol abuse, and he couldn't wait to celebrate the occasion with those that supported him throughout the process.

"My wife and my mom, they were there every step of the way," Sabathia told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch following the outing. "Obviously these (teammates) in here were great, but my mom and wife were kind of that rock for me during that tough time. It will be good to see them tonight and go to dinner."

Sabathia beat out righty Ivan Nova for the final spot in the Yankees' rotation this spring, and he earned high praise from his manager following the successful outing.

"I really believe he made the right decision," Joe Girardi said. "His health and his family's well-being obviously takes precedent over this. To be able to come and win the game today six months later, I think it's really important to him.

"We've always had his back. The guys in that room have always had his back. And he gave us a big start today."

The 2007 American League Cy Young Award winner checked himself into an alcohol treatment center last October after recording a 6-10 record with a 4.73 ERA in 29 starts.

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I wonder what Orel Hershiser is saying now? Last Thursday I was watching him on TV before the Giants series. He put up a stat with all the Dodgers ERAs. Zero Zero Zero Zero etc...saying how great the Dodger staff was. Well they got their ass kicked in San Francisco. If it wasn't for a botched double play in the top of the ninth in Saturdays game the Dodgers would have been swept.
I hate that fucker.

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Colorado Rockies rookie Trevor Story continued to rewrite the history books Sunday, becoming the first player in MLB history to homer seven times in his team's first six games with a solo shot off San Diego Padres pitcher Brandon Maurer in the eighth inning.

Story's record-breaking start began Monday when the Rockies shortstop hit a pair of homers in his MLB debut, the first time that's ever happened on Opening Day. He then homered in three straight games - including another historic multi-homer effort Friday - before watching his improbable streak end Saturday.

On Friday, the 23-year-old shortstop became the fastest player ever to hit six home runs to begin a season, doing so on the anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th career homer to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time list. To put his torrid start in perspective, Story's seven homers are more than the Marlins, Pirates, Mets, Angels, and Braves have hit combined.

Story won the Rockies' shortstop job this spring following the suspension of Jose Reyes, who remains on leave until MLB commissioner Rob Manfred completes an investigation of the veteran under the league's domestic violence policy.




TEAM   PLAYER       HOME RUNS    YEAR
COL   Trevor Story          7            2016
COL   Larry Walker          6           1997
PHI    Mike Schmidt         6           1976
SF     Willie Mays            6            1964

Last edited on Mon Apr 11th, 2016 05:47 pm by lobo316

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lobo316 wrote: Colorado Rockies rookie Trevor Story continued to rewrite the history books Sunday, becoming the first player in MLB history to homer seven times in his team's first six games with a solo shot off San Diego Padres pitcher Brandon Maurer in the eighth inning.

Story's record-breaking start began Monday when the Rockies shortstop hit a pair of homers in his MLB debut, the first time that's ever happened on Opening Day. He then homered in three straight games - including another historic multi-homer effort Friday - before watching his improbable streak end Saturday.

On Friday, the 23-year-old shortstop became the fastest player ever to hit six home runs to begin a season, doing so on the anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th career homer to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time list. To put his torrid start in perspective, Story's seven homers are more than the Marlins, Pirates, Mets, Angels, and Braves have hit combined.

Story won the Rockies' shortstop job this spring following the suspension of Jose Reyes, who remains on leave until MLB commissioner Rob Manfred completes an investigation of the veteran under the league's domestic violence policy.




TEAM   PLAYER       HOME RUNS    YEAR
COL   Trevor Story          7            2016
COL   Larry Walker          6           1997
PHI    Mike Schmidt         6           1976
SF     Willie Mays            6            1964

I'm guessing Rockies fans have already forgotten about Tulo.

lobo316



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It was one heck of a day for 39-year-old Detroit Tigers fan Bill Dugan at Comerica Park on Monday.

While Tigers ace Justin Verlander was getting knocked around by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the tune of 10 hits and seven runs, Dugan was in perfect position to catch not one, but five foul balls during the first five innings of the contest, according to Robert Allen of the Detroit Free Press.

And what did the kindhearted Dugan, who caught one of the foul balls during batting practice and four during the actual game, do with the souvenirs after catching them?

Well, at least one of them made a young fan's day:

That's how you make a young fan's day. pic.twitter.com/BTn8M4m0F9

— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) April 11, 2016

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PABLO Sandoval made his first appearance of the season on Sunday, and it didn’t go quite as planned.
The Boston Red Sox third baseman struck out three times in four at-bats during Boston’s 8-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
And if getting K’d three times in his season debut wasn’t bad enough, Sandoval suffered an extremely embarrassing moment in his first at-bat. The Kung Fu Panda managed to break his belt while taking a swing against Jays starter R.A. Dickey.
Check it out.
Pablo Sandoval's weight issue is apparently getting out of hand: https://t.co/XBigqyIF3A https://t.co/sosAep19AF
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) April 9, 2016
Pablo swinging out of his belt! https://t.co/UetwG6i8oJ
— Routine Baseball (@RoutineBaseball) April 9, 2016
Unsurprisingly, social media took great joy in highlighting Sandoval’s fail.
Pablo Sandoval's belt busting gives me life
— Kimberly Davis (@itsmekimmyd) April 10, 2016
@noozy642 Pablo Sandoval literally broke his belt with his fat today where were you
— Dalai Clintness (@ClintnessO) April 10, 2016
@KrissiBex: If you haven’t fat-shamed Pablo Sandoval today on twitter, you’re not doing it right” - Haha!!!!
— Ryan (@RyMatthew) April 10, 2016
Pablo Sandoval vs Homero Simpsonhttps://t.co/hq7CfmqRvc
— Heimy Verónica (@HeimyMr) April 10, 2016
Pablo Sandoval is an embarrassment. Not hard to stay in shape. You get paid to play baseball and work out. Get it together. 🙄🙄🙄😤😤😤🙀🙀⚾️⚾️
— Mike Lindsley (@MikeLsports) April 10, 2016
An anchor from @SportsCenter definitely compared Pablo Sandoval to "a big fat pumpkin."pic.twitter.com/1Dt6FQuubh
— ChristopherSnodgress (@csnodgress) April 10, 2016
Sandoval took off the busted belt and continued the at-bat without one, then replaced it when he returned to the dugout.
It’s been a rough couple of months for Sandoval. He’s been highly criticised by Red Sox fans for his off-season weight gain and recently lost his starting job to Travis Shaw for performance reasons.
2015 was his worst ever season, as he had the poorest defence among all qualified third basemen, and 2016 hasn’t been much better.
Sandoval has been a huge disappointment for the Red Sox so far, hitting .245/.292/.366 with 10 home runs, 47 RBI and 73 strikeouts in 2015 and failing to maintain the starting third base job.
He’s owed $US77 million through 2019, making the pressure to perform even greater.
Sandoval has been waiting for an opportunity to show he can turn things around this season, but he certainly got off to a rocky start.










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A fan has a new belt for Sandoval 




lobo316



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Pete Rose is tired of just signing his own name on baseballs.
On Tuesday, a fan posted a photo of a signed Rose baseball, and it's not your everyday signature. For reasons unknown, MLB's all-time hits leader apparently apologized for shooting President John F. Kennedy.
View post on imgur.com
This isn't the first time Rose has autographed memorabilia with odd phrases.Available on Amazon is a Rose-signed ball reading: "I'm Sorry I Broke Up The Beatles," and another signed: "I wish I shot Bin Laden."
The motive behind the messages is unclear.








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Nick Swisher appears to be on his way back to the Bronx.

The New York Yankees finalized a minor-league deal with Swisher on Wednesday, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.

"There's no place I love more than New York; I think a lot of people know that. I was blessed to experience that, to have such a great relationship with the fans in New York," Swisher said, according to Feinsand. "It's something I cherish very deeply and will have for the rest of my life. There would be nothing better than to get back there, to run out there and enjoy that again.

"It's something I've missed for a long time that I want back. Those Yankee pinstripes run deep. Once you're a part of it and you don't have it, you miss it. I'm one of those lucky guys that gets an opportunity to come back and try to prove myself again."

Swisher spent four seasons with the Yankees between 2009 and 2012. The switch-hitter had his best statistical output in New York, hitting .268/.367/.483 and helping the club win the 2009 World Series before earning his first and only All-Star nod the following year.

Swisher was released by the Atlanta Braves at the end of March. Atlanta will split his entire $16-million salary in 2016 with the Cleveland Indians (less the prorated MLB minimum he'll earn should he be added to the Yankees' active roster).

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Nothing seems to be going right for the Minnesota Twins to start the 2016 season, and the club, which is already off to an 0-7 start, received some more bad news Wednesday.

The team announced closer Glen Perkins will be put on the 15-day disabled list with a left posterior shoulder strain.

Perkins hasn't exactly gotten the chance to prove his value in the closer's role this season, only getting one opportunity to save a game, which he ended up blowing after allowing two runs against the Kansas City Royals on April 10.

The 33-year-old, who also displayed poor velocity throughout spring, will likely be replaced by Kevin Jepsen in the closer role.

Over the course of 11 big-league seasons, all with the Twins, Perkins has saved 120 ball games, while earning a 3.83 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.

Left-hander Taylor Rogers was recalled in a corresponding move.

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Rookie phenom Trevor Story went a solid 3-for-4 with a pair of triples to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 10-6 victory Wednesday over the San Francisco Giants, but he came up just shy of a truly memorable night.

Story, who entered the contest with seven homers in seven games, was robbed of his eighth and ninth long balls of the season by the new heightened fences at Coors Field.

The Rockies raised the fence in right-center field by eight feet, and the wall structure inside the left-field foul pole by five feet, ahead of the 2016 season at the homer-happy venue.

The new right-center field fence at Coors Field. Nearly nine feet taller this year. Feels bigger than I'd guessed... pic.twitter.com/UhLwQv3Hii

— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) April 7, 2016
In his third plate appearance, Story lifted a towering drive off the top of the old wall in center field, and in his next at-bat, he couldn't clear the fence in right-center.

"(The wall's) supposed to get the other team," Rockies manager Walt Weiss joked postgame. "But it was a great sign to see that from Trevor. That's his part of the ballpark, that center- to right-center gap."

Story suffered through his first hitless game of his young career Tuesday, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Giants. Regardless, the 23-year-old prospect is hitting a very respectable .343/.351/.1.057 through eight games with 13 RBIs.

Colorado batters combined to hit a franchise-record four triples in the contest, with Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez also contributing to the cause.

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The Boston Red Sox have placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.

Sandoval reported the injury to manager John Farrell on Wednesday. The club said it has also outlined a conditioning program for him while he's on the DL.

Farrell added that the possibility of a breather would be of benefit to him, especially considering all the scrutiny he's been under since showing up to spring training well out of shape.

"It's been a real tough start. He's been an easy target," Farrell said. "First and foremost, we've got to get him right physically to get past the shoulder issue. But I still firmly believe that Panda is going to be a contributor to this team.

"We're going to need him to be, because there's a darn good player in there."

Sandoval, who is making $17.6 million this year as part of a five-year, $95 million deal, has been relegated to a bench role with the emergence of Travis Shaw at third base. In just seven plate appearances off the bench, Sandoval doesn't have a hit while striking out four times.

As a counter-move, the Red Sox recalled infielder Josh Rutledge from Triple-A Pawtucket.

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BOSTON - The Baltimore Orioles finally lost after opening the season with a team-record seven straight wins, beaten by the bats of Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Wednesday night.

The Orioles were the last undefeated team in the majors, ending their longest winning streak to start a season since moving to Baltimore in 1954. The franchise opened 9-0 in 1944 as the St. Louis Browns.

"I'm proud, we won the series," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after the defeat. "We won two out of three in the American League East on the road against a team we all know is going to be pretty good this year. We're real proud of that. Now we move on."

The Red Sox snapped a three-game losing streak. Bogaerts hit a two-run double and Bradley had a tiebreaking triple.

Baltimore will look to get back to its winning ways Thursday when it opens a four-game series in Arlington with the Texas Rangers.

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The Boston Red Sox optioned outfielder Rusney Castillo to Triple-A Pawtucket following the team's 4-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday night, manager John Farrell announced.

Castillo, who failed to secure the starting left field job this spring, had just four at-bats through eight games prior to his demotion.

"We need to get him out and get him going," Farrell said. "We need to get him some at-bats and playing everyday."

Brock Holt and Chris Young have been platooning in left field, limiting Castillo to a bench role.

Boston didn't make a corresponding roster move, but has plenty of time prior to Friday's series opener with the Toronto Blue Jays to promote a player to its big-league roster.

The Red Sox signed the Cuban to a lucrative seven-year, $72.5-million deal in August, 2014.

lobo316



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lobo316 wrote: The Boston Red Sox have placed third baseman Pablo Sandoval on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.

Sandoval reported the injury to manager John Farrell on Wednesday. The club said it has also outlined a conditioning program for him while he's on the DL.

Farrell added that the possibility of a breather would be of benefit to him, especially considering all the scrutiny he's been under since showing up to spring training well out of shape.

"It's been a real tough start. He's been an easy target," Farrell said. "First and foremost, we've got to get him right physically to get past the shoulder issue. But I still firmly believe that Panda is going to be a contributor to this team.

"We're going to need him to be, because there's a darn good player in there."

Sandoval, who is making $17.6 million this year as part of a five-year, $95 million deal, has been relegated to a bench role with the emergence of Travis Shaw at third base. In just seven plate appearances off the bench, Sandoval doesn't have a hit while striking out four times.

As a counter-move, the Red Sox recalled infielder Josh Rutledge from Triple-A Pawtucket.




Pablo Sandoval's tenure with the Boston Red Sox has been a rocky one, and things didn't get any better on Wednesday when the team announcedthe 29-year-old will hit the disabled list with a left shoulder strain and also undergo a conditioning program.
Following the move, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan cited major-league sources who told him the marriage between Sandoval and Boston could be nearing its end.
Passan's sources also said Sandoval wants to continue to play in Boston, but is only interested in playing every day. The Red Sox, however, don't intend to give him everyday time unless he loses weight and other players in their lineup struggle.
With Sandoval still owed north of $75 million on his current contract, the Red Sox could look to trade the struggling third baseman, but according to a source of Passan, the San Diego Padres - who've shown interest in Sandoval in the past - have cooled on potentially acquiring the Venezuelan.
Since coming to Boston, Sandoval hasn't lived up to the expectations that come with a long-term deal, failing to earn a hit this season after a 2015 campaign that saw him slash just .245/.292/.366 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs.
The veteran lost his starting job to youngster Travis Shaw during spring training, and he's already had his fair share of embarrassing moments this season, including the infamous belly photo and an incident last weekend involving a belt malfunction.

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Give me a fucking break !!!!!!


from espn.go.com:

A former personal trainer for Pablo Sandoval says the Boston Red Sox third baseman needs "a babysitter" to watch over him and keep him from overeating, a temptation for Sandoval that the trainer likened to alcoholism."

He needs to be smart enough to say there's a problem," said Ethan Banning, owner of Triple Threat Performance in Phoenix, in an interview with the Boston Herald. "It's like the alcoholic that won't admit he's an alcoholic: well, you can't address that you're an alcoholic if you don't ever admit there's a problem."

Sandoval, 29, showed up to spring training overweight, and subsequently lost his starting third-base job to Travis Shaw. He had played sparingly this season before being placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a shoulder issue. He was scheduled to get an MRI on Thursday.

"He's proven to me and shown consistently that he's got to have somebody like me holding his hand," said Banning, who worked to get Sandoval in shape prior to his All-Star seasons in 2011 and 2012. "And it's not an exercise thing, it's an eating thing. Obviously exercise is an important factor in it, a very important factor, but eating is going to be the component that needs to be managed and monitored. We had a chef on staff that cooked all his meals."

Banning told the Herald that when Sandoval went home to Venezuela for Christmas in 2011, he gained 21 pounds in 21 days. When Sandoval returned to the Phoenix area, Banning worked hard to keep the Giants -- who were negotiating a new contract for their All-Star -- from seeing him as the pair worked to shed pounds.

"I would go pick him up at a random location, drive him to the facility so that his car wouldn't be there, so if they dropped in, they wouldn't know he was there," Banning told the Herald. "So for about a three-week period, he had the flu; we had every excuse in the world. We were just trying to rip weight off him again. And it ballooned way out of control."

The hard work apparently paid off, as Sandoval signed a new three-year, $17 million deal in January 2012. He went on to have a second straight All-Star season and was named World Series MVP as the Giants won the second of three championships during Sandoval's tenure with the club.

Following the third title in 2014 and the expiration of that three-year contract, Sandoval hit it big with a five-year, $95 million deal with Boston. But he disappointed in his first season with the Red Sox in 2015, hitting just .245 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs.

Banning, whose working relationship with Sandoval ended in early 2012, said Sandoval's brother, Michael, called the trainer this past offseason in hopes the two could reconnect.

"I think that he's embarrassed right now," Banning told the Herald. "I think there's going to come this moment that he's going to show everybody that this is not who he is. ... I don't know that it's going to be with me, but he's going to hire somebody like that. I think he's likely going to figure it out. But it's not going to be this season, and likely not with the Red Sox, the way it looks."

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I have it on good authority that it's actually Sandoval's cousin in the Dominican Republic who is eating for him. 

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srossi wrote: I have it on good authority that it's actually Sandoval's cousin in the Dominican Republic who is eating for him. 

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What's going to happen to the Cub fans when they shave again this year?  This has all the makings of a huge letdown.

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A move to Tampa Bay hasn't solved Hank Conger's defensive issues.

The catcher, acquired by the Rays over the offseason, allowed the Cleveland Indians to steal five bases off him during their 6-0 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday. Would-be base-stealers have now stolen 44 consecutive bases off Conger, a streak that dates back to May 29 of last season, when he was with the Astros.

Despite prolonging his ignominious streak, Conger isn't fazed by his struggles.

"They got good jumps and took care of their opportunities and went from there," Conger told reporters. "I'm not worried (about the streak). As long as I put the ball on the bag and make some good throws, I'll be fine."

Before his current streak of futility began, Conger's best single-season showing against base-stealing attempts came in 2014, when he gunned down 24 percent of runners - allowing 57 stolen bags to 18 putouts - as a backup with the Angels. The 28-year-old has nailed just 19 runners over the last three seasons.

Even if this 0-for-44 run continues, Conger has a long way to go before matching some of the worst single-season marks in history. The all-time mark for futility was set by Deacon McGuire in 1895 - a time when stolen-base rules were different - while Mike Piazza's 155 steals allowed in 1996 remain the high-water mark among post-World War II catchers.

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The Texas Rangers say it was a no-brainer keeping Adrian Beltre around, after he and the club finalized a two-year deal worth $36 million Saturday.

"We have made a lot of decisions over the years, and this is probably one of the easiest ones," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "There has been a lot said about Adrian's accomplishments, his numbers, and his Hall of Fame credentials. But what we were focused on is he is one of the best players in the game - offensively, defensively, leadership, the whole deal.

"That's what this is about. He is the right fit for our roster and the right fit for our organization. We wanted to make sure that's something that continues."

Beltre's numbers to kick off his 19th big-league season are Hall of Fame- worthy, and he doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon.

Over the past two seasons he's belted 37 homers, driven in 160 runs, and notched 341 hits in what can be classified as "down years" by Beltre standards.

His spot in the Hall of Fame appears to be inevitable, and when he presumably reaches the 3,000-hit plateau as a Ranger, it'll be icing on the cake. But, according to Beltre, the end of the road isn't in sight.

"I feel like I am 25," he said. "Age is just a number. I'm still playing like I thought I would. There is no doubt the motivation is there. The motivation to win is always there. The challenge to beat the team is always there.

"If that's not there, I might contemplate retirement, but I still feel great."

Beltre is a four-time All-Star and Gold Glover.

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Sandoval may not only have the biggest belly in MLB history, but may also own the biggest bust as well. I always wondered about his weight issues when he played for the Giants, even though he seemed to show hustle on the field. But now, after signing that huge (pun intended) contract he just doesn't seem to have any pride in his physique. Letting himself go to the point he has is pathetic not only on his part, but also for the Red Sox for not being more stringent on his weight requirements. Or does MLB have rule against what a club can expect or enforce on their players?

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Hector Olivera, who was arrested last week for allegedly assaulting a woman at a Virginia hotel, won't rejoin the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, as Major League Baseball and the players' union have reportedly agreed to extend his paid administrative leave by two weeks, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Baseball's new domestic-violence policy explicitly states that the commissioner may place a player on paid leave for "up to seven days while the allegations are investigated," but, in Olivera's case, the players' association has agreed to give league officials two more weeks to investigate before making a disciplinary ruling. Olivera, who has appeared in six games this season, was placed on leave last Wednesday and has since been charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery.

"We are extremely disappointed and troubled to learn of the allegations involving Hector Olivera," the Braves said in a statement. "We will continue to gather information and will address this matter appropriately as we determine the facts."

Olivera, who landed a six-year, $62.5-million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers last March, has played 30 games since being acquired by Atlanta in July, hitting .245/.296/.378 (86 OPS+) with two home runs and 17 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances.

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Jason Heyward was allegedly greeted at Busch Stadium with racial slurs from some St. Louis Cardinals fans despite a lack of audio evidence.

A report in the New York Daily News on Tuesday morning suggested ESPN's microphones caught fans allegedly taunting the Chicago Cubs right fielder with the slurs during Monday's contest between the longtime rivals. The paper cited tweets from fans watching the game who allegedly heard the words, with at least one specifically noting the "N-word" was used.

ESPN director of communications Ben Cafardo tweeted Tuesday afternoon that the network was reviewing their feed, and noted they had "yet to pick up on any tangible specifics from the ESPN game audio." The Daily News also could not confirm the slurs in question were uttered, saying: "Although Twitter has been abuzz with angry backlash, no available audio has surfaced to confirm the social media accusations."

Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler told reporters Tuesday that he didn't hear any sort of racial slur directed at his teammate during Monday's game.

The Cardinals organization told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Busch Stadium has a policy of ejecting any fans who are heard using racial slurs.

"Ushers would act swiftly," Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon said. "We are firm with this, no question."

Heyward was returning to St. Louis for the first time since leaving the Cardinals to sign an eight-year contract with the Cubs over the winter. After saying before the game that he wouldn't pay attention to his reception, the 26-year-old appeared nonplussed by the chorus of boos that greeted his first at-bat.

"If somebody boos me here, that means they were not happy to see me leave," he told ESPN's Mark Saxon. "I'm kind of glad that people weren't happy to see me leave. The fans should enjoy it, and we're going to enjoy it."

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Is there nothing a little duct tape can't fix?

During the fifth inning of Monday's contest between the Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers, part of Target Field's outfield fence popped loose. So, the resourceful grounds crew did what anybody else would do: Broke out the duct tape. Twins left fielder Oswaldo Arcia even got to show off his handyman skills by holding the wall in place during the repairs.

The problem ultimately looked like it was fixed by another stadium worker on the other side of the fence. Still, it's nice to know that duct tape is strong enough to hold an entire stadium together, if need be.

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John Lackey joined a very exclusive club Monday.

The 37-year-old spun seven innings of four-hit shutout ball while striking out 11 to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 5-0 victory over his former team, the St. Louis Cardinals. Once the victory was official, Lackey became just the 16th pitcher in history to defeat all 30 teams.

Lackey sounded surprised to learn of his unique accomplishment. "I didn't even know that," he told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, before adding that the feat would be ranked "not that high" on his list of career milestones.

Monday was Lackey's first career regular-season start against the Cardinals, despite playing his entire career in the era of interleague play. He did record a postseason win against St. Louis in Game 6 of the 2013 World Series, while a member of the Boston Red Sox.

The 14-year veteran's first career victory came on June 30, 2002, when he tossed six innings in the then-Anaheim Angels' 5-1 win over the Dodgers. He's recorded more wins against the Athletics than any other franchise, besting Oakland 19 times in 35 starts.

Lackey is currently the only active member of the list, though that could change if another member of the club, free-agent hurler Kyle Lohse, pitches this season. Three other pitchers on the list - Dan Haren, Barry Zito, and Tim Hudson (who did it last season) - retired after 2015.

Other prominent members include Curt Schilling, Kevin Brown, Jamie Moyer, and Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. The first pitcher to defeat all 30 franchises - a feat that's only been possible since 1998 - was former Mets left-hander Al Leiter.

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Trevor Story's home run slump is over after six games, and he's back to his old record-setting tricks once again.

The rookie sensation of the Colorado Rockies, who has already broken a number of historic baseball records, added his name to the history books again on Monday when he hit an eighth-inning home run off Cincinnati Reds right-hander Ross Ohlendorf.

The home run was the eighth of the season for the youngster, giving him the most home runs through the first 13 games of a career since 1900.

In accomplishing the feat, Story passed Carlos Delgado (7) and Dino Restelli (7), according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The 23-year-old shortstop is hitting .309 with an OPS of 1.194 for the surprising Rockies, who currently sit atop the National League West with an 8-5 record.

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No hitter for Jake Arietta vs the Reds.

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Colabello suspended for 80 games. Of course he has no idea why or how he failed this drug test. :tongue:


from tsn.ca:





Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Colabello, 32, tested positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a substance that is in violation of the MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

He released a statement shortly after the suspension.




General manager Ross Atkins also released a statement via a press release.

“This is obviously an unfortunate situation that we are in with Chris. We believe in him as a person and player. We also fully endorse the Major league Baseball drug testing policy,” said Atkins. “Chris has overcome a great deal in his career and has been a key contributor to this team. While we are certainly disappointed with today’s news, we’re confident he’ll return ready to compete and will have taken the steps needed to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Colabello is hitting .069 with no home runs and just one RBI over 10 games this season. Last season, his first full year in the majors, Colabello hit .321 with 15 homers and 54 RBIs over 101 games for the Jays. 



EDIT - Just saw that he was informed of this failed drug test back on March 13th.  How the hell does MLB let a guy play for 5 more weeks after failing one of their drug tests ????

Last edited on Sat Apr 23rd, 2016 01:59 am by CanadianHorseman

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Obviously with a .069 BA, the banned substance didn't help him. The time to test him was last year when he hit .320.

Shit, now I have to replace him on my fantasy team.

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lobo316 wrote: Shit, now I have to replace him on my fantasy team.
I think the only fantasy here is that you thought he would help your team. :tongue:

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CanadianHorseman wrote


EDIT - Just saw that he was informed of this failed drug test back on March 13th.  How the hell does MLB let a guy play for 5 more weeks after failing one of their drug tests ????



It's no secret the players' union control MLB. GM Russ Atkins  said yesterday that the Jays found out  yesterday.The union & the player are informed first. It looks like not even the Commissioner is 
informed.
It would have been better if he had told everyone sooner so he could begin serving his suspension & get it over with.

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With a first-inning strikeout of Rafael Ortega in Saturday's contest with the Los Angeles Angels, the Seattle Mariners right-hander passed Randy Johnson to become the franchise's all-time leader (2,163).

The 30-year-old Venezuelan, who won a Cy Young in 2010, has spent his entire 12-year career with the Mariners.

He recorded his first major-league strikeout on Aug 4, 2005 sitting down then-Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

Over the course of his big-league career, the six-time All-Star has earned a 144-102 record with an ERA of 3.10 to go along with a strikeout rate of 8.5 per nine innings pitched.




PITCHER                SO      IP
Felix Hernandez    2163  2281.1
Randy Johnson     2162  1838.1
Jamie Moyer        1239  2093
Mark Langston     1078  1197.2
Mike Moore            937 1457

Last edited on Sun Apr 24th, 2016 08:03 am by lobo316

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Michael Pinieda is the Yankees answer to the old Oriole Daniel Cabrera: A big Dominican who looks good, throws heat, and the results suck.

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Yoenis Cespedes had fluid drained from his wonky right leg ahead of Monday's series opener against the Cincinnati Reds, but New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson remains optimistic the 30-year-old outfielder won't require a trip to the disabled list.

"At the moment we're looking at it on a day-by-day basis," Alderson told ESPN's Adam Rubin. "Fortunately we have the depth that we anticipated we would need, and so we've been able to survive his absence over the last several days. And I'm sure we'll do our best to survive over the next two or three. But, right now, I don't see it being a DL. That could change, obviously, with a different medical opinion as time goes on. But I don't see that."

Cespedes, who wasn't sent for an MRI after being examined Monday in Queens by team doctors, originally hurt his leg April 13 when he flew into the Citi Field stands in pursuit of a foul ball and aggravated his condition sliding into second base on Friday in Atlanta. Though Cespedes told reporters he felt "way better" ahead of Sunday's finale at Turner Field, Alderson conceded the former All-Star might miss all of his club's three-game set with the Reds.

"I don't know if you saw the swelling, but there are bruises that you get where there is a buildup of fluid," Collins said. "That can be very painful in that part of the leg. It got near the joint. That's why he was doing all the limping. ... If you would have (seen) the swelling, you would understand why he had no chance of playing."

With Cespedes potentially unavailable a little while longer, the Mets will likely continue to deploy Juan Lagares in center field, with Michael Conforto in left and Curtis Granderson in right. Despite missing the last two games, though, Cespedes still leads all Mets position players with 0.6 WAR so far, hitting .288/.364/.627 (163 wRC+) with five homers and three doubles through his first 15 contests.

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The Minnesota Twins' tribute to their late hometown music legend will continue Monday against the Cleveland Indians.

After tinting Target Field in Prince's signature purple, the entire Twins lineup will pay further homage to the hometown hero by changing their walk-up music to songs by the late artist:

Here's tonight's #PurpleForPrince lineup, complete with Prince walk-up songs selected by each player. #MNTwins pic.twitter.com/Utl1ETzNbM

— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 25, 2016
Monday's contest against Cleveland marks the first game the Twins have played in Minnesota since Prince's death on Thursday, and is the first of a six-game homestand.

Prince, whose birth name was Prince Rogers Nelson, was born in Minneapolis on June 7, 1958.

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The Cleveland Indians put right-hander Carlos Carrasco on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring Monday and he's expected to miss four-to-six weeks.

Carrasco was pulled from Sunday's contest against the Detroit Tigers after an awkward play at first base.

The 29-year-old is a formidable piece of the Indians' deep rotation, already pitching to a 2-0 record with a 2.45 ERA while striking out 8.2 hitters per nine innings.

Right-hander Trevor Bauer is expected to fill Carrasco's spot in the rotation.

The native of Venezuela immediately took to social media to thank his fans for their support after the DL stint was announced.

Thank you to everyone for the well wishes!

I don't like being hurt but I will work hard to come back soon and help my teammates!

— Carlos Carrasco (@Cookie_Carrasco) April 25, 2016
In a corresponding move, the Indians activated outfielder Michael Brantley, who has yet to appear in a regular-season game, from the 15-day DL.

Brantley has been recovering from offseason surgery on his right shoulder.

The 28-year-old slashed .310/.379/.480 with 15 home runs, 84 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases in 137 games last season.

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The Minnesota Twins made a flurry of roster moves Monday prior to their contest with the Cleveland Indians, most notably sending struggling center fielder Byron Buxton and prospect Max Kepler back to Triple-A Rochester.

Buxton, widely considered the top prospect in baseball at one time, was hitting just .156/.208/.289 with 24 strikeouts in 17 contests prior to his demotion. After also failing to produce in 46 games last year, Buxton will now try to find his swing again in the minor-league ranks.

Kepler, the team's second-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, managed a paltry .167/.286/.333 slash line in 12 at-bats while playing both center and right field.

Following a 16-inning 6-5 loss to the Washington Nationals on Sunday, righty Alex Meyer has been recalled to reinforce the pitching staff, while the versatile Danny Santana was activated from the disabled list.

Minnesota is 5-14 entering play Monday, the worst record in the American League.

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Colby Rasmus is on fire, and Jake Arrieta is dealing.

Major League Baseball announced its players of the week on Monday with the Houston Astros outfielder taking home honors in the American League, while the Chicago Cubs right-hander earned the National League award.

Rasmus crushed a whopping .316/.458/1.000 with four home runs, 10 RBIs, and five runs, which included a grand slam and game-tying home run against the Boston Red Sox, to earn the award.

Houston became the first AL team in the 43-year history of the Player of the Week awards to take home the honor in three consecutive weeks to open the season.

The 29-year-old is hitting .293/.440/1.147 and is tied with Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson for the AL lead in home runs with 7, while also sitting second in the league with 18 RBIs.

Arrieta pitched the second no-hitter of his career against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, striking out six in the process.

The 30-year-old has been close to unhittable this season, earning a perfect 4-0 record with a 0.87 ERA, while allowing just 4.4 hits per nine innings.

Last season's NL Cy Young award winner has allowed just three earned runs in 2016.

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The Atlanta Braves are off to an MLB worst 4-14 start to begin the 2016 campaign amidst a major power outage in their lineup, and now the club is looking to unload the contract of a player who could have potentially given them some added pop.

The Braves are trying to trade outfielder Hector Olivera, according to sources of Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan.

The task has been a hefty one as the 31-year-old Cuban, who is owed $34.5 million through 2020, was placed on administrative leave April 13 following his arrest for allegedly assaulting a woman, and was later charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.

His leave will last until at least May 3 and a suspension from Major League Baseball is likely.

When Olivera was brought up in trade talks, one executive told Passan, "I can't believe they even asked."

Also working against the Braves is the fact that Olivera has limited experience in the big leagues, having only made 108 plate appearances in 30 games while hitting .245/.296/.378 with two home runs and 13 RBIs.

Prior to coming to the U.S., Olivera posted superior numbers in Cuba, hitting .322/.406/.500 with 96 home runs and 438 RBIs.

He was originally signed as an amateur free agent in May 2015 by the Los Angeles Dodgers and was flipped to the Braves as part of a three-team trade two months later.

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The New York Mets have placed catcher Travis d'Arnaud on the 15-day disabled list with a rotator cuff strain in his right shoulder, the team announced Tuesday.

D'Arnaud saw a team doctor after being removed from Monday's contest against the Cincinnati Reds with discomfort in his shoulder.

"Any time you're talking about a shoulder problem with a catcher, it's concerning," Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters in postgame comments Monday.

Backup Kevin Plawecki will take over the starting job in d'Arnaud's absence.

The 27-year-old d'Arnaud is a former first-round draft choice of the Toronto Blue Jays who came to the Mets as part of a package for R.A. Dickey in 2012.

Prior to his injury, the backstop was hitting .196/.288/.261 with three doubles and one RBI.

In corresponding moves, the Mets selected the contract of Rene Rivera from Triple-A Las Vegas and moved right-hander Zack Wheeler to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Rivera.

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Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu allegedly paid a substantial sum to defect from Cuba in an effort to live his dream of playing Major League Baseball

Abreu allegedly transferred almost $5.8 million to people who helped in his defection from Cuba in 2013, according to Jared S. Hopkins of the Chicago Tribune, who cites federal prosecutors.

Abreu signed a six-year, $68-million contract with the White Sox in October 2013.

Included among the beneficiaries of the payments was Abreu's former agent Bart Hernandez, who was indicted in February on human trafficking charges.

Hernandez's indictment details how payments were made by smugglers to help Abreu and others find their way to the U.S. using falsification of documents, including fake passports.

In exchange for these services, players were instructed to make large payments to those who helped them escape.

Hopkins reports Abreu was believed to have left Cuba in August 2013 and, according to prosecutors, was smuggled into Haiti. He then used a fake passport with a false name to fly to Miami, where he later signed his long-term deal.

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment that someone listed by the initials J.A.C - Abreu's full name is Jose Dariel (Correa) Abreu - was asked to wire three separate payments of $2.4 million, $2 million, and $1.36 million into an account controlled by Julio Estrada, who worked with Hernandez for close to a decade.

Hernandez and Estrada - who was also indicted - could face up to 35 and 45 years in prison, respectively, if convicted on all charges.

The allegations in the indictment come as part of a larger scenario involving human trafficking, which has allegedly included players such as the Seattle Mariners' Leonys Martin and the Philadelphia Phillies' Dalier Hinojosa.

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So much for that slump, huh?

After snapping a career-worst 0-for-26 stretch Sunday with a two-run blast that propelled him into a tie with Reggie Jackson for 13th on the all-time home run leaderboard, Albert Pujols smacked a third-inning solo shot off Ian Kennedy on Monday for the 564th homer of his illustrious career to eclipse Jackson.

He didn't stop there, though. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Los Angeles Angels' venerable slugger took Kennedy deep for a second time, becoming the second player ever to record career home runs No. 564 and 565 in the same game, according to ESPN Stats and Info. The other guy to do it? Babe Ruth.

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Jose Berrios is on his way to the Twin Cities.

One day after demoting Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, the Minnesota Twins will call up their top prospect, reports Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, citing Berrios' Facebook post, which was confirmed by Mike Berardino of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, citing two sources.

Berrios is expected to start Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians and will join a Twins rotation that sits 10th in the American League in team ERA.

The 21-year-old Puerto Rican was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, 32nd overall, and is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 16th-best prospect in baseball.

He'll become the youngest Twins pitcher to debut as a starter since Pat Mahomes in 1992.

Berrios owned a 2-0 record with a 1.06 ERA and 0.94 WHIP for Triple-A Rochester prior to his call-up.

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Smart Yankee fans everywhere hope for a last-place finish and a sell-off of some guys at the deadline.  Morons are still going "Yank-eez", "Go Rocko!!!!!!!!!!!!", etc....
The following would be helpful to a contender in July:
 Bret Gardner
Carlos Beltran
Arnoldis Chapman
Michael Pineida (hopefully, the guy sucks-he's the Yankees Daniel Cabrera!)

If they can move those guys, it will help immensely for next season when the youth movement really begins.

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The Los Angeles Angels with be without their All-Star closer for the foreseeable future after the team placed right-hander Huston Street on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a strained left oblique.

Street suffered the injury warming up before Wednesday's contest against the Kansas City Royals.

"It just kind of happened," Street told reporters. "I was like, 'What was that?' I made one more throw and I was like, 'There's definitely something in there.'"

Los Angeles will turn to right-hander Joe Smith, who saved 15 games for the Angels in 2014, to take Street's role.

"When you can't pitch, that's all you really care about - that when your job comes up, they get it done," Street said. "Joe's proven he can do that."

The 32-year-old Street has saved 320 games across his 12-year career, including 62 as a member of the Angels.

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The Toronto Blue Jays are hoping to strike gold with a very unique prospect.

Tyler Olander, a two-time NCAA basketball champion at UConn who stands at 6-foot-10, has traded in the hardwood for the pitcher's mound, and is working out as a left-handed pitcher at the Blue Jays' spring training complex in Florida.

The 23-year-old chose to make the switch after suffering a foot injury while playing basketball in Europe. He hasn't played baseball regularly since grade eight, save for a brief turn in the Greater Hartford Twilight League three years ago.

"When I want to do something, I'm extremely dedicated to it," Olander told Dom Amore of the Hartford Courant.

Olander reached out to former UConn baseball coach Andy Baylock, who helped him with the transition over the winter. Baylock then contacted Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, who also lives in Connecticut, and he watched Olander throw in February.

"What I saw was a very determined young man," Walker said. "He threw about 65 pitches and he was very aggressive. On the foundation Andy had built - he's 6-foot-10, but he's not an awkward 6-10, he didn't pitch like he was 6-10, and I liked that."

The Blue Jays, of course, have traveled down this road before. In 1998, the team signed 6-foot-9 lefty Mark Hendrickson - who briefly played in the NBA - and turned him into a pitcher. He'd go on to pitch in the bigs for 10 seasons.

Olander isn't ready to follow in Hendrickson's footsteps just yet, of course, though he's shown flashes, apparently hitting mid-80s with his fastball at extended spring training. He's realistic about his timeline, though, and understands the road to pitching professionally is a long one - even if you have the natural advantage of being a 6-foot-10 left-hander.

"They want to go very slow, and take it step by step," Olander said. "I don't want to look too far ahead. I'm just very happy with the progress I've been making."

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Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball announced early Friday morning.

Gordon tested positive for testosterone and clostebol, Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan tweeted, citing the league. The suspension is effective immediately.

The 28-year-old is the reigning National League batting champion. He hit .333/.359/.418 last year in his first campaign with the Marlins, establishing career highs with four home runs and 46 RBIs. He was an All-Star, stealing an MLB-best 58 bases.

Gordon entered play Thursday hitting .267/.283/.344 in 20 games, with five RBIs, no home runs, and six stolen bases in eight attempts. He signed a five-year, $50-million extension in January. The speedster has hit only eight home runs in his six-year big-league career.

Dee Gordon signed a five-year, $50M extension this offseason. He'll lose about $1.63M to his suspension. If he stays clean, rest guaranteed.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 29, 2016
An 80-game ban means Gordon will be eligible to return to Miami's lineup around mid-to-late July. The Marlins are 10-11 after a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.

theScore.com

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lobo316 wrote: Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball announced early Friday morning.


I wonder what the Marlins Hitting Coach thinks about this ????

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Placing bans on use of illegal substances isn't working.
Players are still using them.

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CanadianHorseman wrote: lobo316 wrote: Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games without pay after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Major League Baseball announced early Friday morning.


I wonder what the Marlins Hitting Coach thinks about this ????


I think its great. They swept a 4 game series from the Dodgers.

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Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a bloop single in the ninth inning with one out off Jose Urena to break up the Miami Marlins' no-hitter.

Urena came on in relief of starter Adam Conley, who was pulled with two out in the seventh after reaching 116 pitches. After catching a break when Urena was given an error in the eighth inning, the floodgates opened in the ninth as he gave up three runs on four hits.

Marlins closer A.J. Ramos was brought in with two out and the tying run on deck, but shut the door on a 6-3 win.

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This is becoming a burden, but Trevor Story hit another dinger. #MLB #Rockies pic.twitter.com/fv1GPLeamz

— The Ledge (@TheLedgeSports) April 30, 2016
Trevor Story's magical first month in the big leagues got even more special Friday night at Chase Field, where the Colorado Rockies' precocious shortstop smacked his 10th home run of the season and tied the MLB record for home runs by a rookie in April.

Story, who set the NL rookie record for April homers Wednesday night, crushed a two-run shot off Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray in the fifth inning of Friday's series opener to become the first player with double-digits home runs this year while tying Jose Abreu's rookie record for April homers set back in 2014.

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42-year-old Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki is on track to hit a number of milestones this season, most notable of which is his chase for 3,000 hits in an MLB uniform.

On Friday, Ichiro crossed two achievements off his list recording his 2,944th hit and stealing the 500th base of his major-league career.

Congratulations, Ichiro! He records the 500th stolen base of his Major League career. pic.twitter.com/Y1384TFUjz

— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) April 30, 2016
Ichiro's hit total moved him into 33rd place all-time ahead of Frank Robinson, while his 500 stolen bases is the most among active players and ranks him 38th all-time.

He also became just the eighth player in MLB history to reach 500 stolen bases and 2,900-plus hits in a major-league career.

If you combine his 16 seasons of MLB baseball with his nine seasons in Japan, Ichiro has swiped 698 bags, which would put him 11th on the all-time list for career stolen bases.

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The Baltimore Orioles announced left-hander Zach Britton left Saturday's game against the Chicago White Sox with a left ankle sprain.

Britton came on in the ninth inning to shut the door, but after striking out Dioner Navarro and Austin Jackson, he appeared to hurt himself trying to field an Adam Eaton bunt-single.

He was pulled in favor of Vance Worley, who promptly walked Carlos Sanchez and gave up an RBI single to Jose Abreu, tagging Britton with the loss. Manager Buck Showalter said he was uncertain of the severity of the injury, and the club is taking it slowly.

"We’ll see how it is tomorrow," Showalter told reporters following the 8-7 loss, according to John Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. "(Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells) and them were looking at the replay and talking. He had jammed it more than rolled it. I’m sure you all saw the replay, too.

"The proverbial day-to-day. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Zach has always been a pretty quick healer, so we’ll see."

Coming into Saturday's game, Britton had converted on six save opportunities, owning a 1.93 ERA while striking out 11 batters.

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They say you can't win em' all, but in Brett Cecil's case, you don't win any.

The Toronto Blue Jays lost 4-3 in walk-off fashion to the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night, and on the mound for the loss was Cecil, who dropped his opening month record to 0-5, the most relief losses by a pitcher at the end of April since 1913.

The left-hander isn't a starter, but his performance in this latest debacle was a microcosm of the short season. Cecil surrendered hits to all three Rays batters he faced in the ninth inning without recording an out.

With that, his ERA ballooned to 5.79, a long way from his career-best 2015 campaign where he finished with a 2.48 ERA and five losses over the course of the entire season.

But despite his shoddy record, Cecil believes his stuff is working.

"That’s the worst part about it," he said. “You feel great, you’re throwing the (crap) out of the ball and you’re still getting these results.

"As long as I’m feeling good, what are you going to do? I’m not going to sit at my locker and pout about it," he added. "Relievers have got to have short memories. For some guys it’s one of the hardest things, and it is hard, but I do have a short memory."

The positive vibes end there though, as manager John Gibbons has had just about enough of blowing late leads.

"Sooner or later you’ve got to win some close games for crying out loud," he said. “No secret about that. Some teams do it."

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Aledmys Diaz joined Albert Pujols as the only rookies in St. Louis Cardinalshistory with 30 hits in April.

The rookie notched a hit in Saturday's 6-1 loss to the Washington Nationals, upping his average to .423 on the season, while increasing his OPS to 1.185.
Although Pujols had more than 20 at-bats on Diaz as a rookie, their April numbers are fairly similar.

PLAYER   AGE   G     AB    H     AVG/OBP/SLG
Pujols       21   24    92    34  .370/.431/.739

Diaz         25    22   70    30  .423/.453/.732


Despite his success in the majors so far, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has made a point of keeping Diaz in the ninth spot in the batting order, citing he wants to keep the pressure off his rookie.

In 22 games this season, Diaz has a knock in 17 of them.


Last edited on Sun May 1st, 2016 01:43 pm by lobo316

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Matt Cain is still chasing that elusive win.

It's been nearly 10 months since the right-hander picked up a victory (July 22, 2015 against the San Diego Padres), and after dropping Saturday's contest to the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants starter now sits at 12 straight starts without a win.

"It's definitely frustrating," Cain said, according to Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. "The stuff is there, and now it's making the pitches at the right times."

Cain threw 108 pitches in the 6-5 loss to the Mets, marking his highest pitch count since April 12, 2014, when he threw 116 versus the Colorado Rockies. With Saturday's loss, Cain slipped to 0-3 to begin the season while his ERA ballooned to a lofty 7.00.

Skipper Bruce Bochy senses the recent results are weighing heavily on Cain's mind.

"Sure, it'd be good for his psyche to get a win," he said. "I guess it's good to handle things the way he's handling it. You keep pushing and do your best and not let it beat you up too much. But no question, a win would help.

"He keeps things inside. I'm sure it's bothering him more than he's letting on."

In the past couple of years, Cain has battled elbow and arm injuries that may explain his recent struggles. From 2014-2015, he amassed a 4.83 ERA in a limited 26 starts over two seasons.

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After one month of play, parity rules in the National League West.

The first-place San Francisco Giants' 6-5 loss to the New York Mets on Saturday ensured that every NL West team would finish April with a losing record.

This is certainly not what the Giants or Arizona Diamondbacks had in mind after a winter of lavish spending, while the Dodgers - hanging on to a first-place tie despite losing their sixth game in a row Saturday - certainly can't be thrilled after their hot first two weeks.

The two presumed also-rans remain competitive as well. Thanks mostly to rookie sensation Trevor Story, the Colorado Rockies sit only percentage points back of the Dodgers and Giants, while the San Diego Padres are somehow 2.5 games out.

The five teams are also beating up on each other. Every NL West team has at least one win over each of their division rivals this year, save for the Giants, who've yet to beat Arizona.

While much can change over the next five months, the early results out of a division pegged by many to feature at least three playoff contenders has left many observers scratching their heads.

At least Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is keeping it all in perspective, though.

Adrian Gonzalez wrote this on the Dodgers clubhouse white board the second they walked in from tonight's loss pic.twitter.com/C62ziJ2pAm

— #WaltonYourFriend (@RyanWaltonSBN) May 1, 2016

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Bryce Harper, the Washington Nationals phenom who smashed nine homers in his first 18 games this year, was named National League Player of the Month for April on Monday. Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado earned the honor in the American League, following a strong start to his 2016 campaign.

Fresh off being named the youngest unanimous MVP in baseball history, Harper posted a 1.064 OPS with nine homers, six doubles, 17 walks, and an MLB-best 1.68 win probability added through the first month of the 2016 season, managing the fifth-most WAR in the NL despite finishing April with a 1-for-13 (.077) skid. Machado, who also hasn't turned 24 yet, sits atop the AL with 1.8 WAR following an absurd first month in which he posted a .344/.394/.667 line with a league-best 35 hits, including seven homers and 10 doubles.

Harper and Machado weren't the only players recognized Monday, though. Detroit Tigers right-hander Jordan Zimmermann received the AL Pitcher of the Month award after going 5-0 with a 0.55 ERA and 1.06 WHIP through his first five starts, while Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta landed the honor for the NL after managing the same record with a 1.00 ERA in his five starts, including his second career-no hitter.

Meanwhile, despite spending the first week of the season in Triple-A, Nomar Mazara of the Texas Rangers was named AL Rookie of the Month after hitting .333/.392/.460 with two homers and two doubles through the first 17 games of his career. Trevor Story, the Colorado Rockies' 23-year-old shortstop, landed the NL award with an absurd first month in which he tied Jose Abreu's rookie record by smashing 10 homers in April.

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The banged up Baltimore Orioles were dealt another blow Monday afternoon when a CT scan revealed a hairline fracture in shortstop J.J. Hardy's left foot. The injury will sideline him for six-to-eight weeks, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko.

Hardy fouled a ball off his left foot Sunday, which forced him to leave early from Baltimore's 7-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Although initial X-rays were negative, Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun reported that team officials were still very concerned about the 33-year-old. Their fears were confirmed Monday, and the club is now expected to recall infielder Ryan Flaherty to take Hardy's spot on the active roster, notes Kubatko.

Hardy, a two-time All-Star with three Gold Glove awards, enjoyed a solid start to the 2016 campaign, managing an .809 OPS with two homers and five doubles through his first 14 games, but hit just .179/.258/.250 in his last 31 plate appearances before hurting his foot.

In his absence, the Orioles could move third baseman Manny Machado - the newly crowned AL Player of the Month - over to shortstop, the position he played throughout his minor-league career.

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The Freak can still attract a lot of eyeballs.

Free-agent right-hander Tim Lincecum is set to showcase himself to around 20 teams at Scottsdale Stadium in Arizona on Friday, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Lincecum's showcase is so popular that ESPN is reportedly hoping to televise it.

Heyman lists Lincecum's former club, the San Francisco Giants, as one of the teams interested in his services.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Texas Rangers, and Houston Astros are all expected to attend as well, according to Heyman.

The two-time Cy Young winner is seeking a starting job after recovering from hip surgery and recently had his fastball consistently sitting in the 90-91 mph range.

With a glut of teams dealing with injuries to starting pitchers, the 31-year-old likely has a good chance to earn a job if he can prove he's healthy enough to replicate his performance from years prior.

Lincecum made 15 starts for the Giants last season, posting a 4.13 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in 76 1/3 innings of work.

Over nine years in the bigs, the four-time All-Star owns a record of 108-83 with a 3.61 ERA while striking out 9.3 hitters per nine innings.

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Few bullpens in the last century have been as bad as the Toronto Blue Jays to start a season.

The Blue Jays relief core is 0-9 so far in 2016, becoming the fifth bullpen in the last 100 years to start at that mark, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. None of those team made the playoffs.

Of course, a lot of this falls on the shoulders of Brett Cecil, who is 0-5. But aside from a couple of arms, there's a large divide between the top relief pitchers on the team, and the worst ones.

Collectively, only Chicago Cubs relievers have pitched more innings than Blue Jays' staffers. But opponents are hitting .182 off Chicago's bullpen, good for second in the bigs.

Alternately, they're batting .266 off Toronto's relief arms, which stands for 27th in the majors.

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How stupid can you get ? No insurance ??????



The Boston Red Sox announced Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval would undergo potentially season-ending surgery on his ailing left shoulder.

However, the Red Sox won't be able to recoup any of the money owed on his five-year, $90-million contract because the deal's not insured, a source told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

If an MLB team insures a player's contract, it can recoup money on the deal if the player is injured long term.

One of the most well-known cases of a club taking out insurance on a slugger - and eventually benefiting - was the Baltimore Orioles' five-year, $65-million contract with Albert Belle, signed in December 1998.

Belle's career ended two seasons later because of a degenerative hip condition, but the Orioles recovered more than $27 million of the $39 million remaining on his contract because of their insurance policy.

If Sandoval is indeed lost for the entire season, Boston will pay him $17.6 million for three games, six at-bats, zero hits, and four strikeouts.

Since coming to the Red Sox, Sandoval has hit .242/.290/.361 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. The 29-year-old also made $17.6 million last season.

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Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward is set for a short spell on the sidelines after finally admitting to soreness in his right wrist.

Heyward first experienced pain in his wrist during the first week of the 2016 season, but didn't tell the Cubs' coaching staff until after Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

"He finally said something, so we're trying to react to it right now," manager Joe Maddon said Monday, according to Gordon Wittenmeyer of the Chicago Sun Times. "I don't think it's a long-term kind of thing by any means."

The 26-year-old right fielder has had a slow start to the season, batting .211/.317/.256 through 23 games, well below his 2015 slash line of .293/.359/.439. Cubs president Theo Epstein feels the wrist ailment could have been playing a part in Heyward's lower numbers.

"He's the last person who would ever make an excuse," Epstein said. "But he got off to a slow start last year, too, a real slow start. And when it clicked, he was off and running. I think that's what we'll see with him."

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For nearly two years, Dallas Keuchel looked unhittable at Minute Maid Park.

That is, until the Minnesota Twins came to town.

The 2015 AL Cy Young winner's franchise record of 17 straight home wins was snapped by the Twins in Monday's 6-2 loss after the left-hander surrendered five earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. The last time Keuchel lost in Houston was Aug. 10, 2014.

"Tonight we staked a 1-0 lead and I gotta be able to produce, and I didn't. That's all on me," Keuchel told reporters after the game.

Keuchel hasn't been his award-winning self in 2016, pitching to a 2-4 record with a hefty 5.11 ERA in six starts. It's a far cry from his start in 2015, when Keuchel breezed through his first six games, going 3-0 to the tune of an 0.80 ERA.

The Astros now sit tied with the Twins for the worst record in the American League at 8-18.

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New York Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon followed his buzzed about foul ball Monday with a milestone 19 years in the making.

Colon, a three-time All-Star and the 2005 American League Cy Young winner, further bolstered his resume after hurling eight scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field to earn win No. 220. The victory breaks a tie with Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez for the second-most wins among Dominican-born pitchers. It was Colon's third attempt at the milestone win.

"Of course I'm very excited," Colon told reporters through a Mets translator, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin. "I'm really happy about it and it's pretty neat to pass Pedro, but he's always going to be one of the big ones for us regardless."

When Bartolo tied Pedro for career wins, Martinez reached out to him via friends on Twitter. "Obviously, I don't have Twitter," Colon said.

— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 3, 2016
Juan Marichal, a dominant right-hander for the Giants in the 1960s, tops the Dominican wins list with 243 victories over 16 seasons.



RK    PITCHER        WINS
1    Juan Marichal     243
2    Bartolo Colon     220
3    Pedro Martinez   219
4    Ramon Martinez 135
5    Pedro Astacio     129


Colon, who earlier in the game ripped an extremely hard foul ball, is a two-time 20-game winner and owns a career mark of 219-155.

Last edited on Tue May 3rd, 2016 09:38 pm by lobo316

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Yadier Molina took a unique, health-conscious approach to being brushed back on Monday.
After Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Brett Oberholtzer lost control of a 89-mph fastball, nearly hitting Molina in his lower half, the veteran catcher fell to the ground and got in a quick workout, inciting quite the reaction from the crowd.
The extra reps must have helped: Molina hit a single on the very next pitch.








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Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper is passionate about winning, and on Monday he used some strong words to describe how he approaches every game.

"I’ve always said if my organization likes me and the guys on the team like me, then that’s all I care (about)," Harper told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. "I think going onto a field every single day, I want to kick your teeth in. I want to beat you by 100 runs and do everything we can to win every single game we play. You might like me after we get out of the field, but in between the lines, you’re probably going to hate me. And that’s fine. I don’t care."

Since the beginning of the season, the Washington Nationals outspoken 23-year-old outfielder has been an advocate for making baseball fun again, while getting away from the old school way of playing the game. And although he's happy to promote a new way of life in baseball, his main focus is still on winning.

"Everything I do in between the lines is to win ball games," he explained. "I try to respect my opponents as much as I can and do everything I can, but at the end of the day, I just want to win. I just want to do everything I can to win for this organization, put my heart and soul into every single game, every single pitch and hopefully at the end of the day we can win and do things we need to do to get to that next level."

Harper's ferocious approach seems to be working, as he's hitting .271/.385/.659 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs for the NL East-leading Nationals.

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lobo316 wrote: How stupid can you get ? No insurance ??????



The Boston Red Sox announced Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval would undergo potentially season-ending surgery on his ailing left shoulder.

However, the Red Sox won't be able to recoup any of the money owed on his five-year, $90-million contract because the deal's not insured, a source told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

If an MLB team insures a player's contract, it can recoup money on the deal if the player is injured long term.

One of the most well-known cases of a club taking out insurance on a slugger - and eventually benefiting - was the Baltimore Orioles' five-year, $65-million contract with Albert Belle, signed in December 1998.

Belle's career ended two seasons later because of a degenerative hip condition, but the Orioles recovered more than $27 million of the $39 million remaining on his contract because of their insurance policy.

If Sandoval is indeed lost for the entire season, Boston will pay him $17.6 million for three games, six at-bats, zero hits, and four strikeouts.

Since coming to the Red Sox, Sandoval has hit .242/.290/.361 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. The 29-year-old also made $17.6 million last season.

Boston fans are clamoring for the team to try to make a case that his weight caused the injury to try to void his contract, but that's not going to happen. It's fun to be on the other side of a disastrous contract sometimes.   

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White Sox will be DFAing John Danks.


from espn.go.com:


John Danks is 0-4 with a 7.25 ERA through four starts this season.


Sitting on top of the American League, the Chicago White Sox are going to try a new plan for one of their biggest problems.

Left-hander John Danks is out after a 10-year run in Chicago, and Erik Johnson will be promoted on Thursday to start against the Boston Red Sox. Looking to build on their surprising 18-8 start, the White Sox decided they had to cut Danks and search for a more reliable option at the back end of their rotation.

"This is about putting us in the best position to win ballgames going forward," general manager Rick Hahn said. "We feel we have a pretty special thing going on in this clubhouse right now."

Danks broke into the majors with Chicago in 2007 and pitched in some big games for the White Sox, including eight innings of two-hit ball in a 1-0 victory over Minnesota that lifted his team to the 2008 AL Central title. But he hasn't been the same since he had shoulder surgery in 2012.

The 31-year-old Danks went 7-15 with a 4.71 ERA in 30 starts last season, and then was hit hard while dropping his first four outings this year. Hahn said he talked to Danks about some different options, but neither side felt good about the bullpen and the veteran decided he didn't want to go to the minors.

"It's never easy to make a move like this when you have as much respect for the player involved as we all do for Johnny," Hahn said before Tuesday night's game against Boston.

"He's been a tremendous teammate for everyone in that locker room this year and throughout his entire White Sox career, and obviously an extremely hard worker who battled back from a very difficult injury to rehab from."

It's also a costly move for owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who was involved in the decision, according to Hahn.

The White Sox are responsible for the remaining portion of Danks' $14.25 million salary this year, a little more than $11.7 million when he is designated for assignment on Thursday. If Danks signs a major league contract with another club, the amount owed by the White Sox would be reduced by a prorated share of $507,500 minimum.

While Danks struggled on the field, he was highly regarded among his teammates, serving as a mentor to fellow left-handers Chris Sale and Carlos Rodon, two of Chicago's top starters. Danks went 79-104 with a 4.38 ERA in 247 games with the White Sox, recording double-digit wins in four different seasons.

"Obviously, he wasn't doing too well but if you walked into this clubhouse you could never tell," Rodon said. "Just a great influence on everyone in this clubhouse and a great clubhouse guy. Sad to see him leave."

Johnson, 26, gets the first chance to replace Danks in the rotation. The 6-foot-3 right-hander went 3-1 with a 3.34 ERA in six starts with the White Sox last year. He was promoted for a couple days last month and then returned to the minors without appearing in a game.

But Hahn described the fifth slot in the rotation as a fluid situation. He mentioned Miguel Gonzalez and Jacob Turner as two other options, and sounded as if the team would monitor Tim Lincecum's showcase in Arizona on Friday.

"Will we have someone there? We got scouts everywhere," Hahn said.

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srossi wrote: lobo316 wrote: How stupid can you get ? No insurance ??????



The Boston Red Sox announced Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval would undergo potentially season-ending surgery on his ailing left shoulder.

However, the Red Sox won't be able to recoup any of the money owed on his five-year, $90-million contract because the deal's not insured, a source told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

If an MLB team insures a player's contract, it can recoup money on the deal if the player is injured long term.

One of the most well-known cases of a club taking out insurance on a slugger - and eventually benefiting - was the Baltimore Orioles' five-year, $65-million contract with Albert Belle, signed in December 1998.

Belle's career ended two seasons later because of a degenerative hip condition, but the Orioles recovered more than $27 million of the $39 million remaining on his contract because of their insurance policy.

If Sandoval is indeed lost for the entire season, Boston will pay him $17.6 million for three games, six at-bats, zero hits, and four strikeouts.

Since coming to the Red Sox, Sandoval has hit .242/.290/.361 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs. The 29-year-old also made $17.6 million last season.

Boston fans are clamoring for the team to try to make a case that his weight caused the injury to try to void his contract, but that's not going to happen. It's fun to be on the other side of a disastrous contract sometimes.   
Imagine how fat he is gonna be doing nothing but eating for the entire season.

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Major League Baseball is reportedly processing several cases of positive PED tests, with at least one suspension expected to be announced in the next few days, according to ESPN's T.J. Quinn.

Sources tell "Outside the Lines" that the unidentified player has tested positive for Turinabol, which is the same steroid found in recently suspended players Dee Gordon, Chris Colabello, and Daniel Stumpf. Quinn reports the positive test is "one of a handful" currently being processed, and more announcements are expected to follow.

None of the players are believed to be "big names," Quinn said.

MLB officials are reportedly searching for a connection between the players and the drug Turinabol, which was used by East German athletes during the 1970s. Sources tell Quinn more sophisticated testing could be behind the recent spike in positive tests, with newer technology said to be more adept at finding traces of related metabolites in the body, even if the parent drug is no longer present.

Because players typically anticipate drug testing during spring training, when several of these positives were triggered, officials are wondering whether users who might have been taking Turinabol undetected for years may now be falling victim to more advanced testing.

"That's what makes the most sense. There really isn't another theory right now," a source told "OTL."

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The Atlanta Braves are in the midst of a rebuilding year, and after getting off to a major-league worst 7-19 start, they may start fresh at manager, too.

Atlanta is discussing internally whether it should fire skipper Fredi Gonzalez, a high-ranking Braves official told Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black is considered the favorite to replace Gonzalez if he's relieved of his duties, Nightengale writes, although an interim candidate such as Eddie Perez, Terry Pendleton, or Bo Porter could take over for the remainder of the season.

The Braves aren't directing all the blame for their poor start toward Gonzalez, whom they considered firing last season, but they expected better results, notes Nightengale.

Black, who spent four years working under current Braves president John Hart with the Cleveland Indians, is a former National League Manager of the Year who has 649 career wins under his belt.

The Braves are 425-385 under Gonzalez, but have a 31-72 record since last July, so the talks of the firing don't come as a surprise.

Gonzalez has been Atlanta's skipper since taking over for retired Braves legend Bobby Cox in October 2010.

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Just when it seemed like Alex Rodriguez had finally found a groove, the struggling New York Yankees will be without his services for the foreseeable future.

The Yankees announced Wednesday they've placed the veteran slugger on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

After leaving Tuesday's contest against the Baltimore Orioles in the fifth inning, the veteran slugger underwent an MRI on Wednesday that revealed the injury.

Rodriguez, who already missed a couple games last week due to oblique discomfort, appeared to tweak his hamstring running to first base and was replaced in New York's order by Dustin Ackley.

After missing action with the oblique issue, Rodriguez returned to the Yankees' lineup last Wednesday and went 6-for-14 with three home runs and two doubles over his last four games.

The 40-year-old three-time MVP was hitting .194/.275/.444 with five home runs and 12 RBIs prior to the hamstring injury.

In a corresponding move, the Yankees recalled left-handed pitcher James Pazos.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have suspended minor-league shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena for the remainder of the season, according to Barry Lewis of the Tulsa World.

Arruebarrena, who signed a five-year, $25-million deal out of Cuba in 2014, was issued a year-long ban last May for repeatedly violating terms of his contract. According to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, the club cited the same language for Monday's suspension, stating that Arruebarrena failed to comply with the terms of his contract.

The Dodgers haven't disclosed the specific violations for either suspension, though the previous ban was eventually reduced to 30 days.

Arruebarrena, 26, hasn't appeared in a major-league game since 2014, when he slashed .195/.244/.220 over 45 plate appearances. Through 17 games at Tulsa Double-A this year, Arruebarrena hit four homers and posted a .624 OPS.

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Major League Baseball has slapped Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Josh Ravin with an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for a banned substance.

Ravin's ban makes him the sixth big leaguer this season to be suspended under MLB's substance abuse policy. He released a statement shortly after the ruling, saying he took a supplement after getting the flu/strep throat this spring.

"Unfortunately, I was not as careful as I should have been and one of the supplements contained a banned substance," he said.

The news comes on the heels of 80-game bans for reigning National League batting champion Dee Gordon and Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello.

After 10 years in the minors, Ravin made his major-league debut last season, posting a 6.75 ERA in nine appearances. He has yet to play this season after breaking his non-throwing arm in a car accident during spring training.

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Things are going pretty good on the North Side right now.

Propelled by another strong outing from Jon Lester and a three-run blast from Ben Zobrist, the Chicago Cubs capped off a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday afternoon with a 6-2 victory at PNC Park to become the first team to 20 wins this year. Sitting comfortably in first place in the National League Central, now boasting a six-game lead over the second-place Pirates, the Cubs' scorching 20-6 start is the club's best since 1907, when Chicago opened up the campaign 22-4.

That team, by the way, ended up pummeling the Detroit Tigers in the World Series for their first of two successive championships.

Through their first 26 games, the Cubs own a +93 run differential, too, giving them a one-run edge in differential over the 1939 New York Yankees - the team with the best single-season run differential (+411) of all time - at the same point in the season. The only team with a better run differential through 26 games, the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates, ended up grabbing the National League pennant, but didn't get a chance for a World Series title due to a dispute between the two leagues over player contracts (the same issue that led to the cancellation of the previous year's Fall Classic).

While their offense has been superb, especially of late - the Cubs lead the NL in runs scored, and boast the league's top wRC+ (124) over the last two weeks - their pitching staff has been certifiably nuts since Opening Day, limiting opponents to three runs or fewer in all but five games this year.

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So much for hometown scoring.
Pirates superstar Andrew McCutchen had strong words for the official scorer of Wednesday's loss against the Chicago Cubs - Pittsburgh's fourth straight defeat - after the All-Star center fielder was given an error on a hard line drive by slugger Anthony Rizzo.
"He smoked it," McCutchen said of Rizzo's third-inning at-bat. "It was a knuckleball. Whoever scored that an error should be fired. That's unbelievable. I did everything I could to catch it."
Anthony Rizzo with one of the funkiest line drives I've ever seen https://t.co/jrWd9x2RLr
— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) May 4, 2016
McCutchen's frustrations appeared to be indicative of Pittsburgh's struggles as a whole. The second-place Pirates scored just five runs during the Cubs' three-game sweep at PNC Park to fall six games behind division-leading Chicago.








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Miguel Sano is not having a good year when it comes to umpires, and on Wednesday he had something to say about his recent experiences.

After the Minnesota Twins slugger was called out on strikes Tuesday after checking his swing against the Houston Astros, Sano complained umpires have been acting differently compared to the season prior.

"The umpire is supposed to check, but he never checked," Sano told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "That’s why they have umpires on both sides. I didn’t swing.

"Last year they checked a lot," Sano added. "I don’t know what’s going to happen with umpires. Umpires are crazy this year."

Perhaps Sano, who got into a heated argument with John Hirschbeck for arguing balls and strikes April 10, is in the bad books of baseball's rules enforcers, but his manger Paul Molitor has a different opinion.

"I think young players are probably not going to get the benefit (on check swings), whether they go down to the corner umpire or not," Molitor explained. "Maybe it looks different from behind on a guy like that. I can’t tell you why, but he doesn’t get many breaks in that regard.

"I still think he got banged on borderline pitches as a young guy, but I think he’s gotten some respect in terms of being able to lay off tough pitches," the skipper continued. "It could change from umpire to umpire too. He has a tendency once in a while to not have the best body language when things don’t go his way."

The 22-year-old Sano sits second in the American League with 39 strikeouts, one behind leader Justin Upton.

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Somebody test this guy. He's a midget, shouldn't be hitting home runs.




Looks like the Minnesota Twins didn't get the memo about not pitching to Jose Altuve in the first inning.

On Wednesday evening, the Astros' diminutive second baseman smacked his fifth leadoff home run of the young season, taking right-hander Phil Hughes deep to the opposite field to give Houston an early 1-0 lead at Minute Maid Park.

Barely one month into the 2016 campaign, Altuve is already more than halfway to last year's home run total of 15, which, for now, remains a career high.

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All your bases are belonging to Joe Mauer.
The Minnesota Twins designated hitter continued his torrid start to 2016 with his single off Houston Astros right-hander Mike Fiers in the third inning Wednesday. He's now reached base in all 28 games to start the season, which surpasses Jacque Jones for the second-longest on-base streak to begin a season in Twins history.
Kent Hrbek holds the longest streak in team history when he got on base in 33 straight games to start the 1982 season.
The 33-year-old Mauer has looked a lot more like his old American League MVP self to begin 2016, a refreshing change for the Twins after dealing with concussions and being forced to move out from behind the plate. Mauer is currently leading his team in several offensive categories, and is pacing the AL in walks and on-base percentage.

Mauer's stats during 28-game on-base streak

    BA/OBP/SLG        H   R 2B TB  BB   K
.316/.445/.432        30 10 6  41  22  10

(Statistics entering Wednesday's game)

For comparison's sake, Mauer hit .287/.361/.370 through his first 28 games of 2015, and had more hits (31) than he does now, but he had already struck out 20 times through 28 games, on his way to a career-high 112 Ks. His season-opening on-base streak in 2015 was shorter too, lasting just four games.
A tough test awaits Mauer if he's to keep the streak going and move closer to catching Hrbek's mark, though, as his Twins are scheduled to face the red-hot Chicago White Sox mound trio of Mat LatosChris Sale, and Jose Quintana this weekend.

Last edited on Thu May 5th, 2016 09:05 pm by lobo316

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Texas Rangers top prospect Joey Gallo will miss three-to-four weeks after an MRI on Tuesday showed a Grade 1 strain of his left groin, reports Alykhan Ravjiani from MLB.com.

Gallo suffered the injury April 30.

The 22-year-old, ranked the No. 7 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, suffered a similar injury to the right side of his groin in 2013, which cost him more than a month of action.

A former first-round draft choice, Gallo has always seemed to have trouble keeping his strikeout totals down, although he's made serious strides in doing so this season, whiffing 21 times in 85 plate appearances, compared to 139 in 374 minor-league plate appearances last season.

He also struck out 57 times at the major-league level during 123 plate appearances.

Gallo, who made his MLB debut June 2, 2015, owns a .254/.400/.642 slash line with seven home runs and 16 RBIs at Triple-A Round Rock.

In his lone MLB stint with the Rangers, Gallo hit .204/.301/.417 with six home runs and 14 RBIs across 36 games.

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The potential cancellation of a series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins set to take place in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 30-31 due to concerns over the Zika virus has irked country officials, who aren't happy with the idea being proposed.

"It's an outrageous situation," head of the tourism commission for Puerto Rico's House of Representatives, Angel Matos, told Luis Fabgregas and Ben Schmitt from the Tribune-Review. "The reality is that this cancellation is unfair, disproportionate, and makes our country look bad. It's an act of touristic terrorism."

Players from both teams reportedly banded together to let MLB know they'd prefer the games be moved to Miami after learning of the virus' presence in Puerto Rico. MLB is not expected to oppose the players' requests.

The virus has already affected nearly 5,000 people in Brazil, and cancelling the series could potentially cost Puerto Rico close to $2 million, which has already been invested in the event, and another $5 million in estimated revenue generated from the series.

Puerto Rican representatives are also upset over the lack of respect a cancellation would show towards home-grown product and former Pirates outfielder Robert Clemente.

Zika, which may cause microcephaly, a birth defect that leads to smaller heads in babies, has also made its way to Miami, where 90 cases of the virus have been found.

"So they're not coming (to Puerto Rico), and they're going to play in Miami, where there's also Zika?" Matos said.

Cancelling the trip would be a blow to MLB's developing relationship with Puerto Rico, which was hoping for a boost from the league's presence in the country amid its debt crisis of almost $70 billion, and the Zika situation.

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As two of the best teams in baseball through the first month, there's a good chance that Chicago's White Sox and Cubs will both reach the playoffs.

And if both teams were to face off in the World Series, one White Sox executive believes the matchup would be more fierce than New York's own showdown in the 2000 Fall Classic.

"They experienced it in New York, but New York isn't like Chicago," Brooks Boyer, the White Sox's senior VP of sales and marketing, told MLB.com's Scott Merkin. "The Mets-Yankees is not White Sox-Cubs.

"None of those other rivalries are like this. This would be a true civil war," Boyer added. "It would really separate the city. It would be awesome."

The last time the Cubs and White Sox were in the playoffs together was in 2008, when both sides were quickly dispatched in the division series by the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively.

They'll get some potential World Series warmups against one another from July 25-28, when the White Sox host the Cubs for two games before the series moves to Wrigley Field.

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Brett Cecil doesn't want the support of fair-weather fans.

The lefty reliever has been jeered by Toronto Blue Jays supporters in some of his recent outings, pushing him to respond to his critics.

"One thing I will say," Cecil told Postmedia Network's Steve Buffery on Thursday. "If you're going to boo me, don't cheer me when I'm pitching good."

Cecil's struggles this season are no secret, which has led to the harsh criticism from his own fans. Through 15 appearances this season, the left-hander owns a 5.59 ERA and is tied with Minnesota Twins starter Phil Hughes for the most losses in the majors with five.

It's a startling contrast to the 29-year-old's 2015 campaign, when, on June 24, he began a 37-game streak without surrendering a single earned run. Cecil posted a career-best 2.48 ERA for the Blue Jays last season, making the booing this year harder to stomach.

"I guess that's why it's so surprising, given what I've done in the past. And this is the only team I've been with, so it's a little surprising," he said, according to Buffery. "But like I said earlier, it gets bothersome, but it doesn't affect me on the mound."

"It's not like I'm whining about it. It's just surprising to me and it just bothers me in the sense that, you know, what I have done in the past and yet we've just finished the first month of baseball," he added. "So yeah, it makes me angry. But like I said, I'm not going to let if affect me on the mound. It can anger me before, it can anger me after, but it's not going to affect what I'm doing on the mound."

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By his own admission, Carlos Gomez has struggled since arriving in Houston at last year's trade deadline, but that doesn't mean the 30-year-old will tolerate disrespect from the local media.

Gomez, responsible for a measly .571 OPS so far this year, was quoted about his struggles in a Wednesday article from Houston Chronicle reporter Brian T. Smith, who made no effort to clean up the native Dominican's English in a column entitled: "Carlos Gomez knows he's a disappointment to Astros fans."

To wit:

"For the last year and this year, I not really do much for this team. The fans be angry. They be disappointed," said Gomez as he roamed center field against the team with which he spent 2008-09.

When Smith tweeted out a link to his story Thursday morning, he included Gomez's quote, too.

Gomez, the two-time All-Star with a decade of MLB service time, didn't appreciate it.

@ChronBrianSmith your intentions in your article were of real poor taste and had no affect on me. I am confident and proud of who I am.

— Carlos Gomez (@RealCarlosGomez) May 5, 2016
@ChronBrianSmith Thankfully I have a great support system and great teammates who are always there for me. God bless you!

— Carlos Gomez (@RealCarlosGomez) May 5, 2016
@ChronBrianSmith oh yeah next time you want an interview have Google translate on hand.. God bless #GetYourWritingSkillsUp #ZeroNegativity

— Carlos Gomez (@RealCarlosGomez) May 5, 2016

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Chris Bassitt, the former 16th-round pick who became a major part of the Oakland Athletics' pitching staff last year, will be out of commission for at least the next 12 months, as the club announced Thursday that the 27-year-old right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Bassitt, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox last December, opened the 2016 campaign in Oakland's rotation after a strong showing in the second half of 2015, but landed on the disabled list last week due to an elbow strain. After an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament, Dr. Timothy Kremchek recommended Tommy John surgery for Bassitt, who is scheduled to have his UCL repaired Friday at Beacon Orthopedics.

Over parts of two seasons with Oakland, Bassitt owns a 4.18 ERA (95 ERA+) with a 1.38 WHIP in 18 starts and five relief appearances, managing 87 strikeouts while allowing just 10 home runs in 114 innings. This year, before landing on the disabled list, Bassitt posted a 6.11 ERA in five starts, though he allowed just six earned runs in his first 19 1/3 innings (2.79) ERA before his elbow issues surfaced.

Bassitt has since been replaced in the rotation by Jesse Hahn, who opened the year on the disabled list due to elbow inflammation and forearm tightness.

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Jose Altuve's first-inning blast against the Seattle Mariners at Minute Maid Park on Thursday was special. Not because he practically hit that ball to Arlington, though, or because it marked the sixth time already this year that Altuve has led off the first inning with a long ball.

No, this one was special because Dillon, a young Houston Astros fan battling cancer, had specifically requested a homer from Houston's inimitable second baseman only a couple hours earlier.

Delivering on his promise wasn't enough, though. Altuve - the beloved Venezuelan whose 5-foot-6 frame belies his abilities - decided to add a double and a pair of singles, as well, finishing 4-for-4 in another virtuoso performance that offered a silver lining in his club's 6-3 loss.

This kind of performance is becoming increasingly routine for Altuve, an All-Star three times in four full seasons with the Astros who has led the American League in batting average (2014), hits (2014, 2015), and stolen bases (2014, 2015). He already has five three-hit games this year and double-digit steals. On Wednesday night, Altuve finished a triple shy of the cycle.

On Friday, Altuve will celebrate his 26th birthday, and if Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais is lucky, the dynamic second baseman will get the night off as a gift from his skipper, A.J. Hinch.

"That little guy at (second base) is some kind of player," said Servais. "It's not a good feeling when you see him walking to the plate."

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On Tuesday, having watched the Diamondbacks drop four of their previous five games, one Arizona sports columnist opined that another bad month "might make things very uncomfortable" for manager Chip Hale, whose club is now mired in fourth place in the National League West at 12-17.

Tony La Russa, the club's chief baseball officer, doesn't see it that way.

"There's no sense to that -€“ none," La Russa told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. "I have a lot of respect for (Arizona Republic columnist) Dan (Bickley). I don't know how he figured that. Maybe it's because of the expectations.

"But if you backed up five days, we're at .500, a (half-game) out of first place. We had a difficult three against Colorado. We've lost two in Miami. You take a snapshot when you take it. But no, the issue is not Chip Hale."

Though Hale - now in his second season as Arizona's manager - may be a convenient scapegoat, the Diamondbacks' most obvious problems are on the pitcher's mound. Through the first four weeks of the 2016 campaign, despite adding both Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller this offseason, the Diamondbacks rank among the bottom five in the NL in ERA (5.01), WHIP (1.46), and fielding independent pitching (4.51).

While the Diamondbacks have done a better job putting runs on the board as of late, meanwhile, their lineup has been middling overall, as Arizona ranks seventh in the NL this year in runs per game (4.48), OPS (.775), and weighted runs created plus (99).

So, La Russa said, directing criticism at Hale just doesn't make much sense.

"I believe in the talent and the character of the club. I definitely believe in the manager and the coaching staff," La Russa said.

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Los Angeles Angels right-hander Garrett Richards has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, reports Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan, citing sources.

The 27-year-old was scheduled to start Friday, but the club scratched him citing dehydration and fatigue.

Passan reports the tear was found Thursday, and Richards will not return until the middle of 2017 if he decides to have the surgery.

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The San Diego Padres remain the only team in Major League Baseball without a no-hitter to their credit, despite the best efforts of right-hander Colin Rea, who tossed 6 2/3 innings of hitless ball Thursday.

Rea held a powerful New York Mets offense without a knock until Yoenis Cespedes used a Padres shift against them in the seventh, smacking a grounder through the right side after San Diego lined up three infielders to the left of second base.

"I loved watching Colin chase (the no-hitter) for as long as he got the opportunity to chase it tonight," manager Andy Green told reporters in postgame comments. "It would've been great to go a little bit longer. Somebody should've just told me not to shift on Cespedes."

Green has successfully employed the same kind of shift on more than one occasion throughout the season, so the idea wasn't an unfamiliar one to the team. It just happened to come with unfortunate results.

"That's obviously tough," said first baseman Wil Myers, who was the only position player on the right side when the hit occurred. "Everybody out there knew what was going on. But that's the way the game goes sometimes. We leave a hole open and a good hitter exploits that."

Rea wound up lasting eight innings, allowing three hits and one run in the process, and despite losing his no-hitter to the shift, was appreciative of the good things it did for him throughout the contest.

"The shift came into play multiple times before that. It saved more hits tonight than we gave up," he explained.

Rea moved to 3-1 on the season, lowering his ERA to 3.82 with the sparkling performance.

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Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is not only a fan of keeping the game fun, but he'd also like to see it make strides in expansion.

According to FOX Sports' Jon Morosi, Manfred spoke with Jason Benetti and Steve Stone of CSN Chicago on Thursday, where he said he'd "love to see" MLB expand after a new labor deal is finalized, and stadium situations in Tampa Bay and Oakland are resolved.

Manfred went on to name Montreal and Mexico City as front-runners for possible expansion sites, with the latter being of interest to the league, who are looking to break into new ground.

The idea of expanding into new cities is a much-talked about topic across baseball and after Montreal sold out two exhibition games between the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox prior to the 2016 campaign, it makes sense.

Manfred thinks expanding to 32 teams in the near future is inevitable.

"I have said publicly that I think baseball's a growth sport, a growth business, that sooner or later growth businesses expand," Manfred told the Associated Press on April 21. "If we were to expand, I do think a city that makes sense geographically - meaning in terms of realistic travel distances and is outside of the 48 contiguous states - would be positive choice for us in terms of growing the game."

This wouldn't be Montreal's first dive into the MLB pool. The Expos were a member of the league from 1969-2004 before the franchise moved to Washington and took on the Nationals moniker.

After a 12-year hiatus, Mexico City hosted two spring games between the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres last January.

Portland has also been named as a potential expansion destination by Manfred in the past.

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After getting off to an 0-9 start, the Minnesota Twins continue to maintain the worst record in the American League and sit a game behind the rebuilding Atlanta Braves for the worst record in baseball.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan has been patient with the club thus far, but thinks it may be time to make some changes.

"We’re not playing too well," Ryan told the Star Tribune. "Consequently, we are going to have to start making some difficult decisions for our players, whether it is their near future or distant. It is not going good enough for us to wait. We are going to have to make some decisions."

Minnesota has already reportedly placed pitchers Tommy Milone and Casey Fien on waivers Thursday after demoting Byron Buxton to the minors last week.

Ryan expects to look both within and outside the organization for ways to help turn things around before they get out of hand.

"I have always liked this team and the character on the club," Ryan explained. "We’ve got some veterans. We’ve got some middle-of-the-road guys, and we’ve got some young ones. I thought we would be OK, but we’re not. Right now we have to face reality. We’re in bad shape. We’re in a difficult spot, and we can’t let it keep going."

Minnesota finished last season behind only the reigning World Series champion Kansas City Royals in the American League Central with a 83-79 record.

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NEW YORK (AP) Zika virus concerns have forced the Pirates-Marlins series out of Puerto Rico, with baseball saying the two games will instead be played this month in Miami.

Major League Baseball and the players' union made the announcement Friday. Pittsburgh and Miami will meet May 30-31 at Marlins Park.

The union had asked Commissioner Rob Manfred to relocate the games after several players expressed fears about getting and possibly transmitting the Zika virus.

"After discussing the issue with all involved parties, and consulting with federal and Puerto Rican government officials at the highest levels, commissioner Manfred decided that the players who objected to the trip because of their specific family situations should not be forced to travel to Puerto Rico," read the joint statement released Friday. "Because too many regulars on both clubs fell into that category, commissioner Manfred had no choice but to relocate the games."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly, where infants are born with unusually small heads. The virus is most often spread by mosquito bites, but it also can be spread through sexual intercourse.

The CDC had spoken to players and staff from the Pirates and Marlins about the potential risks.

Pittsburgh and the Marlins were originally scheduled to play the series in Miami when the original draft of the schedule was made last year. On Nov. 19, MLB said the games would be played in Puerto Rico, the homeland of Pirates Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente and many other big leaguers.

MLB has played several regular-season games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan in the past.

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The struggling New York Yankees were dealt yet another blow Friday when starting pitcher CC Sabathia was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 5, with a left groin strain.

Sabathia's injury couldn't come at a worse time for the last-place Yankees, who lost Alex Rodriguez to a hamstring strain Wednesday, and are mired in a deep season-long slump. Entering play Friday, the club had lost eight of its last 10 to fall seven games behind division-leader Boston.

The news also came at an unfortunate time for Sabathia, personally.

The embattled left-hander, who returned this season after entering a rehab center for alcohol problems last fall, turned in his best start of 2016 on Wednesday when he tossed seven scoreless innings to snap New York's six-game losing streak. Through five starts, Sabathia struck out 21 batters over 28 1/3 innings while managing a 3.81 ERA.

Manager Joe Girardi told reporters Friday that Sabathia first felt the injury during the fourth inning of Wednesday's win over Baltimore, and the strain was revealed in an MRI after the game.

In a corresponding move, the club selected veteran left-hander Phil Coke from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and signed him to a major-league contract. Selected in the 26th round of the 2002 draft, Coke played the first two seasons of his career in the Bronx, compiling a 3.74 ERA over 84 relief appearances.

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The 2016 Major League Baseball campaign is just over a month old and more players have been suspended for performance-enhancing drug use than all of last season.

ESPN's Jayson Stark spoke with MLB officials who told him there are several explanations for the spike in suspensions, which includes more frequent testing, better technology, and increased use of the drug Turinabol.

Stark writes testing has increased by close to 3,000 more tests since 2014 as a result of the 2013 Biogenesis investigation which led to the suspensions of Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun.

As per a May 4 report from "Outside the Lines," MLB is in the middle of processing several cases of positive PED tests, with at least one suspension expected to be announced in the next few days.

None of the players to be suspended are believed to be "big names," according to T.J. Quinn.

Eight suspensions have already been dished out so far this season, including Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello, and New York Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia, who received a lifetime ban after his third drug violation.

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The Los Angeles Angels' pitching woes went from bad to worse Friday after the club revealed that left-hander Andrew Heaney will rehab his ailing elbow in hopes of avoiding reconstructive surgery.

The news came just hours after it was reported that ace Garrett Richards is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the season.

"(He's) opting for conservative care like other pitchers have done," Angels general manager Billy Eppler told the Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher on Friday.

Eppler noted that multiple doctors reviewed Heaney's medicals, and their findings ranged from "normal wear and tear" to "some degree of tear," according to Fletcher.

Heaney, 24, who was on the disabled list with what was listed as a strained flexor muscle, hasn't pitched in a game since April 5. Shortly after Richards' news was announced, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan that Heaney was rehabbing in order to avoid Tommy John surgery.

A potential loss of both Heaney and Richards for the long term would play a huge factor in the team's potential contention in the competitive American League West.

L.A. is already without veteran C.J Wilson, who's on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, as well as decreased velocity from Jered Weaver and the recent demotion of Matt Shoemaker.

Heaney, a former Miami Marlins first-round draft choice has only made one start for the Angels this season, after making 18 in 2015, and owns a career ERA of 4.09 in 26 appearances, 24 of which have been starts.

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Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, the team announced.

The club did not provide a timetable for recovery, though the Boston Red Sox revealed last week that Pablo Sandoval would miss the remainder of the season after undergoing a similar procedure.

Mesoraco was placed on the disabled list Monday after tests showed damage to his left labrum, the latest in a series of ongoing issues plaguing the former All-Star catcher. The 27-year-old also battled sore quadriceps during April and has appeared in just 16 of the Reds' first 25 games.

An All-Star in 2014, Mesoraco was trying to work his way back into an everyday role this summer after undergoing season-ending hip surgery last June. In 23 games last season, he struggled to a .178/.275/.244 slash line with just two RBIs.

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The reeling New York Yankees suffered yet another blow Friday night, as center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will undergo an MRI after leaving his club's series opener against the Boston Red Sox with tightness in his right hip.

Ellsbury appeared to hurt himself while attempting to steal first in the bottom of the first inning, wincing and grabbing his hip after beating the throw from Christian Vazquez and eventually limping home on a double from Brian McCann. After scoring, the 32-year-old immediately headed to the clubhouse, and was replaced in center field by Aaron Hicks - he moved over from right - in the top of the second.

Ellsbury, who managed a .695 OPS in 26 games prior to Friday's contest at Yankee Stadium, dealt with problems in his right hip last year, missing a couple games in August after hurting himself diving for a ball.

If his hip problems are more serious this time around, though, the Yankees could be in trouble. Earlier this week, Alex Rodriguez landed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain, and the club announced Friday morning that left-hander C.C. Sabathia will miss at least the next 15 days with a groin issue.

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Things are a mess in Anaheim right now.

Absent from the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, the Angels have endured a familiar, dispiriting start to the 2016 campaign, stumbling to a 13-15 record with an aging roster overflowing with bloated contracts. Albert Pujols is hitting .198. Jered Weaver's fastball can't break a pane of glass. Their farm system is a mess, too, and Garrett Richards looks poised for Tommy John surgery.

Still, bleak as it is, general manager Billy Eppler made one thing perfectly clear Friday: Mike Trout isn't going anywhere.

"We have no intent or desire to consider moving Mike Trout -€“ he's not moving," Eppler told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. "He's an impact player, a huge piece in a championship core."

Impact player? Talk about an understatement. In more than a century of Major League Baseball, no player has ever been as good as Trout at the same stage in his career. Trout, already an All-Star four times and MVP once, compiled more WAR through his age-23 season than any player ever, and is off to another sublime start this year, hitting .317/.400/.596 (181 wRC+) with seven homers in his first 28 games.

Nevertheless, Eppler said, even though Trout - who has five years and about $138 million left on his deal - would command perhaps an unprecedented haul in a trade, the first-year GM isn't ready to start the rebuild.

"This team was up against a lot of adversity last year and fought to the end," Eppler said. "We've got a lot of character, a lot of the same guys on the club. They will not back down from a fight."

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Bartolo Colon electrified the baseball world on Saturday when the 42-year-old pitcher hit the first home run of his 19-year career off of San Diego Padres starter James Shields.
After fans lit up social media with reactions, memes, slow-motion videos, and general praise for "Big Sexy," the Elias Sports Bureau revealed Colon's blast also made history.
Colon's dinger made him the oldest player ever to hit his first career home run (42 years, 349 days), unseating Randy Johnson as the previous holder.
The Dominican hurler is the fifth-oldest pitcher to hit a home run since 1913. Philadelphia Athletics hurler Jack Quinn, who homered at age 46 in 1930, holds the record. He's also just the third Mets player over age 42 to hit a home run, joining Willie Mays and Julio Franco, according to ESPN Stats.
Colon, however, will need a few more seasons in the big leagues if he wants to surpass Franco (47) as the oldest player to ever hit a long ball in MLB history.








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lobo316 wrote: Bartolo Colon electrified the baseball world on Saturday when the 42-year-old pitcher hit the first home run of his 19-year career off of San Diego Padres starter James Shields.


Topps just released a special card that you can buy directly from their website:


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Prior to Saturday, Bartolo Colon's swing was best remembered as a clunky motion that usually resulted in the New York Mets pitcher hilariously losing his helmet. It's amazing how one at-bat can change everything.

Colon, 42, became the oldest player in major-league history to notch his first career homer Saturday, when he connected on a James Shields fastball and sent it into the stands at Petco Park, some 365 feet away from home plate.

On Sunday, Topps celebrated the iconic shot with a baseball card dubbed: "The impossible becomes possible."

Bartolo Colon hitting his 1st HR is newest #TOPPSNOW card. Get it here: https://t.co/tpN4j99mUZ pic.twitter.com/KjexVVdPA9

— Topps Company (@toppscards) May 8, 2016
Listen: Colon's home run call in Spanish is epic

Colon's special edition card is selling for $9.99 USD, and is available at Topps.com until Monday at 11:30 a.m. ET.

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The Chicago Cubs had an interesting strategy for containing the reigning National League MVP on Sunday, and although Bryce Harper's on-base percentage loved it, the slugger wasn't a fan, as he failed to record an official at-bat.

"They had a plan," Harper told ESPN in postgame comments. "They had a plan, and unfortunately, it worked."

Chicago put the Washington Nationals superstar on base seven times with six coming due to walks - two intentional - and one by a hit-by-pitch, keeping the 23-year-old from doing any real damage in a tight contest that ended with a 4-3 Cubs victory in extra innings.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who has used similar tactics before, once intentionally walking Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded in 2008, told reporters after the game his team did what they had to do to come out victorious.

"I know that he's not as hot as he can be coming into this series, but you don't want to get him hot,'' Maddon explained. "I've been part of that in the past. We did what we thought we had to do today, and it happened to work, so good for our guys.''



With the loss, Washington was swept by the Cubs, and fell into second place in the NL East behind the New York Mets by half a game.

Last edited on Mon May 9th, 2016 05:46 pm by lobo316

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The Washington Nationals starter gave up one unearned run over six innings on Sunday, but saw his excellent start evaporate into an extra-inning Cubs victory thanks partially to the home side pitching around Bryce Harper and walking him six times.

"I think it's scared baseball," Roark told reporters, after saying the Cubs' strategy left him "very, very surprised."

Harper was allowed to take his base in favor of facing Ryan Zimmerman seven times - six by walk, once on a hit-by-pitch. Each time, Zimmerman validated the Cubs' choice, and eventually left a major-league record 14 runners stranded. That was just the outcome Joe Maddon was hoping for.

"(Because of) how good he is - why tempt fate?" the Cubs manager told reporters. "If the other guy gets you, that's fine. You have no problem with that."

Unlike his pitcher, Nationals manager Dusty Baker understood why the Cubs pitched around the reigning NL MVP, and knows more teams will follow suit until the rest of the lineup picks up some of the slack.

"The fans didn't come here to see him walk. They come here to see him swing the bat," Baker said. "But until we start swinging the bat behind him, that's going to be the norm."

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David Ortiz is continuing to re-write the Boston Red Sox record books as he winds down his career.

The designated hitter's fourth-inning home run off Luis Severino was the 453rd of his Red Sox career, moving him past Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski for second most in team history.

PLAYER                HR    PA
Ted Williams        521  9788
David Ortiz          453  7892
Carl Yastrzemski  452 13992
Jim Rice              382   9058
Dwight Evans      379 10240

In his next at-bat, Ortiz hit his second home run of the game, and 454th as a member of the Red Sox.

Barring a change of heart regarding his retirement, though, it's all but assured Ortiz will finish his Red Sox career with the second-most homers in team history, as he needs another 68 long balls to catch Williams.

Ortiz's eighth homer of 2016 was also the 511th of his career, which moved him into a tie with legendary Giants slugger Mel Ott for 23rd all-time. His seventh-inning blast, career homer No. 512, moved him past Ott and into a three-way tie for 22nd with Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews.

The 40-year-old's homer was the 51st of his career against the New York Yankees, the sixth-highest total against the venerable franchise, according to ESPN Stats. His next homer against the Bronx Bombers will tie Yastrzemski for fifth on that particular list.

Last edited on Mon May 9th, 2016 05:50 pm by lobo316

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A decision on the length of suspension issued to Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes for a domestic abuse incident involving his wife in Hawaii could be made soon.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the 32-year-old's suspension could be at least 60 games, and perhaps even jump to 80 games.

Reyes' ban is expected to be announced in the coming days according to Heyman, but he opines there is little doubt Reyes will receive at least double the 30-game suspension given to New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman for a separate domestic abuse incident.

The former New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays shortstop was arrested Oct. 31 at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort.

Reyes will not face any criminal charges in the alleged incident, where his wife Katherine suffered injuries to her neck, wrist and thigh, after a judge dismissed him of any wrongdoing in early April.

The 13-year MLB veteran is currently on paid administrative leave and had $44 million left on his contract entering the 2016 campaign.

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Star reliever Aroldis Chapman is set to be activated after serving a 29-game suspension under baseball's domestic violence policy. He'll join the last-place New York Yankees for the opener of a four-game home set against World Series champion Kansas City. The left-hander from Cuba, a four-time All-Star with a fastball that regularly exceeds 100 mph, will immediately take over the closer role in an imposing bullpen that already features Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Chapman was acquired from Cincinnati for four prospects in December.

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The league isn't letting Bartolo Colon's memorable week go unforgotten.

The portly New York Mets starter, who hit his first career home run on Saturday at the age of 42, was named alongside Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist as the National League's co-Player of the Week on Monday.

"I think right now this is probably the biggest moment of my career," he said after becoming the oldest player ever to hit his first career home run.


Colon's home run wasn't his only impressive stat of the last seven days, though. The right-hander also struck out five in 6 2/3 innings against the San Diego Padres, prefaced by a scoreless eight-inning performance against the Atlanta Braves on Monday when he struck out seven and only allowed seven hits.

Zobrist, meanwhile, batted .360/.455/.880 during the week.

Robinson Cano, the American League's sole recipient of the award, hit a near-unbelievable .516/.516/1.000, launching four home runs from May 2-8.

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CanadianHorseman wrote: lobo316 wrote: Bartolo Colon electrified the baseball world on Saturday when the 42-year-old pitcher hit the first home run of his 19-year career off of San Diego Padres starter James Shields.


Topps just released a special card that you can buy directly from their website:






It's been more than 24 hours since Bartolo Colon slugged his way into the baseball record books, and yet his epic home run is still rewriting history.
Topps announced Monday that Colon's "The impossible becomes possible" baseball card commemorating his first career home run shattered the record for limited-edition print by selling 8,826 cards in 24 hours.
"This moment was the perfect storm," Jeff Heckman, director of product development and e-commerce for Topps, told ESPN's Darren Rovell. "It was the right player in the right market and it happened on a weekend."
According to Rovell, the special-edition card is part of the collectible series "Topps Now" in which the company recreates a popular moment and sells as many cards that are ordered within a 24-hour period. The cards sell for $9.99, though buyers can purchase in bulk for a cheaper price.


Colon, 42, became the oldest player in major-league history to notch his first career homer Saturday when he connected on a James Shields fastball and sent it into the stands at Petco Park, some 365 feet away from home plate. The home run triggered an avalanche of memes, GIFs, and other funny recreations in honor of one of baseball's most beloved players.
The previous record was held by Jake Arrieta's no-hitter, which sold 1,808 cards.
"When we first developed this, we thought that the best-selling card this season would be a no-hitter, a player hitting for the cycle, or maybe Ichiro's 3000th hit," Heckman said. "Colon just has a cult following. We could have never dreamed up something like this."

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Just when it seemed like things couldn't get any worse for the Los Angeles Angels, the club received some terrible news on Monday.

The club announced shortstop Andrelton Simmons will require surgery to repair a full-thickness tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. He will head to the disabled list.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register rehab from this type of surgery is typically six-to-eight weeks, although an exact timetable for Simmons return has not yet been determined.

FOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports Jed Lowrie of the Oakland Athletics had a similar surgery last season and missed three months of action, while Joey Kaufman of the Orange Country Register writes Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper spent 65 days on the DL with a UCL tear in his thumb in 2014.

Simmons left Sunday's contest against the Tampa Bay Rays with what was first diagnosed as a wrist injury, then later a thumb sprain after making a diving attempt for a ball.

In his absence, the Angels are expected to use a combination of Cliff Pennington and Rey Navarro at shortstop.

Simmons will be added to the Angels' growing disabled list, which already includes Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, C.J. Wilson, Huston Street, and Craig Gentry.

The 26-year-old was acquired in the off-season for a package of players from the Atlanta Braves, and is widely considered one of the game's best defenders. He was hitting .219/.246/.281 with one home run and eight RBIs prior to the injury.

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Stephen Strasburg has signed a "significant long-term extension" with the Washington Nationals, according to a person familiar with the situation, reports Chelsea James of the Washington Post.

MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports the deal is for seven years and has a value of $175-million, including deferrals and opt outs.

A press conference to announce the deal has been scheduled for Tuesday.

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The King stands alone.

Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez set the franchise record for wins by a pitcher on Monday, when he earned his 146th career victory in a 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hernandez tossed seven innings, allowing four hits, walking two and hitting two batters, while striking out four.

The 30-year-old passed crafty-lefty Jamie Moyer to earn sole possession atop the list.

This isn't the first time this season Hernandez has etched his name in the record books of the Mariners, he also passed Randy Johnson to become the franchise leader in strikeouts on Apr. 23.

The Venezuelan, who won a Cy Young in 2010, has spent his entire 12-year career with the Mariners.

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MLB has suspended Raul Mondesi Jr. 50 games after he ingested a banned substance discovered in his cold medicine.

The initial ban was for 80 games under the league's joint drug policy, but after he provided evidence under the "No Significant Fault or Negligence" provision, the ban was cut down to 50 games, according to the New York Post's Joel Sherman.

"I took an over-the-counter medication (Subrox-C) which I bought in the Dominican Republic to treat cold and flu symptoms," Mondesi Jr. said in a statement. "I failed to read the labeling on the medication or consult with my trainer or team about taking it and did not know it contained a banned substance."

Under the rule, players are responsible for what's in their body, whether their use of a banned substance was intentional or accidental.

Despite his suspension, the Royals' top prospect will be eligible for the playoffs and tiebreaker games.

Mondesi Jr. is playing for the Kansas City Royals' Double-A affiliate. He made his MLB debut by getting one at-bat in the 2015 World Series.

The news comes on the same day two other minor leaguers were suspended under the drug program.

Toronto Blue Jays farmhand Clinton Hollon netted a 50-game suspension following his second positive test, while Minnesota Twins minor leaguer Logan Lombana was banned 80 games for PED use.

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CINCINNATI - Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco had surgery Tuesday on his left shoulder, which was damaged worse than expected. He'll have a six-month rehabilitation program.

Mesoraco started feeling pain in his non-throwing shoulder the first week of the season. He played in only 16 games, batting .140 with one double and one RBI.

Manager Bryan Price said doctors found that the damage to the labrum was worse than first thought, extending his anticipated rehab by a couple of months.

The 27-year-old catcher was an All-Star for the first time in 2014, when he hit 25 homers and drove in 80 runs. A sore hip limited him to 23 games last season and required surgery. He was the starting catcher on opening day.

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After discovering Andrelton Simmons will miss an extended period of time due to a torn thumb ligament, the Los Angeles Angels moved quickly to find a replacement for their star defensive shortstop.

The Angels acquired Brendan Ryan from the Washington Nationals, the club announced Tuesday.

Simmons is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after requiring surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Ryan will likely platoon at shortstop with utility infielder Cliff Pennington for the Angels while Simmons recovers.

Ryan has spent the 2016 season to date in Triple-A Syracuse, batting .263/.305/.382. He played 47 games with the New York Yankees in 2015, finishing the year with a .229/.275/.333 slash line.

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PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with Michael Bourn and assigned him to Double-A Mobile.

The 33-year-old outfielder, a two-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, was released by the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Bourn has a .266 batting average and 326 stolen bases over parts of 10 major league seasons with Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta and Cleveland.

He was designated for assignment by the Braves on April 2 and signed a minor league contract with Toronto. In nine games with Single-A Dunedin this season, Bourn hit .257 with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs.

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Joe Girardi is the dumbest manager in MLB as proven the past two series of continually pitching to guys that hurt the team.  In contrast to Joe Maddon, he's basically retarded.

Carry on.

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The Chicago Cubs haven't been this hot in more than a century.

With an 8-7 victory over the San Diego Padres on Tuesday - fueled by a 4-for-4 night from Ben Zobrist and a pair of extra-base hits from Addison Russell - the Cubs, at 25-6, matched the 1907 club for the best start in franchise history.

In addition to tying the franchise's high-water mark from 109 years ago - that club, by the way, went on to win the World Series - the Cubs are also off to the best start of any team since 1984, and are one of only eight clubs in the last 100 seasons to win at least 25 of their first 31 contests.

"You can't stay this hot all year long," Zobrist told MLB.com after helping his club extend their winning to streak to eight games. "It's such a long season, and we know we're going to have down points. It's the ability to pick each other up, and this team, so far, you've got contributions from everybody, all around the clubhouse, up and down the lineup, every pitcher, every reliever, everybody's contributing in some way. I think the confidence as a team is just super high because of that."

Still, though his club boasts an MLB-best plus-101 run differential and an 8 1/2-game lead atop the National League Central, president of baseball operations Theo Epstein won't let the accolades pouring in at the moment stop him from being proactive about issues destined to arise later in the season.

"We almost throw out everything that has happened so far," Epstein told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. "We are on such a roll that we probably spend more time looking ahead to the inevitable challenging periods when we're short-handed and strapped, and things aren't breaking our way. (We're) trying to get ahead and figure out how we're going to deal with that adversity.''

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Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons delivered a colorful response Tuesday when asked about slumping shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's big night.

Tulowitzki, who entered the game with the majors' third-worst batting average among qualified hitters, notched a pair of extra-base hits - including his sixth homer of the season - and drove in three runs to help the Blue Jays blank the Giants 4-0.

Apparently, the effort was enough for Gibbons to tell Tulowitzki's critics what to do. Or something like that.

"For all the Tulo haters out there, suck on that one tonight," Gibbons said, according to reporters. "I tip my hat to him because he's been taking a lot of heat, he's been working hard, and you know what? He's a damn good player."

Tulowitzki's 2-for-3 night improved his OPS by 51 points and marked just the second time since April 23 that he's registered an extra-base hit. Despite his low percentages, Tulowitzki's six homers already exceeds the five he hit with Toronto last year in eight fewer games.

For Gibbons, it's not the first time the skipper provided reporters with headline fodder. Last month, Gibbons came under fire for a controversial "dresses" comment after the Blue Jays lost because of MLB's new slide rules.

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Aroldis Chapman is quickly becoming a New York Yankees legend. Emphasis on quick.

On Tuesday, some 24 hours after making his Bronx debut, Chapman electrified Yankee Stadium by lighting up the radar gun in his first save opportunity in pinstripes.

The four-time All-Star entered the game in the ninth with the Yankees holding a 10-7 lead over the Royals, and promptly broke Cheslor Cuthbert's bat on a 102-mph fastball, struck out Christian Colon, and retired Lorenzo Cain two batters later for his first save as a Yankee.

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Stephen Strasburg will make the most money in baseball history during the 2023 season - even if he doesn't recoup it all that year.

Under reported terms of his record-breaking $175-million extension, the Washington Nationals right-hander is set to earn $45 million in 2023 - his age-34 season - but will only receive $15 million that year because of deferred payments, sources tell Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan. The deal also reportedly includes a limited no-trade clause, beginning next season.

Strasburg's seven-year contract contains $70 million in deferrals - including $30 million for that 2023 season - which lowers the present-day value of the deal by around $15 million, according to Passan. Either way, the extension is the largest contract ever awarded to a pitcher who's undergone Tommy John surgery.

An All-Star in 2012, Strasburg has long tantalized fans and evaluators alike with his electric arsenal of pitches and high-speed velocity. His health, however, has limited him to just one 200-inning season during his seven-year career.

Strasburg, who turns 28 this summer, was set to become a free agent at the end of the season.

srossi

 

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lobo316 wrote: Aroldis Chapman is quickly becoming a New York Yankees legend. Emphasis on quick.

On Tuesday, some 24 hours after making his Bronx debut, Chapman electrified Yankee Stadium by lighting up the radar gun in his first save opportunity in pinstripes.

The four-time All-Star entered the game in the ninth with the Yankees holding a 10-7 lead over the Royals, and promptly broke Cheslor Cuthbert's bat on a 102-mph fastball, struck out Christian Colon, and retired Lorenzo Cain two batters later for his first save as a Yankee.

I don't know if that makes him a legend.  In his first game he gave up 1 run in 1 inning for a 9.00 ERA.  He's now given up 1 run in 2 innings so I guess his ERA is down to 4.50.  Let's relax.

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The Red Sox hitters sure did enjoy Oakland pitching the last 3 days as they scored 40 runs and swept the 3 game series. 

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Joe Ross and the Washington Nationals weren't fully on board with Anthony Rendon's smooth play to force James McCann at second base and end their team's 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Just a little piece inside of them wanted Max Scherzer to get an extra shot at his 21st strikeout, which would have set a new major league record.

"We were just joking, he gets to one strike on the last guy and then he gets a ground ball, maybe he (Rendon) just boots it on purpose or takes his time, throws and the guy's safe," Ross told Alex Putterman of MLB.com.

Scherzer, for his part, was quite enthralled by his performance, which tied the existing record for a nine-inning game held by Kerry Wood, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson.

"That's some serious company," he said. "It won't sink in right now, but it's an amazing accomplishment. I mean, the strikeouts are sexy. And to be able to punch out 20, it's sexy."


The 31-year-old did acknowledge he had a little extra pep in his arm facing the Tigers, where he pitched for five seasons before signing a mega-deal with the Nationals. Striking out his former teammates 20 times may have made the event all the more special.

"Tonight was an emotional game, facing a former team and all those guys I have so much respect for and how they play the game and how they compete," Scherzer said. "I really think the world how they go out there and play the game. And so to have a game like this against that caliber of hitters on their side, that really puts a feather in my cap because I really respect and really admire how they go about the game."

Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who's been around the game in some capacity since 1967, had only the highest of praise for his ace.
"That was the best performance I've seen in person," he said.

Last edited on Thu May 12th, 2016 05:39 pm by lobo316

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#HRDerby with @Mets pitchers ... who you got?https://t.co/Kmv2E5YmvR #PitchersWhoRake‌https://t.co/WKEQErjbOu

— MLB (@MLB) May 12, 2016
Move over, Big Sexy.

Four days after Bartolo Colon shocked the world with his miraculous home run, his teammate Noah Syndergaard decided to get in on the long-ball fun himself. In the third inning of Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the man they call "Thor" wielded his mighty bat and powered Kenta Maeda's offering 407 feet into the Los Angeles night at Dodger Stadium for his second career homer.

Then, in the fifth inning with two men on, Syndergaard decided to take Maeda over the wall in left field. Just for variety, you know.

In the sixth inning he came to the plate again, this time with the bases loaded, looking for the first three-home run game by a pitcher since Jim Tobin in 1942. Syndergaard got his fastball right away from Chris Hatcher, and put a scare into everyone when he yanked it foul into the third deck.


Syndergaard is the 66th pitcher to have a multi-homer game, and the first to do so since Micah Owings in 2007. He's just the second Mets hurler to homer twice in a game, joining Walt Terrell in 1983.

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Brad Ausmus has a penchant for being on the wrong side of 20-strikeout games.

While catching for the Detroit Tigers on Sept. 18, 1996, Ausmus squared off against Boston Red Sox ace Roger Clemens at Tiger Stadium. Clemens struck out 20 Tigers that day, the second time he'd reached the mark in his career.

Two years later, Ausmus found himself behind the plate for the Houston Astros on May 6, 1998 at Wrigley Field. On the mound for the hometown Chicago Cubs that day was one Kerry Wood, who punched out 20 Astros in one of the most dominating performances of all time.

So the Tigers manager probably wasn't pleased to be on the losing end of a third 20-strikeout game Wednesday when Max Scherzer set down 20 of his players on strikeouts in the Washington Nationals' 3-2 win.

He was able to offer a unique perspective, however, comparing the three performances.

"It wasn't quite as dominant as Kerry Wood, and it was more dominant than Clemens," Ausmus told reporters of Scherzer's outing.


For the record, Ausmus fared better during Clemens' 20-K game, going 1-for-3 with a single while striking out just once. Against Wood, he was 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

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For the first time this season, the Chicago Cubs have suffered two straight losses. It marks the end of a remarkable stretch roughly 90 years in the making.

The juggernaut Cubs were swept by the San Diego Padres in Wednesday's doubleheader, snapping their streak of avoiding consecutive losses at 32 games. Their improbable start to the season is the deepest a team has gone without back-to-back losses since the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics skirted out to a 39-12 record before losing a second straight time in Game No. 52.

Fittingly, the A's went on to win the World Series that year in five games over the Cubs.

"This is not baseball reality," Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations, told CSN Chicago before Tuesday's win over the Padres. "Baseball reality is it's really hard to win a single major-league game. That's why we celebrate it so much."

Wednesday's slump notwithstanding, the heavy favorite Cubs have lived up to their dominant offseason by outscoring the opposition by 99 runs through 33 games, and jumping out to a seven-game lead over the second-place Pirates.

Epstein, citing "baseball karma," said the club wasn't taking the hot start for granted, even after winning 12 of 13 games before Wednesday's twin bill.

"We know we’re in a stretch right now where winning seems far easier than it actually is," Epstein said. "We know there's going to be a stretch - probably a long stretch this year - where winning even one game seems virtually impossible. That's just the nature of baseball. We're not blinded by it."

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SAN FRANCISCO - Given a choice, Marcus Stroman would have preferred to stay in school instead of signing a professional baseball contract following his junior year at Duke University in 2012.

''When I went to Duke University, I chose to graduate from there,'' Stroman said. ''You don't choose a place like Duke to leave early. I was honestly upset when I had to leave. Obviously I couldn't turn down what was being offered, but I was upset because I didn't finish my degree.''

Following the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4, 13-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, Stroman left the team to join a graduation ceremony at Duke this weekend, where he will receive his degree in sociology.

He earned the diploma while rehabbing a torn ACL that limited his 2015 season to a handful of games in September.

''I never thought I'd be thankful for tearing my ACL, but I am because I grew so much as an individual.'' Stroman said. ''I was able to get my degree and I got stronger mentally and physically through it all.''

Stroman delivered another solid outing against the Giants. He gave up four runs -- two earned -- on eight hits in his six innings. Stroman walked two and struck out five.

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Major League Baseball has signed off on "Pitch."

The forthcoming FOX drama about the first woman to make it to baseball's highest level, which was recently picked up as a series beyond the pilot episode, has received a full blessing from MLB.

"Their big ask was that we get the baseball right and make sure this feels real and authentic," series creator Dan Fogelman told Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter. "That's been a big part of what we've been chasing - to live up to that."

To help with the realistic aspects of the game on the field, "Pitch" employs several ex-players as consultants on set, including former All-Star reliever Gregg Olson.

With the partnership and support of MLB, as well as FOX - the chief rights-holder for baseball broadcasts - the door is open for the series to try and utilize cameos from real teams and stars against the San Diego Padres, the team that employs Ginny, the series' protagonist.

"Nothing would make me happier than Ginny facing Mike Trout down the road in an episode," Fogelman said.

This year's All-Star Game, which is taking place in San Diego and being broadcast by FOX, also presents a unique chance to link the fictional series universe with the real world of Major League Baseball, according to Fogelman.

"Fox has the All-Star Game this season and it's taking place in San Diego so it's kind of kismet," he continued. "Obviously that feels like a great place to see a lot of people like that (for cameos) - if we're able to pull it off."

"Pitch" stars Kylie Bunbury as Ginny and Mark-Paul Gosselaar in the male lead role. A premiere date has not been announced.

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Last night's game with the Tigers and Nationals was fun- was emailing back and forth with my friend in DC and we were joking about all the strikeouts that "Schwarzenegger" (my friend called him that) had.

All season long I've been thanking him for letting the Tigers scoop up Zimmermann in the FA offseason- he's been our only bright spot in the rotation this year.

Scherzer was his usual electric self, but I just gotta wonder how much of that was his being pumped up to go against his former team??

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To borrow a line from the great Rick James: Phil Coke and Lorenzo Cain is one hell of a matchup.
Social media had its collective head in the gutter Wednesday when Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain stepped to the plate against New York Yankees reliever Phil Coke for an R-rated plate appearance.
Coke Cain. pic.twitter.com/y06GCqsBdr
— Taylor Travis (@TaylorTravis15) May 12, 2016
The high-stakes showdown ended with Cain walking on six pitches, but triggered an avalanche of funny Twitter jokes:
makes me miss my old fantasy team name: CokeCain is a Hellickson of a Drug https://t.co/fUtEiwbaIY
— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) May 12, 2016
A Coke Cain matchup? The 1986 Mets would have been so excited. pic.twitter.com/0o45xXMysm
— Stacelicious (@The_Stace) May 12, 2016
The Royals had a good night! #KCpic.twitter.com/OvtX4n03Hp
— 96.5 The Buzz (@965TheBuzz) May 12, 2016
is a helluva drug ... pic.twitter.com/roMrHcgNUM
— Incarcerated Bob IBN (@incarceratedbob) May 12, 2016






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Noah Syndergaard is the poster boy for Statcast.

MLB's newest technology, Statcast tracks, analyzes, and dishes out figures such as running speed, pitching velocity, bat exit velocity, arm strength, and more.

The technology itself makes special players the focal point of the game because of their jaw-dropping numbers. Syndergaard is special.


Aside from becoming the first pitcher in nine years to hit two home runs in a game, he achieved an even bigger feat. The right-hander became the first player this season to join the 100/100 club, otherwise known as the "Fireball Club."

What does that mean exactly? Syndergaard hits 100 mph on the mound and at the plate, which comes with an explanation.

Two pitchers own the top 10 fastest pitches thrown in the majors this season, Syndergaard, who topped out at 101.4 mph (a sinker) and New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, who hit 102.1 mph. But only one of them has swung the bat north of 100 mph.

On his first home run Wednesday, Syndergaard crushed a Kenta Maeda fastball with an exit velocity of 104.3. Later in the game he was a touch under that, blasting his second homer with a 103.5 exit velocity.

Syndergaard has what it takes to hit, despite the fact he entered the game hitless in eight at-bats with with six strikeouts.

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The Kansas City Royals' rotation suffered a couple majors blows Thursday when the club placed right-handers Kris Medlen and Chris Young on the 15-day disabled list.

Medlen was diagnosed with rotator cuff inflammation, according to Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star, after experiencing shoulder discomfort Wednesday - the day after he surrendered four runs in two innings against the New York Yankees. Young, meanwhile, was sent for an MRI on his right forearm after allowing a whopping five home runs in just 2 2/3 innings Monday in the Bronx and was subsequently diagnosed with a muscle strain.

Even before getting hurt, though, neither pitcher had gotten off to an encouraging start in 2016. Among baseball's 141 qualified pitchers, Young ranks dead last with -0.7 WAR through seven starts, and only six pitchers own a higher ERA than Medlen's 7.77 mark.

Though the Royals have recalled Scott Alexander and Peter Moylan to replace their ailing veterans on the 25-man roster, the club will likely give the vacant rotations spots to left-handers Danny Duffy and Brian Flynn, neither of whom have made a start for Kansas City this year.

Relegated to the bullpen to begin the season after making 49 starts for the Royals over the previous two years, Duffy owns a 3.00 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 28.4 percent strikeout rate in 16 relief appearances, though his struggles against right-handed hitters have persisted (.810 OPS).

Flynn, who has thrown just 31 innings at the major-league level, owns a 4.50 ERA across two relief outings with Kansas City in 2016, and managed a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings with Triple-A Omaha before being recalled last week.

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Looking to bolster their injury-ravaged rotation, the Los Angeles Angels acquired veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin from the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday in exchange for minor-league left-hander Adam McCreery, the club announced.

To accommodate Chacin on the 40-man roster, the Angels designated first baseman/left fielder Ji-Man Choi for assignment.

Chacin, 28, earned a spot in Atlanta's rotation this spring after signing a minor-league deal with the club in December and has mostly struggled for a rebuilding Braves team. Through his first five starts, Chacin managed a 5.40 ERA (75 ERA+) with a 1.39 WHIP while allowing four home runs in 26 2/3 innings (1.35 per nine).

A former fixture in the Colorado Rockies' rotation, Chacin tailed off dramatically in recent years - he owns an unimpressive 4.94 ERA (85 ERA+) over just 116 2/3 innings since the start of 2014 - but the Angels need all the help they can get. Garrett Richards, the club's de facto ace, is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, while left-hander Andrew Heaney is also dealing with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament. C.J. Wilson won't return from the disabled list until June, either, and Tyler Skaggs isn't even playing catch yet. The result? A patchwork rotation with a 4.67 ERA that ranks fifth-worst in the American League.

As such, even with their farm system in complete disarray, the Angels were willing to part with McCreery, a 6-foot-8 reliever, to acquire Chacin. Selected by Los Angeles in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft, McCreery managed a 2.41 ERA with a 35.4 percent strikeout rate over 16 appearances in the rookie-level Arizona League last summer, but has yet to pitch this season.

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Jacoby Ellsbury is looking to be neck and neck with Jason Heyward as the worst signing in MLB history right now.

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Major League Baseball has suspended Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes without pay through May 31 for violating the league's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, retroactive to Feb. 23, 2016.

Reyes, who's been on paid administrative leave since the beginning of spring training, will not appeal the suspension. He'll miss a total of 52 games and lose $7.06-million in salary, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and will donate an additional $100,000 to domestic violence-related charities.

"Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Reyes violated the Policy and should be subject to discipline in the form of an unpaid suspension that will expire on May 31," commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in a statement announcing the ruling. "I am encouraged by Mr. Reyes' commitment to the treatment provisions of the Policy in order to ensure that such an incident does not occur in the future."

Reyes released a statement apologizing for the incident later on Friday.

Reyes statement pic.twitter.com/xB9fs3CJNK

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 13, 2016
The four-time All-Star was arrested in Hawaii on Oct. 31 after an alleged domestic incident at the Wailea Four Seasons Resort involving his wife, Katherine. Prosecutors dropped the charges in April when Katherine refused to cooperate with authorities.

Reyes will be allowed to participate in extended spring training during his suspension, and can begin a minor-league rehab assignment when the ban expires on June 1.

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Matt Bush will finally make his big-league debut.

The Texas Rangers officially called up Bush, the first overall pick in the 2004 draft, on Friday.

The 30-year-old comes with a sensational backstory. Drafted as a shortstop by the San Diego Padres, he was converted to the mound in 2007 after he couldn't swing the bat, yet continued to throw 95 mph.

He was dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2009, released a month later, and then scooped up by the Tampa Bay Rays nine months after that.

But an inability to stay in pro ball was the least of his problems.

"I was so depressed. I was going to kill myself or die or do something," Bush said in an interview with ESPN's Eli Saslow. "When I was the first pick and I wasn't performing the way a first pick should have, I couldn't handle it. I felt like a failure.

"I hated myself at practice or during the game until the end of the day, when I could grab my keys and hop into my nice expensive car and feel like somebody. Those were my devils: money, fame, and expectations. I was hollow inside."

Bush struggled with alcohol abuse and served more than three years in prison for his third DUI conviction after running over a 72-year-old motorcyclist with a teammate's Dodge Durango. The motorcyclist was seriously injured.

Bush stayed away from baseball during his first two years in jail, but couldn't stop thinking about the man he nearly killed. Bush eventually wrote the man a letter of apology, and although he said he forgave Bush, they never spoke face to face.

"I forced myself to think about it every day in prison because I deserved to suffer," Bush said.

As he began work at a Golden Corral with a government-issued tracking device around his ankle, only one team in professional baseball acknowledged his existence - the Rangers. Bush's routine was simple: go to work in the morning, eat at the buffet, and play catch with his former minor-league coach Roy Silver on his breaks.

Silver, a player advisor for the club, helped another former No. 1 pick sober up and regain his form - Josh Hamilton. Following Bush's release from prison, the Rangers took a chance, signing him to a minor-league deal in December in what appears to be his last shot at baseball.

In 12 games with the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders this season, he's done his part. Bush has five saves, 18 strikeouts, and four walks in 17 innings pitched, and he sits consistently at 100 mph.

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Cincinnati Reds right-hander Ross Ohlendorf received a three-game suspension Friday for hitting David Freese with a pitch in the ninth inning of Wednesday's heated affair with the Pittsburgh Pirates, while manager Bryan Price landed a one-game ban and an undisclosed fine for his role in the hostilities.

Ohlendorf, responsible for the sixth hit-by-pitch in Wednesday's 5-4 loss at Great American Ball Park (and fourth by a Reds pitcher), is appealing his suspension, but Price will serve his punishment and sit out Friday's series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Both were ejected after the 33-year-old reliever hit Freese with a 94-mph fastball with one out in the ninth after warnings had been issued.

"I didn't really have a beef with the ejection, because after all the hit-by-pitches, at some point in time he's got to run somebody out of there," Price told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.

According to Ohlendorf, though, hitting Freese was unintentional.

"(The home plate umpire) warned me when I came in. He just made sure I knew," Ohlendorf said. "Then it went completely out of my mind until after I hit him. I was not trying to hit him. It was an accident. It was unfortunate that it happened, and JC (Ramirez) had to come in, but he did a great job."

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The New York Yankees have called up top catching prospect Gary Sanchez.

Sanchez will be the designated hitter for the club Friday against the Chicago White Sox, while batting sixth in the order.

In 27 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Sanchez is batting .288/.336/.541 with five home runs and 11 doubles while only striking out 19 times.

As a counter-move, the club optioned left-hander Tyler Olson.

Sanchez is the third-ranked prospect in the Yankees organization, but this isn't his first shot at the bigs. Last season, he was given two at-bats - both pinch-hit opportunities - against the Baltimore Orioles in early October. He went 0-for-2 with one strikeout.

Although the White Sox plan on throwing two lefties on Friday and Saturday, Sanchez is getting the worst of welcomes. He'll get Chris Sale first, who is the best pitcher in the American League so far in 2016.

On Saturday it doesn't get any easier for Sanchez, as Chicago will throw Jose Quintana, who is 5-1 with a sparkling 1.38 ERA.

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The Texas Rangers reportedly beefed up their rotation depth Friday, agreeing to a minor-league deal with veteran right-hander Kyle Lohse, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Should he earn a spot on Texas' active roster, Lohse will earn a pro-rated $2-million salary, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who notes that the 37-year-old's deal includes another $1.5 million available through incentives and a June 1 opt-out.

Lohse, a 15-year veteran, was unable to find a job this winter following a miserable 2015 campaign in which he managed a 5.85 ERA (68 ERA+) with a 1.46 WHIP over 22 starts and 15 relief appearances with the Milwaukee Brewers, getting bumped to the bullpen shortly after the All-Star break.

Two years ago, however, Lohse authored a 3.54 ERA (107 ERA+) with a 1.15 WHIP over 31 starts for Milwaukee, and the California native ranks 23rd in innings pitched since the start of 2011 despite not having thrown a pitch yet this year.

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Following yet another onslaught Thursday at Fenway Park, where the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros by double digits in their series opener while plating at least 11 runs for a fourth straight game, Boston's lineup is generating offense at video-game levels right now.

Just ask Xander Bogaerts.

"This is kind of like Playstation," Bogaerts told MLB.com's Deesha Thosar after smashing his third homer en route to an 11-1 drubbing. "Only teams on Playstation score this many runs."

The last time Boston was this hot, Playstation didn't exist. In fact, color TV was still just a promising notion back then. Having managed 40 runs in their recent three-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics, the Red Sox have now scored at least 11 runs in four straight games for the first time since 1950, while also becoming the first team with 11 or more runs and at least 14 hits in four consecutive contests since the 1930 Philadelphia A's.

"It's unbelievable; I don't think I've ever seen anything like this," Bogaerts said.

Still, Jackie Bradley Jr. - hitting .556 with three homers and a double over the last four games - attempted to downplay his club's historic stretch, which has helped Boston keep pace with the Baltimore Orioles atop the AL East.

"It's one of those runs," Bradley said. "I think each team will go through those moments when they get really hot. We definitely want to minimize the cold spells, be able to put together some good at-bats and be some tough outs."

On Thursday, for the second time in as many nights, all nine Boston starters recorded at least one hit, helping the Red Sox record their sixth straight home game with at least eight runs and a dozen hits - marking the first time they've enjoyed such a streak since moving to Fenway from the Huntington Avenue Grounds in 1912.

With more than one-fifth of the 2016 campaign in the books, the Red Sox are on pace for 958 runs, the 23rd-highest single-season total in history and the most since the New York Yankees scored 968 runs in 2007.

"Everybody's hot, and it's just fun to watch," said outfielder Chris Young. "If one guy's not getting it done, the next guy comes up and gets it done. It doesn't matter how we're doing it. ... We're getting it done."

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Rougned Odor just became my favourite player not playing for the Red Sox. :tongue:


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Odor's new Scouting Report:




KGB

 

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I'm not down with the Rangers waiting until the final meeting between the two clubs this season -- and Bautista's final at bat -- to do this. I can only surmise that they're thinking they had to wait a complete off-season so why not the Jays? Still, the timing of it's a bit cowardly.

Still, it's so richly satisfying to see Bautista get drilled like that. If I was a Rangers fan, I'd be dead proud of Odor.

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If he keeps this up, June 25 will be the most historic day of Jackie Bradley Jr.'s career.

On Sunday, the Boston Red Sox outfielder extended his MLB-best hit streak to 21 games - the same date Joe DiMaggio began his record hitting streak of 56 games.

June 25 in Texas would be the day Bradley breaks that record.

What's most impressive about Bradley's streak is that he isn't just punching singles through the infield - he's the primary producer for the league's hottest batting order.

Since April 24, Bradley is leading the majors in OPS, slugging, RBIs, and extra-base hits.

Bradley's emergence follows struggles in the last two seasons. With all the hype surrounding him, the former first-round pick batted .198 in 2014 and a modest .249 last year in 74 games.

He had a phenomenal August, though, and seems to have recovered that form in 2016.

"I never lost confidence. Never," Bradley told ESPN's Scott Lauber early this week. "I wouldn't know how tough it would be to regain. I think it's just a sign that I'm kind of taking what's given to me. If they pitch away, I just want to be able to square it up. I'm not thinking about going the other way.

"I'm just thinking about putting the fat part of the bat on the ball and wherever it goes, it goes."

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Carlos Beltran became the fourth switch-hitter in major-league history to hit 400 home runs when the New York Yankees outfielder smacked a sixth-inning two-run shot off Chicago White Sox left-hander Zach Duke on Sunday.

Beltran's eighth homer of the season put New York in front 5-4 in its series finale at Yankee Stadium, and landed him in the record books alongside some of the game's greatest players.

He joins Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, and Chipper Jones as the only switch-hitters to reach the milestone from both sides of the plate, and he's the 54th player overall in the 400 club. Beltran's the third Puerto Rican-born player to accomplish the feat and just the fifth member of the exclusive 400-homer, 300-steal club.

The 39-year-old was greeted at home plate by teammate and fellow switch-hitter Mark Teixeira, who sits three homers shy of joining Beltran in the 400 club.

"It's really neat that I have gotten to play with three of the best switch-hitters of all time in Carlos, Chipper Jones, and Lance Berkman," Teixeira told the YES Network during spring training. "We learn a lot from each other, but it's not about competition, it's about winning games."

Beltran's production has slowed in recent seasons because of injuries - he's managed just 42 homers over his last three years. An eight-time All-Star, Beltran's had four 30-plus home run campaigns, including his impressive 41-homer season with the Mets in 2006.

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Evan Gattis is returning to the Houston Astros.

Following their 10-9 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, the Astros announced that Gattis has been recalled from Double-A to serve as the team's backup catcher.

Houston had optioned the 29-year-old to Corpus Christi on May 7 to get some reps behind the plate. Though catcher is his natural position, Gattis hasn't caught in a major-league game since 2014, when he was with the Atlanta Braves. Since joining the Astros last season, Gattis has been employed strictly as a designated hitter, save for 11 games in left field.

The Astros are also hoping that the brief trip to the minors will help Gattis regain his power stroke, which could help boost the struggling team. After hitting over 20 home runs in each of his first three major-league seasons, he's struggled to begin 2016, hitting just .203/.257/.313 with one home run at the big-league level. He did show signs in Corpus Christi, posting a .375/.405/.800 line with five homers over his week-long Double-A stint.

To make room on the 25-man roster, Houston optioned outfielder Preston Tucker to Triple-A Fresno, while also designating backup catcher Erik Kratz for assignment.

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From one Jose to another, Canseco has Bautista's back.

The former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder piped in on Twitter after Rougned Odor's right hook to Bautista triggered two bench-clearings in Sunday afternoon's game, calling the punch a "cheap shot."

What a cheap shot on batista by odor..batista should break that punk in half.he should beat his ass prison style..week sucker punch

— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) May 16, 2016
As far as we know, Canseco's only experience in trying to beat someone up was his very unsuccessful challenge against a 7-foot-2 kickboxer.

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The league's hottest hitter was given a small prize as he chases the grand trophy.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. earned American League Player of the Week honors, alongside the National League's top player Jose Fernandez.

Bradley Jr. is in the midst of chasing Joe DiMaggio's hit-streak record as he sits at 21. This week his bat was on fire, going 15-for-32 with three homers and 15 RBIs.


The speedy outfielder beat out Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who batted .500 with four home runs, and nine RBI's while slugging 1.080 over the past seven days.

In the NL, Fernandez dealt, going 2-0 in two starts. He fanned 22 batters over 14 innings of work, good for a sparkling 0.64 ERA while running his record to 8-0.

He edged out teammate Marcell Ozuna, who batted .500 with eight runs, 13 hits, and a .536 OBP.

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The Toronto Blue Jays claimed infielder/outfielder Jimmy Paredes off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Paredes has been on the disabled list all season with a sprained left wrist he suffered in spring training when he dove to try to catch a ball in right field.
The Orioles had to make a roster move with Paredes after his rehab assignment ended on Sunday and chose to place him on waivers instead of activating him to the 25-man roster.
He hit .308 with two home runs during his rehab in the minors, which started on April 26. He played third base, left field and right field.
The 27-year-old Dominican batted .275 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs last season in 104 games for the Orioles.

Last edited on Tue May 17th, 2016 06:58 pm by lobo316

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The average time of a nine-inning baseball game is up nearly 7 minutes compared with this point last season, and MLB's commissioner, Rob Manfred, isn't happy about it.

"We think the single biggest thing we had going for us early in the year (last season) was player focus on the topic," Manfred told ESPN. "And we feel like we've lost a little focus. So we're doing a variety of things to try to get that focus back."


Through Monday, the average time of a nine-inning game this season was 3 hours, 26 seconds. At the same stage of last season, about six weeks after MLB implemented much-ballyhooed new pace-of-game rules, the average game time was 2:53:33. That pace did slow, however, and the average time by season's end wound up at 2:56:14.

Manfred said officials in the commissioner's office have reached out to the Players Association to let the union know that they're "concerned" about this trend. And players identified as repeated violators of pace-of-game rules have actually received personal phone calls reminding them to adhere to the rules, sources say.

MLB officials believe the prolonged stretch of cold weather in the midwest and northeast is one factor, because "when it's cold," Manfred said, "the games do go longer."

Another factor, MLB has concluded, is a steep spike in pitches per game, which have risen to their highest level (289.25 per nine-inning game) in seven years. However, Manfred absolved baseball's replay system of blame, saying he looks at the 35-percent increase in replay reviews, compared with last year, as more of a pace-of-game issue than a time-of-game issue.

Even with the increase in total number of replays, baseball still averages less than one replay per game. So the rise in replays and the rise in game time don't appear to be related. Nevertheless, Manfred said, baseball is studying various aspects of replay this season and will look at potential tweaks to the system after this year.

"You can rest assured," the commissioner said, "that we are watching this year, and we will be analyzing during the offseason, both the number of replays and particularly the longer reviews. The 4-minute-and-50-second reviews don't make me that happy."

Manfred said he's actually gratified that the expanded replay system has worked so well, over its first three seasons, that MLB has "only tinkered at the edges with the system." Nevertheless, he said, the 35-percent rise in total replays, and the trend toward longer reviews are issues "that merit analysis."

"Meriting analysis doesn't mean there ought to be a change," he said. "Just, they merit analysis."

The commissioner said he thinks baseball needs to look at "creative ways" to improve both time and pace of game. He promised that this will be a major topic this summer in negotiations over the sport's next labor deal, which would take effect after this season. Baseball continues to experiment with pitch clocks in minor-league games, but Manfred declined to say whether MLB would push for pitch clocks in the major leagues next season.

"We're going to put a package of issues on the table with the union," he said. "Speculating about which ones I like and don't like is counter-productive to that process at this point. I think the best I can do for you at this point is to say I'm prepared to think about additional rule changes that are relevant to the issue of pace of play."

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Fredi Gonzalez's time with the Atlanta Braves has reportedly come to an end.

The Braves have fired the skipper, as well as bench coach Carlos Tosca, according to reports.

Multiple sources report that Gwinnett Braves manager Brian Snitker will replace Gonzalez in an interim role for the remainder of the season.

Snitker served as Atlanta's third base coach from 2006-13 after replacing Gonzalez when he left to manage the Miami Marlins.

Terry Pendleton is the new bench coach, Eddie Perez moves to first base coach, and Marty Reed is now the bullpen coach. Bo Porter remains the third base coach.

The rebuilding Braves, who haven't fired a manager since 1990, got off to an MLB-worst 9-28 start under Gonzalez.

Pendleton, Perez, Bud Black, and Torey Lovullo have all been considered as candidates when it's time to hire a manager on a permanent basis.

Gonzalez, the predecessor to longtime Braves skipper Bobby Cox, leaves with a 425-385 record with Atlanta over a tenure that included an NL East title in 2013. He also managed the Marlins to a 276-279 record from 2007-10.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to a three-year extension with catcher Francisco Cervelli through the 2019 season, the team announced Tuesday.

A source told ESPN MLB Insider Jim Bowden that the total value of the deal is $32 million, not including incentives. Cervelli will receive $9 million in 2017, $10.5 million in 2018 and $11.5 million in 2019.

Here's where I want to be so i decided stay here........ #IAmAPirate @PlRATES

— Francisco Cervelli (@fran_cervelli) May 17, 2016
"We are very pleased to be able to reach a joint commitment with a quality player and person like Francisco Cervelli," general manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. "We look forward to Francisco's abilities, passion and energy making us better."

The 30-year-old Cervelli is hitting .276 with 18 RBIs this season, and he has thrown out eight baserunners. Since he was acquired by the Pirates prior to the 2015 season, Cervelli has recorded the best on-base percentage (.374) among all catchers while posting the third-best batting average (.290) and the third-most hits (160).

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lobo316 wrote: Fredi Gonzalez's time with the Atlanta Braves has reportedly come to an end.

The Braves have fired the skipper, as well as bench coach Carlos Tosca, according to reports.

Multiple sources report that Gwinnett Braves manager Brian Snitker will replace Gonzalez in an interim role for the remainder of the season.

Snitker served as Atlanta's third base coach from 2006-13 after replacing Gonzalez when he left to manage the Miami Marlins.

Terry Pendleton is the new bench coach, Eddie Perez moves to first base coach, and Marty Reed is now the bullpen coach. Bo Porter remains the third base coach.

The rebuilding Braves, who haven't fired a manager since 1990, got off to an MLB-worst 9-28 start under Gonzalez.

Pendleton, Perez, Bud Black, and Torey Lovullo have all been considered as candidates when it's time to hire a manager on a permanent basis.

Gonzalez, the predecessor to longtime Braves skipper Bobby Cox, leaves with a 425-385 record with Atlanta over a tenure that included an NL East title in 2013. He also managed the Marlins to a 276-279 record from 2007-10.
Makes no sense. The team is awful and they haven't brought up their studs yet. He's not a good manager but they should have started from scratch after this season.

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The Houston Astros have placed struggling outfielder Carlos Gomez on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left rib cage.

According to multiple reports, Gomez hurt himself diving for a ball in Boston last Friday and it hasn't improved since.

Over a 10-year stretch in the majors, Gomez is off to the worst start of his career. In 34 games, Gomez is batting an abysmal .182/.238/.248 and has failed to hit a home run or a triple this season.

On Monday, Gomez opened up about his struggles this season on both offense and defense.

"What can I do? I don't have anything to say," he said. "I've been playing brutal. In everything - defensively, offensively. I'm not playing good. Just take it like a man and continue to work. That's the only thing I can do. It has to turn around."

In a few countermoves, the Astros designated righty Asher Wojciechowski for assignment, and promoted prospect Colin Moran while recalling Evan Gattis.

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The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a major-league deal with former All-Star closer Joe Nathan.

Nathan was immediately placed on the 60-day disabled list as he continues to recover from Tommy John surgery he underwent in April 2015.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports Nathan will get the pro-rated league minimum if he makes it back to the big leagues with the Cubs, and his contract includes a number of performance bonuses.

The right-hander hopes to be ready to pitch by July.

Nathan last pitched in the show with the Detroit Tigers last season, making a lone appearance in April before going down with the injury.

The 41-year-old sits eighth all time in saves with 377 and owns a career ERA of 2.89.

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The Minnesota Twins have sent 2012 first-round pick Jose Berrios back to Triple-A after the righty struggled mightily in four big-league starts.

As a corresponding move, the club recalled left-hander Taylor Rogers.

After his much-anticipated call to the bigs, Berrios didn't have the best debut. In four starts he went 1-1 with a 10.20 ERA, giving up 17 runs over 15 innings.

Berrios also walked 12 batters, but notched 20 strikeouts.

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Bartolo Colon's home run will be enshrined by Guinness World Records.

The crew will honor Colon, 42, as the oldest person to hit his first major-league home run on Tuesday before the New York Mets take on the Washington Nationals, reports ESPN's Adam Rubin.

As everyone should know by know, "The Great Bartbino" took San Diego Padres righty James Shields yard on May 7, triggering debates over whether it was one of the greatest moments in baseball history.

In the aftermath, Colon inspired Noah Syndergaard to be a better ball player, and the veteran also got his own baseball card commemorating the blast.

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Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor received an eight-game suspension for punching Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista on Sunday, according to multiple reports.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was suspended three games, according to Fox Sports. He had been ejected earlier in Sunday's game but returned to the field.

Odor was also fined $5,000, according to Yahoo! Sports. He will appeal his ban, which was first reported by MLB Network.

Bautista slid at Odor's legs in the midst of a double play in the top of the eighth inning of the Rangers' eventual 7-6 win. Players from both teams rushed the field, and Odor shoved Bautista and then landed a punch to his face.

Bautista had reached base after being hit by a pitch from Matt Bush.

Odor said Sunday that he expected a suspension, and on Monday he said he didn't regret hitting Bautista.

Many players were involved in the melee.

Bautista and Odor were ejected after the brawl, as were Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson and Texas bench coach Steve Buechele.

Umpires needed about 10 minutes to restore order, and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Chavez hit Prince Fielder with the next pitch when the game resumed, which caused both teams to leave their dugouts again, though this time no punches were thrown.

Chavez and Blue Jays coach DeMarlo Hale were then ejected after an earlier warning for both teams when Bautista was hit by Bush. Hale was serving as acting manager after Gibbons was ejected in the third inning for arguing balls and strikes.

Despite punching him Sunday, Odor said Monday that he respects Bautista because he "plays hard."

The Rangers' series-clinching victory Sunday was the final regular season meeting between the two clubs. A feud had been simmering between the teams since Bautista's bat flip in last year's American League Division Series. Many Blue Jays took issue with the Rangers plunking Bautista in his last at-bat of the last meeting between the teams this season.

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FRISCO, Texas -- Rougned Odor's former minor league team has introduced an alcoholic energy drink it says delivers a punch.

The Double-A Frisco RoughRiders introduced Rougie's Red PUNCH on Tuesday, the same day Major League Baseball suspended the Texas Rangers second baseman eight games for punching the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista in the jaw. Odor has appealed the penalty.







Last edited on Wed May 18th, 2016 06:17 pm by lobo316

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This isn't the best way to learn about losing your job.

Fredi Gonzalez, who was fired by the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday after nearly six seasons managing the club, learned of his firing late Monday night by accident after a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He found out thanks to an email from an airline confirming his Tuesday flight back to Atlanta, according to Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Braves are scheduled to be in Pittsburgh through Thursday, so Gonzalez quickly put two and two together. By the end of that evening, the 52-year-old confirmed with Braves officials that he had been let go.

Gonzalez was more concerned with the timing of his firing than how he found out about it. With the rebuilding Braves struggling at every facet of the game, the move didn't surprise him. He was just glad it didn't drag on for longer.

"I think if you're going to do it, you do it now," Gonzalez told O'Brien. "If you're not going to be here (as manager) in 2017, you'd rather do it sooner than later, for me. I'm OK with that.

"What would have sucked is if you'd dragged it all the way out to the weekend before the season ended, and then got whacked," he continued. "There's no perfect timing, but in this situation I think sooner than later was better."

Gonzalez also defended his record with the Braves, which included a pair of playoff berths in his first three seasons running the club before two straight sub-.500 finishes - plus this year's horrendous 9-28 start - as the club shifted into rebuilding mode.

"I'm really proud of my record, and it took a beating these last two years going through this," he said.

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How do you hit Clayton Kershaw?

There's no answer here, really. Best thing to do is probably close your eyes, swing, and pray.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace was nearly untouchable on the mound once again Tuesday, striking out 11 and walking none over eight innings to defeat the crosstown rival Angels 5-1.

The 28-year-old became just the fifth pitcher ever to record six consecutive games with double-digit strikeouts, joining Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, and Chris Sale. Only three Angels who hit on Tuesday - Albert Pujols, Johnny Giavotella, and Shane Robinson - avoided striking out, while Kershaw sat Mike Trout down twice.

Kershaw also walked zero batters for the fourth time in five games. He's only walked four batters on the season to his league-best 88 strikeouts, and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is now an outrageous 22.00. That's almost double the major-league record for a single-season - 11.625, set by Minnesota Twins hurler Phil Hughes just three years ago.

For the month of May, Kershaw leads all pitchers in ERA (0.82), WHIP (0.58), strikeout-to-walk ratio (48.00), and wins (4). His next chance to build on those numbers will come Sunday, when the San Diego Padres have the honor of trying to crack the Kershaw code.

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NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard seems to thrive on the big stage, whether that's buzzing and then beating the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the World Series last October, or topping Max Scherzer in a battle of National League East powers, as he did Tuesday night.

Syndergaard tossed seven scoreless innings and struck out 10 in the New York Mets' 2-0 win against the Washington Nationals in the series opener at Citi Field.

"I've just been able, my entire life, to tune out whatever is going on around me," Syndergaard said.

Said manager Terry Collins: "I think Noah's one of those kind of guys. You see what he did last fall when I put him in a position he's never been in before. He wasn't fazed by it and pitched brilliantly. I think he rises to the challenge."

Syndergaard coaxed an inning-ending double play from Wilson Ramos with runners on the corners in the second inning. And when Jayson Werth had a two-out single in the sixth, Syndergaard challenged and struck out Bryce Harper for the second time in the game.

Down 3-0 in the count, Syndergaard threw a sinker for a called strike. He then threw "one of the finer changeups I threw all night" for strike two. Then he struck out Harper with a backdoor slider.

Syndergaard said there was no thought of pitching around Harper entering the game.

"Not at all," Syndergaard said. "He's an unbelievable ballplayer, a great athlete. He's very talented. You can see why a lot of people have been walking him. But I go out there, and I was pitching to my strengths and just went right after him."

Syndergaard improved to 4-2 with a 2.19 ERA. In his two losses, the Mets scored one total run.

As for facing Scherzer, who allowed solo homers to Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto in 6⅓ innings, Syndergaard said: "It just adds that much more great atmosphere to the game right there. He threw an unbelievable ballgame. Honestly, I couldn't see anything he was throwing up there. I don't know how anybody hits that guy. I'm just really fortunate we came out on top."

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Lenny Dykstra, the three-time All-Star who once proclaimed himself a "pioneer" for performance-enhancing drug use, admitted Tuesday he used to spike his breakfast with illicit substances throughout his 12-year career, too.

During a candid interview with FOX Sports' Colin Cowherd, the 53-year-old - who was named in the Mitchell Report in 2007 and later confessed he used PEDs to "protect (his) job" - said he had put human growth hormone in his cereal back in the day.

"I put (HGH) in my cereal man. It was in my cereal," Dykstra said. "We're talking about the good stuff ... We're talking about the difference of making $30 million or getting a real job and working and making $60,000. What, do you want the guy next to you taking them and you're not going to take them?"

Dykstra, who helped the New York Mets to a World Series title in 1986 and carried the Philadelphia Phillies to a National League pennant seven years later, previously offered insight into his PED use in a 2010 book by former Forbes magazine bureau chief Randall Lane.


"You gotta understand, there were only 28 people who had my job in the whole world," Dykstra told Lane. "And thousands of people wanted those jobs, and every year, there were guys trying to take my job.

"So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?"

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lobo316 wrote: "So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?"
And he wound up pissing it all away anyway.

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"Big Sexy" is getting his own clothing line, apparently.

New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon has filed for the trademark to his "Big Sexy" nickname, which he intends to use on shirts, pants, and hats, according to ESPN's Darren Rovell.

WWE Legend Kevin Nash, who also goes by the nickname "Big Sexy," might have an issue with that.

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This is why the Jays got rid of this guy.




Steve Delabar was at a loss for words after his horrific performance Tuesday at Progressive Field, where the Cincinnati Reds' newly recalled reliever issued five walks - four of them, with the bases loaded - while retiring just one batter in a 13-1 drubbing courtesy of the Cleveland Indians.

Summoned to replace starter Alfredo Simon with one out in the fifth, bequeathed an 8-0 deficit and runners on first and third, Delabar promptly issued a walk to Jason Kipnis to load the bases. Though he came within an out of ending the frame after fanning Francisco Lindor in the following at-bat, the 32-year-old proceeded to issue four straight free passes, becoming the first pitcher since 1974 to walk four consecutive hitters with the bases loaded, according to Fangraphs' August Fagerstrom.

"I really can't explain what happened," Delabar told MLB.com. "I came in … five walks, it's unexplainable and unacceptable. I got a text from my wife. It had to be a dream. It didn't seem like it even happened. After I came in … a loss for words."

Delabar, an All-Star in 2013 who signed with Cincinnati after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays in March, now owns a 7.71 ERA with a 2.00 WHIP in six appearances with the Reds and has walked nine of the 36 batters (25 percent) he's faced in 2016.

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Justin Verlander has joined the 2,000 strikeout club.

The Detroit Tigers' righthander became the 76th pitcher in baseball history to reach the mark when he did so against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.

Aside from being a workhorse, Verlander has always been one to strike batters out, even when he doesn't have his best stuff. Over 12 seasons, he went five consecutive seasons (2009 to 2013) with more than 200 strikeouts.

Coming into Wednesday's matchup, Verlander averaged 9.1 strikeouts per nine innings.

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This looks painful.
Cameron Monger, an outfielder for the Sioux Falls Canaries of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, made a spectacular catch during an exhibition game Tuesday that sent him crashing through the bullpen door.








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NEW YORK - Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has backed manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff and has blamed players for the team's slow start.

With New York last in the AL East at 16-22, Steinbrenner singled out Mark Teixeira, Chase Headley, Michael Pineda and Luis Severino for criticism.

Speaking Wednesday outside Major League Baseball's offices, Steinbrenner says ''the first five weeks were disappointing, frustrating, particularly looking at the offense. Clearly not living up to their potential. ... When you look at a guy like Mark Teixeira, clearly he's not playing to his potential with the bat.''

He says Pineda's decline is ''concerning'' and it is up to the pitcher to figure out. Severino, he adds, has ''to learn how to push through that downturn.''

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The already struggling Toronto Blue Jays bullpen took another hit Wednesday, as an MRI revealed injured left-hander Brett Cecil suffered a torn lat muscle that will keep him out for at least one month, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.

Cecil was placed on the disabled list Sunday, and underwent the MRI on Monday in Florida. He told reporters the MRI was "just for peace of mind and precautionary reasons."

The 29-year-old was expected to be one of Toronto's key bullpen weapons, but has struggled to start 2016, owning a 5.23 ERA across 16 games pitched.

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After blowing his fourth save of the campaign Tuesday night in Oakland on a walk-off grand slam from Khris Davis - his second blown save in as many outings - Shawn Tolleson wasn't exactly caught off guard when the Texas Rangers removed him from the closer's role on Wednesday.

"It wasn't anything that surprised me," Tolleson told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Sam Dyson, the hard-throwing right-hander who leads all Rangers relievers in innings pitched (19), WAR (0.3), and ERA (1.89) this year, will replace Tolleson as closer for the time being, manager Jeff Banister said.

"We will make that change in the interim," Banister said, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. "I continue to look at the body of work. Tolleson, going back to last year, was effective, efficient in that spot. Even now he is on top (tied with two others) of the American League in saves."

Thrust into the ninth-inning job last May, Tolleson converted 35 saves in 37 chances in 2015 while crafting a 2.99 ERA over a career-high 72 1/3 innings, but the 28-year-old has stumbled to a 9.20 ERA with a 1.91 WHIP in his first 18 appearances of 2016, allowing 23 hits - including five homers - in 14 2/3 innings.

"It's not uncommon for guys to go through rough patches," Tolleson said. "It's part of the game. I'm mature enough to know this will happen. I also know that through tough times, you learn perseverance and character, and you have hope. I'm mature enough to realize a lot of good can come out of this."

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Just after I drafted him yesterday for my fantasy team, he gets injured. WTF ?




The injuries continue to pile up in Anaheim.

Los Angeles Angels catcher Geovany Soto has been placed on the disabled list after tearing his right meniscus, and will be out four-to-six weeks after undergoing surgery, general manager Billy Eppler told reporters Wednesday.

The 33-year-old becomes the 10th Angels player on the major-league disabled list, joining C.J. Wilson, Garrett Richards, Andrew Heaney, Huston Street, Andrelton Simmons, Cliff Pennington, Daniel Nava, Cory Rasmus, and Craig Gentry.

"I did everything in my power to stay healthy," Soto said, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. "I’m in great shape, working hard. It’s just one of those things where it’s bad luck.

Soto has hit .283/.338/.483 over 67 plate appearances in 2016 while splitting duties behind the plate with Carlos Perez.

Catcher Jett Bandy was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.

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In a revealing interview with ESPN, Ozzie Guillen recalled how he became the manager of the Chicago White Sox, a team he would lead to a World Series title just two seasons into his tenure.

Forgive him, though, if he doesn't remember every detail of the interview that landed him the job.

Guillen, the outspoken Venezuelan whose major-league career as a player and manager spanned more than three decades, shared Tuesday the improbable story of how he was extremely hungover during his interview with White Sox general manager Kenny Williams for the club's vacant managerial position. Ever the entertainer, Guillen's storytelling is well worth the visit to ESPN to watch the interview in its entirety.

During the candid exchange, Guillen - who, at the time, was the third-base coach for the 2003 World Series-winning Florida Marlins - recalls how he, Miguel Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, and others partied like champions at Ivan Rodriguez's Miami-style beach home into the early hours of the morning. There was just one problem: He was scheduled to fly to Illinois the next morning to interview with Williams.

"I slept a little bit before my interview but when you have a very nice night, your next morning is going to be miserable," Guillen said. "The alarm started ringing, my wife woke me up, and I said, 'Nah, I don't want to go.' (Finally) I jumped in the limo, but I was in very bad shape."

Guillen says he remembers very little of what happened next.

"I don't know what kind of questions he asked me, and I don't know what kind of answers I gave him," he said. "I didn't even eat. We're sitting in a restaurant and I had black coffee and club soda water because I was afraid my stomach would get upset."

Memory notwithstanding, Guillen won the job and his run in Chicago was a memorable one for many reasons, the least of which included his two first-place titles and a World Series ring over eight seasons.

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Jackie Bradley Jr.'s productive doubleheader Wednesday inched the Boston Red Sox center fielder two hits closer to the halfway mark of Joe DiMaggio's hallowed record. Given the impossible task of hitting in 56 straight games, it's an achievement in itself.

Bradley extended his MLB-best streak to 24 games when he took Kansas City Royals starter Edinson Volquez deep to left-center field during the second inning of Wednesday's twin bill night cap at Kauffman Stadium. The solo blast - Bradley's seventh of the season - gave him the longest streak by a Red Sox player since Dustin Pedroia's 24-gamer in 2011.

Bradley's impressive run has coincided with the 75-year anniversary of DiMaggio's mark, which began Sunday and lasted until July 17, 1941. During Bradley's streak, the 26-year-old is batting .407 with eight walks, seven homers, and 17 extra-base hits.

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ST. LOUIS - The Colorado Rockies are sending Jose Reyes to extended spring training with no firm plan for when he's eligible to return June 1.

Reyes has been suspended without pay under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. The team will make him available to media on Thursday at its spring training complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. The team said it would be the lone media access to Reyes prior to his rehab assignment, and that there would be no other access at the complex.

Manager Walt Weiss said Wednesday that he hadn't spoken with the 32-year-old Reyes. He wasn't sure how long Reyes would need to get ready.

The four-time All-Star's future with the Rockies is murky given the emergence of rookie shortstop Trevor Story.

Reyes' suspension stemmed from an alleged altercation with his wife at a Hawaii resort last October.

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Sandoval must be jealous





The Kansas City Royals know how to honor a man in his final season.

Ahead of the club's contest against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, the Royals gave retiring slugger David Ortiz some parting gifts for his career, including three bottles of Kansas City barbecue sauce and a framed photo of the man himself:

Pre-game, Ortiz presented w trio of jugs of KC BBQ sauce, as well as framed photo & chair from ASG pic.twitter.com/j7oPzS8JOK

— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) May 18, 2016
Congrats to @davidortiz on an amazing career! We hope you enjoy that KC BBQ. 👌 #ThanksPapi pic.twitter.com/qAECXPmrzw

— #VoteRoyals (@Royals) May 18, 2016
Other wacky gifts Ortiz has received in his final MLB season include a humidor of cigars from the Chicago White Sox and a cowboy hat from the Houston Astros.

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lobo316 wrote: Sandoval must be jealous





The Kansas City Royals know how to honor a man in his final season.

Ahead of the club's contest against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, the Royals gave retiring slugger David Ortiz some parting gifts for his career, including three bottles of Kansas City barbecue sauce and a framed photo of the man himself:

Pre-game, Ortiz presented w trio of jugs of KC BBQ sauce, as well as framed photo & chair from ASG pic.twitter.com/j7oPzS8JOK

— Michael Silverman (@MikeSilvermanBB) May 18, 2016
Congrats to @davidortiz on an amazing career! We hope you enjoy that KC BBQ. 👌 #ThanksPapi pic.twitter.com/qAECXPmrzw

— #VoteRoyals (@Royals) May 18, 2016
Other wacky gifts Ortiz has received in his final MLB season include a humidor of cigars from the Chicago White Sox and a cowboy hat from the Houston Astros.

With all these retirement tours lately, teams have already run out of stupid crap to give really rich guys who don't need or want it.  The best gifts are always donations to a player's charity.  Why don't they stick to that and stop wasting money on garbage. 

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The Toronto Blue Jays are batting slugger Jose Bautista from the leadoff spot Thursday night in an attempt to jump-start their slumping offense.

Toronto has lost five straight games entering Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. It's their first five-game losing streak since September 2013.

Bautista last led off for the Blue Jays on June 15, 2010, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He went 0-for-4.

American League MVP Josh Donaldson is batting second, followed by Edwin Encarnacion in the third spot and first baseman Justin Smoak in the cleanup spot.

Bautista has appealed his one-game suspension for making a hard slide into second base on Sunday against the Texas Rangers and for his postgame comments. Rougned Odor punched Bautista in the jaw after the play and was suspended eight games. He also has appealed.

Toronto led the major leagues with 232 home runs and 891 runs scored last season en route to finishing first in the American League East. This season the Blue Jays are 17th in runs scored (168) and tied for eighth in home runs (49) and sit in fourth place in the division with a 19-23 record.

Bautista, like the Blue Jays, has struggled at the plate this season with a .222 batting average, seven home runs and 28 RBIs. Last season he hit 40 homers with 114 RBIs and finished with a .250 average.

Bautista, 35, is in the final season of his current contract and will be a free agent after this season. In spring training he was vocal about his demands for his next contract, telling reporters that he had told the team what his "number" was and wasn't willing to negotiate.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes took the last of his dozen-or-so swings, stepped out of the batting cage and did a little dance to the beat of the music playing from a small radio in the grass near his feet.

Contrite but happy to be back on a baseball field, Reyes worked out at the Rockies' spring-training facility Thursday, his first step in returning from a 52-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's new domestic-violence policy.

"It's good to be on the field and put that stuff behind me," Reyes said. "I'm sorry. I made a mistake and will stand here like a man. I just have to try to be a better man, a better husband."

Reyes, 32, did not participate in spring training and was suspended through May 31 after being charged with domestic violence for an altercation with his wife in Hawaii last October. Prosecutors dropped the charge before a scheduled April 4 trial after saying Reyes' wife was not cooperating. Reyes became the second player to be suspended under baseball's new domestic violence policy -- with New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman -- and will lose $6,251,366 million of his $22 million salary while sitting out.

"I put myself in this situation, and I'm sorry about it," Reyes said. "I need to put this in the past and continue with my life and my career. Human beings make mistakes. Like I said, I'm sorry to put Rockies fans in this kind of situation."

Asked whether people might be skeptical that he has learned from his mistakes, Reyes told ESPN, "They have a right to not believe me. They're going to see in the long term if I am a new guy, a changed person, they're going to see that in the long term. I know right now they're not going to believe me. But they're going to see what kind of person Jose Reyes is."

Reyes stood out at Colorado's extended spring training, not just with his purple workout shirt among the gray-shirted youngsters, but with his slick fielding and quick bat.

A four-time All-Star, Reyes spent about two hours on the Rockies' back fields, working with some of the younger players while fielding grounders for about 20 minutes. The young players seemed to enjoy being around a player of his stature, laughing as he joked around on the field, some of them sneaking peeks at him around the backstop.

Reyes spent some time in the batting cage then waited for the others to go through situational hitting drills before taking swings from both sides of the plate.

"Being here on the field again, I feel like I'm 18 again, working out with those young kids, great talents moving around, that made me feel good," Reyes said.

Reyes can return June 1, but it's unclear what his role will be when he gets back.

Rookie Trevor Story has excelled in his place, hitting .277 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs through Colorado's first 38 games and the Rockies appear to have no intention of taking him out of the starting lineup.

Asked whether he can replace Story, Reyes said to ESPN, "I don't make that decision. I just want to get ready. It's good to see Story, what he's done so far. He put the Rockies organization in the position to win again every single night, that's good to see. For me, I just have to get ready to help the Rockies any way I can."

Reyes, who is a switch-hitter has lost some of his range, according to defensive metrics, but he still runs well and hit a combined .274 with seven homers and 53 RBIs last season with Toronto and Colorado.

Reyes is due $41 million in guaranteed salary over the next two seasons, so the Rockies will need to decide whether to put him in a backup infielder role or trade him.

"We haven't talked logistics of his fit on this club yet," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said this week. "But we will at some point. I'm just letting it play out."

Reyes has been working out on his own since November, but is way behind players who went through spring training and two months of the season. He still needs to get his timing right on the field, take swings against live pitching and pick up all the nuances that come with playing baseball at full speed in game situations.

"When you get on the field, it's a different ball game," he said. "There's a lot of stuff that doesn't feel right when you get on the baseball field, but my body feels great."

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers have optioned left-handed reliever Andrew Faulkner to Triple-A Round Rock, opening up a roster spot for the likely return of outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the disabled list.

Faulkner was sent down Thursday, a day off for the Rangers. The team said a corresponding roster move would be made Friday before the start of a three-game series in Houston.

Choo appears set to return to the Rangers after being out since April 9 because of a strained right calf. When he goes back to right field, and probably in the leadoff spot, rookie Nomar Mazara is expected to move from right to left field.

Faulkner has a 7.94 ERA in eight relief appearances over two stints with the Rangers this season.

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Erick Aybar's tough 2016 season didn't get any better Thursday.

The Atlanta Braves shortstop was removed from the starting lineup for Thursday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates after getting a chicken bone stuck in his throat. Manager Brian Snitker said Aybar arrived at PNC Park on Thursday afternoon in discomfort and was taken to a doctor, sedated and had the bone removed.

Aybar was in the Braves' original lineup but was replaced by Daniel Castro.

It's been a rough season for Aybar, and the Braves as a whole.

The veteran shortstop is hitting just .174 with five RBIs and a .412 OPS. The Braves, meanwhile, fired manager Fredi Gonzalez earlier this week after a baseball-worst 9-28 start. Snitker is filling in as the team's interim manager.

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Sandoval is looking for Bautista







What would you do to earn free barbecue food for the rest of your life?

Apparently all it takes is punching Jose Bautista, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

.@HeimBBQ gives @RougnedOdor free meals for life https://t.co/5y7NT58ItG pic.twitter.com/D5QXtxA6Uq

— Star-Telegram (@startelegram) May 17, 2016
Yes, Heim Barbecue in Fort Worth has offered Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor free food for life after Odor slugged the Toronto Blue Jays slugger this past Sunday. The restaurant is also selling a T-shirt that reads "Rougned eats free."

Odor received an eight-game suspension for the incident. Which means he should be free for dinner a few nights coming up.

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It was a lot of money back then.

In 1984, Donald Trump could've been the owner of the Minnesota Twins. He offered $50 million to buy the franchise, which turned out to be $14 million more than the club eventually sold for a year later.

"It was a lot of money, no question about it," former Twins owner Calvin Griffith told Jon Kerr in his 1990 biography. "I never thought I'd get in a room talking about the kind of money he was talking about."

At the time, the Twins sent Griffith and their attorney, Peter Dorsey, to New York to confirm Trump's interest in the team.

They met up at his office, where the now-presumptive Republican presidential nominee told them something they wouldn't forget.

"I've got something that a lot of other people have and I don't have something that a lot of people do have,'" Trump said. "I don't have a board of directors or shareholders. And I do have a helluva lot of money.'"

When the two sides disagreed on the price, Trump upped his offer to $53 million to buy the Twins.

Somewhere along the line, Griffith rejected Trump's offer and sold it to Carl Pohlad the following year for $36 million.

Under Pohlad's tenure, the team won the World Series in 1987 and 1991. In 1997, he nearly sold the club to a business owner who intended to move the franchise to North Carolina.

That deal never came to fruition, and after Pohlad died in 2009, his son Jim took over day-to-day operations. He still owns the club today.

As of March 2016, the Twins are worth $910 million, according to Forbes.

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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Josh Reddick was trying to make something happen, hoping to put himself into position to score. He's likely going to miss a month at minimum as a result of a fractured left thumb.

"Frustrating isn't even the right word," Reddick said following the Oakland Athletics' 4-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Thursday night. "I'm ticked off more than anything. I was having a great season and now this. Something so simple can be so damaging."

Reddick, who hit a solo home run in the fourth for the A's only run, caught his thumb on Starlin Castro's spike stealing second base in the seventh. It also appeared Reddick was kicked in the head, according to MLB.com.

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Chris Sale became the first Chicago White Sox pitcher in the live ball era to win his first nine starts of the season after improving to 9-0 with a complete game, a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Sale struck out nine and walked none during the efficient 107-pitch outing to win his 10th consecutive start dating back to last year. The towering ace is the majors' first pitcher since Brandon Webb in 2008 to start a season 9-0 through nine starts.

Sale's dominant start has been fueled by the lefty's new less-is-more approach that he adopted during spring training. At the advice of his White Sox coaching staff, the flamethrower has focused less on strikeouts, and more on pitch efficiency. The approach has encouraged more weak contact from the opposition, an increase in innings per start, and frighteningly good results.

"9-0 is cool, it is. I enjoy it. I enjoyed snapping the skid we were in even more so than that," Sale told MLB.com's Scott Merkin after the White Sox ended their four-game losing streak. "I just try to go out and do my job every fifth day. That’s all I’m trying to do."

Sale's historic start - his second consecutive complete game and third of the season - saw the hard-throwing southpaw notch several records and milestones, including:

Sale's fourth-inning strikeout of George Springer - the 1,068th punchout of his career - moved him into ninth place on the club's all-time strikeout list.
The last White Sox pitcher to win his first nine-plus starts is Eddie Cicotte, who began the 1919 season 12-0.
Sale's the first White Sox pitcher since Jack McDowell (1991) to throw three or more complete games in his first nine starts.
The dominant outing lowered Sale's ERA to a sparkling 1.58, second in the AL to teammate Jose Quintana, and dropped his AL-best WHIP down to 0.72.

"I think everybody should know how we feel about him, how I feel about him," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said, according to MLB.com. "He's special. He's a great pitcher, he's one of the best in the game. I just see him continuing to get better as the season goes along, as he goes through his career."

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Matt Harvey's struggles continued Thursday against the Washington Nationals and his next turn in the starting rotation is in doubt.

New York Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters he's not committed to letting the struggling right-hander make his next start after the worst performance of the pitcher's big-league career.

"We're going to take a look - is that best for him, is that best for us?" Collins said. "We're not going to commit to anything at this time. But I will tell you, as I sit here today, I'd certainly trust him. I certainly believe in him. I hadn't seen him struggle like this before. But that guy that pitched tonight for them (Stephen Strasburg), he had a couple of mediocre years and now he's resurged."

Harvey was rocked for nine runs in 2 2/3 innings by the Washington Nationals and was booed by Citi Field fans upon exiting Thursday's game.

The 27-year-old has not looked like the pitcher of old, allowing more hits (65) than innings pitched (48 1/3) while his ERA has risen to a career-worst 5.77.

Harvey's only wins have come against the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and San Diego Padres, who all sit last in their respective divisions, and the hurler isn't sure why he's been pitching so poorly.

Asked if it was a confidence issue, Harvey told reporters, "I don't know. At this point, I have no idea."

If Harvey were to miss his next start, New York could use Logan Verrett, who pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Nationals, in his place.

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The Texas Rangers and the city of Arlington are set to announce plans for a new retractable-roof stadium, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, citing two major-league sources.

City sources tell Gordon Dickson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram a press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET on Friday to make an "important economic development announcement."

Construction of the potential new stadium would require approval from Arlington voters if tax dollars were used for the ballpark.

The stadium would reportedly cost $900 million to build and the bill would be split between the city and the Rangers.

A location for the new stadium hasn't been revealed, nor has a target construction date.

The Rangers' lease with the city for their current home at Globe Life Park in Arlington, which was built in 1994, is set to expire before the 2024 season. It's uncertain how far ahead of '24 the new stadium could open.

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The Boston Red Sox shuffled their roster ahead of Friday's series opener against the Cleveland Indians, placing right-hander Carson Smith and utilityman Brock Holt on the disabled list and recalling Blake Swihart and Noe Ramirez from Triple-A Pawtucket.

Smith, acquired from the Seattle Mariners this winter, opened the season on the disabled list after suffering a flexor tendon strain in spring training and made just three sporadic appearances for the Red Sox before returning to the disabled list with elbow soreness. Earlier this week, manager John Farrell hinted that a DL stint might be looming for Smith, who posted a 2.31 ERA over 70 appearances with Seattle in 2015.

In his absence, Ramirez will get another shot to prove himself in Boston's bullpen after stumbling to a 5.79 ERA - with three meltdowns and just one shutdown - in nine appearances for the Red Sox before being demoted in late April.

Holt, meanwhile, will be out of action for at least the next week, landing on the seven-day DL with a mild concussion. One of few players in Boston's lineup not hitting at the moment - the versatile 27-year-old owns a .200/.245/.289 line this month - Holt has dealt with concussion problems before, suffering one in August 2014 that forced him to miss the last month of the season.

With Holt out, Swihart - who broke camp with the Red Sox but barely lasted a week before getting sent down - will get another shot. Since debuting with Boston in 2015, the 24-year-old catcher owns a .710 OPS (89 OPS+) with five homers and 17 doubles in 90 games.

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The Tampa Bay Rays are expected to sign catcher J.P. Arencibia to a minor-league deal, four days after he requested his release from a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, according to Marc Topkin the Tampa Bay Times.

For Tampa, the move provides a backup plan if an injury were to occur, or if Hank Conger continues to struggle at the plate.

Since being a top prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays system, where he was named the 2010 Pacific Coast League MVP, the catcher has struggled in the majors.

Dating back to 2012, the 2007 first-round pick has bounced around to four teams. His last game in the majors was with the Rays on Oct. 1 of last season, and after he was signed by the Phillies, he never made it to the bigs, ultimately requesting his release.

In roughly five major-league seasons, Arencibia is batting a dismal .212/.258/.412 with 80 home runs. In 2011, his first full season with the Blue Jays, he belted a career-high 23 homers.

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Mark Shapiro, the Toronto Blue Jays' first-year president and CEO, admitted Friday morning that his club's 20-23 start has been "disappointing," but the veteran executive isn't putting the blame on manager John Gibbons.

"To spend time around Gibby is to be incredibly confident in his leadership and to recognize that he's part of the solution," Shapiro told Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. "We feel that he's a guy who's consistent. He is strong. He is tough. He is committed, and I feel like he's the right guy to help guide us through the challenges that we're facing right now," Shapiro said.

Nor does the blame lie with Gibbons' staff, added Shapiro, who noted that shuffling up coaches is "not (a) conversation we're focused on."

Seemingly, the 2016 campaign has been rough for Gibbons, who has dealt with issues beyond a scuffling offense and dreadfully ineffective bullpen. In April, Gibbons made a sexist remark after a controversial loss in Tampa Bay that generated plenty of uproar, and the Texas native landed a three-game suspension for joining his troops on the field in Arlington during Sunday's melee with the Rangers after being ejected from the game.

Gibbons, who remains under contract through 2017, is aware of the whispers.

"You guys might never see me again," Gibbons joked with reporters ahead of his team's 12-2 loss to the Rays at Rogers Centre.

Still, beleaguered as he looks, the folksy 53-year-old tried to downplay the issues that have marred the first six weeks of the 2016 campaign.

“Really, it's a typical season since I've been here," Gibbons told Israel Fehr of Yahoo Sports. "We're so-so early on; it wasn’t different than it was last year until we hit the end of July. I've been through this before. It's a frustrating business, even when things are going good. One thing you learn over time, truthfully, is that you don't get caught up in that. You come out everyday and do the best job you can."

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Why doesn't Dayton, Ohio have a professional baseball team?

Because then Cincinnati would want one, too.
I have never, ever seen the Reds this terrible.

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Some potentially groundbreaking changes could be coming to Major League Baseball very soon.

The league's competition committee has reportedly agreed to alter the strike zone and eliminate the four-pitch intentional walk by next season, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

Both changes, however, still have to be approved by MLB's playing rules committee before they can take effect. Approval from the Players' Association is not needed to make the changes, though Stark notes the union will be consulted as part of ongoing collective bargaining negotiations.

The most dramatic of the two changes would be to the strike zone, which would be raised from its current position at "the hollow beneath the kneecap," as the current rules states, to the top of the hitter's knees. This change is being made in response to umpires calling more strikes on pitches below the knees, according to Stark.

As for the intentional walk, the tweaked rule would see teams simply signal for an intentional walk, at which point the batter would automatically take first base rather than stand in the box and take four wide pitches. This would fall in line with MLB's recent "pace of play" initiatives, including between-inning clocks, that have attempted to speed up games.

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Colby Lewis has an iron dome.
The Texas Rangers right-hander took a Carlos Correa liner off the back of his noggin, and didn't even flinch. He just shook it off and walked around the mound like nothing happened, appearing completely unfazed by the whole thing.
Lewis was helped out by second baseman Rougned Odor, who drifted back into short center field and made a great diving catch to record the bizarre 1-4 pop-out. After throwing a few warmup pitches, Lewis remained in the game, to the shock of just about everybody watching.
The crazy thing about all this? It wasn't even close to his best defensive playof the night.








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The gift that keeps on giving, Bartolo Colon, is causing more fans to take out their wallets yet again.
On Thursday night, Clark Toys posted an offering from Forever Collectibles: a commemorative Bartolo Colon home run bobblehead that also has a bobble stomach.
In less than 24 hours, Clark Toys has sold more than 500 of them.
"Most of the bobbleheads we sell are limited to 360 pieces and they take months to sell," said Travis Pyan, managing partner of Clark Toys. "When the buzz on this item started this morning, we sold 100 in 30 minutes."
Pyan said he can't remember any athlete bobblehead that was ordered faster than Colon's.
"In 2008, we sold 600 Barack Obama bobbleheads on the night he was elected," Pyan recalled.
The Colon bobbleheads are limited to 942 pieces and cost $39.99.
A mock-up of the bobblehead featured a headline that said Colon was the oldest pitcher in MLB history to hit a home run, when he was actually the oldest player to hit his first career home run. Pyan said fans who buy the bobblehead will get an accurate headline.
Colon's home run on May 7 has led to several merchandising opportunities. Topps sold thousands of cards to commemorate the event, and Colon recently forged a deal with limited T-shirt site Represent to sell "Bartbino" shirts, a reference to Babe Ruth's "Bambino" nickname.
Last month, Colon filed to trademark the phrase "Big Sexy."








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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chicago Cubs escaped some bad news with outfielder Jason Heyward on Saturday, when they learned that he has a contusion near his right rib and hip, an injury that will keep him out of action for just three-to-five days.

"I think that's a reasonable thing," Heyward said after learning his MRI didn't reveal serious damage. "I'm feeling a lot better today than last night. Take it one day at a time."

Heyward was injured while making a diving catch in deep right centerfield at AT&T Park in the first inning of Friday's 8-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Most observers think Denard Span's blast would have gone for an inside-the-park home run, if not for Heyward's heroics. After lying on the ground for several minutes, Heyward was able to limp off the field with the help of trainers.

"God looked out for me on that one," Heyward said. "Still sore, achy, tight in the area that it happened."

Manager Joe Maddon was obviously pleased the damage wasn't worse.

"All I know [is] it was a great play," he said.

As a result of Heyward's injury, the Cubs activated outfielder Matt Szczur from the disabled list, and pitcher Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment. The Cubs will essentially play a man short for the next several days, until Heyward is healed, which forced the need for an extra position player. Ben Zobrist started in right field Saturday against the Giants, while Javier Baez played second base.

Heyward said he won't risk an early return to the field.

"I'll listen to my body," he said. "Regardless of the doctors, you have to listen to your body. ... I have to be smart. It's May. We're not in September right now. It's not the time to push it."

As for the catch, which made highlight reels all over the country, Heyward said he ranked it near the top.

"It's up there," Heyward said. "One of my favorites in my life, for sure."








Last edited on Sun May 22nd, 2016 07:51 am by lobo316

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Jon Lester's rough day at the office spelled the end of a dominant stretch of starting pitching for the Chicago Cubs.

The left-hander departed Saturday's 5-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants after just 2 2/3 innings pitched, which ended the Cubs' streak of 40 consecutive starts with at least five innings to open a season. They're the seventh team since 1900 to open a season with at least 40 straight five-inning outings from their starting pitchers.

The streak actually dated back to last September, giving them 48 consecutive five-inning starts from their pitchers for the longest streak in franchise history since 1910.

Lester, who gave up all five Giants runs on six hits and three walks and departed after surrendering a two-run double to pitcher Matt Cain, saw his outing as a blip on the radar for what's been the majors' best rotation to date.

"Our rotation's been pretty solid," Lester told Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. "We've been doing what we're supposed to do, keeping our team in the ballgame and putting up innings, with the exception of today. It's been fun to be a part of."

The Cubs are still baseball's best team, but they're scuffling at the moment, as Saturday's loss dropped them to 4-6 over their last 10 contests.

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Saturday wasn't advertised as turn-back-the-clock night at Marlins Park, but Ichiro Suzuki sure did his part to make it seem like 2001.

The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer put on a vintage four-hit performance to move 46 hits away from reaching 3,000 in MLB, and helped lead his Miami Marlins to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. He's the first player age 42 or older to go 4-for-4 or better in a game since Pete Rose went 5-for-5 on Aug. 11, 1986, according to ESPN Stats.

Suzuki started his show by singling to lead off the first inning, then added another two base hits off Nationals starter Joe Ross - who's 19 years his junior. After walking in his fourth trip to the plate, he doubled in the eighth inning off Yusmeiro Petit to complete his evening in style. He left everybody at the ballpark in awe, even the opposing manager.

''I've seen that for years, and you know it's still in there,'' Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters. ''Ichiro is one of the best players that has ever played this game. He has that magic wand, and he has had it for a long time.''

His remarkable evening continues what's been a renaissance year for Suzuki. After seeing his numbers dip to career lows last season, the Japanese legend is now slashing .373/.448/.431 through 32 games, has 19 hits, two stolen bases, and eight runs scored, while playing in all but 10 of Miami's 42 games this year.

Suzuki's night also moved him up a unique baseball leaderboard. His trio of singles were the 2,404th, 2,405th, and 2,406th of his career, moving him past Rod Carew for eighth place on baseball's all-time singles list.

He also upped his career hit total - counting his years in Japan - to 4,230, leaving him just 26 hits shy of Rose for the most hits in professional baseball history.

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Maintenance workers spent nearly an hour before Saturday's game in Oakland fixing plumbing issues in the visitor's dugout being occupied by the New York Yankees.

Officials at the Oakland Coliseum told The Associated Press that a backed up toilet caused the spillage into the Yankees' dugout, prompting manager Joe Girardi and some of his players to walk around the mess as they prepared for their matinee against the Athletics.

There's a little issue with the restroom in the visiting dugout... pic.twitter.com/bmjEaFfqe3

— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) May 21, 2016
The scene was reminiscent of previous plumbing problems that caused flooding at the aging Coliseum, including one instance in 2013 where raw sewage spilled into the Athletics' dugout. One year later, the Athletics' coaching room became flooded because of a clogged toilet.

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Thor dropped his mighty hammer on Milwaukee in historic fashion.

Noah Syndergaard continued his ascent to the position of New York Mets ace with a dominating performance against the Brewers on Sunday, and also joined a very exclusive list of pitchers in both Mets and baseball history.

Syndergaard allowed just one unearned run over seven innings while striking out 11 and walking none. In doing so, the 23-year-old became the first pitcher in Mets history - and just the fourth in baseball history since 1913 - to record back-to-back starts with 10-plus strikeouts, zero walks, and zero earned runs.

Nolan Ryan, Jose Fernandez, and Clayton Kershaw are the only other pitchers to record back-to-back starts with similar lines.

After witnessing the latest gem in his incredible run during the month of May - Sunday's outing dropped Syndergaard's ERA over his last three starts to a measly 0.82, to go along with 27 strikeouts and just one walk - his Mets teammates are simply being left in awe watching him.

"I personally think that there's only a few aces around baseball," second baseman Neil Walker told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "You could probably pick them all off the top of your head. And we've got a couple guys in here who are potential aces."

Even opponents are at a loss for words. Before an at-bat on Sunday, Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy told his Mets counterpart Rene Rivera that "You got lucky you're catching him because he's not easy to hit," according to DiComo.

As if all of that wasn't enough, Syndergaard further etched his name into Mets royalty by joining Dwight Gooden, who did it in 1984, as the only Mets pitchers to have consecutive 10-strikeout, zero-walk starts.

Syndergaard will look to close out his outrageous May with a bang when he faces the Los Angeles Dodgers next Saturday at Citi Field.

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Still got it.

During the fifth inning of Sunday's series finale against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a single to right field off right-hander Danny Salazar.

Bradley, now one game shy of the halfway mark to Joe DiMaggio's all-time record of 56 straight games with a base hit, walked in his first plate appearance of the afternoon and struck out swinging in the third before stroking a 1-1- curveball into right with one out in the fifth.

One of just nine players in Red Sox history with a hitting streak of at least 27 games, Bradley explained ahead of Sunday's contest that the streak isn't affecting his plan at the plate.

"I'm just going up there and sticking to my approach," Bradley told MLB.com's Deesha Thosar. "If it's meant to end, it's meant to end. I'm just going to do what I have to do and grind and put together some great at-bats."

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The Oakland Athletics' injury-ravaged rotation suffered another big blow Sunday when the club placed scuffling right-hander Sonny Gray on the 15-day disabled list due to a strained right trapezius.

"We just made a decision to try to knock this thing out as quick as possible and not look back from it," Gray told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

After getting off to an impressive start this year, posting a 2.73 ERA over his first four starts, Gray fizzled hard over the past four weeks, stumbling to a 10.38 ERA since April 27 while failing to pitch past the fourth inning in three of his last five starts before landing on the DL. Almost two months into the 2016 campaign, Gray owns the fourth-worst ERA (6.19) among qualified starters.

Gray, an All-Star for the first time last year, said the trapezius discomfort he first experienced May 15 in Tampa Bay resurfaced during Friday's start against the New York Yankees, in which he allowed four runs on six hits and four walks over 3 1/3 innings.

"Warming up against the Yankees in the fourth inning, it locked back up the way it did in the bullpen in Tampa," Gray said. "I definitely noticed a difference warming up the inning, it was just a matter of getting extension and getting out in front."

In a corresponding move, the Athletics recalled left-hander Daniel Coulombe from Triple-A Nashville to replace Gray, who joins fellow starters Henderson Alvarez (shoulder surgery) and Chris Bassitt (Tommy John surgery) on the disabled list.

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The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus aren't too happy with the Padres after an embarrassing error prevented the group from singing the national anthem ahead of the team's Saturday tilt against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

As described in a Facebook post posted Sunday by the chorus, the ensemble had taken the field to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" when a pre-recorded version of the anthem sung by a female voice began to play over the Petco Park speakers instead. After uncomfortably standing on the diamond for the song's entire duration, hecklers then began to hurl insults at the group as they were escorted off the field.

"No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over. No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands," the post reads.

The chorus is asking the city of San Diego to investigate the incident.

Though no formal corrections were made at the ballpark, the group did publicly commend Padres president and CEO Mike Dee for later apologizing for the error and offering to discuss the incident with LGBT leaders.

The team later released an official statement on the incident, citing it as a mistake by the control room during the pregame ceremony, adding they had extended an offer to the chorus to sing the anthem at another opportunity.

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Heading into Friday's series opener against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen hadn't blown a save since Aug. 23, 2015, converting his last 12 chances down the stretch last year while nailing all 13 of his tries in 2016.

Apparently, Melvin Upton Jr. didn't care much for that streak.

Down by one with a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth, Upton smacked an 0-2 cutter from the 28-year-old right-hander over the fence in right-center, lifting the Padres to a 7-6 victory with his second walk-off homer of 2016 while saddling Jansen with his first blown save in 25 chances.

Since 1913, only 62 relievers have converted more than 25 consecutive save opportunities without fail, two of whom - Brad Ziegler (36) and Jeurys Familia (30) - are presently gunning for Eric Gagne's all-time record of 84 straight successful save opportunities. Jansen, who ranks third among relievers in WAR since the start of 2012, made 36 appearances between blown saves, crafting a 1.29 ERA with a 30 percent strikeout rate over that span.

Seeing as Jansen hadn't allowed a walk-off home run in 355 career relief appearances before Friday's contest, though, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was a bit nonplussed after his club dropped their third straight game.

"Tonight was one of those for sure head-scratchers," Roberts told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick. "Kenley has been lights out. You can't expect him to be perfect. I expect to have a lead tomorrow and use him again and I expect him to rebound. It's not an easy game. Got to be a man about it and turn the page."

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Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is making a habit of watching his team close out games from the clubhouse instead of the dugout.

After coming out to defend Josh Donaldson in the top of the fifth inning - the reigning AL MVP was thrown at twice by Minnesota Twins right-hander Phil Hughes - Gibbons was ejected for the third time in the last seven days following an exchange with home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger and crew chief Joe West.

Gibbons, who returned to the dugout Friday after serving the three-game suspension he received for his role in last Sunday's melee with the Texas Rangers, has now been ejected four times in 2016.

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CINCINNATI -- The Seattle Mariners placed shortstop Ketel Marte on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb and recalled infielder Chris Taylor from Triple-A Tacoma before Sunday's game in Cincinnati.

Taylor, 25, hit .294 with two home runs and 14 RBIs over 39 games, 33 at shortstop, with Tacoma. Taylor played for Seattle in both 2014 and 2015, hitting a combined .239 with 10 RBIs in 84 games.

Marte, 22, left Saturday's game at Cincinnati in the bottom of the fifth inning after spraining his left thumb sliding into second base on a stolen base in the top of the fifth inning. In 40 games this season, Marte is hitting .276 with one home run and 14 RBIs.

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The Boston Red Sox will be without one of their most talented relievers for the remainder of 2016, as the club announced right-hander Carson Smith will undergo Tommy John surgery.

Smith, 26, will have his right ulnar collateral ligament repaired Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery by Dr. David Altchek, who also performed Tommy John surgery on Mets pitchers Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

Acquired from the Seattle Mariners last offseason, Smith battled elbow issues since spring training, suffering a flexor tendon strain in late March that sidelined him until May before returning to the disabled list with renewed elbow trouble last week after just three appearances.

In his three outings for the Red Sox, which were heavily spaced out, Smith didn't allow a run on a pair of hits and one walk.

Last year, Smith dazzled as a rookie in Seattle, crafting a 2.31 ERA with a 32.4 percent strikeout rate over 70 appearances, even notching 13 saves in 18 chances during a nine-week stint as the Mariners' closer.

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After allowing a career-high nine runs in the shortest outing of his career Thursday, when he was serenaded by boos from home fans as he limped off the field, New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey was given the option of skipping his next start.

No way, he said.

"Obviously it's frustrating being out there right now when you're not doing well and not helping the team," Harvey told ESPN's Adam Rubin on Monday. "As a teammate, your objective is to do everything you can to win games and help us succeed. And I wasn't doing that. So, obviously, they gave me an option to be skipped or whatnot and really try to figure things out. For me, taking time off isn't going to do anything. It's finding it on the mound.

"I'm not a quitter. I'm not going to just quit and put the ball down. It's a fight. It was good for me to do that."

Unwilling to concede, the beleaguered 27-year-old will try to get things back on track Tuesday in Washington against the team that pummeled him five nights ago, inflating his ERA to 5.77 - the eighth-worst among qualified starters - through nine starts in 2016.

"Nobody is more frustrated than him," manager Terry Collins said. "He said, 'I'm not backing away from this.' A lot of guys would have taken that out. He had a shot to. He could have said, 'I need to get away from this.' But he didn't. He just said, 'I've got to get back out there and I've got to pitch. That's the only way I'm going to get through this.' I thought that was the most impressive part of it."

Determined to break out of his funk, Harvey deviated from his usual between-starts routine, throwing on the main mound Saturday at Citi Field to enable team officials to use their TrackMan system to examine his mechanics - which, by his own estimation, are off.

"I think it does release point, it does arm slot, it does angle," Harvey said about the tracking system. "It does all that stuff. For me it was good that once I started feeling like I was throwing the ball correctly and comfortably, it was all the same. I think in my last 20 pitches I had a very consistent arm slot."

On Tuesday, the former All-Star - who, some have speculated, is suffering from an arm hangover after throwing 216 innings last year in his first season back from Tommy John surgery - will try to replicate those mechanical adjustments in his second straight matchup against Stephen Strasburg, another Tommy John guy (who, as agent Scott Boras noted last week, struggled for the first two months of 2015 before turning it around).

Related: Boras: Worried about Harvey? Look at Strasburg

"I understand and I know how poorly I'm doing. It's not even a comparison to anybody else," Harvey said. "It's a feeling that I don't have of throwing the ball correctly. It's kind of a weird funk. It's frustrating when you're going out there and I don't feel like I'm throwing the ball the way I'm supposed to and I'm getting knocked around. It's an unsettling feeling."

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DETROIT - It's not often a player gets benched after notching three hits in four at-bats.

In the seventh inning of Monday's eventual 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers, however, Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera was removed from the game for not running out a ground ball, manager Pete Mackanin explained.

"He didn't run," Mackanin told reporters, according to ESPN's Katie Strang. "One of the ingredients to our success to this point is the fact that these guys play with energy, they play hard, and we're training them to play the game the right way. And not running is not the right way. And that's why it's more important for me to set that tone than to take our best hitter out of the lineup."

Mackanin, the only manager Herrera has played for since debuting with the Phillies last year, said this wasn't an isolated incident, either.

"I've seen it in the past, and it's been trickling in," Mackanin said. "I just, I didn't like it, and I just made a decision."

After explaining his decision to the 24-year-old, Mackanin said Herrera understood his mistake.

''He was very matter-of-fact about it. He knows he should've run,'' he said. ''It was nice to see, as I was approaching Herrera, Ryan Howard walked up to him and told him to make sure he runs that stuff out.''

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Clayton Kershaw continues to amaze.

The left-hander was at it again Monday night, throwing a two-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds, striking out seven and walking only one in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 1-0 win. Kershaw faced only 29 batters, two more than the minimum.

The shutout was the 28-year-old's third of the season, matching his career high set in 2015, and we're not even through May.

Major league starting pitchers have thrown 11 shutouts this year. Clayton Kershaw has three of them. His ERA is now 1.48. He's pretty good.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) May 24, 2016
Kershaw improved to 7-1 with the win, mowing down the Reds in only two hours and 11 minutes. He has been nothing short of stupendous this month, winning all five of his starts, recording three shutouts, allowing only three earned runs, walking only two, and striking out a remarkable 55 in 42 innings.

Kershaw sub-2.00 stretch now up to 1115 innings

— Sam Miller (@SamMillerBP) May 24, 2016
There's Clayton Kershaw, and then everybody else.

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Miguel Cabrera looks to be back in form.

Hours after earning American League co-player of the week with teammate Cameron Maybin, Cabrera teed off against the Philadelphia Phillies, setting a milestone in the process.

Cabrera became the 62nd player in MLB history to reach the 500-double mark with a seventh-inning two-bagger off right-hander Colton Murray.

Congrats to @MiguelCabrera for getting his 500 career double from tonight's #tigers game. pic.twitter.com/5Gym4lf8l9

— Tigers Authentics (@DETAuthentics) May 24, 2016
Not only did Cabrera reach a milestone, but he also swatted two home runs in the contest off dominating Phillies starter Vince Velasquez, who has looked unhittable at times during the season.

Cabrera, who was hitting just .204 on April 24, has torn the cover off the ball since and is currently slashing .327 with an OPS of .989.

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The Baltimore Orioles have traded left-hander Brian Matusz and a competitive balance pick in the 2016 draft to the Atlanta Braves for minor-league pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek.

Matusz was then designated for assignment by the Braves, which means the swap was made by Atlanta to solely acquire the draft pick (76th overall).

Atlanta will also assume all of the remaining salary left on Matusz's contract, which is around $3 million, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports.

Matusz, a former fourth overall draft choice in the 2008 draft, hasn't exactly lived up to the expectations of the selection during his time with Baltimore.

Across eight seasons with the Orioles, the 29-year-old owns a 27-41 record with an ERA of 4.85 during 279 appearances, 68 of which have been starts.

Barker, 23, was a 16th-round pick of the Braves in 2014, and is currently pitching at Double-A Mississippi. The right-hander owns a 2.00 ERA and 1.04 WHIP across nine appearances, eight of which are starts.

Belicek, also a 23-year-old former 16th-round draft choice of the Braves, is currently pitching at Double-A Mississippi. The left-hander was recently promoted to Double-A after a successful stint at Single-A, posting a 3-0 record with a 2.49 ERA in 11 games.

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The Texas Rangers' busy day of transactions continued Monday when they recalled top prospect Joey Gallo from Triple-A Round Rock.

Gallo's promotion comes on the heels of announcements regarding Josh Hamilton's season-ending knee surgery and Shin-Soo Choo's return to the disabled list, as well as Yu Darvish's 2016 debut.

Texas made the move for Gallo after placing outfielder Drew Stubbs on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained toe.

Gallo, who has experience as both an outfielder and third baseman, has been taking ground balls at first base in the minors and could provide Texas with production in place of the struggling Mitch Moreland.

The 22-year-old, former first-round draft choice, made his MLB debut last season for the Rangers, but struggled to a .204/.301/.417 slash line with 57 strikeouts in 123 plate appearances.

Prior to his recent call-up, Gallo was hitting .265/.415/.639 with eight home runs, 20 RBIs, and 24 strikeouts in 106 plate appearances at Triple-A.

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The family of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the tobacco industry Monday.

The suit claims the San Diego Padres great was manipulated into developing an addiction to smokeless tobacco, which the family believes caused his death in 2014 after he developed salivary gland cancer, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times.

The suit didn't specify damages and requests a jury trial on grounds of negligence, product liability, and fraud. It was filed in San Diego Superior Court against Altria Group, Inc. - formerly known as Philip Morris - and several other defendants.

Gwynn's family suggests Tony was a victim of a marketing scheme to get him addicted to smokeless tobacco while he was in college, with the hope that he would in turn promote the product to African-Americans who looked up to him.

"Now that the family understands how he was targeted, they understand that the industry knew they had this highly carcinogenic product and they were marketing it to people like Tony," said David S. Casey, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs. "They want to hold them accountable and let a jury make a decision as to what is proper in this case."

Gwynn used one-and-a-half to two cans of smokeless tobacco per day from 1977 to 2008, which the suit says was the equivalent of smoking four to five packs of cigarettes every day.

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Outfielder Josh Hamilton will undergo left knee surgery and will miss the 2016 season, the Texas Rangers announced Monday.

Hamilton, already on the 60-day disabled list, has not played yet this season because of his knee, but the Rangers had initially expected him to return this season. Instead, Hamilton, 35, will have what will be his third surgery on the knee on June 8.

"It's not totally unexpected because of the sheer number of procedures he's had on the knee and the lack of relief that he's had," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "It's not a surprise at this point.''

Daniels said that Hamilton expects to be back on the field in 2017, which will be the final year of his five-year, $125 million contract.

"His mindset is he will," Daniels said. "He is very convicted."

Despite the hefty price tag, the Rangers are picking up only a small portion of the tab after they took Hamilton off the Los Angeles Angels' hands last year in a trade.

Since his return to Texas, Hamilton has only 170 regular-season plate appearances and has hit just eight home runs.

News of Hamilton's lost year came on the same day the Rangers announced that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is headed back to the disabled list after suffering an injury in his first game back Friday.

Choo has a strained left hamstring after previously rehabbing a strained right calf.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- When Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas collided while chasing a foul ball on Sunday, the Kansas City Royals gasped at the prospects of losing two All-Stars on one play.

A day later, the news could have been much worse.

Gordon was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday with a fractured right wrist, but he will not need surgery. Moustakas was held out of the series opener in Minnesota -- he is considered day-to-day with a bruised knee.

The break in the scaphoid in Gordon's wrist was non-displaced. He is expected to miss three to four weeks.

"That hurts," manager Ned Yost said. "But we feel like we have enough to cover that."

The All-Stars were injured in a loss to the White Sox in Chicago on Sunday when they slammed into each other while chasing after a fly ball in foul territory.

The Royals recalled infielder Cheslor Cuthbert to take Gordon's place on the roster.

Gordon has struggled this season, hitting just .211 with four home runs and 10 RBIs for the defending champions, who started the day in third place in the AL Central.

Jarrod Dyson started in Gordon's place in left field on Monday against the Twins, and Yost also can use Whit Merrifield there as well.

Merrifield was in the lineup at third base for Moustakas on Monday night.

Moustakas went out and tested the knee in pregame warmups but felt some discomfort and was held out.

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Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong left PNC Park in an ambulance Monday after being struck in the head by a pitch.

The Pirates said after Monday's game that the pitcher has a left eye injury, including the orbital bone around it. He was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital, and no further updates will be available until Tuesday.

Batting with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Vogelsong had an 0-2 count when a 92 mph fastball from Colorado Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles rode up and appeared to strike Vogelsong's head under his visor.

Vogelsong fell to the ground and stayed there until he was attended to by Pittsburgh head athletic trainer Todd Tomcyzk. It was not clear whether Vogelsong ever lost consciousness. The Pirates' trainer finally got him into a seated position with a towel held to his left eye. There appeared to be blood coming from his nose.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review posted a photo that appears to show Vogelsong after the pitch hit his face:

#Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is hit in the face by a pitch during the 2nd inning against the Rockies today. pic.twitter.com/E7bIvx5huw

— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) May 23, 2016
A cart was brought onto the field, and Vogelsong was transported to the tunnel, where an ambulance pulled in to take the pitcher away.

"In the dugout, we all felt for Vogey," Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison said, according to MLB.com. "Let's finish this game strong and keep him in our prayers. Hopefully everything's OK."

Lyles also expressed his remorse.

"It's tough getting hit up there," he said, according to MLB.com. "That's tough to see. Hopefully, nothing serious comes out of it and he's able to get back to his teammates shortly.

"But 0-2, I tried to climb the ladder, tried to avoid him putting it in play. I felt maybe he was looking for something away. It just ran in too much, too high."

Vogelsong had thrown two shutout innings, striking out two, and was leading 2-0 when he left the game. The Pirates went on to win 6-3.

In the bottom of the third inning, time was called again after plate umpire Jeff Nelson had dirt inadvertently kicked into his left eye on Francisco Cervelli's slide. After trainers tried to clean out his eye, Nelson was escorted to the clubhouse. Ben May moved from first base to behind the plate.

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Nobody has mentioned this (not even Beej), but the Phils are 5 games over .500 & are only 2 games out of first.
They were suppose to be rebuilding, like the Braves.

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lobo316 wrote: Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong left PNC Park in an ambulance Monday after being struck in the head by a pitch.

The Pirates said after Monday's game that the pitcher has a left eye injury, including the orbital bone around it. He was admitted to Allegheny General Hospital, and no further updates will be available until Tuesday.

Batting with the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Vogelsong had an 0-2 count when a 92 mph fastball from Colorado Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles rode up and appeared to strike Vogelsong's head under his visor.

Vogelsong fell to the ground and stayed there until he was attended to by Pittsburgh head athletic trainer Todd Tomcyzk. It was not clear whether Vogelsong ever lost consciousness. The Pirates' trainer finally got him into a seated position with a towel held to his left eye. There appeared to be blood coming from his nose.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review posted a photo that appears to show Vogelsong after the pitch hit his face:

#Pirates pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is hit in the face by a pitch during the 2nd inning against the Rockies today. pic.twitter.com/E7bIvx5huw

— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) May 23, 2016
A cart was brought onto the field, and Vogelsong was transported to the tunnel, where an ambulance pulled in to take the pitcher away.

"In the dugout, we all felt for Vogey," Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison said, according to MLB.com. "Let's finish this game strong and keep him in our prayers. Hopefully everything's OK."

Lyles also expressed his remorse.

"It's tough getting hit up there," he said, according to MLB.com. "That's tough to see. Hopefully, nothing serious comes out of it and he's able to get back to his teammates shortly.

"But 0-2, I tried to climb the ladder, tried to avoid him putting it in play. I felt maybe he was looking for something away. It just ran in too much, too high."

Vogelsong had thrown two shutout innings, striking out two, and was leading 2-0 when he left the game. The Pirates went on to win 6-3.

In the bottom of the third inning, time was called again after plate umpire Jeff Nelson had dirt inadvertently kicked into his left eye on Francisco Cervelli's slide. After trainers tried to clean out his eye, Nelson was escorted to the clubhouse. Ben May moved from first base to behind the plate.




The Pittsburgh Pirates placed right-hander Ryan Vogelsong on the 15-day disabled list with facial fractures Tuesday, one day after the 38-year-old was carted off the field and hospitalized after being hit by a pitch from Colorado Rockies starter Jordan Lyles.
Related: Vogelsong carted off field after being hit in face by pitch
Making just his second start of 2016, Vogelsong didn't make it out of the second inning Monday at PNC Park, where Lyles hit him in the face area with a 92-mph fastball with the bases loaded, plating a terrified Francisco Cervelli who walked home from third to see his pitcher face-down in the dirt.
"I didn't like the sound," Cervelli told MLB.com's Adam Berry. "It just scared me."
After being tended to by medical personnel, Vogelsong was able to get up on one knee and eventually stand on his own before being carted off and taken to Allegheny General Hospital, where he was deemed to be in stable condition by Monday evening. Prior to Tuesday's official diagnosis, head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk told reporters the injury was to "the eye itself, which includes the orbital (bone)."
"That's tough to see," Lyles said. "Hopefully nothing serious comes out of it and he's able to get back to his teammates shortly."

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Pittsburgh Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero was ejected in the eighth inning after hitting Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed on the chin, his second hit batter in as many innings.

Ahmed trotted over to first base, but was quickly replaced by a pinch runner.


Following the 12-1 loss, Diamondbacks skipper Chip Hale didn't mince words when he was asked about the incident, suggesting Caminero shouldn't be in the majors.

"If you can't have enough control not to hit people up there it's just not acceptable," he told reporters.

In the seventh inning, Caminero let his first one go, a 3-2 fastball that hit Jean Segura square in the head. After laying on the ground for a little while, Segura walked off the field under his own power.

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New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is apparently tired of talking about his struggles. Unfortunately for him, his bosses are just getting started.

Harvey declined to speak with the media Tuesday after the beleaguered right-hander stumbled through yet another underwhelming start, his third straight outing in which he's allowed at least five earned runs in fewer than six innings. Facing the Washington Nationals for his second start in a row, Harvey began to unravel during his second trip through the order, serving up back-to-back homers in the fourth and getting chased after offering up a pair of runs in the fifth.

The disappointing outing came on the heels of the worst start of his career - a nine-run disaster at Citi Field last week that prompted manager Terry Collins to mull skipping Harvey amid a marked drop in velocity and mechanics, which the pitcher admitted are getting progressively worse. On Tuesday, he struck out just one batter - a career-low.

''We've got to think what's not just best for Matt, but what's best for us moving forward at the moment,'' Collins told reporters. ''There are a lot of things to consider. We're not going to make any rash judgments tonight. We're going to sleep on it.''

Collins added that he'll huddle up with pitching coach Dan Warthen and general manager Sandy Alderson to discuss whether Harvey will make his next start, tentatively scheduled for Monday against the White Sox.

"I'm really surprised," Collins said. "This guy's too good. He's just way too good to continue like this."

The abbreviated start saw Harvey's career-high ERA rise to 6.08 and his WHIP balloon to an inflated 1.69 after he allowed eight hits and two walks over five innings. Entering Tuesday's game, opposing hitters posted a .784 OPS in their second time up against Harvey, while slashing .500/.569/.700 in their third plate appearance.

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The Cleveland Indians proved Chris Sale is human after all.

After starting the season 9-0, the Chicago White Sox hurler saw his bid for 10 wins cut short early, when he was knocked out of the game in the fourth inning.

Sale was beat up for six runs on seven hits and four walks in his worst outing of the season, picking up his first loss in the process.

Sale's quick exit stunted him from becoming just the second pitcher since 1920 to win his first 10 starts of the season. His ERA climbed to 2.26, which is still indicative of how good he's been this season.

Coming into Tuesday's start, Sale was pitching to a 1.58 ERA, going at least seven innings in each of his nine starts except one, where he left after 5 1/3.

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Yasiel Puig took a moment to admire his handiwork after stroking a long drive to right field in Tuesday night's game at Chavez Ravine - a homer, for sure, he thought - so the 25-year-old wasn't able to advance to second after his shot clanged high off the wall.

Dave Roberts, now two months into his first season as Los Angeles Dodgers manager, wasn't impressed. As such, Puig got to watch the last three innings of his club's 8-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds from the bench.

"In my opinion, he should have been on second base," Roberts told MLB.com's Chad Thornburg after the game. "When we talk about playing the game the right way, we've got to be accountable. So that was the decision that I made."

Having had his work ethic called into question in the past, Puig - who did end up scoring in the bottom of the sixth, somehow making it home from second after Joey Votto booted a grounder at first base - took full responsibility for his actions.

"I should have run out that ball," Puig said through a translator. "It was a bad decision on my part. It was a good decision on the manager's part. It shows not only myself, but the rest of my teammates that you have to run out every single ball."

Puig, incidentally, isn't the only player to get yanked from a game this week for dogging it. On Monday night, Philadelphia Phillies leadoff man Odubel Herrera was removed from his club's eventual loss to the Detroit Tigers for not running out a grounder in the seventh, even after recording three hits in his first three at-bats.

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The Texas Rangers are going to ease Yu Darvish back into the bigs.

Pitching coach Doug Brocail told reporters Tuesday that upon Darvish's much-anticipated return on Saturday against the Pirates, the Rangers will limit him to 85-90 pitches.

"That would be a good pitch count," Brocail said. "It all depends on how he looks during the game and how many pitches he has. We're not going to have him go out there and throw 150 pitches."

This will mark Darvish's first major-league start since undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 17, 2015. He hasn't pitched in the bigs since 2014.

Darvish has made five rehab starts, hitting the 87-pitch mark in his final outing. Brocail added that because the Rangers have the day off Thursday, the club will have the whole bullpen available to relieve Darvish on Saturday.

Almost two months into the season, Brocail isn't overly concerned with an innings limit unless the Rangers get deep into the postseason. But even then, Darvish will be monitored as the season wears on.

"It would be pretty close, but that's if he goes out and throws seven innings every time out," Brocail said. "Every guy is different. We'll listen to him and make a determination of what he says and what we see.

"There is a long way to go. We're not worried about it now."

Darvish will join a Texas rotation that is already one of the best in the majors, owning a 3.37 ERA, good for third in the league.

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With Lucas Duda out indefinitely due to a stress fracture in his lower back, the New York Mets are getting creative to fill their void at first base.

Wilmer Flores, a middle infielder with just two games at first base since making his MLB debut in 2013, is poised to become the club's regular first baseman upon his return from the disabled list, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. The Mets are optimistic Flores - who hasn't played since May 10 due to a left hamstring strain - will be back Friday when he first becomes eligible to come off the DL.

Flores, who went 2-for-3 for Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday in his first rehab game, will have some big shoes to fill when he gets to Queens. After stumbling through the first two weeks of the 2016 campaign, Duda managed an .834 OPS with seven homers in his last 28 games before landing on the disabled list Monday.

"He's a huge piece of our team," Collins told Maria Guardado of NJ.com after placing Duda on the DL. "This guy is a legitimate big bat in the middle of our lineup. Somebody's got to step up and pick up some of that load. We don't have that kind of a guy that's going to hit 25 to 30 (home runs), but we've got to space it out amongst everybody else."

Though the Mets are ready to hand Flores the reins, the 24-year-old didn't exactly enjoy the most auspicious start to his season. In 19 games before hurting his hamstring, the 24-year-old hit just .180/.255/.280 with one home run and two doubles.

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Jackie Bradley Jr. didn't have to wait long to extend his MLB-best hitting streak to 28 games. That's a good thing, because the hard part is just beginning.

Bradley reached the halfway point of Joe DiMaggio's hallowed "56" Tuesday when he doubled off the Green Monster at Fenway to lead off the second inning, becoming the sixth player in franchise history to record a hit in at least 28 straight games. The Boston Red Sox center fielder is just two games shy of notching the majors' first 30-game hit streak since 2011, and needs to hit in six more consecutive games to match DiMaggio's brother Dom for the longest in team history.

For Bradley, things are starting to get real.

"It's truly amazing," he said of DiMaggio's famed 1941 streak, according to MLB.com's Ian Browne. "It's one of those numbers where it stood for a long time. There's a reason why it's there and why it's lasted so long."

Bradley's run, which began with a pair of hits April 24 in Houston, has, ironically, been fueled by a patient approach. He's batting .412 with eight doubles, three triples, and eight homers during the streak, but, perhaps more impressive, according to Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis, has been Bradley's .487 on-base percentage.

"The other day, he walked twice," Davis said. "He could have easily gone up there and just swung at anything. He was very patient at the plate, got a pitch he could hit and hit it hard. Even with the streak on the line, he's not wasting the at-bats. He's not throwing them away. He's getting pitches he can hit and he's aggressive to those pitches."

Bradley said the attention is starting to pick up as he closes in on some bigger numbers. After Tuesday's 8-3 win, teammate David Ortiz joked that he's capable of running the streak to 70.

"I'm just being reminded about it a lot. Just swinging," Bradley said. "Having fun."





Red Sox hitting streaks

RANK     PLAYER            STREAK  YEAR


1     Dom DiMaggio          34      1949

T2 Nomar Garciaparra     30      1997


T2 Tris Speaker              30      1912


4 Johnny Damon            29      2005


T5 Wade Boggs              28     1985


T5 Jackie Bradley Jr.      28     2016

Last edited on Thu May 26th, 2016 12:27 am by lobo316

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NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are at .500 in large part because they traded Luis Severino's terrible starts for Ivan Nova's strong ones.

Nova, who is on the mound Wednesday night as the Yankees look for their seventh straight win, has started three games, which all were Yankees victories.

Another good start on Wednesday should cement his place in the Yankees' rotation. With 20 games in 20 days, the Yankees are toying with adding a sixth starter at some point, according to Joe Girardi, which could mean Severino's return from the DL might put him in the majors.

But Severino -- who has his first rehab start Sunday after being placed on the DL with a triceps strain -- had been awful, going 0-6 with a 7.46 ERA and pitching like one of the worst starters in baseball.

If the Yankees go for a sixth starter, they might move Richard Bleier, a 29-year-old lefty, to the 40-man and promote him for a shot over Severino. Bleier has a 2.57 ERA in five Triple-A starts, and Yankees officials have been impressed.

Meanwhile, Nova is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA in his three starts, which has helped the Yankees rip off 14 wins out of their last 20 games. The Yankees have six straight quality starts, which allows them to properly set up their bullpen each day. By tacking on some insurance runs during Tuesday's 6-0 win over the Blue Jays, they only had to use Dellin Betances of the Big 3.

As for Nova, he appeared to be a strong sleeper candidate to have a solid season. He is a year removed from Tommy John surgery, which is typically when pitchers return to top form. He is due to be a free agent, which is often a motivator for players. His up-and-down career seemed ready to go back up after a few years down.

Nova just needed the chance. He nearly won the fifth starter spot out of spring, but instead the job was given to CC Sabathia moreso due to Sabathia's superior resume than any spring training sign that he looked very good.

As it turns out, Sabathia and Nova are combining to form a pretty good No. 4-5 combination -- really the 3-4 slots when you consider how Michael Pineda has pitched. Sabathia is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA, while Nova is 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA.

Nathan Eovaldi and Masahiro Tanaka have combined to be a bit more consistent at the top of the rotation, which has allowed the Yankees to go to their Big 3 relievers during their winning streak.

Eovaldi (5-2) threw a six scoreless innings Tuesday as his ERA ducked just under four.

The fact the Big 3 is fully available Wednesday works perfectly for Nova, who is really a two-pitch guy these days. His fastball-curveball combination can maybe get him through orders twice, which can take him through the fifth, maybe even the sixth.

"That's all you need," Nova said. "Those three guys in the bullpen have been amazing."

In Nova's last start, Girardi took him out after six innings of one-run ball, even though he just had 62 pitches. Girardi had the Big 3 available, so he was going to use them.

The whole formula for the Yankees is predicated on being able to start well enough so they can get to their finishers. By trading in Nova for Severino, the Yankees have been able to do that more for the last few weeks.

Nova has been a big reason why the Yankees are 22-22 and possibly on the way up.

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Saw this crazy stat yesterday that Jackie Bradley now has the longest hitting streak in MLB history for a player that hit .250 or less the previous season. Reminds me of the time some stat guy said that Larry Bird was currently leading the NBA in free throw percentage in road games following a loss. :tongue:

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lobo316 wrote: NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees are at .500 in large part because they traded Luis Severino's terrible starts for Ivan Nova's strong ones.

As someone who's watched almost every game, that's pretty absurd.  Of course it helps, but the starting pitching across the board has been fantastic with something like 7 quality starts in a row.  Plus they've added Chapman so they can pull starters after 6 innings frequently and go to any combination of the Big 3 (and Girardi does this way too often, even when guys are cruising like Eovaldi was last night, and he's going to tire them out).  And the hitting has been a LOT better and more timely.  It's certainly not "in large part" to Severino or any other one player.   

Last edited on Thu May 26th, 2016 12:40 am by srossi

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The Toronto Blue Jays will welcome back a familiar face to their roster Wednesday in New York, as the club has activated second baseman Devon Travis following a nine-game minor-league rehab stint, the team announced.

Travis, who hasn't appeared in an MLB game since last July due to recurring shoulder problems that prompted offseason surgery, wasn't expected to be activated until after Toronto's current road trip, but will now rejoin the Blue Jays in the Bronx after just five games with Triple-A Buffalo. In five games with Buffalo, the 25-year-old hit .273 with a pair of doubles after going 5-for-14 (.357) with two doubles in four games with High-A Dunedin.

Acquired last winter from the Detroit Tigers, Travis earned a spot on Toronto's roster out of spring training and was installed as the Blue Jays' leadoff hitter less than two weeks into his MLB career. Though his shoulder problems limited him to just 62 games in 2015, Travis made quite an impression in an injury-riddled rookie season, hitting .304/.361/.498 (133 OPS+) with eight homers and 18 doubles, while finishing tied for third among American League rookies with 2.3 WAR.

For a Blue Jays team mired in last place in the American League East and scarcely resembling the club that pounded out 891 runs a year ago, Travis' return is no doubt a welcome sight. Not only does Toronto rank 11th in the AL in runs per game and eighth in park-adjusted offense, but the Blue Jays have also received less value from second base than all but three clubs through the first two months of 2016, with Ryan Goins, Darwin Barney, and newcomer Jimmy Paredes combining for a .585 OPS and -0.5 WAR.

To open up a spot for Travis on the 25-man roster, the Blue Jays optioned ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte to Buffalo.

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When Nomar Mazara got the call from the Texas Rangers in early April, Joey Gallo - his teammate at Triple-A Round Rock and another one of the club's top prospects - looked around the visitor's clubhouse in Des Moines, Iowa and confidently announced: "He ain't coming back here."
Now you know why.
On Wednesday afternoon, the 21-year-old rookie crushed the longest home run of the 2016 campaign to date (and the longest homer in Globe Life Park history), tattooing a Hector Santiago offering an estimated 491 feet, according to StatCast. Before Mazara's mammoth blast, the longest round-tripper of the year was Giancarlo Stanton's comparatively measly 475-foot shot off Hector Neris on May 6.
Mazara, who was named AL Rookie of the Month for April, now has eight homers through his first 39 games with the Rangers, and carried a robust .317/.364/.483 line (126 OPS+) into Wednesday's series finale in Arlington.










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The New York Yankees will soon have their designated hitter back.

Manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Alex Rodriguez will return to the team for Thursday's series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The 40-year-old has been sidelined since the beginning of May with a strained right hamstring. He was hopeful of returning earlier this week but had it pushed back after the Yankees sent him for a rehab stint in Double-A Trenton.

"Hamstrings are always tricky," Rodriguez said prior to his rehab assignment beginning. "The key for me is to be patient and be smart when I come back. When I come back, I want to come back for good and be ready to help the team win."

Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with an RBI during Tuesday's rehab appearance in Trenton. He told reporters he'll make two more plate appearances in Trenton on Wednesday before returning to New York.

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For years, Wade Boggs was persona non grata in Boston, having left the Red Sox after the 1992 campaign to sign with their most hated rival in a move that crushed the goodwill he generated with his .338 batting average and eight All-Star nods over the 11 prior seasons.

On Wednesday, Boggs was finally welcomed back to Boston and was honored in a pregame ceremony celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1986 club that won the American League pennant, but certain fans regretted the gesture after seeing what the 57-year-old wore to the festivities.

As he stood on the Fenway infield with his teammates from the '86 club, on the eve of having his No. 26 retired by the Red Sox, Boggs was seen sporting his World Series championship ring he earned with the New York Yankees in 1996. It didn't go over so well on Twitter.

Hey, Wade Boggs, when the #RedSox are honoring you, don't be wearing your Yankees World Series ring.

— NEB (@IbeNEB) May 25, 2016
Wade Boggs wearing his NYY title ring to the '86 team reunion. Classless. Glad JBJ moved past him on the hit streak list. #SoxHomecoming

— Sean (@kanafitz) May 26, 2016
So mad @RedSox are retiring 26 for Wade Boggs. Classless Boggs wears his Yankees ring to Sox ceremony. What a joke! pic.twitter.com/fDB9Su8MEU

— JD Wylkes (@jdwylkes) May 26, 2016
wade boggs wearing his @yankees world series ring while '86 @redsox are being honored is why we'll never let it go, man. #gosawx

— timothy davis (@iamtimothydavis) May 26, 2016
In a recent interview with the Yankees' TV network, though, Boggs explained that he wears his World Series ring every day.

"I'm not one of those guys to put it in a drawer and say that this part of my history is never going to be looked at," Boggs said. "I like sharing it with people. People ask me about it all the time and it has a story. It’s part of my legacy and it will always be there."

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For two decades, he was the Captain. Now he wants to be the boss.

Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees icon whose storied, 20-year career came to a ceremonious end back in 2014, said Wednesday his "ultimate goal" is to own a Major League Baseball team.

"In my mind, this is the greatest sport in the world," Jeter said during an appearance on CNBC's Squawk Box.

Jeter, who reportedly explored buying the NFL's Buffalo Bills when the club went up for sale in 2014, suggested baseball's popularity is waning among youths and noted that a key motivation for purchasing an MLB club would be to help the game grow.

"I think baseball is taking somewhat of a back seat to some of the other sports," Jeter said. "Some of the other sports are the sexy sports."

"I think kids, nowadays they look at players playing in college and the next year they're in the NFL or the NBA," he said. "Baseball, you sort of get lost, because you have to play in the minor leagues for a little bit. Kids in this generation are into instant gratification."

Jeter, now 41, has undertaken a number of different business ventures in recent years - he started a publishing imprint, Jeter Publishing, founded The Players' Tribune, and serves as a brand development officer for Luvo, Inc. - but owning a ballclub remains his top post-playing career objective.

"Baseball in my opinion mimics life," Jeter said. "It's every day. It's 162 games, plus 30 games in spring training, plus the postseason. There's a lot of work that goes into it."

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Adam Lind doing double damage tonight with a pair of dingers. pic.twitter.com/0g91g0GxgS

— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) May 26, 2016
Adam Lind had quite a night for the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, as his club unleashed some offensive fury against the Oakland Athletics in a 13-3 victory.

The first baseman became one of only four Mariners in franchise history with at least four hits, one double, two home runs, and six RBIs in a game.

Lind joined Jay Buhner, Bret Boone, and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. in accomplishing the impressive feat.

"I said to (hitting coach Edgar Martinez), it's great we're winning, but it's nice to participate, too," Lind told MLB.com's Greg Johns. "Tonight I had a chance to do that."

The six-RBI performance was the fifth of Lind's career, which also includes an eight-RBI night against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 31, 2009, when he was a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.

"He's capable of carrying a club for a few weeks," said manager Scott Servais. "He's got that kind of offensive ability. It was great to see. He needed one of those nights and good for him."

Lind came to the Mariners in an offseason deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, and is hitting .242 with five home runs and 18 RBIs as the left-handed part of a first-base platoon also featuring Dae-Ho Lee.

"It's tough," Lind said of starting over in a whole new environment. "I did it last year (after being traded from Toronto to Milwaukee last offseason), but we stunk. So I was just talking to some of my close people and I really don't want to screw this up. I'm finally on a good team and I'd like to contribute and be a part of the success of this team. It's time. It's time for me to do something to help this team win."

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Russell Martin's and Michael Saunders' home runs had a particularly Canadian touch to them Wednesday.

In the seventh inning between the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees, Saunders and Martin hit back-to-back home runs, becoming the first Canadians in franchise history to go yard in the same game, according to Sportsnet.

Related: Martin's HR drought ends with back-to-back jacks

They also became the first Canadian teammates in MLB history to hit a home run in the same inning.

For Martin, the power surge couldn't have come at a better time. Entering his 39th game of the season, Martin was homerless and batting an abysmal .172/.243/.180.

Saunders, on the other hand, is swinging a hot bat. The outfielder came in batting .314/.379/.556 with eight home runs.

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It would be absurd to take a week or two of April games and expect the results from that small sample to continue. But Memorial Day weekend is almost here and nearly a third of the season's games have been played, a fair slice of games upon which to judge, and what the Boston Red Sox offense is doing is remarkable.

The Red Sox lead the majors in runs scored with 274, or 5.96 per game over 46 games. This is 54 more runs than any other team in the American League, meaning they're averaging more than a run per game more than any AL team. The Red Sox also have 76 hits more and 108 total bases more than any other AL team, and they're hitting .298 as a team, including a .312 average in home games; they're averaging almost seven runs per game at Fenway Park.

And for the most part, they've done it with the same group of regular starters, meaning that a number of Red Sox players are on pace to put up crazy numbers. At their current trajectory, this is where some Boston players would wind up:

Jackie Bradley Jr.: 197 hits, including 42 doubles, 14 triples and 28 homers, and 120 RBIs.

Xander Bogaerts: 232 hits, 127 runs, 74 extra-base hits, 92 RBIs.

David Ortiz: 187 hits -- which would be a career high, by the way – with 74 doubles, 39 homers and 151 RBIs.

Travis Shaw: 183 hits, 95 runs, 113 RBIs.

Dustin Pedroia: 194 hits, 120 runs.

Mookie Betts: 201 hits, 82 extra-base hits, 144 runs, 123 RBIs.

Hanley Ramirez: 183 hits, 95 runs, 92 RBIs.

There will be injuries in the days and weeks ahead for some, and there will be regression. But keep in mind that the rule of thumb for Fenway Park in general is that offense picks up as spring turns to summer.

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Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 29 games with a single in the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

The single nudged Bradley over the halfway mark of New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio's historic run of 56 consecutive games with a hit.

Bradley is now tied with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest hitting streak in Red Sox history as he chases the 34-game mark set by DiMaggio's brother Dom in 1949.

Bradley has eight doubles, three triples, and eight home runs over the course of his streak.

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When Tony La Russa heard the Pittsburgh Pirates' broadcasting crew spouting off "untruths" about his history with retaliatory plunkings after Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero hit two Diamondbacks hitters in the head Tuesday, Arizona's chief baseball officer wasn't going to stand idly be.

Instead, the manager-turned-executive - with three World Series titles and 2,728 career wins on his resume - went in there to set the record straight.

"I never have stood for inaccuracies," La Russa told Nick Piecoro of AZCentral after inviting himself into the booth, mid-broadcast, "so I corrected the inaccuracies.

"It's about taking responsibility. If you're going to speak untruths then you're going to get challenged and you should be responsible for what you say. I am. I reacted."

Though La Russa denied instructing any of his pitchers to intentionally hit a hot batter with a pitch throughout his 33 years as a major-league manager, he also noted Wednesday, after watching Nick Ahmed and Jean Segura get hit in the head the evening prior, that "intimidation is an important part of sports."

For the record, Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said he doesn't believe Caminero hit his players intentionally, but suggested the Pirates' management and coaching staff are at fault for the incident for enabling a hard-throwing pitcher without control.

"You know what, when guys get hit in the head and they get hit in the face, there's no place for that in the game," Hale told reporters, according to ESPN. "And if the guy is not trying to do it, then he shouldn't be here at this level. If you can't have enough control to not hit people up there, it's just not acceptable - especially twice in one game."

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ne collision has caused massive problems for the Kansas City Royals.

Third baseman Mike Moustakas has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a torn right ACL, the team announced Thursday. A timetable for his return wasn't provided.

Moustakas suffered the injury after colliding with left fielder Alex Gordon while chasing a foul ball on Sunday. Gordon fractured his wrist in the crash, and will miss three-to-four weeks as a result. Moustakas hasn't played since Sunday due to his knee injury, which was initially described as a "contusion" by manager Ned Yost.

"I haven't even really checked on him, to be honest with you," Yost told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star on Wednesday. "Because the plan was, 'We'll get back to Kansas City, check him out and see how he is feeling.' He did say yesterday that he felt better."

The 27-year-old was an All-Star for the first time last season, but has struggled to begin 2016, hitting just .240/.301/.500 over 113 plate appearances.

The Royals recalled outfielder Brett Eibner from Triple-A Omaha to fill Moustakas' roster spot.

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Atlanta Braves outfielder Hector Olivera has been suspended 82 games by Major League Baseball for violating the league's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy.

Olivera's unpaid suspension is retroactive to April 30, 2016 and will extend through Aug. 1.

The 31-year-old has agreed not to appeal the suspension.

Atlanta immediately released a statement after learning of the news.

"The Braves fully support Major League Baseball's decision regarding Hector Olivera. The club will have no further comment on the matter at this time."

He was arrested April 13 after allegedly assaulting a woman at a hotel in Arlington, Va., while the Braves were in town for a series against the Washington Nationals.

Olivera was charged with assault and battery, a misdemeanor, and bond was set at $10,000 US.

"Mr. Olivera has also agreed to make a significant charitable contribution to one or more charitable organizations focused on preventing and treating survivors of domestic violence," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Olivera, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a three-team, 12-player trade also involving the Miami Marlins last season, was hitting .211/.238/.263 with zero home runs and two RBIs prior to his suspension.

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Rougned Odor's eight game suspension has been cut down to seven after appealing the discipline for his role in a melee between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Odor will begin his suspension Friday, and the club is expected to recall Jurickson Profar as his replacement, the Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson reports.

The Rangers second baseman became a household name after squaring up Jose Bautista with a right hook in a bench-clearing brawl on May 15.

Bautista was handed a one-game suspension, which he appealed, and had his hearing in New York prior to Thursday's game.


The incident stemmed from a Matt Bush fastball to Bautista's ribs. He subsequently went in hard on a slide to second base, which Odor took exception to. Odor was also fined $5,000.

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has already served his one-game suspension for his role in the fracas.

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The 35-year-old left-hander pitched brilliantly in a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, allowing two runs - none earned - across seven innings of work, while striking out seven.

With the great performance, Sabathia moved into a tie with Chuck Finley for 23rd on Major League Baseball's all-time strikeout list, also tying him for sixth all-time among southpaws.

Including Thursday, Sabathia has made two starts since coming off the disabled list with a left groin strain. The big left-hander has allowed just one earned run and five hits across 13 innings of work, striking out 15 in the process.

Sabathia is in the last season of a seven-year, $161-million contract signed in December of 2008.

He does have a $25-million vesting option for 2017 that is guaranteed if he does not end 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury, does not spend more than 45 days in 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury, or does not make more than six relief appearances in 2016 because of a left shoulder injury.




PLAYER              SEASONS  STRIKEOUTS


Randy Johnson      22          4875


Steve Carlton       24           4136


Mickey Lolich       16           2832


Frank Tanana      21           2773


Chuck Finley       17           2610


CC Sabathia      16            2610

Last edited on Fri May 27th, 2016 04:54 am by lobo316

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Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen has been suspended indefinitely by the team with pay after being arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated early Thursday morning.

"The matter will be handled in accordance with the policies and procedure of the Minnesota Twins baseball club," the team said in a statement, adding that it would have no further comment on the matter.

Allen, who pitched 11 seasons in the majors with five teams from 1979-89, was hired as the team's pitching coach in 2015. The 58-year-old has been open about his previous struggles with alcohol, according to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune.

Minor-league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen will take over as interim pitching coach.

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Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. went 0-for-4 Thursday against the Colorado Rockies, ending his hitting streak at 29 games.

"It was a fun ride," Bradley told reporters. "I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed it. Most of all, the team played really well during it. I'm blessed to be in this situation."

The Red Sox did everything they could in the 8-2 loss, manufacturing a mini-rally in the ninth, but ultimately pinch-hitter Mookie Betts grounded weakly to first, leaving Bradley in the on-deck circle to end the game.

"You always want an opportunity, a chance," Bradley said of trying to keep his streak alive. "If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. And tonight is the night it was supposed to end."

His 29-game streak tied Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history, but still well short of Dom DiMaggio's Red Sox record of 34 games.

Bradley's teammate, Xander Bogaerts, now has the league's longest hitting streak at 19 games.

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Clay Buchholz's spot in the starting rotation of the Boston Red Sox may be in jeopardy after another poor outing on Thursday.

The 31-year-old right-hander allowed six earned runs on seven hits, including three home runs, to the Colorado Rockies. It was the sixth time this season Buchholz has allowed more than five earned runs in a contest.

With Eduardo Rodriguez set to come off the disabled list, his rotation spot will be under discussion, according to manager John Farrell, who told reporters a decision on what the rotation will look like hasn't been made just yet.

Buchholz - a two-time All-Star who became the first Red Sox rookie to throw a no-hitter when he blanked the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 1, 2007 - has not looked like that pitcher in 2016, allowing at least two earned runs in all but one star

The former first-round draft pick owns a 6.35 ERA, while allowing more hits (59) than innings pitched (56 2/3). He's also allowed 12 home runs, ranking him second in the American League behind only Chris Young of the Kansas City Royals.

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The pitchers of the Houston Astros etched themselves into the record books on Thursday thanks to a whole lot of swings and misses from the Baltimore Orioles.

Lance McCullers, Michael Feliz, and Will Harris combined to strikeout 15 Orioles, making the Astros the first team in Major League Baseball history to strikeout 15-plus hitters in three straight games.

The trio's performance came on the heels of the Orioles whiffing 19 times on Tuesday and 18 times on Wednesday.

"This hasn't been fun," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones told reporters after his team's 4-2 loss Thursday. "I saw we set the record for strikeouts in a three-game series. Let's get the hell out of Houston."

Some of Baltimore's biggest bats in Jones, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo, and Pedro Alvarez combined to strikeout 28 times across the three-game set.

The Orioles currently sit sixth in the AL with 387 strikeouts.

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Just when Freddie Freeman felt like he was getting out of a hitting funk, the Atlanta Braves first baseman has fallen back into a slump amid the worst offensive year of his career thus far.

"I've had a pretty horrible season so far. There's no sugar-coating it, I'm just not getting hits," Freeman explained to David O'Brien of AJC.com. "The hits I do get are obviously not with guys in scoring position, but obviously that needs to change. If it doesn't happen soon ... I'm already getting frustrated. Usually my track record's pretty good with guys on base."

Freeman is 2-for-18 over the last week, including a .135 season average with runners in scoring position; a spot he was so clutch in during 2015 when he hit .376.

"I guess it's back down into a valley," he said of being on the wrong side of hitting. "That's just the way this season's going. I feel good up there, just nothing's working, nothing's falling. I had a good three-week stretch there, now I'm back down for some reason.

"I feel good, I’m not doing anything different. There’s nothing I can really do but keep going out there and swinging."

Despite his struggles, the normally powerful Freeman is still responsible for eight of Atlanta's league-worst 19 home runs, but has just 15 RBIs for his club; a number he hopes to improve upon with better production while runners are on base.

"Obviously the first 40 games haven't turned out the way I wanted them to," Freeman said. "Hopefully the next 120 I'll start getting some hits with runners in scoring position. I'd rather be 1-for-4 with two RBIs than 3-for-4 and get out with a guy in scoring position ... I feel good, I'm the same, my batting practice is great, everything's great. I'm just not getting hits."

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NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi was flailing as badly as his batters were all day. When Girardi becomes flustered on the news conference podium, it usually belies a bigger concern.

So a question that could have been swatted away with a little finesse riled up the manager after the New York Yankees lost 3-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays. He lost his poise and perhaps revealed his actual thoughts.

What set Girardi off was being asked once again about the impact of Alex Rodriguez's return from the disabled list and to DH, which forced Carlos Beltran's move to right field.

A question about the impact of the moves bothered Girardi so much because he knows it is fraught with issues, even if he won't fully publicly admit it.

When the Yankees begin games that way, they may have a designated hitter who can't hit that much anymore and a right fielder who can't field much anymore.

It's not what you want, to borrow the manager's pet phrase.

Rodriguez and Beltran are two all-time players, but they are older, and Girardi is trying to manage whether and/or how he’ll limit Rodriguez's time.

After Thursday's loss, the Yankees are 8-17 with Rodriguez and 14-7 without him. Those numbers aren't entirely about Rodriguez at DH and Beltran in right.

Perhaps it is just coincidental. Shout out, small sample size and all! Still, Girardi has good reason to worry about his regular formation.

Upon his return, Rodriguez went 0-4, dropping his average to .184 in 76 at-bats. Beltran has hit .322 with a 1.123 OPS in 59 at-bats as a DH this season, the majority of those at-bats coming with Rodriguez on the DL.

Beltran was back in right and went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts, which was bad enough for Girardi to watch, let alone be asked about it. Before a reporter could finish his question, Girardi cut him off.

"I'm sure it had to do with him being in right field," Girardi said before quickly adding how bad Beltran performed the night before. "He was 0-for-4 yesterday. Let's not keep stirring this and stirring this and everything we over-evaluate. Carlos had a rough day. A lot of our right-handers had a rough day. Alex is going to DH. Carlos is going to DH some, too."

No one with any sense thinks that Beltran struck out four times because he played right field Thursday. Starter J.A. Happ was very good.

What Girardi has to figure out -- especially with a 22-24 team that needs to squeeze out every win -- is whether his best lineup on most nights is with Beltran at DH and Aaron Hicks in right or Beltran in right and Rodriguez at DH.

When Girardi goes with the Beltran and Rodriguez combination, the manager usually brings Hicks in late for defense, thus losing his best hitter, Beltran. If he benches Rodriguez, the Yankees are better defensively throughout the game, while having a superior DH. Rodriguez will hit for more power than Hicks, but Hicks, at .198, gives you more when he is on-base.

Considering Rodriguez has been a less-than-.200 hitter for nearly half a season worth of games, dating back to last season, is it the right call to play him? At most, Rodriguez should play four or five times a week for his health and for his bat speed.

The problem for Girardi -- who likes his stories neat and boring -- is that this involves Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, and the media (yes, guilty as charged) tends to focus on the most famous Yankee. So even in the pregame, Girardi was annoyed about a rather innocuous question about Rodriguez's playing time.

"He is my DH," Girardi said of Rodriguez. "We DH Carlos, as well. We felt that [Rodriguez] maybe wore down at the end of last year. The chances of me playing him seven, eight days in a row are probably not very good. But right now my plan is for him to be my DH. Carlos will play right field and DH, as well."

Rodriguez continues to play the good soldier. He just returned from the DL and he feels refreshed, but he will do what is asked.

"I don't need rest now," Rodriguez said. "I've been resting for three weeks. Usually, Joe makes the right calls. I'm just excited to be playing baseball and get back and contribute."

Beltran, who would one day like to be a manager, handled his 0-for-4 with more tact than Girardi. Here’s how the slugger described his day at the plate:

"Beautiful," Beltran said with a little smirk, the coolest guy in the room.

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After Thursday's loss, the Yankees are 8-17 with Rodriguez and 14-7 without him. Those numbers aren't entirely about Rodriguez at DH and Beltran in right.
I think earlier in this thread all credit/blame goes to Nova replacing Severino in the rotation, and now it's going to A-Rod being on the DL.  The fact is the entire team started playing better, particularly the starting rotation which has become a quality start machine the past 2 weeks.  Who could've expected what Sabathia is doing again?

A-Rod hasn't done anything at the plate though and Beltran got red hot, but now he's cooling off.  What Girardi got annoyed at is that Beltran was 0-4 in his last game as a DH too, but the media keeps harping on the fact that Beltran only hits when he's the DH.  That's pretty absurd.  I don't think a veteran like Beltran loses focus that much at the plate when he's asked to play the field, and a relatively easy position at that.

This is a streaky, broken down, poorly constructed team.  Girardi has almost no options and no flexibility and a bunch of guys who are only healthy or play well in 2 week spurts.  I'm not sure what he's supposed to do.  Blame the Steinbrenners and Cashman for this mess we have.   

Last edited on Fri May 27th, 2016 06:23 pm by srossi

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Chase Utley might be the most hated man in Queens, N.Y.

The Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman, who was thrown at earlier in the game by Noah Syndergaard - prompting the New York Mets starter's ejection - hit the Citi Field crowd right where it hurts by responding with a grand slam in the top of the seventh:

Chase Utley basically single handedly destroying New York all by himself tonight. pic.twitter.com/wU11DKBlZi

— Kevin Munie (@KMunie7) May 29, 2016
That wasn't the extent of Utley's damage Saturday, though, as he also connected earlier in the sixth inning with a solo shot to break the initial deadlock:

Crowd chanting "hit him, hit him" and then Utley hits a bomb. Ultimate heel move. pic.twitter.com/Eu2gZFKST9

— Kevin Munie (@KMunie7) May 29, 2016
Syndergaard's pitch - which sailed about a foot behind Utley - was likely in retaliation to the infielder's slide that broke the leg of former Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada in last season's NLDS.

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The New York Mets have notified Major League Baseball over the Los Angeles Dodgers' use of electronic devices to help with their defensive alignment.

The latest development in the escalating rivalry between the two clubs was triggered Friday when the Dodgers informed the Mets they wanted to mark spots in the outfield during this weekend's three-game series for defensive positioning after using an electronic laser before the game. The Mets denied the request, and apparently had a problem with the Dodgers' alternative measures to prepare defensively, which they allege included a laser range-finder.

"I don't want to make it more than it was, but we observed some members of the Dodgers organization using technology to establish defensive positions, presumably for use during the game," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Saturday, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin. "We weren't sure that was appropriate. But Major League Baseball is going to look at that issue. So I don't really have any further comment."

The Dodgers are known to embrace progressive tactics, such as global positioning system (GPS) and a laser range to help mark spots on the field at Dodger Stadium, but manager Dave Roberts took issue with accusations that the club used electronic assistance during Friday's game.

"No. 1, we do a lot with analytics and preparing our fielders," Roberts said. "And so as far as a laser in-game, that has never been the case nor will it ever, unless it is allowed by Major League Baseball, which I don't foresee. So this is something where, before a series, (we do) to help place our outfielders with depth."

On Friday, video of Howie Kendrick went viral after a fan alleged the outfielder was checking his phone during the contest. Injured pitcher Brett Anderson corrected the fan, noting that Kendrick was examining a defensive alignment chart.

"If they think I have a cell phone, let them think I have a cell phone," Kendrick said.

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The New York Mets, desperate for help at first base with Lucas Duda injured, have solved their problem for the time being by acquiring veteran first baseman James Loney for cash considerations, the team announced Saturday.

Loney had been playing with the San Diego Padres' Triple-A affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, this season. His minor-league deal contained an opt-out clause allowing him to leave the San Diego organization for a major-league job.

The 32-year-old was so excited to join the Mets that his tweet confirming the news beat the official announcement by nearly one hour.

I❤️NY

— James Loney (@theloney_s) May 28, 2016
Since Duda's injury, New York has been forced to use backup infielder Eric Campbell at first base, and middle infielder Wilmer Flores has also been playing the position on his rehab assignment. Because of the lack of depth at first, the team had been linked to Loney over the past week, with one report stating scouts watched him in Triple-A this week.

Related: Alderson says Mets will look at external 1B options

The Mets want him to be a left-handed option that can fill the gap until Duda returns from his back injury, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Loney has posted a .342/.373/.424 line with two homers in 43 games with El Paso this year. The 10-year veteran spent the last three years with the Tampa Bay Rays before being released by the team in March. He owns a career .285/.338/.411 line with 99 home runs across 1,343 games with the Rays, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

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The Toronto Blue Jays have placed Troy Tulowitzki on the 15-day disabled list with a right quad injury.

An MRI before Saturday's game against the Boston Red Sox revealed a low-grade strain, and Tulowitzki will receive treatment on the leg before resuming baseball activities.

"I think I needed more time to get over the hump," he said. "There was a couple things that made me realize that I wasn't myself out there. I just felt it too many times."

Tulowitzki was injured stealing second in New York against the Yankees on Tuesday. He came out of that game, and after sitting out the remainder of the series, he returned for Friday night's home game against the Red Sox but was ineffective, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and showing limitations in his movement in the field.

"It's tough," Tulowitzki said. "You could rest it and maybe get better in a week or so, but then you have to play with a man down, and that's not the right thing to do either, so that was the decision."

He is batting .204 this season, with eight home runs and 23 RBI. Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney are expected to split time at shortstop until Tulowitzki returns.

The Blue Jays called up left-handed reliever Aaron Loup to take Tulowitzki's spot on the roster. Loup, who has yet to play this season, has been recovering from a forearm strain in his pitching arm and just completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo.

Tulowitzki, 31, has batted just .221 in 87 games since being acquired by Toronto in last year's blockbuster trade with the Colorado Rockies. He has been plagued by injuries throughout his career and has not played in more than 126 games in any single season since 2011.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Salvador Perez was injured in the ninth inning Saturday, when Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert collided with Kansas City's All-Star catcher while trying to catch a foul popup against the Chicago White Sox.

Cuthbert slid with a forearm and elbow into the left thigh of Perez, who called off Chien-Ming Wang (3-0), settled under Adam Eaton's foul popup about 30 feet from the plate near the third-base line, and snagged the ball just before he was hit.

Perez was taken for an MRI after the game, and the extent of his injury was not announced. The preliminary diagnosis was a bruised left thigh.
The Royals rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth to escape with an 8-7 win. They became just the fifth team since 2010 (5-2,810) to win when trailing by six runs entering the bottom of the ninth.
But the health of Perez was at the forefront afterward.
"Now it's a waiting game,'' Eric Hosmer said. "We won the game today, but that will be the more important win if we find out nothing serious with him happened. Salvy is our guy. He's the leader of this team. He's an All-Star. He's everything. When you see a guy like that goes down, it fires you up. You want to pick up the pace cause you've got to pick him up.''
Perez immediately raised his right arm, signaling for assistance. Two minutes later, Perez hobbled off the field with his arms draped over the shoulders of manager Ned Yost and head athletic trainer Nick Kenney.
"The good thing about it, at least as far as we could tell, there was no structural damage to his knee,'' Yost said. "So, that was what I was worried about. He sustained a pretty good quad contusion [and] Cheslor suffered a mild quad contusion, when they hit.''
It's been a tough week for the Royals when it comes to collisions and injuries.
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and left fielder Alex Gordon collided last Sunday while chasing a foul ball at Chicago, and both landed on the disabled list. Gordon has a broken right wrist and is out for three to four weeks, while Moustakas tore the ACL in his right knee and is likely out for the season.
"That wouldn't have happened with Moose, because they've played together so long,'' Yost said of Saturday's collision involving Moustakas' replacement, Cuthbert. "Moose knows what Salvy's capabilities are, and Ches just put his head down and came hard."

Last edited on Sun May 29th, 2016 08:11 am by lobo316

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If MIke Trout keeps this up, the company he keeps will become more scarce by the milestone.

The Angels superstar center fielder added to his increasingly elite resume Saturday night by smacking the 150th home run of his career, making him the eighth player in MLB history to log that many homers and score 500 runs before his age-25 season.

Trout, 24, joins Alex Rodriguez, Mel Ott, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Ken Griffey Jr., Frank Robinson, and teammate Albert Pujols in the age-specific 150/500 club.

The first-inning blast off Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel - Trout's 11th of the season - hurried over the fence in right-center at 90 mph and traveled a distance of 401 feet, according to Statcast.

Pujols followed Trout's solo shot with one of his own - the 571st of his career - to leave him just two homers shy of Harmon Killebrew for 11th on the all-time list. It marked the 27th game in which the power-hitting duo both homered, one shy of the franchise record set by Garret Anderson and Tim Salmon.

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Classic matchup. pic.twitter.com/ePq3sDDFTT

— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) May 30, 2016
Clayton Kershaw has Major League Baseball under control.

The Los Angeles Dodgers ace stands alone in the record books after striking out pitching counterpart Bartolo Colon on Sunday against the New York Mets.

Kershaw's strikeout of Colon was the 100th of his season, while he's only recorded five walks, meaning the southpaw has allowed the fewest walks at the time of his 100th strikeout in the modern era, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Kershaw, who entered Sunday with a league-leading 0.68 WHIP, is also chasing Pedro Martinez's all-time mark of 0.74, set in 2000.

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There was a scary moment in the Miami Marlins' game Sunday against theAtlanta Braves, as Derek Dietrich was struck in the back of the head by a ball while in the dugout.
Dietrich was hit by a foul line drive off the bat of teammate Christian Yelichin the top of the ninth inning. According to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro, the ball split the opening near the dugout steps before bouncing off the back wall and hitting Dietrich.
Up and moving now, but Dietrich got nailed in the head by Yelich foul liner... laid face down for several minutes. pic.twitter.com/wcJNtN16XE
— Dayton from Nebraska (@BravesAmerica) May 30, 2016
X-rays came back negative, the Marlins announced after the game.
"Everyone's thoughts are with him," Marlins starter Tom Koehler toldreporters postgame. "Hopefully it's just a headache and nothing serious."
The 26-year-old was shown sitting up in the Marlins' dugout after the incident, but he didn't return to the field in the bottom half of the inning. He was later attended to by emergency medical technicians in the clubhouse.
Dietrich finished the night 2-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs.










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Nothing beats picking up the win as you make history.

In taking charge of the independent league's Bridgeport Bluefish on Sunday as a guest manager, former USA softball star Jennie Finch became the first woman to officially manage a professional baseball team.

She also picked up the 3-1 win against the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs and now sits at 1-0 in her managerial career.

3-1 W for @BPTBluefish today! Pitchers kept us in it, battled tough on the hill. https://t.co/K27qKsPhaF

— Jennie Finch (@JennieFinch) May 29, 2016
The two-time Olympic medal winner also threw out the first pitch prior to Sunday's historic game:

Awesome to see @JennieFinch guest manage the Bluefish and throw out the first pitch today! pic.twitter.com/GB1IGiTgjG

— Caitlin Pereira (@CaitPereira) May 29, 2016
- With h/t to ESPNW

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Darryl Strawberry has some advice for the New York Mets: Get in a fight.

After Noah Syndergaard was ejected Saturday for throwing a pitch behind Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, Strawberry - a member of the 1986 World Series champion Mets - thinks the team needs to continue to build an edge in order to win a title, and it can do so by getting physical.

"I don't know, maybe they need to get into a couple of fights. You find out then who's tough and who's not," Strawberry told Zach Braziller of the New York Post. "Maybe they need to go to the bar and drink and get into a couple of fights like we did. Then you realize what you really have.

"You realize it's a short window, and this will pass you by. Before you know it, it’s gone and you'll wish you put it all together as a team."

Related: Syndergaard 'dumbfounded' over quick ejection

The '86 Mets are remembered for an incident in Houston on July 20, 1986, when Tim Teufel, Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, and Rick Aguilera were arrested due to an altercation at a bar after a 3-0 loss to the Astros.

Teufel and Darling were both charged with aggravated assault on a police officer, while Ojeda and Aguilera were charged with hindering an arrest.

Strawberry's advice doesn't seem like it would scare away Syndergaard, who's shown in the past he'd welcome a battle of fisticuffs.

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Luis Severino is healthy but won't be working through his problems in the big leagues.

The New York Yankees announced that the struggling right-hander, who's been out since May 13 with a mild right triceps strain, has been activated from the 15-day disabled list Monday. He was immediately sent to Triple-A as part of a flurry of roster moves.

New York's injury woes continue to pile up, however, as it also placed utility infielder Dustin Ackley on the 15-day DL with a dislocated right shoulder suffered in Sunday's game against Tampa Bay.

Severino was being counted on to emerge as a dominant member of the Yankees starting rotation following an excellent start to his career in 2015.

Instead he's struggled, to the tune of a 7.46 ERA and 12.6 hits allowed per nine innings. In his most recent start on May 13, he gave up seven runs and walked four over just 2 2/3 innings against the White Sox, and left that game injured.

The Yankees are undoubtedly hoping Triple-A does the 22-year-old some good. A lack of starting depth means they're relying on both him and Michael Pineda to find their old forms in order to keep pace with the rest of AL East.

Ackley, meanwhile, is the latest to join the Yankees infirmary, with infielder Rob Refsnyder being recalled from Triple-A to take his place.

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This summer's international signing period just got a lot more intriguing.

Speedy Cuban outfielder Dairon Blanco has defected from the island nation in hopes of signing with a Major League Baseball team, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.

The 23-year-old, who's listed at 6-feet, 175 pounds, spent the past four seasons in Serie Nacional, most recently playing with Granma Alazanes. He's known for his speed, racking up 52 stolen bases while being caught just 13 times over his Cuban career, while leading Serie Nacional with 29 steals during the 2014-15 season.

Though Badler suggests his glove and hitting could use work, Blanco did slash .303/.369/.409 over his career, and struck out 118 times to 81 walks. He also won a Gold Glove in 2014-15.

Blanco was not part of the Cuban national squad that faced the Tampa Bay Rays in Havana this past March.

Because of the timing of his defection, Blanco will fall under next year's international bonus pool. It's highly unlikely that he'll be cleared to sign by MLB in time for the start of the 2016 signing period, according to Badler, which opens July 2.

MLB's current signing period for international players is set to close June 15.

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Hard-throwing Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman overpowered his way into team history Friday with an unusual strikeout record at the expense of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Chapman entered the ballgame with two outs in the ninth and the Yankees up 4-1, and struck out his first batter, Logan Morrison, who managed to reach base safely after a passed ball by Brian McCann. The Cuban left-hander responded by fanning Desmond Jennings looking to end the game and become the first Yankees pitcher in franchise history with two strikeouts during a one-out appearance.

The dominant cameo improved Chapman's absurd strikeout-to-walk ratio to 11-to-1 over eight frames this season, while maintaining his sparkling 2.25 ERA and minuscule 0.88 WHIP. Chapman, who was suspended for the first 29 games of the season, is a perfect 6-for-6 in save opportunities.

The Yankees are 12-6 since Chapman was reinstated from the suspended list.

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New York Mets third baseman David Wright could be heading for a stint on the disabled list with a neck injury.

The 33-year-old told Mike Puma of the New York Post his neck ailment is a herniated disc and he will know more about his future tomorrow.

Wright is expected to see a doctor on Tuesday to get a better idea of what he's dealing with and a potential timeline for his return to the field.

The slugger, whose been having difficulty turning his head from side-to-side, is hoping medicine will reduce the pain, although the issue may require more care.

"I'm hopeful, keeping my fingers crossed, that this medication kicks in a little bit, or that there's something else we can do to kind of expedite the process," Wright told reporters.

"I've woken up plenty with a stiff neck from sleeping on it wrong, but this is different," Wright explained. "This certainly lingered a little bit longer than a stiff neck does, so you've just got to treat that."

Wright's condition, which is separate from his already troublesome back, is concerning to manager Terry Collins, who thinks the third baseman may land on the disabled list.

''With the condition he's been playing in and the condition he's in right now, yeah, I'm concerned about it,'' Collins said Monday. ''Is it going to happen? I can't tell you. I don't know. I'm not a doctor. I know this guy plays with a lot of discomfort. He always has. And when he can't play, he's hurt.''

Wright appeared in just 38 regular-season games in 2015 after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis, but managed to return to play 14 games in the postseason.

He's currently hitting .226/.350/.438 with seven home runs and 14 RBIs, but hasn't played in a game since May 27.

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The injury-plagued Los Angeles Angels will get one of their top bullpen arms back into the mix on Monday in closer Huston Street.

Street was activated from the 15-day disabled list after spending more than a month on the shelf with an oblique strain.

The 32-year-old closer opted to skip a rehab assignment after making it through an extended spring training appearance on Saturday without any issues, although his fastball did not surpass 85 mph, according to Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times.

Street's addition should provide the Angels with support in a bullpen that currently sits ninth in the American League in ERA. Prior to his injury, Street had allowed just one earned run across 7 2/3 innings of work.

The 12-year veteran should resume his role as closer, which was filled adequately by Joe Smith in his absence. Street has recorded 320 saves during his career.

In corresponding moves, the Angels optioned right-hander Mike Morin to Triple-A, designated right-hander Deolis Guerra for assignment and recalled left-hander Chris Jones.

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Michael Pineda still sucks.

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For just the second time this season, the Chicago Cubs didn't get five innings out of their starter, as right-hander Jason Hammel was forced from Monday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after just two innings due to cramping in his right hamstring.

No biggie, it turned out.

Following Hammel's early exit, four Cubs relievers combined for seven innings of flawless relief. Travis Wood threw four, while Justin Grimm, Pedro Strop, and Hector Rondon tossed one perfect frame apiece to propel Chicago to a 2-0 victory - their sixth straight - before a Memorial Day crowd of 41,470 at Wrigley Field.

No Dodgers player reached base after Adrian Gonzalez's first-inning walk, with the Cubs' staff - including Hammel, who departed after unloading a few warmup pitches in the third - retiring the last 25 hitters.

Hammel, who trails only reigning NL Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta (1.72) for the team lead in ERA, appreciated the effort:

Whata job by our 'pen! #clutch. Picked me up BIG time & thx 4 all the well wishes @Cubs fans. Pretty sure just cramping. #sorryiblewB2Bnonos

— Jason Hammel (@HammelTime39) May 31, 2016
Cubs manager Joe Maddon, however, felt obligated to single one guy out after his club improved to 35-14 - the second-best start in franchise history - lavishing praise upon left-hander Wood, who fanned four and threw 35 of his 43 pitches for strikes.

"It's Travis Wood's day," Maddon told MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "He set the whole game up."

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Center fielder Byron Buxton was demoted to Triple-A in April after a brutal start with the Minnesota Twins. A team official announced the 22-year-old is set to rejoin the big-league club Tuesday with Danny Santana headed to the 15-day disabled list due to a hamstring injury.

"It (stinks)," Santana told MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park through interpreter Carlos Font. "You never want this to happen - not to me, or to anyone, really."

Despite struggling over 46 games in Minnesota last year, Buxton landed a spot on the Twins' roster this spring, but was optioned back to Rochester on April 25 after hitting just .156/.208/.289 with no home runs and a 49 percent strikeout rate through his first 17 games.

Buxton, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft, tore up the International League in his five weeks with Rochester, hitting .333/.402/.605 with six homers, nine doubles, and four stolen bases in 28 games before being recalled.

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Bryce Harper is out of the Washington Nationals' lineup Tuesday after taking a fastball off his right knee Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Following the game, manager Dusty Baker said his slugger is considered day to day with a right knee contusion.

In 51 games this season, Harper has only been hit by two pitches. Aside from his one-game suspension earlier this month, this will mark the first time this season Harper misses a game due to injury.

This year, the 23-year-old is batting .242/.415/.535 with 13 home runs, 34 RBIs, and 48 walks.

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Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer and San Francisco Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto have been named the Players of the Week for the American and National Leagues, respectively.

It's Mauer's first Player of the Week award since 2009. The Twins first baseman slashed .440/.500/.920 with four home runs and seven RBIs in the week to earn the honor, helping Minnesota to a 4-2 record. His best performances, though, came in a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners, where he hit a home run in each contest and registered five hits in the series to knock Seattle out of the top spot.

Cueto also had a strong finish to the month of May, going 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 15 innings. He limited the San Diego Padres on May 23 to just two hits in a complete game shutout at home, followed up by a May 29 road win against the Colorado Rockies where he allowed only one earned run and six hits over six innings.

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The Baltimore Orioles will give Caleb Joseph plenty of time to ice, as the club sent him to the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury.

Joseph suffered the injury on May 30 against the Boston Red Sox after he took a foul ball in a very sensitive area.

@Britt_Ghiroli pic.twitter.com/2R63KE2DQz

— Jim Morrison's Liver (@MorrisonsLiver) May 31, 2016
As a counter move, the Orioles have recalled catcher Francisco Pena from Triple-A Norfolk.

This season, Joseph is batting .182/.239/.212 with two doubles.

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CHICAGO — Dean Masini has a bachelor's in manufacturing engineering from Bradley, an MBA from Purdue and scored a 29 on his ACT, including a 33 on the math portion.
The 47-year-old father of four also has one of the zanier tattoos you'll ever see — although in Masini's case you'll probably never get a chance to see it because he always has it covered.
You see, Masini is a die-hard Cubs fan. And last November he went to Deluxe Tattooon Irving Park Road and had a 4-inch-long tattoo inked into his arm. The tattoo, featuring a Cubs logo, has the phrase "World Series Champions 1907, 1908, 201_,"
The blank space is for if the Cubs win a World Series this decade, and Masini, like many fans of the North Siders, believes it will happen. But unlike other Cubs backers, Masini had the guts to put his faith in ink, on his right arm.
"I don't fit the profile of the typical tattoo person, I guess," said Masini, a management consultant who helps hospitals and insurance companies develop strategies and help improve their technological processes. "And this is not so much a bet as it is a statement."
Masini, who's moving to either Lakeview or Lincoln Square in June, has two season ticket bleacher seats to Wrigley Field. When he goes to games, his tattoo is hidden by one of his many Cubs jerseys. His wardrobe includes Ernie Banks, Jake Arrieta,Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo uniforms.
Only a few close friends and family members have ever checked out the tattoo, Masini said. Masini said his kids, who range in age from 9-16, have checked it out, too. He said they thought it was a novel idea at first but now don't really care. Masini in the past has tweeted photos of the tattoo, but never showed his face.
@Cubs RT if U are confident, INK EMBEDDED IN ARM CONFIDENT!!, Cubs can win at least 1 World Series between 2016-2019 pic.twitter.com/hPxNeSpw2o










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Toronto just bolstered their bullpen.


from tsn.ca:






The Toronto Blue Jays acquired former closer Jason Grilli from the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday for a pitching prospect.

A 39-year-old right-hander, Grilli is 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA and two saves in his comeback from a career-threatening injury. Grilli's 2015 season ended when tore his left Achilles tendon on July 11. He had 24 saves and a 2.94 ERA in 36 games before the injury.

Hard-throwing Arodys Vizcaino has six saves and a 1.66 ERA in his emergence as the Braves' new closer.

Atlanta, 15-35 entering Tuesday and tied with Minnesota for the major leagues' worst record, is rebuilding. General manager John Coppolella said the trade helps open a spot for another young arm.

"We wanted to go with young pitching," Coppolella said. "What we've tried to do in a year like this is to try to find out what we have with the arms we have here."

The Braves expect to have right-hander Jim Johnson (right groin strain) come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday. Coppolella said right-hander Shae Simmons, recovering from Tommy John surgery, also should soon join Atlanta's roster.

Toronto also gets $2,175,000 from Atlanta, offsetting much of the $2,371,585 remaining after Tuesday of Grilli's $3.5 million salary this year. His deal includes a $3 million team option for 2017 with a $250,000 buyout.

Atlanta obtained right-hander Sean Ratclilffe, an 18th-round pick in 2013 who was 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 22 games with Class A Vancouver last year. The Braves recalled right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill Grilli's spot on the active roster.

Ratcliffe, 21, was in the Blue Jays' extended spring training and will report to the Braves' extended spring program.

"We had seen him two weeks back and our scouts who saw him thought he could help the Braves organization," Coppolella said. "We'd like to see him throw for us first and then go from there and see where he can help us."

As rumours of the impending trade spread on Tuesday, Grilli went through his normal pregame routine, including shagging fly balls in the outfield during batting practice. The trade became official about 30 minutes before the Braves' game against the San Francisco Giants.

Grilli has 76 saves, including 33 with Pittsburgh in 2013. He made his debut in the majors with Florida in 2001 and has also pitched for the White Sox, Detroit, Colorado, Texas and the Angels.

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CanadianHorseman wrote: Toronto just bolstered their bullpen.


from tsn.ca:






The Toronto Blue Jays acquired former closer Jason Grilli from the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday for a pitching prospect.

A 39-year-old right-hander, Grilli is 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA and two saves in his comeback from a career-threatening injury. Grilli's 2015 season ended when tore his left Achilles tendon on July 11. He had 24 saves and a 2.94 ERA in 36 games before the injury.

Hard-throwing Arodys Vizcaino has six saves and a 1.66 ERA in his emergence as the Braves' new closer.

Atlanta, 15-35 entering Tuesday and tied with Minnesota for the major leagues' worst record, is rebuilding. General manager John Coppolella said the trade helps open a spot for another young arm.

"We wanted to go with young pitching," Coppolella said. "What we've tried to do in a year like this is to try to find out what we have with the arms we have here."

The Braves expect to have right-hander Jim Johnson (right groin strain) come off the 15-day disabled list on Friday. Coppolella said right-hander Shae Simmons, recovering from Tommy John surgery, also should soon join Atlanta's roster.

Toronto also gets $2,175,000 from Atlanta, offsetting much of the $2,371,585 remaining after Tuesday of Grilli's $3.5 million salary this year. His deal includes a $3 million team option for 2017 with a $250,000 buyout.

Atlanta obtained right-hander Sean Ratclilffe, an 18th-round pick in 2013 who was 2-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 22 games with Class A Vancouver last year. The Braves recalled right-hander Ryan Weber from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill Grilli's spot on the active roster.

Ratcliffe, 21, was in the Blue Jays' extended spring training and will report to the Braves' extended spring program.

"We had seen him two weeks back and our scouts who saw him thought he could help the Braves organization," Coppolella said. "We'd like to see him throw for us first and then go from there and see where he can help us."

As rumours of the impending trade spread on Tuesday, Grilli went through his normal pregame routine, including shagging fly balls in the outfield during batting practice. The trade became official about 30 minutes before the Braves' game against the San Francisco Giants.

Grilli has 76 saves, including 33 with Pittsburgh in 2013. He made his debut in the majors with Florida in 2001 and has also pitched for the White Sox, Detroit, Colorado, Texas and the Angels.



Just what the Jays need. A 39 year old with an ERA  of [highlight= rgb(248, 248, 248);]5.29.

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lobo316 wrote: Just what the Jays need. A 39 year old with an ERA  of 5.29.

He's still better than some of the guys they have there now.

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lobo316 wrote: CHICAGO — Dean Masini has a bachelor's in manufacturing engineering from Bradley, an MBA from Purdue and scored a 29 on his ACT, including a 33 on the math portion.
The 47-year-old father of four also has one of the zanier tattoos you'll ever see — although in Masini's case you'll probably never get a chance to see it because he always has it covered.
You see, Masini is a die-hard Cubs fan. And last November he went to Deluxe Tattooon Irving Park Road and had a 4-inch-long tattoo inked into his arm. The tattoo, featuring a Cubs logo, has the phrase "World Series Champions 1907, 1908, 201_,"
The blank space is for if the Cubs win a World Series this decade, and Masini, like many fans of the North Siders, believes it will happen. But unlike other Cubs backers, Masini had the guts to put his faith in ink, on his right arm.
"I don't fit the profile of the typical tattoo person, I guess," said Masini, a management consultant who helps hospitals and insurance companies develop strategies and help improve their technological processes. "And this is not so much a bet as it is a statement."
Masini, who's moving to either Lakeview or Lincoln Square in June, has two season ticket bleacher seats to Wrigley Field. When he goes to games, his tattoo is hidden by one of his many Cubs jerseys. His wardrobe includes Ernie Banks, Jake Arrieta,Addison Russell and Anthony Rizzo uniforms.
Only a few close friends and family members have ever checked out the tattoo, Masini said. Masini said his kids, who range in age from 9-16, have checked it out, too. He said they thought it was a novel idea at first but now don't really care. Masini in the past has tweeted photos of the tattoo, but never showed his face.
@Cubs RT if U are confident, INK EMBEDDED IN ARM CONFIDENT!!, Cubs can win at least 1 World Series between 2016-2019 pic.twitter.com/hPxNeSpw2o










Huge shave artists like the Cubs are only going to be further cursed by idiots like this.

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Detroit Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez says he contracted the Zika virus over the offseason in his home country of Venezuela and advises potential Olympic athletes to educate themselves on the virus before heading to Rio de Janeiro.

Rodriguez told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he wouldn't blame athletes for skipping the Olympics, and that ''if they have plans to have kids in the future, you've got to think about it.''

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus linked to severe birth defects and possible neurological problems in adults.

Rodriguez says he was bedridden for about two weeks with head and body aches, sore joints and other symptoms. It felt like he had a cold at first, but as symptoms worsened, he went for bloodwork that determined it was Zika. It took about two months until he felt normal again.

The World Health Organization last week rejected a call from 150 health experts to consider postponing or moving the Olympics due to Zika in hard-hit Brazil. WHO argued the shift would make no significant difference to the spread of the virus.

A number of possible Olympic participants have voiced concerns about Zika recently, including Pau Gasol, Serena Williams and Rory McIlroy. Gasol says he has considering skipping Rio altogether.

''It's something people have to be careful with and worry about,'' Rodriguez said. ''There's no vaccine for it. It's not like you take a shot and (improve). ... It could be global.''

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On Tuesday night, for the first time since last July, the Chicago Cubs lost a regular-season game started by ace Jake Arrieta, dropping a 5-0 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers that ended their magical run of consecutive victories in starts by the reigning National League Cy Young award winner at 23.

Though Arrieta wasn't saddled with the loss - that hasn't happened to him since July 25, 2015, when it literally took a Cole Hamels no-hitter to beat him - the Cubs still blew their chance at history: a victory Tuesday at Wrigley Field would've given the franchise the longest consecutive wins streak in games started by the same pitcher. Instead, the Cubs share the all-time record with the Kansas City Royals - winners in 23 consecutive Kris Medlen starts between 2010-12 - for the best such streak in history.

In fairness, though, Arrieta did everything in his power to keep the streak alive. Arrieta, who owns a 1.36 ERA over the last calendar year, didn't allow a run in his seven innings of work, surrendering just two hits (albeit with four walks) while fanning eight before yielding to Clayton Richard in the top of the eighth.

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Brad Boxberger's season debut went terribly awry Tuesday in Kansas City, as the deposed Tampa Bay Rays closer exited due to injury after throwing just 17 pitches in his first big-league outing since undergoing core muscle surgery March 17.

Summoned in the bottom of the sixth inning with his team trailing by four, Boxberger promptly retired the first two hitters he faced, but then allowed a single to Eric Hosmer and a two-run home run to Kendrys Morales before hitting Paulo Orlando with a pitch. Following his 2-0 offering to Jarrod Dyson in the following at-bat, Boxberger grabbed his left side, so Curt Casali came out to check on his ailing batterymate. The catcher almost immediately beckoned toward the dugout, prompting a visit from manager Kevin Cash and a trainer. Moments later, Boxberger was lifted from the game.

Not long after departing, Boxberger - who made six rehab outings in the minors before rejoining the Rays on Monday - was diagnosed with a muscle strain in his left side, the team announced.

Boxberger, an All-Star for the first time last year, was expected to be eased back into the ninth-inning role, though his status remains unclear following Tuesday's early exit.

"I don't have any expectations right now," Boxberger said earlier this week. "I'm just expecting myself to go out there every day and take the ball in whatever situation it is. If that's the ninth, great. And if not, we'll go from there, and just take every day as a new day and be able to help my team in any situation I can."

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DENVER - Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each hit two of Colorado's team record-tying seven homers, powering the Rockies to a 17-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.

Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to hit leadoff homers in back-to-back games and added his first career grand slam in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez homered for a fourth straight game, while DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra also went deep.

It was the first time Colorado hit seven homers at Coors Field. The team also had seven on April 5, 1997, in Montreal.

Rockies right-hander Jon Gray (3-2) allowed three runs in six solid innings.

Jon Moscot (0-3) was hit hard in his return from the disabled list. He surrendered seven runs and four homers in two innings. Moscot also was grazed in the right ear in the third while bunting. Moscot stayed down for a moment before taking his base.

Moscot was replaced on the mound in the bottom of the inning. The right-hander was making his first start since April 27 after being sidelined by inflammation in his non-pitching shoulder.

A day after the Reds hit five homers, it was the Rockies' turn to play long ball. They had two homers in a five-run first, two more in the second, another in the third and sixth and finally Blackmon's blast in the seventh.

After that, Cincinnati's relievers kept Colorado inside the park. Still, the team had a franchise-best 14 extra-base hits.

The only late-inning drama was whether Parra or LeMahieu would hit for the cycle. Both finished a triple short.

Blackmon nearly set a new team record for homers in the eighth, but his drive was caught on the warning track in left.

Arenado had his first day off of the season Monday and came back rejuvenated with his third two-homer game this season. He now has 16 homers.

Blackmon is having quite a series, beginning the game on Memorial Day with a homer against Dan Straily and hitting a fastball from Moscot over the fence in right-center.

It was Blackmon's 50th career homer in his 500th game.

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Here's hoping fatass Pineda gets hit hard tomorrow night, sent to the minors, and banished. He's a pine tar-smearing clown and disgrace to the Yankees.

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Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has just been suspended for 162 games for a second PED offence.  He had been batting .270 with 5 homers and 19 RBIs this season. 

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"The King" won't be coming to San Diego after all.

Prior to his scheduled start Wednesday against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, the Seattle Mariners announced right-hander Felix Hernandez has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf.

The move is retroactive to May 28 and is only the third time he's been on the DL in 12 seasons.

Hernandez was examined by doctors in Seattle and the initial word is the calf injury isn't serious, MLB.com's Greg Johns reports.

The 30-year-old former Cy Young winner owns a 2.86 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 10 starts this season.

In a corresponding move, the Mariners have recalled left-hander James Paxton from Triple-A Tacoma to make the start.

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Wednesday marks the 500th day of "Deflategate," with no immediate end in sight.

After the Pawtucket Red Sox of the Triple-A International League announced Tuesday that they'll be hosting "Free Brady Friday" on June 10, the Buffalo Bisons responded with a Brady-themed night of their own.

To show their support for the New England Patriots quarterback's four-game suspension, the Bisons will be hosting "Keep Brady Suspended" night on June 11 against the Charlotte Knights.

The Bisons will be offering buy-one, get-one free tickets to anyone who brings a properly-inflated football (to be donated to area youth football programs) and accepting donations of un-destroyed cell phone for the "Cell Phones for Soldiers" charity.

There will also be a 12.5 percent discount in the Bisons' gift shop for those who bring a Brady jersey or T-shirt to add to the postgame fireworks display and a special video tribute to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

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srossi wrote: Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd has just been suspended for 162 games for a second PED offence.  He had been batting .270 with 5 homers and 19 RBIs this season. 

On Wednesday, after becoming just the third player ever to land a 162-game suspension for performance-enhancing drug use, Marlon Byrd - the 38-year-old journeyman who landed a one-year deal with the Cleveland Indians this winter - addressed his teammates at Progressive Field.
I'm finished, he told them.
"Basically, he told the guys that his career is over," Indians manager Terry Francona told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "And this is not how he wanted it to end. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of criticism of the situation, but it doesn't take away that we care about him. We care about our team, but we also care about the individuals. So that hurts. It feels like we got kicked in the stomach a little bit."


Byrd, who landed a 50-game suspension in 2012 after testing positive for Tamoxifen, said in a statement Wednesday he had "no intention of taking any banned substances" following his second violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug and Prevention Program.
When asked if he bought Byrd's explanation, Indians manager Chris Antonetti offered a noncommittal response.
"It's impossible for us to know, honestly," Antonetti said. "There's really only one person who knows what transpired, and in this case, that's Marlon. I think our job is to deal with the reality, and for us, that's the impact it has on our team and our organization, which is: Marlon is not going to be playing for us for the balance of this year. So how do we move forward without him?"
Byrd, a 10th-round pick in the 1999 draft, spent time with 10 teams throughout his meandering, 15-year career, and notably finished fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2003 before earning his first and only All-Star nod in 2010 during his tenure with the Chicago Cubs. Across his decade-and-a-half in the big leagues, Byrd managed a .759 OPS (103 OPS+) with 159 home runs and 311 doubles in 1,573 games.

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The San Diego Padres are playing so poorly, even their front office has become frustrated with the team.

Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler called the team "miserable failures" in an interview with San Diego sports station Mighty 1090 AM on Wednesday.

"It's been embarrassing. I don't know how else to put it," Fowler said. "Our performance on the road trip, 1-7, was pathetic.

"I'm a very competitive individual. I think I've won a lot more than lost in my life. This baseball experience has been very frustrating, very embarrassing."

Fowler not only berated the team's performance and motivation, but pointed a finger directly at right-hander James Shields, who the club signed to a four-year, $75-million contract in February of 2015.

"To have a starter like (James) Shields perform as poorly as he did yesterday is an embarrassment to the team, an embarrassment to him," Fowler said.

The executive went on to say that despite San Diego's poor performance he's still confident in manager Andy Green and his coaching staff.

"But in terms of the manager and coaching staff, we've got as good a group or a better group than I've seen. They're doing what they need to do. Part of it is on the players. But our job is to get the right players who can be motivated and determined at game time. Right now, we're not doing it. That's what frustrating for all of us."

And as far as the status of general manager A.J. Preller, who rolled the dice on trades for Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel, and many others last season, Fowler said the verdict isn't in.

"We had hired A.J. because we knew we had to develop a farm system and we had to do far better at international than we had done," Fowler said. "This draft coming up and the international signing period will give us a far better view of A.J.

"I don't think there is a brighter GM out there. I don't think anyone works harder. But the results are not there, and I think A.J. would be the first one to tell you that."

The Padres lost to the Seattle Mariners 16-4 on Tuesday and sit last in the National League West with a 20-33 record.

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Anibal Sanchez joined Jorge De La Rosa and Clay Buchholz as starters who've recently been moved to the bullpen on Wednesday.

The Detroit Tigers will move the struggling right-hander to the 'pen, according to manager Brad Ausmus, as reported by Jason Beck of MLB.com.

"We're going to have to make an adjustment with Sanchy," Ausmus told Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press prior to the announcement. "Something's gotta be done, because we need better starts than that."

Ausmus did say, however, Sanchez will get an opportunity to pitch his way back into the rotation.

"He could work his way back into the rotation, but nothing promised," the skipper said.

As for who will fill the void in the rotation left by Sanchez, Detroit has made no announcement or corresponding roster move as of yet.

The 32-year-old missed a chunk of last season with right shoulder issues, while amassing his highest ERA (4.99) since 2008.

Sanchez has posted a 6.67 ERA in 11 starts, while allowing an American-league leading 14 home runs.

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Ryan Howard has not had a pleasant 2016.

The Philadelphia Phillies first baseman is batting a paltry .154/.215/.343 after 46 games, which has prompted manager Pete Mackanin to sit the veteran infielder for the next little while in favor of 24-year-old rookie Tommy Joseph.

"It's the right thing to do," Mackanin told reporters Wednesday, adding that Howard was "on board" with the decision, according to Ryan Lawrence of The Philly Voice.

Mackanin also admitted Howard doesn't have much time left to try to turn around a declining career.

"This whole year is a last chance (for Howard)," the skipper told ESPN's Jayson Stark, adding that the veteran may be benched for longer if Joseph's bat continues to impress.

Joseph, a rookie drafted in the second round in 2009, has held his own in his debut season, batting .270/.275/.541 with three home runs, albeit in a limited 37 at-bats. And while replacing a former MVP and three-time All-Star can be overwhelming for a rookie, Howard was quick to reassure him he earned his spot.

"I said, 'Hey, you're in there the next 3-4 days, whatever it may be. Do what you’ve got to do to go out and kick some butt,'" Howard told Joseph.

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There aren't many people with a more disarming nickname than Markus Lynn Betts - that sinewy, thinly mustached Boston Red Sox outfielder known to friends and strangers as Mookie.

Mookie is a cartoon cat, or a banjo-wielding goofball that might share a stage with Raffi. Mookie definitely isn't a baseball-mashing menace, and he certainly isn't the best player on a team that employs Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz.

Well, the Baltimore Orioles might beg to differ.

Over the last two nights, Mookie has been a man possessed at Camden Yards, recording his first career three-homer game Tuesday before smashing another two home runs in Wednesday's 13-9 shootout. In a span of about 28 hours, Betts increased his OPS by 84 points, reaching base in seven of his last 10 plate appearances while driving in seven runs and scoring five times himself.

"This is probably the best night," Betts told reporters after propelling his club to a 6-2 victory. "It's the first time I've ever done that. I was able to make a play behind Robbie Ross, too, so putting the whole game together, I think it was the best day."

Sure, fine, that was the best night, but Wednesday was a pretty good night, too:


Mookie's magical two-game stretch conferred upon the 23-year-old a few historical distinctions, too. To wit:

Betts, the fourth-youngest player in Red Sox history to record a three-homer game, now shares the MLB record for home runs in a two-game span (5), but is the only leadoff hitter to accomplish the feat, according to ESPN.
Betts is now the first player in MLB history to homer in the first and second innings in consecutive games.
Having improved his isolated power to .261 through 53 games, Betts is on pace for 89 extra-base hits in 2016 - three shy of Jimmie Foxx's single-season franchise record.


Over the course of seven at-bats, Betts clobbered as many home runs as the Atlanta Braves did in April.

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Jeremy Guthrie, the 37-year-old right-hander still trying to latch on with a big-league club, didn't mince words when he learned Wednesday that Cleveland Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd had received a 162-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs for the second time in his career.

Marlon Byrd is a joke. All you cheaters are a joke. Do it the right way one time, accept your ups & downs.

— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) June 1, 2016
Guthrie, after all, endured more than his fair share of ups and downs throughout his time in Major League Baseball. Selected out of Stanford in the first round of the 2002 draft, Guthrie didn't become a full-time big-leaguer until age 28, and his 12-year career in the majors was anything but smooth. Guthrie, who most recently played for the Kansas City Royals, led his league in losses twice in a three-year span, and spent five seasons bouncing between the rotation and bullpen.

Still, Guthrie - who reportedly plans to opt out of his minor-league deal with the San Diego Padres - wasn't the only player to voice his displeasure with Byrd, though his language was the most pointed. Dan Haren, the three-time All-Star who retired after the 2015 campaign, intimated on Twitter that Byrd may have used illicit substances last year, while Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander - who coughed up a go-ahead homer to Byrd in April - expressed his contempt with an emoji.


After his punishment was announced, Byrd said in a statement he had "no intention of taking any banned substances," but noted that he has decided not to appeal the suspension. In 2012, after testing positive for Tamoxifen, Byrd didn't appeal his 50-game suspension either, despite only taking that medication "on the advice of a physician for a medical condition resulting from surgery."

Hours after slamming Byrd, Guthrie returned to social to offer clarification on his earlier tweet:

To Whom it may concern: pic.twitter.com/tq4AraMDcd

— Jeremy Guthrie (@TheRealJGuts) June 2, 2016

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The surging San Francisco Giants suffered a major blow in Wednesday's extra-innings loss to the Atlanta Braves, as right fielder Hunter Pence will be placed on the disabled list after straining his bothersome right hamstring in the fourth inning, manager Bruce Bochy confirmed.

Pence, who missed time last month with discomfort in the same hamstring, came up lame as he tried to leg out a slow dribbler down the third-base line, pulling up well before the bag and grabbing his right leg in pain. After limping off the field, he was immediately replaced in right by Jarrett Parker.

"That’s the danger of 'em, I guess," Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. "I checked on Hunter (Tuesday) night and he said it felt really good. Heck, he didn't think he needed treatment today and he got it anyway."

After his club's 5-4 loss, however, Pence - who is scheduled to have an MRI early Thursday - told reporters he felt better than he thought he would, adding he's "optimistic" about his forthcoming prognosis, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"I'm feeling optimistic," Pence said. "I'm able to walk on it pretty good. We don't know what it is just yet. They don’t have too many answers for me now. I'm pretty happy to be able to walk around right now."

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Joe Kelly's nightmarish season took another lousy turn Wednesday, as the Boston Red Sox optioned their scuffling right-hander to Triple-A Pawtucket after he allowed seven runs over just 2 1/3 innings in a 13-9 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Amid continued command issues, the hard-throwing 27-year-old didn't get through the fifth inning for the second time in three starts since returning from the disabled list in mid-May after missing a month with a right shoulder impingement.

"When he came back, he didn't look like he was overthrowing," manager John Farrell told reporters. "He was staying in his delivery well. There was a consistent effort and energy within it that allowed him to command the fastball. That has not been the case these last two times out.

"That's an area that has been kind of the nemesis of Joe. Blessed with a golden arm and tremendous stuff, but the execution of it has not been as consistent in those games than what he showed previously."

Despite coughing up a dozen earned runs in 13 2/3 innings since rejoining the rotation May 21, though, Kelly - whose ERA climbed to 8.46 on Wednesday - told reporters he was a "little bit" caught off guard by the decision, noting that he "didn't see it coming."

"I'm just going to go down there, try to get better," said Kelly.

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Madison Bumgarner goes deep as much as some of the best players in the game.

While most National League teams put an automatic bunt sign for the pitcher's spot in the batting order, the San Francisco Giants have the luxury of letting Bumgarner swing away - and for good reason.

Known as a power threat, the left-hander has 11 home runs in his last 190 plate appearances, just as many as Mike Trout and Bryce Harper.

#Nationals Bryce Harper
Last 190 PA: 11 HR#Angels Mike Trout
Last 190 PA: 11 HR#SFGiants Madison Bumgarner
Last 190 PA: 11 HR

— Ace of MLB Stats (@theaceofspaeder) June 2, 2016
Bumgarner is a career .180 hitter, and nowhere near as good as Trout or Harper, but in pitching circles, he can swing it.

Last season, Bumgarner batted .247 with 19 hits, five home runs, nine RBIs, and nine runs scored. His five blasts marked a career high.

This year he's on pace to get to that point again, batting .156 with two homers and five RBIs.

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There's only so much Joe Girardi can do.

The New York Yankees entered Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers at the bottom of the American League East following a three-game sweep in Toronto.

His offense hasn't been producing, so when asked by the media what he was going to do, Girardi turned the tables on them.

"Who do you want me to lead off? Tell me," Girardi asked, according to ESPN. "You guys have these questions, but you want me to lead Tex (Mark Teixeira) off? You want me to lead Alex (Rodriguez) off? Want me to lead Carlos (Beltran) off?"

For Thursday's game, he stuck to his usual lineup, putting Jacoby Ellsbury at the top of the lineup. But aside from him, no one's hitting, and there isn't much he can do that he hasn't already done.

"I mean, (Jacoby) Ellsbury's done a pretty good job, hasn't he? I have shaken up the lineup, haven't I?" Girardi asked. "Carlos has hit second or third, or third or fourth, most of the year. It's one thing if you have one or two guys struggling and you shake the lineup up, but when you have five or six, there's not a whole lot of shaking you can do because our No. 1 hitter's doing really well when he's hitting first, our No. 3 hitter's been doing really well and he's hitting third."

Prior to the matchup against the Tigers, New York scored five runs in four games. The scoring drought is the team's worst since 1972.

"So, now what? I'm listening," Girardi said. "Everyone's got all these ideas. I'm listening, but when you've got six guys in your lineup struggling, maybe I can ask if we can just hit 1-2-3."

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TACOMA, Wash. - Two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum allowed three runs and three hits over five innings in his first comeback start with Triple-A Salt Lake Bees against the Tacoma Rainiers on Thursday night.

The 31-year-old right-hander, signed by the Los Angeles Angels two weeks ago, retired nine straight during one stretch after allowing two runs in the first inning and another in the second. He left with Salt Lake trailing 3-1 against a Tacoma lineup that included Seattle Mariners starting shortstop Ketel Marte, who is on a rehab assignment.

Tim Lincecum #Angels #Giants #Rainiers @SaltLakeBees pic.twitter.com/5DbmccyieG

— Chuck Richter (@ChuckRichter70) June 3, 2016
Lincecum struck out five and walked three with one hit batter. He also balked in a run with the bases loaded in the first. He threw 88 pitches, including 48 strikes.

Lincecum, 7-4 last season with San Francisco, underwent season-ending hip surgery last September and was released by the Giants. He pitched in two extended spring training games after signing with the Angels and is scheduled to make one more start for the Bees on June 7 and then join the Angels on June 12 to face the Cleveland Indians in Anaheim.

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It was raining at Camden Yards.

The Baltimore Orioles clubbed seven home runs in a 12-5 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night, upping their team total to 76 on the season, good for second in the majors behind the Seattle Mariners.

For the Orioles, this marks a huge statement on the power outage in this series, which saw them fail to go yard in the first three games.

It was the first time since August 2014 against the St. Louis Cardinals that the Orioles hit home runs in five consecutive innings.

Mark Trumbo hit his 16th and 17th homers of the season, tying him with Todd Frazier for the MLB lead.

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The New York Mets won't have their captain back in the lineup anytime soon, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported Thursday night that third baseman David Wright is expected to be out for an "extended period" due to a herniated disk in his neck.

According to ESPN's Adam Rubin, third baseman Matt Reynolds has already been summoned to join the Mets in Miami, and the club will issue a statement on Wright's status Friday.

Wright, who was limited to just 38 regular-season games in 2015 after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis last May, navigated a frustrating start this season, receiving regular off-days and even adjusting his approach at the plate in an effort to stay on the field. Though the 33-year-old was somewhat productive through the first two months of the season, managing a .788 OPS (115 OPS+) with seven homers and 0.5 WAR in 37 games, Wright's neck started bothering him last week, prompting a therapeutic injection and subsequent MRI that revealed his herniated disk.

Earlier this week, after conceding that Wright's neck issue is "serious," Mets manager Terry Collins lamented having to watch the seven-time All-Star - a franchise icon and one of the best players in baseball years ago - wrestle with so many health issues over the last couple seasons.

"This guy has been a special player in baseball," Collins said Tuesday afternoon. "Certainly being the captain and the face of this organization, a manager's worst nightmare is to see a star start to fade. I think David's got a lot of baseball left in him because of the way he prepares and the way he gets himself ready. But it's hard to watch what he's going through ... as good as he was. I'll tell you: There's a lot of guys in this room that would not do what he does every day just to get ready to go play a baseball game."

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As the red hot Toronto Blue Jays descend into Boston to begin a crucial weekend set with the Red Sox, the free-agent whispers surrounding their big-money sluggers have picked up once again.

Both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion reportedly "envision" the Red Sox as a potential landing spot in free agency should they not reach agreements to remain in Toronto, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The link between the sluggers and Boston makes sense, as either player could slot into the team's soon-to-be vacant designated hitter slot from the retiring David Ortiz. Both players also love to hit at Fenway Park: Bautista sports a lifetime .277/.366/.598 line with 22 homers at the venerable stadium, while Encarnacion has slashed .296/.370/.527 in Boston.

According to Heyman's report, Encarnacion is reportedly asking for four years in free agency, while the Blue Jays have apparently offered just two years. Bautista made waves in spring training by declaring the Blue Jays know his price and there won't be any negotiations beyond that.

While Encarnacion has refused to talk about his upcoming free agency since the season started - even when Ortiz endorsed the Red Sox signing him as his replacement - Bautista hasn't been shy about discussing his thoughts on the matter. On Tuesday, the 35-year-old stated that he'd be "stupid to leave Toronto," where he's become one of the greatest players in the franchise's 40-year history.

Both players would be entering free agency for the first time in their respective careers.

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BALTIMORE -- Before the game, Mike Wright lost his spot in the Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation. Ubaldo Jimenez might be next.

Just hours after Wright, who got shelled by the Red Sox on Wednesday, was sent down to the minors, Jimenez took the hill for the series finale against Boston. Along with him on the mound was a whole bunch of baggage -- the emotional kind that comes with knowing that an entire fan base questions your very existence on the roster. On Thursday, he didn't do anything to change that.

Actually, that's not entirely true. Early on, Jimenez -- who entered Thursday ranked last among American League starters in WHIP (1.87) and third-to-last in ERA (6.36) – managed to stymie baseball's best offense, going six-up, six-down for the first time in over a year and limiting Boston to one hit and a walk through the first five innings. At one point, he struck out Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts back-to-back-to-back, finishing off Bogaerts with an 85-mph split-fingered fastball that danced so much, it looked more like a spitter than a splitter.

"Ubaldo was as good as you've seen him for five innings," manager Buck Showalter said.

The strong beginning was so surprising that when the crowd rose to its feet following a strikeout of Betts to end the third inning, it was hard to tell whether the standing O was because Jimenez fanned the blue-hot Betts, who'd homered five times in the previous two games, or simply because he made it through three innings, something he failed to do in his last outing.

But not long after, as tends to happen with Jimenez, the wheels fell off the cart -- along with the axles, horses, reins and everything else. In the sixth inning, each of the first five Boston batters reached base and scored, culminating with a three-run blast by David Ortiz that put the Sox up 5-4. It was a collapse that was all too predictable, which might explain why Showalter's hook was so decisive and sudden: When the sixth batter of the inning, Hanley Ramirez, hit a laser single to left field, the O's skipper was practically out of the dugout before the ball hit the turf.

Granted, this was the Red Sox, who've been terrorizing opposing pitchers the way that the Bogeyman terrorizes small children. Still, by the time it was all said and done, despite the strong first five, Jimenez's ERA had risen nearly a quarter of a run, from 6.36 to 6.59. In 26 starts since last year's All-Star break, he's sporting a 6.02 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. That's not exactly a small sample size. And it's not exactly what the Orioles had in mind when they in inked him to a four-year, $50 million contract in 2014.

Despite the ugly sixth inning, Jimenez was relatively upbeat after the game, which Baltimore came back to win 12-7 thanks to seven homers in their final five innings of hitting, including two each by Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones.

"It felt good to be out there and doing what I did in the first five innings," Jimenez said. "That's baseball. I had a tough inning. That's not gonna erase how I felt in the first five innings. That's what I'm gonna take for tomorrow, for the next day, and get ready for whenever I have to pitch next."

If the timing sounds a little vague there -- as if Jimenez's spot in the rotation is tenuous -- you can't blame him. Not after the way he has pitched recently. Not after Wright was sent down earlier in the day. Not with Yovani Gallardo expected back from the disabled list soon. Then again, Gallardo probably will fill Wright's spot, and it's not as if Baltimore's farm system is teeming with potential replacements. Not to mention, the O's aren't in the business of flushing $20-something million (the money owed to Jimenez over the remainder of his contract) down the toilet.

So for now, Jimenez remains in the starting five. But how long can the Orioles -- who managed a split with Boston, now have a 4-3 lead in the season series and trail the Sox by one game in the division -- afford to keep him there? How long can the Birds' bats continue to be a masking agent for the ugly truth? For a team that continues to prove it has more staying power than most imagined, how long can they keep relying on Jimenez?

Only time will tell.

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San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is expected to undergo surgery and miss the next eight weeks after tests revealed his hamstring tendon was completely torn from the bone, manager Bruce Bochy said Friday.

Pence battled a nagging hamstring strain earlier in May and then aggravated the same injury running to first base Wednesday against the Atlanta Braves.

Pence, however, is taking solace in the fact there will still be plenty of the season left after choosing to go the surgical route.

"We've got a long way to go," Pence said Friday, according to Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. "I'll be back in a flash."

Hamstring injuries have done a number on the Giants' outfield this season, with Angel Pagan also sidelined with the same ailment.

"When you don’t have two of your outfielders, it's always challenging," Bochy said, according to Baggarly. "It’s important we keep pushing here. We've dealt with this. We've overcome, even in our good years, big injuries. You have to realize these things will happen. We’ve got to hold the fort."

Bochy expects Pagan to return in 7-10 days.

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BALTIMORE -- The Orioles have placed reliever Darren O'Day on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

The veteran right-hander suffered the injury covering first base in Wednesday's game against the Boston Red Sox. Since coming to Baltimore in 2012, the 33-year-old submariner has become a key part of an Orioles bullpen that currently ranks second in the American League with a 2.79 ERA.

Last year, the Orioles setup man went 6-2 with a 1.52 ERA and six saves, and he was named an All-Star for the first time in his career.

One of the premier free agents on the market this past offseason, O'Day resigned with Baltimore, inking a four-year, $31 million contract. In 22 appearances this season, he's 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA and two saves, but has already allowed as many home runs (5) as he did all of 2015.

Right-hander Mike Wright, who was sent down to triple-A Norfolk on Thursday, has been recalled to take O'Day's spot on the 25-man roster.

O'Day becomes the third key Orioles player currently on the DL, joining shortstop J.J. Hardy and starter Yovani Gallardo.

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Looks like James Shields is going to the ChiSox.

from tsn.ca:





The Chicago White Sox appear to be adding a starter to their rotation. 

According to Jon Heyman of CBS, the White Sox are “moving close to” a deal with the San Diego Padres for starter James Shields. 

Shields, 34, has struggled this season, compiling a 2-7 record with a 4.28 ERA in 11 starts.

Last season, Shields posted a 13-7 record with a 3.91 ERA. He owns a career 129-104 record in 330 games with a 3.76 ERA across 11 seasons.

Shields is playing in the second season of a four-year, $75 million contract. He can opt-out of the contract after this season.

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Deal is done.


from cbssports.com:


James Shields is headed back to the American League.



The White Sox have completed a trade for Padres right-hander James Shields, the team announced Saturday afternoon.

Shields, 34, has pitched to a 4.28 ERA (90 ERA+) and 2.11 K/BB ratio after 11 starts. Across parts of 11 big-league seasons, Shields owns an ERA+ of 109.

In addition to Shields, the White Sox also get a reported $29 million in cash to offset a majority of the $56 million that Shields has left on his contract. As for the Padres, they receive right-hander Erik Johnson and infield prospect Fernando Tatis Jr.

On the Sox's side of things, they're angling for the AL Central title this season (as of Saturday morning, the SportsLine Projection Model gave the South Siders a 24.5 percent chance of winning the division and a 43.7 percent chance of making the postseason by any means), but they need some stability in the rotation behind ace Chris Sale and co-ace Jose Quintana. Mat Latos has regressed significantly after a hot start, and Carlos Rodon has struggled with his consistency. In the fifth spot, the White Sox have tried out three different pitchers, none of whom have thrived.

As for Shields, his numbers since going to the Padres prior to last season have been mediocre at best, which isn't surprising given his age. As well, he's making the jump back to the DH league and to a park that's a great environment for power hitters.

On that point, since the start of the 2015 season, Shields has given up 42 home runs in 269 2/3 innings. That's a not an ideal weakness to carry into an environment like U.S. Cellular Field. On the other hand, there's always something to be said for letting a brilliant pitching coach like Don Cooper try his hand with a pitcher who's shown greatness in the past. Let is also be noted that Shields is angling for his 10th straight season of at least 200 innings pitched.

As for the Padres' end, Johnson, 26, has a 4.50 ERA (89 ERA+) and 1.83 K/BB ratio across 18 career starts at the big-league level. Tatis, 17, is a 2015 signee out of the Dominican Republic and the son of former big leaguer Fernando Tatis.

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CanadianHorseman wrote: Looks like James Shields is going to the ChiSox.

from tsn.ca:





The Chicago White Sox appear to be adding a starter to their rotation. 

According to Jon Heyman of CBS, the White Sox are “moving close to” a deal with the San Diego Padres for starter James Shields. 

Shields, 34, has struggled this season, compiling a 2-7 record with a 4.28 ERA in 11 starts.

Last season, Shields posted a 13-7 record with a 3.91 ERA. He owns a career 129-104 record in 330 games with a 3.76 ERA across 11 seasons.

Shields is playing in the second season of a four-year, $75 million contract. He can opt-out of the contract after this season.

If he continues his poor performance, I doubt he'll be exercising that opt-out.

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The sick ward in the Bronx just keeps on growing.

The New York Yankees announced Saturday that first baseman Mark Teixeira has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee articular cartilage tear.

Teixeira left Friday's game against Baltimore in the third inning and was taken to hospital for an MRI, which revealed the injury.

"It's something he's dealt with before," manager Joe Girardi told reporters after Friday's contest. "For whatever reason, it started locking up tonight."

The 36-year-old has battled injuries this season, and had just returned to the Yankees lineup on Sunday after missing four games with neck spasms that required a cortisone shot. When Teixeira has played he's struggled, hitting just .180/.271/.263 with three home runs over 188 plate appearances this year.

Injuries have hit the Yankees hard this year, as Teixeira is just the latest member of the team to be placed on the DL. Already this season, the team has seen several key members miss time with varying ailments, including Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, and Luis Severino.

Teixeira's injury is particularly painful to the team given a lack of options at first base. Utility man Dustin Ackley, the probable choice to fill in for Teixeira, was lost for the season with a torn labrum on Sunday, while shoulder issues also ended young first baseman Greg Bird's season in spring training.

New York selected the contract of first baseman/outfielder Chris Parmelee from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Teixeira. The 28-year-old has hit .252/.343/.444 in 43 games with the RailRiders this year, and owns a .245/.311/.396 career line across parts of five big-league seasons with the Twins and Orioles. Ackley was transferred to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.

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The New York Mets' recent success has made them kings of the Empire State.

For what felt like an eternity, the Yankees have been regarded as the most popular baseball side in New York, whether hated or loved by millions across the continent. However, the Bronx Bombers' inability to make the American League Division Series since 2012, combined with the Mets' recent resurgence that culminated in a run to the World Series last season, is now seeing them play second fiddle in The Big Apple.

"When the Mets started winning last July, we saw an explosion in fan avidity," baseball sponsorship specialist Woody Thompson told the New York Post's Richard Morgan. "There were so many latent followers who wanted to let their freak flags fly - and then the Mets gave them a reason to do so."

Morgan adds that ratings on the Yankees' own YES Network have been steadily dropping in four of the last five years (Derek Jeter's final season in 2014 was the anomaly), while the Mets have seen their own numbers - in television ratings and jersey sales - rise higher than their New York neighbors.

It may be some time before the Yankees renew their hold on their home state, too. Currently, the Mets sit two games back of the Washington Nationals in the National League East, while the Yankees, four games below .500, are only half a game out of last place in the AL East. And with one of the youngest and most dynamic pitching rotations in MLB, the Mets may still reign supreme in New York for the next little while.

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It must have been a weird feeling.

Despite giving up only three runs to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta was handed his first loss since July 25, 2015 after his club lost 3-2 on Sunday afternoon.

The loss comes after he struck out 12 batters over five innings as his ERA sits at a sparkling 1.80, snapping a streak of 20 consecutive winning decisions. For his part, he also ripped an RBI double to help his own cause.

Following the game, Arrieta was in good spirits despite conducting his first post-loss interview in nearly a year.

"They strung three hits together in a row I think in the second or third, and that's one of the things you deal with in this game sometimes is things like that," he told reporters. "A day where a ton of strikeout ... batting averages with balls in play today was high, extremely high, just a weird day."

A weird day indeed, as Arizona went 9-for-10 on balls in play to get just enough run support. Yasmani Tomas ripped a two-RBI double in the second, while Paul Goldschmidt singled in a run in the fifth.

The mark trails only Carl Hubbell's 24 in 1936-1937 and Roy Face's 22 in 1958-1959 for the most in baseball history, according to MLB.com.

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The Boston Red Sox will be without Blake Swihart for at least two weeks.

Following Sunday's loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, manager John Farrell told reporters Swihart was diagnosed with a severe ankle sprain, and will be immobilized for two weeks.

Prior to the game, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list, though it appears he'll be off the field for much longer.

Swihart suffered the injury after chasing a fly ball into the wall during Saturday's contest. He limped off the field with the assistance of Farrell and a team trainer.

This season, Swihart is batting .258/.365/.355. After getting a demotion earlier in the year, Swihart, typically a catcher, reinvented himself as an outfielder.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have designated outfielder Carl Crawford for assignment, the team announced Sunday.

Crawford has nearly $35 million remaining on his contract, which the Dodgers must pay. The team has 10 days to either trade him, assign him to the minor leagues, or release him outright.

Dodgers vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes told MLB Network Radio that Crawford simply got "caught in the numbers game," referencing the team's crowded outfield.

The shocking move caps an incredible fall for the 34-year-old, who was once one of the more dynamic players in baseball. During his nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Crawford made four All-Star appearances, recorded five 50-plus stolen-base campaigns, and led the AL in both triples and stolen bases four times.

His downturn began immediately after signing a massive seven-year, $126-million deal with the Boston Red Sox in 2011. Crawford's numbers spiraled downward rapidly, and he missed most of 2012 with injuries. The Dodgers took on his entire salary as part of a blockbuster nine-player trade that also brought Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett to Hollywood in August 2012.

Crawford played fewer than 100 games in two of his four years with the Dodgers thanks to several injuries. He was hitting .185/.230/.235 with zero stolen bases in limited action this season.

In a corresponding move, the Dodgers recalled catcher/infielder Austin Barnes from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

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When the Chicago White Sox were atop the AL Central in early May, general manager Rick Hahn said he was already looking to make a "big move" with an eye toward October.

Acquiring former All-Star right-hander James Shields from the San Diego Padres four days into June certainly passes the big move smell test. Shields adds a quality right-handed arm that eats innings, as evidenced by his nine straight seasons of 200-plus innings pitched.

While Shields will be a big help to Chicago's rotation, he's not close to the final piece of the puzzle. Hahn knows this, and feels he can make more moves to improve his team down the stretch.

"(The rotation is) not the only need we see on this roster, and whether it's from a prospect standpoint or an economic standpoint, we do feel like we are in a position over the coming weeks and months to augment the roster if the opportunities arise," Hahn told reporters Saturday.


Hahn has some room in the bankbooks to work with, too. Adam LaRoche's sudden retirement in spring training freed up $13 million, and the Padres are picking up over half of Shields' bloated contract going forward. One source told CSN Chicago's Dan Hayes that the White Sox are only paying $5 million of his 2016 salary.

Finding pieces to dangle come July may prove difficult, though. There's not much in the White Sox system beyond top prospects Tim Anderson and Carson Fulmer, who aren't believed to be available. That may make it hard to trade for a much-needed left-handed bat, or another reliever.

Hahn believes moves to plug some of those other holes will be more available than starting pitching help in the weeks to come - hence the preemptive strike to grab Shields.

"There are other areas of need on this roster potentially over the coming months," he said, "and while the rotation was certainly a very important one - and frankly one we felt was going to be fairly difficult to address in the coming weeks leading up to the trade deadline given the supply and demand out there - we felt it was an important one to move on early."

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Madison Bumgarner wants to let loose with his bat.

The San Francisco Giants ace told ESPN's Buster Olney on Sunday in St. Louis that he's itching for a spot in the Home Run Derby this July in San Diego, and proved it by mashing a few offerings into the upper deck during batting practice.

It isn't a ridiculous request: in the last two seasons, Bumgarner has led all pitchers in home runs and is currently tied atop this year's leaderboard with New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard.


Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, though, doesn't want to risk injuring his star arm.

"No, to be serious, I couldn't let him do it," Bochy told Olney. "We couldn't let him do it."

We'll keep dreaming then.

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Prince Fielder shot back with an emphatic expletive when the struggling Texas Rangers slugger was asked if he needed a mental break.

As for whether any physical problems could explain a .187 batting average that led to his benching the past two games by manager Jeff Banister, Fielder said his bones and joints weren't hurt.

"Just my heart and my feelings," said the burly veteran, who had neck surgery two years ago.

Fielder, who is hitting .187 and has just one homer in his past 39 games, was replaced at designated hitter by Jurickson Profar again Sunday against Seattle. Profar, the team's former top prospect, had a hit in all eight games with a .378 average since coming up from the minors.

Profar filled in at second base during Rougned Odor's seven-game suspension for punching Toronto's Jose Bautista. Odor's return Saturday prompted Profar's move to DH.

Fielder said he wasn't happy with Banister's decision, but he understood and respected it.

"Never done this before," he said. "It happens. It's baseball. Last year, we had a lot of issues, the same thing with a lot of guys. They turned it around, had good years. So I'm no different. Not to mention, we're winning. Last year, we weren't winning. We're winning now. Who I am to sit here and complain? We're winning."

Fielder was among the AL's leading hitters the first few months last year without many homers before finding his power stroke and making the All-Star team with 14 homers and 54 RBIs at the break. He finished last season at .305 with 23 homers and 98 RBIs.

His average has hovered around .200 most of this season, although he was still driving in runs early in the year. Not lately, and he was in an 0-for-12 tailspin when Banister made the move.

"I look at this as a 20-second timeout for a guy that needs a 20-second timeout," Banister said. "Because in his own words, never been here before. This is new territory. When you're in new territory, maybe you look through a different lens. Who knows? Might be a brave new world on the other side for him."

The Rangers traded for Fielder when he was two years into the nine-year, $214 million contract he signed with Detroit in 2012. There are four full years remaining on that deal, worth roughly $100 million.

With his batting average nearly 100 points below his career mark of .283, Fielder bristles at questions over the accompanying loss of power. He recently ended a career-long homer drought at 34 games.

"You guys can have the power," Fielder said. "I'm trying to get hits. Trying to drive in runs. Trying not to get benched for two days. I'm just trying to play baseball. I don't care about homers."

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A fan at Citizens Bank Park threw a beer bottle from the stands at Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on Saturday, and the team and police said Sunday that they are investigating the incident.

As Howard was walking back to the dugout after a pinch-hitting appearance, the bottle landed near the slumping slugger's feet, according to a police spokesman.

"I've done too much in this town to have that kind of stuff," Howard told reporters Sunday. "If you want to yell out 'You suck,' that's whatever. But when you start throwing stuff, that's when stuff gets personal."

Howard hasn't been in the Phillies' starting lineup the past five games but was used as a pinch hitter with two outs in the ninth inning. Howard grounded out to the pitcher to end the game.

He said he didn't see the bottle in the air but noticed it after it landed near his feet.

"I don't play that. To me, that's crossing the line. It becomes a security issue. It's not necessary. That stuff infuriates me," he told reporters.

He said that it's the first time an object has ever been thrown at him from the stands.

"Somebody has to do something. Somebody should get reprimanded for it. Because if I would've done something, if I would've went into the stands and tried to beat this dude up, I would've gotten in trouble by Major League Baseball. He probably would've tried to sue me. But it's OK for him to throw a bottle and then go home and be on his merry way? Nah, that doesn't work," he told reporters.

Howard, 36, is hitting .151 this season and earning $25 million in the final season of his current five-year contract. He ranks second in club history with 365 home runs, and his 1,154 RBIs are third all-time for the team.

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lobo316 wrote: As for whether any physical problems could explain a .187 batting average that led to his benching the past two games by manager Jeff Banister, Fielder said his bones and joints weren't hurt.

"Just my heart and my feelings," said the burly veteran, who had neck surgery two years ago.

Why are all athletes such pussies these days?  I can't imagine Ty Cobb saying "my heart and my feelings" are hurt.  Jesus.

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New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares has been diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his left thumb, but will not be immediately placed on the disabled list, the team announced Monday.

The team will wait two to three days for the inflammation in Lagares' thumb to subside before determining if the outfielder can play through the injury. He is currently with the team as they head to Pittsburgh for a three-game series against the Pirates.

"Because it's on his glove hand and bottom hand on a bat, there's a good chance he'll be able to play with it," assistant general manager John Ricco said Monday, according to ESPN's Adam Rubin. "We won't know until some of the swelling gets out of there and he has a chance to see how it feels."

Lagares suffered the tear on a diving catch against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, robbing Ichiro Suzuki of a base hit and ending the sixth inning. However, the outfielder was then replaced by Matt Reynolds in the batting order and has not played since.

The team believes Lagares can play through the injury as other players such as Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Beltre have done in recent memory, though it is likely the Mets center fielder will undergo surgery in the offseason.

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The St. Louis Cardinals addressed their crowded infield Monday by optioning second baseman Kolten Wong to Triple-A Memphis, a move that's expected to clear room for the return of three-time All-Star Jhonny Peralta, who's slated to be activated from the disabled list Tuesday.

Wong was rumored to be the odd-man out for the Cardinals, who, according to general manager John Mozeliak, will tinker with their infield to accommodate hot-hitting rookie Aledmys Diaz. Once activated, Peralta will move to third, Matt Carpenter to second, and Diaz will remain the starting shortstop.

"Obviously, at-bats are going to be harder and harder to come by," Mozeliak said Friday, according to ESPN's Mark Saxon. "Clearly, it comes down to performance. At any point, if (Wong) were to take off and get moving, he would find playing time."

Wong has struggled so far to replicate the production from his breakout 2015 campaign, when he notched career highs in games played (150), doubles (28), RBIs (61), on-base percentage (.321), and OPS (.707).

In 49 games this year, the 25-year-old is slashing just .222/.306/.591.

Meanwhile, Peralta's season debut could come as soon as Tuesday when the Cardinals open a three-game set in Cincinnati. Peralta's been sidelined since early March after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, and his return was delayed further when the veteran shortstop cut his right thumb trying to open a box last month.

The roster shuffling comes on the heels of an excellent two-month stretch from Diaz, the 25-year-old rookie who paces all Cardinals hitters with a .328 average, to go along with eight homers and a .906 OPS in 54 games.

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Evan Longoria's incredible power surge and Matt Carpenter's ability to hit anything in his wheelhouse have earned the pair Player of the Week honors.

Longoria hit five home runs, while slamming his way to a 1.107 OPS during a week which saw his Tampa Bay Rays take three out of four games from the struggling Minnesota Twins this past weekend.

The Rays' third baseman became the first player in franchise history to hit a home run in every game of a four-game series against the Twins.

Carpenter used a torrid seven-day stretch in which he scored 10 runs and smacked seven extra-base hits to earn his award.

The St. Louis Cardinals' superstar swatted .560/.577/.920 during the week, bumping his season tallies up to .281/.388/.543 for the campaign.

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The Chicago Cubs' rapid ascent has them on pace to match MLB history.

After holding off a late Philadelphia Phillies rally on Monday to win 6-4, the Cubs became the quickest team in 15 years to reach 40 wins, matching the 2001 Seattle Mariners.

Should the Cubs continue their torrid play for the rest of the regular season, Chicago is also in line to match the MLB-record 116 wins set by those same Mariners.

At 40-16, though, the Cubs took four games longer to reach the milestone than the Mariners, who had only lost on 12 occasions before their 40th win.

Of course, if the Cubs make the postseason, that's likely where Joe Maddon and company will hope the comparisons end, as the 116-win Mariners failed to make the World Series after being dispatched in five games in the ALCS by the New York Yankees.

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Top international draft prospect Delvin Perez has reportedly slid down several draft boards after allegedly failing a drug test, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

The 17-year-old Puerto Rican is ranked as the ninth overall draft prospect by MLB Pipeline. He's been linked to multiple teams, including the Cincinnati Reds, who pick second overall, per Heyman.

The drug he allegedly tested positive for is not known, though ESPN's Keith Law reported it was not marijuana.

Perez was named MVP of the Victor Pellot Excellence Tournament after hitting .556 as part of the tournament's championship team. He's seen as a player with immense potential who still has some work to do at the plate, but brings stellar defense to the shortstop position, and has drawn some comparisons to Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

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Stone Garrett, the top-ranked outfielder in the Miami Marlins' minor-league system, will undergo thumb surgery to repair injuries sustained during a prank involving 2015 first-round pick Josh Naylor, according to a statement released Tuesday by Reynolds Sports Management.

In the statement, Garrett's agent Larry Reynolds said his client was "not a willing participant" in the undisclosed knife prank initiated by his Class-A Greensboro teammate, previously identified by the Marlins as being Naylor. Reynolds noted that Naylor and Garrett are not roommates, contrary to previous reports.

"The injury was not a result of horseplay of any kind," Reynolds said. He added that he's hopeful Garrett, a 20-year-old outfielder selected in the 8th round of the 2014 draft, will resume his career in the near future.

On Monday, Marlins president Michael Hill told reporters that Garrett required three stitches to his hand for what appeared to be an innocent prank gone wrong.

"Naylor has a reputation of being a bit of a prankster, but this one obviously went a little too far," Hill said. "Obviously, he's torn up about it. This is a good friend, his roommate. They came into pro ball together, so they're good friends."

Garrett, the Marlins' 4th-rated prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, was named the club's the minor-league player of the year in 2015 after hitting .297/.352/.581 with 11 home runs and eight steals at Class A short season. Prior to last week's incident, Garrett posted a .753 OPS with 15 extra-base hits in 35 games for Greensboro.

Naylor, an 18-year-old power-hitting first baseman, was the club's top pick in last year's draft and ranked by MLB.com as the second-best prospect in the organization.

"I don't think you'll see Josh Naylor goofing around with knives any more," Hill said. "Other pranks were just pranks and nobody got hurt. Unfortunately, this one ended in an injury, which isn't funny at all."

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Jackie Bradley Jr. rode the coattails of his 29-game hitting streak into a starting spot on the American League All-Star team Tuesday, as the Boston Red Sox outfielder passed Mark Trumbo in the latest ballot update for next month's Midsummer Classic in San Diego.

Bradley joins teammates Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz, who are the vote leaders at shortstop and designated hitter, respectively.

Boston OF Jackie Bradley Jr. has joined the AL leaders in the latest balloting update for the 87th Midsummer Classic pic.twitter.com/nrlEN7Cigc

— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 7, 2016
Royals catcher Salvador Perez, one of three Kansas City players in line to start the July 12 game, remains the top vote-getter among AL All-Stars with 1,605,922 ballots cast. Ortiz (1,460,339) and Mike Trout, the top outfielder with 1,344,578 votes, round out the top three.

Meanwhile, reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson continues to trail third-base leader Manny Machado, and Mike Moustakas, who's out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

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The Chicago Cubs promoted top prospect Albert Almora on Tuesday after tests revealed Jorge Soler suffered a strained left hamstring while running out a ground ball during Monday's game against the Phillies.

Almora is available off the bench for Tuesday's tilt at Citizens Bank Park, with Kris Bryant starting in left field and Tommy La Stella getting the nod at third.

Almora, the club's No. 5-ranked prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, slashed .318/.335/.444 with three homers, 12 doubles, and 10 steals, in 54 games at Triple-A Iowa this season. Over the previous two years at Double-A, Almora posted a .696 OPS with 47 extra-base hits across 595 plate appearances.

Selected sixth overall in the 2012 draft, the 22-year-old outfielder has earned praise from his fellow Cubs for his speed and athleticism.

"Defensively, he's the best center fielder I've ever seen," Bryant said before Tuesdays game, according to Patrick Mooney of CSN Chicago.

Soler, meanwhile, will begin to undergo rehab before the club can determine the severity of his strain. The power-hitting Cuban has struggled this season under a more limited playing time role, starting just 37 of the Cubs' 56 games and managing a .699 OPS with five homers.

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Yordano Ventura plunked Manny Machado with a fastball to the ribs, and he got a punch to the face in return.
In the second inning between the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, Machado flew out to deep left and after admiring it, he and Ventura exchanged some words on his way back to the dugout.
His next time up, Ventura drilled him with a first-pitch, 99-mph fastball. Machado charged the mound and threw a punch, prompting the dugouts to clear.
After cooler heads prevailed, both players were ejected.
This isn't the first time Ventura or Machado have been at the center of heated scenarios. On two separate occasions last April, Ventura triggered the dugouts to clear after he had a battle of words with the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Angels.
Machado, meanwhile, tossed his bat down the third-base line on his follow through in June 2014, prompting a five-game suspension.
What'll be interesting to see is how MLB will address Machado's punch. The league suspended Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor eight games for landing a punch on Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista. It was later reduced to seven.
The difference is Machado and Ventura have both been suspended for a previous offense.








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If Manny Machado could have that fateful at-bat in the fifth inning back ... well, he doesn't want it back.

The Baltimore Orioles third baseman would charge the mound and throw a punch at Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura one more time if he could. The pair were ejected after Ventura beaned Machado with a 99-mph fastball, which earned him a punch in the head from a steaming Machado as benches emptied.

A suspension and fine are on the way for the All-Star, and that's just fine with him.

"I don't regret anything," he told reporters afterwards. "It's part of the game. Reactions fly. When somebody's throwing 99 at you, it's going to hurt.

"He hit me with a 99-mph fastball and 99 is no joke. You can ruin someone's career."

Ventura has a reputation for being something of a hot-head on the mound, and it appears he finally went too far for the Orioles, who all supported Machado's actions.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter stood by his player as well, and all but stated that the 25-year-old right-hander had this coming.

"Manny and the team decided not to take it tonight," Showalter said. "Obviously, it must be something that's OK because he continues to do it. It must be condoned. I don't know."

When asked if his team was able to escape injury in the brawl, the veteran skipper decided to throw one final bit of shade at the Royals, alluding to his team's back-to-back homers smashed on the first two pitches after the fight that broke the game open.

"I know the next few pitches they threw didn't escape," Showalter said.

Machado said he's grateful for the support of his teammates in the clubhouse.

"This is part of being a family. We are in this together," he said. "If one is going down, we all are going down. Things have happened in the past, this hasn't been the first time that we've gotten hit. We have to keep fighting and being a family. I am grateful that everyone supported me."

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PITTSBURGH -- The Mets moved again to patch a roster gutted by injuries, acquiring infielder Kelly Johnson from the Braves on Wednesday for pitching prospect Akeel Morris and cash. Johnson, whom the Mets first traded for last season, is capable of playing up to six different positions.

The move is a replay from last summer, when the Mets acquired Johnson and Juan Uribe in mid-July with David Wright on the disabled list. Wright is again on the DL this year, likely until August, while first baseman Lucas Duda is out until around the All-Star break. Johnson departed New York via free agency after the World Series, re-signing with his hometown Braves.
With their depth lacking, the Mets made a move to replace Duda earlier this month, acquiring first baseman James Loney from the Padres. Now they have reacquired Johnson, who was hitting .215/.273/.289 in Atlanta. He has 146 home runs over an 11-year career that, since the start of the 2010 season, has wound through Arizona, Toronto, Tampa Bay, the Bronx, Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta and Flushing.
Back in New York, Johnson figures to become a primary backup to Wilmer Flores at third base, Neil Walker at second and Loney at first, at least until Duda returns from the DL. The team is also without starting catcher Travis d'Arnaud for at least another one to two weeks.
The move is reminiscent to what the Mets accomplished last year, providing a measure of depth across the board. This time, however, the Mets acted quickly, acquiring Loney almost immediately after Duda hit the DL, and Johnson not long after. The Mets are in the middle of their worst offensive stretch of the season, averaging 2.7 runs per game over their last 10, and ranking last in the Majors in total offense since the start of May.
Morris, 23, made a single appearance for the Mets last season, giving up five runs in 2/3 of an inning. The Mets' 16th-ranked prospect, he was 2-2 with a 4.65 ERA in 22 relief appearances for Double-A Binghamton this season.
A notable player who was traded to the same team in successive years was Ron Hassey, a catcher who was traded by the Yankees to the White Sox in December 1985 and July 1986. In between, the Yankees reacquired him from the White Sox in February 1986.

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Manny Machado will likely earn a decent suspension for charging the mound and punching Yordano Ventura after getting hit with a 99-mph fastball Tuesday night, but at least he won't be hungry as he serves his time.

Not long after the fracas at Camden Yards, Jimmy's Seafood - the restaurant that promised Chris Davis free crab cakes, steamed crabs, and meal prep in perpetuity for re-signing with Baltimore this offseason - made the same offer to Machado for throwing down with Ventura.

Free crab cakes, steamed crabs, and meal prep FOR LIFE for Manny Machado. Real man - definitely not SAWFT!!! pic.twitter.com/00Qq3JCV93

— Jimmy's Seafood (@JimmysSeafood) June 8, 2016


After the heated affair, Machado told reporters he had no regrets about going after Ventura. Makes sense. Suspensions end. Crab cakes are forever.

Machado isn't the only MLB player to get some love from a local eatery for exchanging blows on the diamond, either, as a Texas barbeque joint offered Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor free grub for life for clocking Jose Bautista at Globe Life Park back on May 15.

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Donald Trump may have some work to do in Pennsylvania.

According to a poll released Wednesday by Public Policy Polling, 46 percent of Keystone State residents who were surveyed believe that the Phillie Phanatic is more qualified for the role of president of the United States than the presumptive Republican nominee.

The poll was carried out from June 3-5 and surveyed 1,106 registered voters in Pennsylvania with a three-percent margin of error, according to PPP. Forty percent of respondents said they have more faith in Trump than the iconic Philadelphia Phillies mascot, while 14 percent were unsure.

Fortunately for Trump, he doesn't have to worry about the Phanatic pulling off a last-second upset victory, as the businessman won Pennsylvania's Republican primary in April. The furry green mascot couldn't even throw his beak into the ring if he wanted to, anyway, as his official biography lists him as a native of the Galapagos Islands - thereby rendering him ineligible to hold the United States' highest form of office.

Not much is known about the Phanatic's political leanings, but it's safe to say his administration would likely be harsh on criminals - especially the ones who steal his ATV keys.

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lobo316 wrote: The furry green mascot couldn't even throw his beak into the ring if he wanted to, anyway, as his official biography lists him as a native of the Galapagos Islands - thereby rendering him ineligible to hold the United States' highest form of office.


Just proves Trump's point.  Another foreigner taking American jobs.  He can't even speak English.

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Major League Baseball doled out some discipline Thursday for the brawl at Camden Yards earlier this week, giving Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado a four-game suspension and a $2,500 fine for charging the mound and punching Yordano Ventura, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Machado, who told reporters after Tuesday's altercation with the Kansas City Royals he had no regrets about attacking Ventura after getting hit with a 99-mph fastball, is expected to appeal the suspension and is in the lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

It remains unclear whether the league will suspend Ventura, the combative 25-year-old who incited benches-clearing incidents in three consecutive starts last year. Following Tuesday's fifth-inning melee, which led to his third career ejection, Ventura claimed the heater that hit Machado merely "got away" from him.

"The guy has electric stuff and the talent is all there, but between the ears, there is a circuit board off balance," Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. "I don't get it. I don't get it."

Related: Baltimore restaurant offers Machado crab cakes for life after brawl

Machado, a two-time All-Star who has appeared in all 58 of Baltimore's games this season, will head into Thursday's contest in Toronto hitting .303/.375/.593 (155 OPS+) with 15 homers and 22 doubles while trailing only Mike Trout and Jose Altuve for the American League lead in WAR.

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Justin Morneau is on his way back to the big leagues.

The Chicago White Sox have signed the free-agent first baseman to a one-year, $1-million contract. The team also announced Thursday that they placed Morneau on the 15-day disabled list.

Morneau underwent offseason elbow surgery to repair a tendon in December, and is expected to join the White Sox in mid-to-late July after he undergoes a rehab assignment, general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement, according to JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago.

"Justin provides us with a quality veteran threat from the left side who fits into the middle of the batting order," Hahn said regarding Morneau.

The 35-year-old last played in MLB in 2015 with the Colorado Rockies, slashing .310/.363/.458 in 168 at-bats. The Rockies declined a $9-million mutual option on Morneau after concussions limited the Canadian to 49 games last season.

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The Chicago White Sox appear set to part ways with scuffling right-hander Mat Latos, as the club reportedly designated the beleaguered 28-year-old for assignment Thursday afternoon, according to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.

Latos, who signed a one-year, $3-million deal with the White Sox in February, enjoyed a strong start to his tenure in Chicago, posting a 0.74 ERA across his first four starts. His season went south rather quickly, though, as Latos owns a 7.25 ERA over his last seven outings, allowing at least four runs in five of those starts while failing to make it through the fourth Tuesday night against the Washington Nationals.

"Matty has to do better," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune after Latos surrendered a season-high six earned runs on five hits and four walks in Tuesday's 10-5 loss. "He knows that. You can’t go out there and give them free passes."

Latos will have to try to better elsewhere, though. The White Sox, losers in eight of their last 10 games, now have 10 days to trade or release Latos, who can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues.

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Thrust into the ninth-inning role in April after Glen Perkins landed on the disabled list, Minnesota Twins interim closer Kevin Jepsen was afforded quite a bit of leash over the first two months of the season, retaining his job despite blowing three of his first 10 save opportunities.

On Wednesday night, though, manager Paul Molitor said enough is enough, telling reporters after Brandon Kintzler nailed down a 7-5 win over the Miami Marlins that his club will move forward without Jepsen as their closer.

"We're having to mix and match," Molitor said, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I don't know if it’s classic bullpen by committee, but we kind of changed roles here in the short term to give some people some opportunities."

Acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in July, Jepsen stumbled from the get-go in 2016 after dominating down the stretch with Minnesota last year. In 25 appearances this season, the 31-year-old owns a 6.17 ERA with a 15 percent strikeout rate while allowing five home runs in just 23 1/3 inning so far (1.93 per nine). Over the last four weeks, opponents are hitting .408 off Jepsen, whose ERA since May 10 stands at 8.18.

For now, Molitor said, Kintzler and left-hander Fernando Abad will split the closing duties.

"I’m a big fan of Kevin," Molitor said. "I know he’s got the experience. I don’t think he gets nervous, per se, but it's been a little bit of a struggle for him trying to find rhythm and clean innings."

Jepsen, who notched 10 saves in as many chances last year after being shipped to Minnesota ahead of the trade deadline, took the news well, Molitor said.

"He was good to go," Molitor said. "He said, 'Whenever you want me, I'll be ready to pitch.'"

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Major League Baseball has suspended and fined Kansas City Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura nine games for throwing at Manny Machado.

The decision comes as the league also announced Machado's four-game ban and fine. Both players plan to appeal.

Given the timelines of the suspension, Ventura's ban seems harsher, but in reality, he'll miss one start while Machado misses four consecutive games, pending their appeals.

Ventura, who has a history of using his fastball as a method of retaliation on the mound, said Tuesday the 99-mph fastball to the ribs was an accident.

''Everybody knows what kind of player (Machado) is,'' Ventura told reporters at the time through an interpreter. ''One just got away and he came at me, and I have to defend myself at that point.''

He also added that he didn't believe he was deserving of a suspension, though the league didn't agree with him.

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Following a brief stop in the Bay Area, veteran outfielder Chris Coghlan is heading back to the Windy City.

The Oakland Athletics traded Coghlan to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday in exchange for infielder Arismendy Alcantara, reuniting him with his former club.

The 30-year-old spent the past two seasons with the Cubs but an overcrowded outfield forced them to trade Coghlan to Oakland in February in exchange for right-hander Aaron Brooks.

After hitting .265/.346/.447 with 25 home runs, and 53 doubles across 273 games with Chicago, Coghlan struggled this season in Oakland, hitting .146/.215/.272 with five homers and 47 strikeouts in 51 games.

Injuries to Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler have opened the door for Coghlan's return, where he'll likely serve as the team's fourth outfielder.

Alcantara owns 81 games of experience at the major-league level but failed to crack the Cubs roster this season. The 24-year-old will report to Triple-A where he's hitting .264/.315/.437 with five home runs, nine doubles, and 21 stolen bases in 53 games.

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NEW YORK - Getting back to .500 for only the second time since mid-April was costly for the New York Yankees.

A night after homering twice in his first Yankees start, Chris Parmelee hit a tying single, then hurt his right hamstring and needed to be assisted off the field. After New York beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 Thursday to complete a four-game sweep, manager Joe Girardi said Parmelee will become the Yankees' fourth first baseman on the disabled list, joining Mark Teixeira, Greg Bird and Dustin Ackley.

''I would be completely shocked if he's a player for us,'' Girardi said.

Parmelee was celebrated in New York on Thursday: The Daily News ran a headline: ''PARM HERO!''

He tied the score with an opposite-field single to left in the fifth, then two innings later got hurt while stretching into a split to grab shortstop Didi Gregorius' throw on an inning-ending groundout. Parmelee could not put any weight on the leg and had to be helped back to the dugout.

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The Philadelphia Phillies placed right-hander Vincent Velasquez on the 15-day disabled list with a right biceps strain Friday, two days after the 24-year-old was removed from his start against the Chicago Cubs just two pitches in.

Velasquez, a driving force behind Philadelphia's unexpected success this year, knew something was wrong after hitting just 86 mph with his first offering Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park, and was lifted after getting Dexter Fowler to fly out on an 86-mph offering moments later. He was diagnosed with a biceps strain shortly thereafter, and it remains unclear if Velasquez was sent for an MRI.

Though the Phillies had some trepidation about his health when they acquired him from the Houston Astros this winter, Velasquez - who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010 - remains optimistic he'll be back soon.

"I think I'll be fine," Velasquez said. "I don't think I'm going to miss that much time, but I don't know what to expect. I can't give you a legitimate answer because I don't know what's going on. From what I know, it's a strain and we'll see how it goes tomorrow."

Armed with a fastball that typically sits at 95 mph, Velasquez dazzled in his first few weeks with the Phillies, crafting a 1.44 ERA through his first five starts in 2016 - including a 16-strikeout, three-hit shutout of the San Diego Padres on April 14. Lately, however, things haven't gone so well, as Velasquez has allowed 20 earned runs over his last 30 1/3 innings (5.93 ERA) and hasn't completed five innings in a start since May 17.

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same old Tulo



Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left a Friday extended spring game after re-aggravating his quad, potentially delaying his return to the club, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith.

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The Chicago White Sox have placed outfielder Austin Jackson on the 15-day disabled list with a medial meniscus tear in his left knee.

General manager Rick Hahn said Friday the center fielder will require surgery for the injury and will be out for a minimum six weeks, though no official timetable has been defined yet.

Jackson had missed six straight games from late May to early June with turf toe. Since returning from the injury, Jackson has gone 2-11 in the past three games for the White Sox.

Signed as a free agent in the offseason, Jackson is slashing .254/.318/.343 in 181 at-bats this season for Chicago.

Jason Coats has been recalled from Triple-A in his place.

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Mike Wright thinks there's too much hype surrounding Edwin Encarnacion.

The Baltimore Orioles' starter was skeptical about all the attention the Toronto Blue Jays' slugger was getting, and although he praises his bat, he doesn't think he's as good as everyone says he is.

"He’s one of the best hitters I think I’ve faced," Wright told the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina after the Blue Jays' 11-6 win Saturday. "He’s really good but he’s also got holes. There’s a reason he’s batting .240. I think we give him too much credit."

The timing of his comments are odd, as they come on the heels of Encarnacion hitting an RBI double off Wright in the win. He also blasted two home runs, a day after he hit a walk-off shot in the 10th inning.

This season, Encarnacion is batting .243 with 15 home runs. In minimal appearances off Wright, he's two-for-six with one double and one RBI.

As for the right-hander, he owns a sky-high 5.31 ERA in 61 innings.

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Yordano Ventura still doesn't understand.

The hot-headed Kansas City Royals right-hander was issued a nine-game suspension Thursday for throwing at Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado two days earlier, but Ventura remains in disbelief that his actions warranted any action from the league.

"I didn't do (anything) for nine games," Ventura told Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star. "But we'll appeal."

Machado received a four-game suspension for his involvement after punching Ventura in the head after he was hit in the ribs with the 99-mph pitch.

Royals manager Ned Yost expressed surprise when he was notified of the length of Ventura's suspension, saying he didn't anticipate that type of punishment.

Ventura is no stranger to league discipline. The repeat offender was fined but not suspended last April for intentionally hitting Brett Lawrie. One week later, he instigated a bench-clearing after jawing with Adam Eaton that resulted in a seven-game suspension. Ventura appealed but eventually opted to drop it.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired catcher Erik Kratz from the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for cash considerations to help replace Francisco Cervelli, who was lost to the disabled list after undergoing surgery on a broken hamate bone in his left hand.

Cervelli is expected to return to full baseball activities in four-to-six weeks.

Kratz joins his fourth organization of the season.

He began the year with the San Diego Padres before being traded to the Houston Astros for Dan Straily. He was then released by Houston and caught on with the Angels two weeks ago.

The 35-year-old backstop owns a lifetime .210/.261/.381 slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBIs during his seven seasons in the big leagues.

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First it was Madison Bumgarner. Now Jake Arrieta wants in on the home run fun.

The San Francisco Giants ace, known as much for his home run hitting prowess as his pitching abilities, recently expressed interest in joining this year's Home Run Derby field in San Diego. Arrieta's heard all the chatter, too, and he seems to be feeling left out.

The reigning NL Cy Young winner now says he wants to swing for the fences against Bumgarner this July.

"If he's in it, I need to be in it, that's for sure," Arrieta told reporters after he pitched seven innings on Saturday to help his Chicago Cubs beat the Braves 8-2.

Arrieta has good reason to believe he deserves a Derby spot, as he's battling with Bumgarner for the title of best hitting pitcher in baseball. The 30-year-old showed off his power stroke in his first at-bat of 2016 by launching a 442-foot blast to dead center field - the longest homer by a pitcher since 2009. He also rattled off another two-hit day Saturday to run his batting line to .276/.344/.414.

Bumgarner has him beat in the career category, though, with 13 home runs to Arrieta's three.


Though he has selfish motives behind his plea, Arrieta believes a Derby including pitchers - or even a pitchers-only edition of the event - would add an intriguing event to All-Star week. The very idea has got his blood flowing.

"The adrenaline I would get in a Home Run Derby would be much greater (than pitching a no-hitter)," he said. "I think it would be mentally and physically draining but a really fun experience."

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Presidential candidate Donald Trump is interested in giving this summer's Republican convention more life by getting rid of lengthy speeches from politicians and replacing them with athletes instead.

Trumps's idea grabbed the attention of former major-leaguer Jose Canseco, who would step up to help if the food spread was up to his standards.

Im in depending on the food https://t.co/40ghow7BkW

— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) June 11, 2016
Trump believed speakers at the convention in the past proved to be boring, which is the complete opposite of Canseco's unruly life, which featured an appearance on Trump's television show "The Celebrity Apprentice" in 2011.

"What I’m thinking about doing for the convention is rather (than) these politicians, you know - they're gonna get up and speak and speak and speak," Trump said at a rally in Richmond, Va., Friday according to Evelyn Rupert of The Hill. "You remember last time with (Mitt) Romney, all these politicians got up and they kept speaking and they didn’t mention Romney’s name. They spoke - one guy spoke for like 45 minutes. He never mentioned Romney's name. He said, 'Oh good luck by the way with the election,' at the end, walked off.

"I’m thinking of getting some of the great sports people that I know that like me a lot and that I like," Trump added. "And not even sports - we may call it the winners' evening."

Canseco, who makes for quite an entertaining follow on Twitter, recently called his shot at a minor-league home run derby, and is less than two years removed from shooting himself in the hand while cleaning a gun.

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Jimmy Rollins' hope was to play this season and another, because at age 37, he feels great and is in great shape.

But the decision of the Chicago White Sox to take him off their roster Friday reflects the belief of a lot of evaluators: Rollins cannot consistently help a major league team anymore. He's hitting .221 -- not surprising after he hit .224 in 144 games for the Dodgers last season -- but Rollins' steady defensive play, which kept him in the L.A. lineup for a lot of 2015, is in regression, according to defensive metrics. He had minus-7 DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) last season, with a UZR/150 (Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games) of minus-6.8 over 1,134 1/3 innings, and in 299 innings this season, his DRS is minus-3 and UZR/150 is minus-5.5, according to FanGraphs. Those defensive numbers are among the lowest for major league shortstops.

For any team looking for middle-infield help, the Rockies' leadership has indicated to other clubs that it is ready to move Jose Reyes, so there are options for teams seeking a shortstop, and other clubs expect that the Reds will move All-Star candidate Zack Cozart before the trade deadline. It's possible that Rollins' days as a regular big league shortstop are over.

What an incredible career he has had, worthy -- at the very least -- of Hall of Fame consideration. But circumstances might conspire against Rollins to make him just the latest player to be affected by the steroid-era voting logjam.

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The city of Buffalo has good reason to hope Tom Brady's suspension is upheld, considering how he's laid waste to their beloved Bills over his career.

The Triple-A Buffalo Bisons have civic pride, and are Bills fans, too. In that spirit, the Bisons hosted "Keep Tom Brady Suspended Night" at Coca-Cola Field on Saturday - a response to their International League rival Pawtucket Red Sox, who just held a "Free Brady Friday" promotion.

The Bisons pulled out all the stops. Fans were encouraged to bring properly inflated footballs and cellphones - in working, not-destroyed condition - to the game in exchange for tickets; the footballs and phones were donated to charity. T-shirts with the No. 12.5 on the front - the minimum inflation pressure mandated by the NFL - were sold by the team online and at the stadium.

Some of Tom Brady's "highlights", presented by the @BuffaloBisons. #KeepBradySuspended pic.twitter.com/IZ4vYVQ2qR

— Michael Parthum (@MichaelParthum) June 11, 2016
Fans named Tom or Brady weren't allowed to enter the stadium for the first four innings, though at least one anonymous fan found a loophole.

Well, well, well... Look who's at #KeepBradySuspended Night!!! Um, you can't watch for 4 innings, you know! pic.twitter.com/LH3rvtLpwr

— Buffalo Bisons (@BuffaloBisons) June 11, 2016
They even got Tom Brady to throw out the game's ceremonial first pitch. Well, a Tom Brady, from the Buffalo suburb of North Tonawanda, N.Y., threw the pitch, accompanied by an official "deflator" with a deflated football.

Tom Brady, of North Tonawanda threw out the first pitch for the @BuffaloBisons on #KeepBradySuspended night @WKBW pic.twitter.com/BCNfMlxVL5

— Dave Thompson (@DaveWKBW) June 11, 2016
Outside of the Bisons dropping both ends of the doubleheader, the event was a success, and everyone appeared to have fun. Everyone, that is, except for one very important person in the dugout.

"Yes, I'm a New England fan, and Tom Brady, too," Bisons manager Gary Allenson told Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News earlier in June. "I might not show up that day."

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With all the hype surrounding pitchers who crush dingers and whether they're deserving of a spot in the Home Run Derby, MLB has had discussions about the idea of hosting a separate contest.

During Sunday night's game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants, ESPN's Buster Olney reported the idea has been floating around.

“There’s actually been talk about the idea of a pitcher challenge-type Home Run Derby,” he said, “where maybe that Madison Bumgarner faces Noah Syndergaard of the (New York) Mets.”

Earlier in the week, Bumgarner said he wanted to be in the Derby, and subsequently put on a show in batting practice to cement his case. He currently has 13 career homers, which is the most among active pitchers.


But his manager, Bruce Bochy, initially said there was no way he could allow his pitcher to risk injury. Olney says the concern isn't about Bumgarner participating, but instead if he has to hit multiple rounds.

Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta added on to Bumgarner's comments, saying if the lefty gets to be in the Derby, he wants in, too.

Arrieta is currently batting .276, and the difference with his case is Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is more open to the idea of allowing his pitcher to partake in the Home Run Derby than Bochy.

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He's not the same pitcher from a year ago.

A lack of run support and one bad inning gave 2015 AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel the embarrassing distinction of becoming the first starter in the majors to reach nine losses.

The left-hander lost eight games all of last season.

Keuchel was stellar through four innings Sunday, striking out eight batters. But he didn't make it out of the fifth inning after he gave up five runs in a 5-0 Houston Astros loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

''I'm disappointed because Matt Moore was pretty much dominant while I was doing my job correctly,'' Keuchel told reporters, according to Dick Scanlon of The Associated Press. ''Then all of a sudden five runs were on the board.''

At this point last season, the lefty was one of the best pitchers in baseball.

However, entering Sunday's game (12 starts), he's a completely different beast.

One of the more feared pitchers just a year ago, Keuchel only has three wins this season and has yet to make it past the eighth inning. Even then, he only completed eight innings once this year.

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It didn't take Ike Davis long to find work again.

Mere hours after being released from his minor-league contract by the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees have reportedly agreed to a big-league deal with the first baseman, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Heyman also reports that the Yankees plan to use Davis in a platoon role with current first baseman Rob Refsnyder.

The Yankees previously showed interest in Davis in February before he signed with the Rangers.

The 29-year-old slashed .229/.301/.652 in the 214 at-bats this season with Triple-A Round Rock.

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Wily Peralta, the longest tenured member of the Milwaukee Brewers' rotation and the club's Opening Day starter a couple months ago, was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday after stumbling through another mediocre outing Saturday against the New York Mets.

Peralta, who leads the Brewers in innings pitched since the start of 2013, was encouraged by Saturday's performance; he allowed three runs in five innings and adding a towering home run, too. However, with his ERA at 6.68 through 13 starts, the club decided to send him to Triple-A for the first time since 2012.

"I think I threw it pretty good," Peralta told MLB.com after Saturday's 7-4 victory. "This is one of the best games that I felt on the mound, locating down in the zone, even though I gave up two homers. But overall, I feel pretty good. I was consistent and down in the zone, and turned my slider better today."

Renewed confidence notwithstanding, the 27-year-old has been one of the worst qualified starters in baseball this year, managing -0.2 WAR while allowing a league-worst 97 hits in 66 innings. Peralta, who owns a 1.88 WHIP with a career-worst 1.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio, hasn't lasted more than six innings once this season, either, and has failed to get through five innings in almost 31 percent of his starts.

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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Cleveland third baseman Juan Uribe left the Indians' game against Los Angeles on a cart after a hard-hit grounder left him with a testicular contusion.

Uribe was injured in the fourth inning of Cleveland's series finale against the Angels on Sunday.

Mike Trout's ground ball struck Uribe squarely in the groin while he attempted to field it, leaving him flat on the ground in obvious pain. The veteran stayed down for several moments and had trouble standing before a cart arrived to take him off the field.

Michael Martinez moved in from center field to replace Uribe at third.

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ATLANTA -- About the only time Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon takes a minute to assess where his team is in the baseball world is when they reach another “increment of five.” The Cubs did it again Sunday, despite making four errors, with their 13-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves, pushing their record to 25 games over .500 (43-18) for the first time this season.

“My expectation, honestly, is to play the game right every day,” Maddon told reporters after the game. “You do that enough and then you look up and maybe you have a nice lead. I don’t have any expectations about leads [at] times of the year. I have goals. I go in increments of five. That’s what I focus on more than anything.”

Hopefully, he’ll excuse the rest of the baseball world, including all those Cubs fans in the stands at Turner Field this weekend, who might be focused on the bigger picture: The Cubs became the first team since the 2001 Seattle Mariners to win at least 43 of their first 61 games, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. And they're the 10th team in the divisional era to do it while seven of the previous nine reached the World Series. The Cubs would like to be the eighth.

“We’re doing well right now,” Sunday’s winner Jon Lester said. “We’re on a good run. It’s been fun to be a part of. Obviously the pace we’re on is pretty crazy. Hopefully we can stay even-keeled and keep going. I’m sure not a lot of us have answers for what’s going on. Enjoy it while we can.”

Lester is a big reason for the Cubs' success, as is the entire pitching staff. Once again he was dominant, giving up just one unearned run while throwing seven innings in sweltering heat without issuing a walk. Working all sides of the plate, Lester has been a master at his craft this month.

“It means we’re making them work to get on base,” Lester said. “I don’t think I’ve gone this many starts in a row or this many starts in a season without walking somebody, so that’s good.”

He’s right. Sunday was his third consecutive outing without giving the opposition a free pass. That’s the longest stretch in his career, encompassing 24.2 innings.

“That’s three in a row,” Maddon said. “That’s outstanding. Never tired. On top of his game.”

It wasn’t long ago that Lester was struggling, at least a little bit, while getting little run support and then Jake Arrieta had his rough stretch. But struggling for them is another pitcher’s quality start. The bar keeps raising, and Cubs starters keep reaching it.

Lester lowered his ERA to 1.89, making the Cubs the first team to employ two starters with sub-2.00 ERAs this late in the season since the 1981 Houston Astros and 1975 Los Angeles Dodgers, according to Elias Sports Bureau research. The four errors the Cubs committed on Sunday? They meant nothing to the outcome.

“At no time did I think that dragged us down,” Maddon said. “A big part is because Jon was so good.”

The Cubs won’t party too hard after reaching another milestone in the win/loss column. They’ll do their usual thing, then move on to Washington for a series against a first-place team after taking four of six so far on their road trip.

But now they can say they have two aces pitching at an elite level -- and three other guys on the starting staff who aren’t too shabby either. That’s how you reach 25 games over .500 so quickly, even if the Cubs will rightly downplay it.

“You start getting too confident, this game humbles you pretty quickly,” Lester said.

Catcher David Ross added: “We bring our lunch pail to work every day.”

And then dominate the competition.

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The man allegedly responsible for throwing a beer bottle at Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard on June 4 has turned himself in to police, reports John Kopp of PhillyVoice.

Sidney Smith, a 21-year-old from Wilmington, Delaware, surrendered himself to Philadelphia police on Friday and was cited for disorderly conduct. He has since been released.

In early June, a man threw a beer bottle at Howard following Philadelphia's 6-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park. The bottle didn't strike Howard, though he hoped the suspect would face consequences.

"If you're in the street and you do that to somebody, you might get hauled off on," Howard said. "But we're supposed to hold ourselves to a different standard and what not. Somebody has to do something. Somebody should get reprimanded for it. Because if I would've done something, if I would've went into the stands and tried to beat this dude up, I would've gotten in trouble by Major League Baseball. He probably would've tried to sue me. But it's OK for him to throw a bottle and then go home and be on his merry way? Nah, that doesn't work."


The 36-year-old first baseman is having a dismal 2016, batting .150/.213/.346 through 52 games, which led manager Pete Mackanin to bench the veteran earlier this season for rookie Tommy Joseph. Mackanin also hinted it could be Howard's final season with the Phillies if the infielder can't find his bat again.

"This whole year is a last chance (for Howard)," the skipper said earlier this month.

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In the midst of a remarkable power surge, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was named the American League Player of the Week on Monday, while Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester earned the honor in the National League after navigating two starts without allowing an earned run.

Held hitless last Monday in a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals, Davis has now homered in each of his past five games, becoming the only player in the majors to go deep in five straight this year. Throughout his homer binge, the 30-year-old also added a single, a double, and four walks, finishing the week 7-for-19 (.368) with a 1.211 OPS while driving in 10 runs. Roughly two months into his newly signed seven-year, $161-million extension with Baltimore, Davis owns an .848 OPS (125 OPS+) with 16 homers and a 31.9 percent strikeout rate in 61 games.

Lester, meanwhile, did a pretty convincing Jake Arrieta impression this past week. He notched nine strikeouts while allowing just four hits over eight shutout innings last Monday en route to a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, then surrendered one unearned run with seven strikeouts across seven innings in Sunday's 13-2 victory in Atlanta. One month away from the All-Star break, the 32-year-old boasts a career-best 1.89 ERA with a 0.95 WHIP in 13 starts and ranks seventh among qualified starters with 2.5 WAR.

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James Shields is still searching for his first "Big Game" in the Windy City. At this point, the Chicago White Sox would probably settle for something considerably more modest.

Shields, the veteran right-hander who was acquired from the San Diego Padres to help inject life into the slumping White Sox, endured yet another lousy start Monday, after the man they call "Big Game James" was rocked for seven runs - six earned - on nine hits over five innings during Chicago's come-from-behind win over the Detroit Tigers.

Somehow, the outing actually lowered Shields' inflated ERA to 16.71, down from the unsightly 31.50 mark he was tagged with after surrendering seven runs over two innings in his White Sox debut last week.

Shields' troubles began early and often in Monday's outing at U.S. Cellular Field, where the noted innings eater served up a leadoff homer to Ian Kinsler - the 12th longball he's allowed in 12 total starts this season - followed by three hits over the next four batters. He finished with four walks over 106 pitches, 57 of which were thrown for strikes.

The 34-year-old has now allowed 14 runs on 17 hits and six walks over seven innings in a White Sox uniform. Dating back to his final start as a Padre, in which he allowed a career-worst 10 earned runs over just 2 2/3 frames, Shields has surrendered 23 runs over his last 9 2/3 innings.

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Yu Darvish's comeback from Tommy John surgery hit a roadblock Monday after the Texas Rangers placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list with lingering discomfort in his neck and shoulder.

After missing the entire 2014 campaign, Darvish made just two starts this season before exiting his third outing because of stiffness in his throwing shoulder. He insisted he was fine the next day after tossing a bullpen session without issue, but was forced to cut another session short on Saturday.

Prior to the roster move, the Rangers had already scratched Darvish from his scheduled start Monday and sent him back to Arlington, Texas to undergo further evaluation. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said both tests - one on his neck and the other his shoulder - returned negative.

"All in all, it's a good finding in that there's no structural issue that we're concerned about." Daniels said, according to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth-Star Telegram.

Darvish himself admitted Saturday that the discomfort was likely a symptom of reconstructive elbow surgery.

Darvish told reporters that he ''heard it's common for players that have had Tommy John surgery to have issues like this'' and that he doesn't ''want to push it and make it worse.''

In three starts this season, the 29-year-old ace has a 2.87 ERA with 19 strikeouts and six walks over 15 2/3 innings.

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The San Francisco Giants have reportedly shored up their infield depth by agreeing to a minor-league contract with infielder Ruben Tejada pending a physical, according to KNBR Radio's Connor Grossman.

Tejada had spent 2016 with the St. Louis Cardinals before being designated for assignment on May 28. In 23 games this season he hit .176/.225/.235 while spending time at third base, shortstop, and second base as a backup. Given his ability to play multiple infield positions, he'll likely serve as injury depth behind infielders Matt Duffy, Brandon Crawford, and Joe Panik.

The 26-year-old owns a career .254/.328/.322 line with 10 home runs over 603 games with the Cardinals and New York Mets, where he spent the first six seasons of his career.

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Giancarlo Stanton received an involuntary day off Monday as the Miami Marlins opened a three-game series in San Diego against the Padres, and according to manager Don Mattingly, there might be more where that came from.

Stanton's season has taken a miserable turn for the worse amid a slump that's seen the Marlins slugger collect just five extra-base hits since May 6. Over that 28-game stretch, Stanton's average has plummeted 82 points to .192, and his OPS has dropped from over 1.000 to .714. He has 12 homers this season, but just four since the beginning of May.

"I think 'G' is really frustrated with the way things are going and I just don't want that to boil over into worse," Mattingly said before Monday's opener, according to the Miami Herald's Clark Spencer. "So we'll give him a day (off) here, he'll play (Tuesday), and we'll talk about the last day when we get there."

Stanton's in the second season of a record-breaking 13-year, $325-million contract signed in 2014, but so far he's had trouble returning the Marlins' massive investment. The three-time All-Star was on an MVP pace through his first 75 games in 2015 before suffering a broken hand in June that ended his season, and he's battled a side injury during the early part of this year that Mattingly thinks could be a factor in his prolonged slump.

"For him, it's been a little bit of a balance because of the side (injury)," Mattingly said. "When he first came back he couldn't take all the swings he wanted and still keep playing. He had to balance that a little bit. I don't know if he's completely over it. But he seems to feel he's on the other side of it. It's better than it's probably been."

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Ichiro Suzuki is four hits from passing Pete Rose as professional baseball's all-time hits leader, counting his hits in Japan.

When it happens, Rose will almost assuredly keep signing baseballs with the moniker "Hit King." The 75-year-old won't acknowledge Suzuki when he passes his record mark, and insists that he'll still hold the title since he did it all in the majors.

"It sounds like in Japan they're trying to make me the 'Hit Queen,'" Rose told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "I'm not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he's had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they'll be counting his high-school hits."

Suzuki comes into Monday's action owning 2,974 hits in his Major League Baseball career - 26 shy of 3,000 - with another 1,278 accumulated over nine seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball for a total of 4,252 pro hits. He's already one of just seven players to have compiled over 4,000 career hits across all professional levels. Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said the museum will "absolutely" acknowledge Suzuki's 4,257th hit.

Rose, who presumably doesn't count the 427 minor-league hits he recorded before making his big-league debut in 1963 as part of his total, doesn't believe a fair comparison can be made between Japan's highest level and MLB. It's in that spirit that he vociferously defended his crown.

"I don't think you're going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to major-league baseball," Rose explained. "There are too many guys that fail here, and then become household names there, like Tuffy Rhodes. How can he not do anything here, and hit (a record-tying) 55 home runs (in 2001) over there?

"It has something to do with the caliber of personnel."

For his part, Suzuki isn't worried about whether he'll be bestowed the title of "Hit King" in the days to come. He'd actually be far more impressed if a player managed to catch Rose while playing his career solely in Japan.

"That would be a bigger accomplishment because of the few games they play over there," the 42-year-old said. "We play more games here. So for somebody to pass Pete Rose, just playing baseball games in Japan, would be unbelievable."

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The Washington Nationals placed closer Jonathan Papelbon on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday due to a right intercostal strain. The move was retroactive to Monday.

Right-hander Matt Belisle has been reinstated to the roster following a rehabilitation assignment.

This is the first time the 35-year-old Papelbon has been on the DL. He ranks 10th on the all-time saves list with 365. He ranks seventh in the National League in saves this season, notching 16 saves in 18 opportunities for the first-place Nationals.

Belisle, 36, missed 45 games this year with a right calf strain. In seven appearances before his injury, Belisle had a 1.50 ERA. He made nine rehab appearances in the minors with a 4.09 ERA.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates will place right-hander Gerrit Cole on the 15-day disabled list with a right triceps strain.

Cole had already been deemed unlikely to make his next start before the announcement of his trip to the DL.

Cole left Friday's game in the third inning with the injury to his throwing arm after giving up a leadoff single to Matt Carpenter.

"If we can knock this out in 15 days, we might be better served to knock this out in 15 days," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Right-hander Jameson Taillon will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and is expected to get the start Tuesday against the New York Mets.

For Taillon, it will be his second career major league start, with both coming against the Mets. He made his MLB debut on June 8 and allowed three runs over six innings in a no-decision against New York.

The Pirates have lost five straight to fall to just one game over .500 and 12 games behind the Central Division-leading Chicago Cubs. Cole is 5-4 with a 2.77 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings.

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One day after officially cutting ties with Carl Crawford, the Los Angeles Dodgers supplemented the loss with another left-handed option off the bench, as the club announced the signing Tuesday of free-agent outfielder Will Venable to a one-year, major-league contract.

The signing comes just days after Venable opted out of his minor-league deal with the Phillies after slashing just .205/.304/.307 across 149 plate appearances for Philadelphia's Triple-A affiliate. Venable also opted out of his minors contract with the Indians this spring in an effort to find a job in a major-league club.

Venable, 33, spent his entire career with the Padres before being acquired last season by Texas, where the nine-year veteran posted a .552 OPS with five steals in 37 games.

He'll likely serve as a left-handed option off the bench for manager Dave Roberts, having compiled a career OPS of .745 against right-handers versus just .610 when facing lefties.

Los Angeles has been in need of outfield depth following the release of Crawford and injuries to Yasiel Puig and Andre Ethier. Puig began a rehab assignment Monday as he continues to make his way back from a hamstring injury, while Ethier remains sidelined after suffering a fractured leg during spring training.

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Brian Matusz' time as a free agent was short-lived after the left-hander was signed to a minor-league deal by the Chicago Cubs Tuesday, reports Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.

Matusz reportedly agreed to terms over the weekend and took his physical on Monday.

The 29-year-old was released two weeks ago by the Atlanta Braves after being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in a three-player trade.

Matusz also received interest from the San Diego Padres who envisioned him as a starter, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports, but the hurler decided an opportunity with the major-league leading Cubs was too good to pass up.

The lefty is expected to be used as a starter at Triple-A Iowa, writes Kubatko.

Matusz, the fourth overall selection of the 2008 draft, pitched eight seasons with the Orioles, amassing a 27-41 record with a 4.85 ERA across 279 appearances, 68 of which were starts.

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The Toronto Blue Jays are going to have to make a tough decision when it comes to right-handed starter Aaron Sanchez's potential switch to the bullpen. Manager John Gibbons understands that while the move is going to be an unpopular one, it has to happen.

"We're still in discussion right now what that actual number is before we bump him to the 'pen, but it's gonna happen," the skipper told ESPN's Buster Olney during a radio appearance Tuesday when asked if and when Sanchez will make the switch.

"For safety reasons, health reasons, he's going to end up down there, but what that's going to do is give us a real shot in the arm down there as well."

Sanchez won a starting job out of spring training and has produced a 6-1 record with a 3.38 ERA, but the 23-year-old is on an innings limit after only pitching more than 100 innings twice during his professional career.

"We've been talking about it. We haven't put a concrete number on that yet. But that was the plan, if we were going to use him in the rotation there's going to be a time this year that he's got to go to the bullpen. He really hasn't thrown a whole lot the last couple of years because we've been using him out of the bullpen.

The hurler, whose already thrown 85 1/3 innings this season, tossed 100 1/3 during his 2014 campaign in the minors and accumulated 102 split between the minors and big leagues in 2015.

"The thing is about ol’ Sanchie - every time he goes out there, he's going six, seven, eight innings, so he's burning up some innings pretty quick."

A move to the bullpen wouldn't create an unfamiliar situation for the youngster though, as he's made 54 appearances out of the 'pen for Toronto in his career, recording three saves in '14.

If Sanchez is moved to the 'pen, the Blue Jays could use Gavin Floyd or Jesse Chavez, who've combined for 245 career starts, or Drew Hutchison, whose currently pitching at Triple-A, to fill the void.

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Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda was helped off the field by trainers after being struck by a comebacker during the sixth inning of Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt hammered a 95-mph liner off the shin of the Japanese hurler, which hit him directly below his right knee. After throwing out Goldschmidt at first, Maeda fell to the ground and looked to be in a considerable amount of pain. He struggled to put any weight on the leg afterwards and needed assistance to leave the field.

Shortly after his exit, the Dodgers announced Maeda suffered a right lower leg contusion, and that X-rays returned negative. Maeda was spotted by reporters limping around after the game, though manager Dave Roberts expressed optimism the right-hander would make his next start.

"Among all the hits I have taken in the past," Maeda said, "it hurt the most."

Losing Maeda for an extended period of time would be a crushing blow for the Dodgers, who have been snake-bitten by injuries this season. Among the pitchers currently sidelined: starters Alex Wood, Brett Anderson, Brandon McCarthy, and Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Maeda, a 28-year-old rookie whose spent the past eight seasons in Japan, signed a lucrative and unusual eight-year deal worth $25 million in the offseason.

He owned a 5-4 record with a 2.70 ERA in 12 starts prior to Tuesday's game.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) A Delaware man accused of throwing a beer bottle near Philadelphia Phillies player Ryan Howard has appeared in court.

Sidney Smith, of Wilmington, Delaware, was cited for disorderly conduct after the June 4 incident, and turned himself in last week.

The 21-year-old Smith on Tuesday chose to enter a special diversionary program. He must complete a class next month and pay a $200 fine. His record would then be expunged.

Smith had no comment.

Howard has been struggling all season. He was baseball's most valuable player in 2006 and helped the Phillies win a World Series in 2008.

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Jose Reyes will look for a new home.

The Colorado Rockies announced Wednesday that Reyes has been reinstated from the restricted list and subsequently designated for assignment.

Colorado has 10 days to release him or trade him, or Reyes will have to accept a demotion to the minor leagues.

The shortstop is on the heels of ending his minor-league assignment at Triple-A after he was suspended 51 games under baseball’s new domestic violence policy.

It was a long shot for the veteran to make it back with Colorado after he was firmly replaced with rookie sensation Trevor Story. In his absence, Story batted .265/.318/.553 with 17 home runs in 61 games.

Reyes is still owed about $44 million on his contract, which will be tough for the Rockies to shop around.

Last season, Reyes was traded to Colorado from the Toronto Blue Jays in a deal that sent Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins north of the border.

In 47 games with the Rockies, Reyes batted .259/.291/.368 with three home runs, and eight stolen bases, while committing three errors in the field.

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As far as Barry Bonds is concerned, Ichiro Suzuki's hits from his playing days in Japan should be counted along with his tally in MLB.

Some baseball minds - including current all-time hits leader Pete Rose - feel Suzuki's 1,278 hits in the Nippon Professional Baseball League shouldn't factor into his career total, which currently sits one shy of Rose's 4,256. Bonds, though, feels the Japanese outfielder's success overseas definitely plays a part.

"You have to include Japan, but there will always be that when you run with that story," Bonds said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. “You can do either one of two things. You can either respect Ichiro and scream at all of the Japanese people who kept him there 10 years longer than he should have been, and he should have been here earlier. Or, you can say he wasn't in the major leagues long enough to be in that category.

"But to me, he's in that category regardless of where he started from."


While Rose has said he won't acknowledge when Suzuki passes his mark, Jeff Idelson, the president of Baseball's Hall of Fame, has already announced the institution will recognize Suzuki's overall feat.

"Absolutely we will," Idelson said. "Four thousand, two-hundred and fifty-six hits in any league is out of this galaxy in terms of difficulty. It's a ridiculous amount of hits, and the fact that he did it in Japan and the major leagues has its own set of challenges different from the ones that Pete faces. Acclimating to this culture is a challenge of itself."


Bonds feels Rose and Suzuki standing tall together at the top would be a moment of unity for the United States and Japan. If another Japanese star surfaces overseas, though, the all-time home runs leader has an idea to prevent the same debate from popping up again in the future.

"Don’t let him play long over there," Bonds joked, "so we don’t have to have the debate anymore."

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The Chicago Cubs nearly swept the latest ballot of National League All-Star voting, with catcher being the only position at which they don't have a leading candidate.

Anthony Rizzo is the leading vote-getter, claiming just over 1.7 million votes. He's followed by Kris Bryant, Dexter Fowler, Ben Zobrist, and Addison Russell.

St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is the only non-Cubs player to lead in his category, with 933,300 votes to lead all catchers.

Four @Cubs competing for overall NL lead in latest update for the 2016 @AllStarGame presented by @MasterCard pic.twitter.com/NUqzZMJEZr

— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 15, 2016
If there was ever a time to make a run at the World Series, the Cubs are primed to do it now.

Chicago owns a 9 1/2 game division lead over the Cardinals, and at 44 wins, no other team seems close to contention.

Not only do the Cubs hit well, but the staff owns a remarkable 2.64 ERA heading into Wednesday's matchup against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

The next NL All-Star update is scheduled for June 22.

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SAN DIEGO -- Ichiro Suzuki singled in the first inning Wednesday for his 4,256th career hit in the Japanese and North American major leagues, matching Pete Rose's record total in Major League Baseball.

Suzuki reached on a dribbler up the first-base line in Miami's game at San Diego. Catcher Derek Norris made a sliding attempt to field the ball and throw it in one motion, but Suzuki had already raced past the bag.

Suzuki advanced to second on Martin Prado's single and scored on Christian Yelich's RBI single.

The sparse crowd gave Suzuki a warm ovation as both teams' players applauded for him as well.

Suzuki had 1,278 hits for Orix in Japan's Pacific League (1992-00) and the rest with Seattle, the New York Yankees and Marlins.

He's now tied with Rose -- although the former Cincinnati Reds star said earlier this week that he didn't consider Suzuki's totals an equal.

"It sounds like in Japan, they're trying to make me the Hit Queen," Rose told USA Today Sports earlier this week. "I'm not trying to take anything away from Ichiro -- he's had a Hall of Fame career -- but the next thing you know, they'll be counting his high school hits.

"I don't think you're going to find anybody with credibility say that Japanese baseball is equivalent to Major League Baseball. There are too many guys that fail here and then become household names there, like Tuffy Rhodes. How can he not do anything here and hit [a record-tying] 55 home runs [in 2001] over there? It has something to do with the caliber of personnel."

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You can't blame Yan Gomes for being careful.

The Cleveland Indians catcher fell victim to a foul tip to the groin June 7 that caused him to miss two full games with a testicular contusion. Gomes, though, isn't taking any chances going forward:

After getting nailed downstairs, Indians catcher Yan Gomes has upgraded his cup to something called "The Nutshellz." It is Kevlar-coated.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 15, 2016
For the unaware, Kevlar is the same material used in bulletproof armor, so you'd like to think the backstop is covered from any further injuries.

Teammate Juan Uribe - who hasn't played since Sunday with his own groin injury after an unlucky grounder off the bat of Mike Trout - is still on the search for proper-fitting protection:

In other news, Juan Uribe says he still has not found a cup that will accommodate him. He remains unprotected.

— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) June 15, 2016
Gomes will be in the Indians' lineup when they take on the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday. Uribe, still sore, is not.

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TOKYO - Ichiro Suzuki's latest milestone has been a really big hit in Japan.

Newspapers published special editions for the morning rush hour, the national broadcaster led with the news, and fans and dignitaries paid tribute Thursday after Suzuki raised his career hits total in the Japanese and North American major leagues to 4,257, passing Pete Rose's record Major League Baseball total.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praised Suzuki's mark as ''an amazing record.''

''A Japanese athlete has once again made a monumental contribution,'' Abe said, ''and I feel tremendous pride.''

The 42-year-old Suzuki singled in the first inning against the San Diego Padres and doubled in the ninth to move past Rose, who had 4,256 hits over 24 seasons.

Suzuki had 1,278 hits for Orix in Japan's Pacific League (1992-00) and the rest with the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees and his current team, the Miami Marlins.

In his 16th season in Major League Baseball, Suzuki has 2,979 hits in the majors and is rapidly approaching the 3,000-hit club.

''He is like a national treasure,'' office worker Tadahito Inaga said. ''It will be fun to watch him go for 3,000.''

Japan's national broadcaster NHK reported that Suzuki ''broke the record for most hits ever by a Major League ballplayer'' while acknowledging the record is unofficial because it spans two professional leagues.

Rose has previously played down the comparisons.

Rose was quoted recently by the USA Today newspaper as saying: ''I'm not trying to take anything away from Ichiro, he's had a Hall of Fame career, but the next thing you know, they'll be counting his high-school hits.''

The debate over Suzuki's mark is reminiscent of when Japanese slugger Sadaharu Oh passed Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs in 1977.

Japanese fans regarded it as a world record but many in the U.S. said the records were not equivalent, as Japanese ballparks tended to be smaller.

Oh, who would finish his career in Nippon Professional Baseball with 868 home runs, also had high praise for Suzuki.

''To do this at 42, he is an inspiration to baseball fans around the world,'' Oh said. ''I look forward to following him as he continues to get more hits.''

The Japanese professional baseball hit record is 3,085 held by Isao Harimoto in 2,752 games.

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CHICAGO - Chris Sale was dominant for much of Wednesday night, though the left-hander believes the key to his success was how he handled the one stretch where he struggled.

Sale allowed three runs in seven innings to become the first 11-game winner in the majors, leading the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

He survived a shaky third inning in which he allowed all three runs and five of the six hits he surrendered.

''I tried to keep my emotions in check. There was a lot of ballgame left,'' said Sale, who was 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in his previous four starts. ''Sometimes you get out there and get frustrated.

''That's a hard enough team that can beat you by themselves. You don't want to help them out. So just focus and try to get back on.''

Sale (11-2) allowed just two baserunners in his final four innings. He threw a season-high 119 pitches, giving a tired Chicago bullpen much-needed rest.

''You put your guys in a hole and they get you out of it and get you a win as well,'' Sale said. ''It's huge taking a series before going on the road. Hopefully that gives us a boost.''

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Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth let it all out in a postgame interview after he singled home the game-winning run in extra innings against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.
After telling critics to kiss his behind, the excited 37-year-old veteran apologized for cursing on-air in front of a raucous crowd at Nationals Park before getting cooled off by teammates.
Jayson Werth's amazing interviewpic.twitter.com/QpnIch203v
— Mimi (@mimiph) June 16, 2016
The Nationals took two out of three games from the major-league leading Cubs, pushing them 5 1/2 games ahead of the New York Mets in the National League East, which was one heck of a birthday present to give manager Dusty Baker on his 67th birthday.
Best. Birthday. Ever. pic.twitter.com/dCsSf8vxru
— #VoteNats (@Nationals) June 16, 2016





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If Jose Reyes is hoping for a return to the organization where he built a name for himself, it's reportedly not going to happen.

A source of the New York Mets tells ESPN's Adam Rubin the club is not interested in the shortstop, who was designated for assignment by the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

Despite having a need for infield help, with Neil Walker (back tightness) and David Wright (herniated disk in neck) out of action, the Mets are shying away from a reunion with the 33-year-old Reyes, who violated the league's domestic violence policy after a feud with his wife in Hawaii this past October.

The shortstop just recently ended a minor-league assignment at Triple-A after he was suspended 51 games for the altercation.

Related: Rockies GM: Reyes' domestic incident factored into DFA

Reyes, a four-time All-Star, who helped the Mets reach the National League Championship Series in 2006, was a spark plug atop the club's lineup during his nine years with the franchise, recording 1,300 hits, 99 triples, and 370 stolen bases.

Since leaving "The Big Apple," the effectiveness of the Dominican diminished during stints with the Miami Marlins, Toronto Blue Jays, and Rockies. His power numbers and ability to steal bases decreased while he had a six-year, $106-million price tag attached to him.

The former three-time stolen-base champ is owed the remainder of his $22-million salary for 2016, $22 million in 2017, and has a team option worth $22 million for 2018, which includes a $4-million buy-out.

If Reyes is released by Colorado, a club could sign him for a prorated portion of the MLB minimum salary which is $507,500.

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ATLANTA -- Extra innings gave Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman the chance to do what no other Atlanta player had done in nearly eight years.

Freeman completed the cycle with a leadoff single in the 11th inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night. He doubled in the third, tripled in the fourth and hit his 11th homer in the sixth.

"It would have meant nothing if we didn't win," he said after the Braves prevailed 9-8 in 13 innings.

Freeman is the first player in the majors to hit for the cycle this season. He is the first Atlanta player to hit for the cycle since Mark Kotsay against the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 14, 2008.

The only other Braves player to hit for the cycle since 1911 was Albert Hall in 1987, according to Elias Sports Bureau data. Freeman is the seventh player to do so in the 141-year history of the Braves franchise.

Following Freeman's single in the 11th, the Braves loaded the bases with no outs but could not score. They eventually finished off the Reds in the 13th inning, when Chase d'Arnaud's bases-loaded single capped a three-run rally.

"When we got down in the 13th, I'm sure a lot of people didn't think we'd come back to win that game," Freeman said.

The Braves, who have the worst record in the majors, snapped a four-game losing streak in a game even Reds manager Bryan Price had to appreciate.

"For entertainment value, that had to have been one of the great games of the season," Price said.'

Freeman was 4-for-7 on the night, with two runs scored, two strikeouts and no walks.

He scored in the third when Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani was hindered by first baseman Joey Votto's off-target throw to the plate, which was recorded as an error. Freeman's opposite-field homer into the first row of the left-field seats tied the game at 6 in the sixth.

He reached first base in the 12th, but the Reds appealed the call that he was safe. After a brief review, the call was overturned.

Freeman also came close to the cycle in the series opener against the Reds on Monday, when he had a homer, double and single.

"It seems I always need a triple," said Freeman, who had no triples in 2015 but has two this season.

Freeman also has 11 home runs, seven of which have come at Turner Field. The rest of the Braves have eight homers at home.

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Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn labrum and rotator cuff issues, according to the Star Tribune's La Velle Neal.

Perkins hasn't pitched since the first week of the season. He landed on the disabled list, but the club hoped he'd return at some point in the season.

The report states Perkins' labrum is definitely torn, though the severity of it is unclear. He'll attempt to make a return in early 2017.

During the first half of last season he was a perfect 28-for-28 in save opportunities, owning a 1.21 ERA over that span while being named an American League All-Star.

Since then, his ERA ballooned to 7.32 in the second half as he dealt with neck and shoulder issues. Twins manager Paul Molitor didn't hesitate to strip him of closer duties and replace him with Kevin Jepsen.

Over his 11-year career with the Twins, Perkins owns a 3.83 ERA.

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Alec Asher, the 24-year-old right-hander who debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies last year, was suspended 80 games Thursday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance called dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, reports MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

"The Phillies support Major League Baseball's joint prevention and treatment program and are disappointed to hear today's news of Alec's violation," the team said in a statement, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Asher, who's been rehabbing with Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the past seven weeks, is the second Phillies minor-leaguer to get busted for PED use in 2016. Left-hander Daniel Stumpf was suspended in April after testing positive for the same drug, known commonly as Turinabol. Earlier this season, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello also landed an 80-game suspension for taking the anabolic steroid, which is popular among East German athletes in the 1970s.

Acquired by the Phillies as part of the deal that sent Cole Hamels to Texas at last year's trade deadline, Asher made his MLB debut just one month after getting dealt. In seven starts down the stretch with Philadelphia, the former fourth-round pick stumbled to a 9.31 ERA with a 1.79 WHIP, allowing eight home runs while notching 16 strikeouts in 29 innings.

This year, Asher had been cruising through his rehab assignments with Lehigh Valley and Reading, the club's Double-A affiliate, managing a 2.30 ERA with a 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in eight starts.

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The Chicago White Sox are 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot, but even if they make it, Robin Ventura may not be there to embark on the postseason run.

After jumping out to a 23-10 start this season, the club has since dropped down to .500, leaving Ventura under fire within the organization, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

"I think patience has been showed," one White Sox representative told Heyman. General manager Rick Hahn declined to comment.

Ventura's first season with the club was in 2012, when he replaced the outspoken and abrasive Ozzie Guillen. Dubbed the "anti-Ozzie" in the report, the White Sox hoped his low-key, out-of-the-spotlight personality would carry the team to glory.

After winning 85 games in his first go-around, the White Sox have won 63, 73, and 76 games in each of the following years.

Bench coach Rick Renteria appears to be the front-runner for the job, according to the report. Renteria was fired when the Chicago Cubs saw an opportunity to hire Joe Maddon.

But now that he's with Chicago, Heyman's sources say it makes sense.

They are "as prepared as they’ve ever been," the club insider said.

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The Boston Red Sox have a shot this year, and John Farrell knows it.

A week after the front office admitted to looking to trade for pitching, the manager had a meeting with president Dave Dombrowski, requesting that brass work to upgrade their thin bench, and maybe even add a big left-handed bat.

"How do we get a little bit more of an offensive threat mixed in there?" Farrell told the Providence Journal's Brian MacPherson, referencing his conversation with Dombrowski. "We're trying to get more of a left-handed complement (to Young). While Chris Young has done an outstanding job since taking over those everyday duties, we're looking at how we can best match up if those needs arise late in games.

"We're looking at the alternatives that are there to us at Pawtucket right now."

In Triple-A Pawtucket, the Red Sox only have three left-handed hitters and two of them are switch-hitters - Jose Vinicio and Henry Ramos. The other is Brennan Boesch, who is on the seven-day disabled list.

Ramos is batting .348, but he was promoted from Double-A a week ago. Vinicio, who was promoted from Double-A a week before that, is struggling to the tune of a .227 average in 13 games.

So realistically, the Red Sox don't have a left-handed stick in Triple-A that can fill the void Farrell is looking for.

The only plausible option is 21-year-old Andrew Benintendi, who has six extra-base hits in his last 11 games at Double-A. But expecting him to make the jump to the majors a little more than a year after he was drafted out of Arkansas could stunt his development.

If Boston wants to add a left-handed bat, it won't be from within - they'll have to trade for it.

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Texas Rangers right-hander Colby Lewis took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Oakland Athletics Thursday, before Max Muncy doubled to lead off the inning and end the bid.

Muncy lined a ball into deep right field, which outfielder Nomar Mazara juggled before eventually dropping on the ground.

The 34-year-old ended up allowing a second double in the inning to Coco Crisp, ending his shutout bid as well.

Ultimately, Lewis did manage to go the distance for his sixth win of the season.

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The team announced the outfielder will miss at least four-to-six weeks with a non-displaced fracture of the radial neck at his right elbow that was sustained in a collision with the outfield wall during Thursday's game in Kansas City.

Martinez just barely missed snagging Paulo Orlando's fly ball in the third inning, and crashed into the wall. His arm appeared to buckle from the collision, and Martinez immediately screamed in pain. He also had trouble throwing the ball back to the infield. Tigers trainers had to assist him off the field, and X-rays revealed the fracture shortly afterwards.

The loss of the 28-year-old is a big one for the Tigers as they try to keep pace in the AL Central. Martinez, a Silver Slugger last season, is hitting .287/.359/.522 with a team-high 39 RBIs as part of a fearsome middle of the order with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez, while holding down right field defensively.
To fill Martinez's spot, the Tigers recalled outfielder Steven Moya from Triple-A Toledo. The 24-year-old has hit .281/.303/.469 in nine games with the big club this season.

Last edited on Fri Jun 17th, 2016 06:29 pm by lobo316

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Everything's coming up Bartolo.

The New York Mets' right-hander displayed his hitting skills once again Thursday by lining a third-inning double into the right-center field gap off Pittsburgh Pirates starter Juan Nicasio. It was just the third double of Colon's career, and his fourth extra-base hit, which gave his teammates good reason to applaud as "Big Sexy" trotted into second base.

Colon's two-bagger also ushered him into a very exclusive fraternity, as he's just the fourth pitcher in history to hit a home run and a double in his age-43 season, according to ESPN Stats & Info. He joins Hall of Famers Phil Niekro in 1982, Warren Spahn in 1964, and Dazzy Vance in 1934 in accomplishing the feat.

Colon's double had an exit velocity of 98 mph, according to Statcast, and he ran from home to second in an impressive 11.4 seconds.

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Edwin Jackson has found a new home yet again, as the San Diego Padres have reportedly agreed to terms with the well-traveled right-hander, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

It's a minor-league deal for the 32-year-old, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Padres will only pay him a pro-rated salary for days that he's with the team, per Rosenthal, as the Chicago Cubs are still paying his salary after releasing him in the midst of a four-year, $52-million contract last July.

Jackson was released by the Miami Marlins on June 4 after appearing in just eight games with the club and posting a 5.91 ERA. He owns a career 4.59 ERA and 1,274 strikeouts across 14 big-league seasons with 10 teams.

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The Toronto Blue Jays placed star outfielder Jose Bautista on the 15-day disabled list Friday less than 24 hours after the slugger exited Thursday's contest with a toe injury suffered while trying to make a catch at the wall.

The injury was being described as a left big toe strain, according to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm.

Multiple outlets reported Bautista's trip to the DL prior to the Blue Jays' series opener in Baltimore, though the club had yet to confirm the news.

X-rays on his toe came back negative, reports Sportsnet's Arden Zwelling, and he was expected to undergo more tests before the Blue Jays provided an official diagnosis.


Bautista, who was removed from Thursday's 13-2 win during the seventh inning after he jammed his big left toe on the bottom of the outfield wall in Philadelphia, injured himself attempting to track down Cameron Rupp's long fly ball. He looked to be in pain as he limped off the field with the team's trainer.

Bautista had just returned Monday from a three-game absence due to thigh soreness prior to Thursday's exit. The six-time All-Star is hitting .230/.360/.455 with 12 homers and an AL-leading 48 walks this season.

In a corresponding roster move, the Blue Jays recalled outfielder Darrell Ceciliani from Triple-A Buffalo.

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ST. LOUIS - Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong was recalled from Triple-A Memphis on Friday following a short stay in the minors.

Rookie outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker, who has cooled off following a strong start, was optioned to Memphis in a corresponding move. Hazelbaker hit three pinch-hit homers in 61 games during his buzzed-about debut after spending more than seven years in the minors.

The 25-year-old Wong batted .429 with four homers and 11 RBIs in seven games at Triple-A, including a game-winning grand slam. He was batting .222/.306/.286 with one homer and five RBIs in 49 games with St. Louis and lost his starting spot when Matt Carpenter moved from third base to second base to accommodate Jhonny Peralta and rookie sensation Aledmys Diaz.

Wong signed a five-year, $25 million extension before the season.

Hazelbaker, a career minor leaguer before his year, was batting .250 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 61 games, and also led the team with four steals. He had five homers with a .317 average in the first month, but since then was batting .172.

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The Canadian kid got himself a hat trick Friday night in Baltimore.

Michael Saunders, the Toronto Blue Jays' left fielder born and raised in British Columbia, homered three times in Friday's series opener at Camden Yards, propelling his club to a 13-3 victory over the first-place Orioles while becoming the first Canadian player in franchise history with a three-homer performance.

With a three-run blast off right-hander Mike Wright in the first, a three-run bomb off Ubaldo Jimenez in the fourth, and another two-run shot off Jimenez two innings later, Saunders became just the fourth Canadian in MLB history to go deep three times in a game, joining Joey Votto, Justin Morneau, and Larry Walker.

(Don Cherry voice) THAT GOOD OL CANADIAN BOY SAUNDERS GETS THE HAT-TRICK pic.twitter.com/IF0R9NGcWK

— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) June 18, 2016
Saunders, who has now gone deep in four of his last eight games, also set a new single-game franchise record for RBIs by a Canadian, driving in eight runs to boost his season total to 32 through 61 games. Since 1913, the only other players from north of the border to drive in eight in a game are Walker, Jason Bay, and George Selkirk.

After missing almost all of last season due to knee problems, Saunders - acquired by Toronto last December - has been a revelation through the first 10 weeks of 2016, smashing 15 homers and 17 doubles with a .999 OPS through 252 plate appearances.

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From one Boston Red Sox legend to another.

David Ortiz mashed his 521st career home run Friday to straightaway center field at Fenway Park, tying Ted Williams' career mark. He's also now tied with Williams, Willie McCovey, and Frank Thomas for 19th on the all-time home-run list.

With his 18th homer of the season, Ortiz is just two shy of Mark Trumbo and Nolan Arenado for the league lead in what's quickly becoming a historic retirement campaign for the 40-year-old.

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Robinson Cano has put himself into the junior circuit's record books.

The Seattle Mariners star clobbered his 19th home run of the season Friday in Boston. It's the 247th home run of his career as a second baseman, which is a new American League record for the position, passing Hall of Famer Joe Gordon.

In addition to his home runs hit as a second baseman, Cano has also smacked nine homers as a designated hitter, along with two pinch-hit blasts. He did not record a hit during his one plate appearance as a shortstop.

The major-league record for home runs by a second baseman is held by Jeff Kent, who hit 351 of his 377 round-trippers while manning the position.





PLAYER AL             YRS.                  HR AS 2B (AL)    CAREER HR
Robinson Cano      2005-Present         248                    258


Joe Gordon          1938-1950             247                    253


Lou Whitaker       1977-1995             239                    244


Roberto Alomar  1991-2001;

                        2003-2004               168                    210


Bobby Grich      1970-1986              197                     224

Last edited on Sat Jun 18th, 2016 07:28 am by lobo316

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Michael Fulmer saw his scoreless streak come to an end Friday, but not before he ensured his place in Detroit Tigers lore.

The first two outs of Friday's game against the Kansas City Royals meant Fulmer had thrown 29 consecutive scoreless innings, surpassing John Hiller's string of 28 2/3 consecutive shutout innings in 1967 for the longest streak by a rookie hurler in franchise history.

Fulmer was quickly working his way up the charts in league history until Royals catcher Salvador Perez ended his streak at 33 1/3 innings with a home run. It was the first run allowed by the 23-year-old since Evan Longoria took him deep on May 21.

As it stands, Fulmer's impressive streak left quite the mark on the Tigers and baseball. His scoreless run is the longest such streak by a Tigers pitcher since at least 1961, according to the team, and the second-longest streak by a rookie pitcher since 1974. Fernando Valenzuela had a 35-inning scoreless run on the mound for the Dodgers in 1981.

His four consecutive shutout performances before Friday's start made him the first rookie to record four straight scoreless outings since Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander did it with the Phillies in 1911.

Fulmer also lowered his ERA by over two-and-a-half runs, from 5.13 to 2.43, over his shutout streak.

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lobo316 wrote: With his 18th homer of the season, Ortiz is just two shy of Mark Trumbo and Nolan Arenado for the league lead in what's quickly becoming a historic retirement campaign for the 40-year-old.
Right now he's top 3 in the AL for Doubles, HR, Total Bases, RBI, Slugging Pct., and Batting Average. He's continually denying it but I really think Ortiz will come back for one more year. 

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BALTIMORE - Manny Machado begrudgingly accepted his four-game suspension for charging the mound, simply because the Baltimore Orioles third baseman knew arguing his position was probably pointless.

The suspension stems from a June 8 game in which Machado rushed toward Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura after being hit in the back with a 99 mph fastball. Machado punched Ventura in the face and was subsequently tackled by the right-hander as both benches and bullpens emptied.

Major League Baseball slapped a four-game suspension and a fine on Machado, and hit Ventura with a nine-game ban that was eventually reduced to eight.

"I think MLB felt it was fair what they gave me and I don’t think they were going to get it down, which is, I mean, it's their opinion against mine and I think we had a good case," Machado told reporters Saturday. "I think they were pretty strong on the four games. Which I think is not right that he’s going to be missing one start and I’m going to be missing four games. I think I’m more valuable as a player to my teammates than he is as a starter and he’s just gonna miss one for the incident he did?

''It's not right that he's going to be missing one start and I'm going to be missing four games,'' Machado said. ''I mean, this whole problem started with him, so why do I get four and he gets one?''

When he begins his suspension, Machado's run of 229 consecutive starts - the longest current streak in the majors - will come to an end.

''I'm getting penalized for something that someone else does,'' Machado said. ''I'll start a new streak Friday.''

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The Toronto Blue Jays have activated shortstop Troy Tulowitzki from the 15-day disabled list after being sidelined since May 28 due to a strained right quad.

In a counter move, the club optioned infielder Andy Burns to Triple-A Buffalo.

"Took a little bit longer than expected, but I do feel good," Tulowitzki told reporters Saturday as he's slated to play shortstop and bat sixth in the order against the Baltimore Orioles.

After getting back on track, Tulowitzki suffered a setback on June 10 during an extended spring game. It didn't appear to be anything serious, though manager John Gibbons said something "didn't feel right."

As he recovered from the injury, Toronto employed Ryan Goins at shortstop and although his glove was never a question, he performed admirably at the plate, too.

Over that span, Goins batted .273/.294/.576 with three doubles, two triples, and one home run.

Prior to hitting the shelf, Tulowitzki was having the worst offensive season of his career, batting .204/.289/.383 with eight home runs and 49 strikeouts in 46 games.

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Well that was $ 72 million well spent. :X


from cbssports.com:


Rusney Castillo had disappointed during his various big-league stints



Oftentimes, when people talk about bad contracts handed out by the Red Sox, they're talking about Hanley Ramirez and/or Pablo Sandoval. On Sunday, the Red Sox reminded us of another ill-forsaken pact by reportedly placing outfielder Rusney Castillo on outright waivers -- some 34 months after the two sides had agreed to a seven-year deal worth $72.5 million.

In the time since signing, Castillo had batted .262/.301/.379 in 337 big-league plate appearances -- numbers that, obviously, were well below the acceptable range. He made matters worse this year by spending nearly the entire season in Triple-A, where he hit an even-worse .245/.304/.320. The Red Sox had brought Castillo to the majors a couple of times throughout the first three months, but their decision to demote him on Saturday in favor of minor-league free agent Ryan LaMarre spoke volumes about their evaluation of his work.

Of course, in some ways, placing Castillo on outright waivers is just a paper move. No team is going to claim him and what's left of his contract, meaning he's certain to head to Pawtucket. Once there, Castillo will still get paid and will get a chance to work his way back into management's good graces -- he just won't be occupying a spot on the 40-man roster. When (if?) Castillo earns a promotion, adding him back to the roster will be a breeze.

Still, this is not a good sign -- even if the practical ramifications are small.

Castillo is set to turn 29 in July, and will need to make quick gains if he's to avoid being tagged as an organizational depth piece. Whether he can make that progress is anyone's guess. For all the focus when he signed on his plus-plus speed and surprising power, there were skeptics who raised eyebrows at his aggressive approach and less-than-stellar numbers against Cuban competition, and who questioned his ability to adjust to big-league velocity and sequencing. So far, those skeptics appear to be right.

That's too bad for the Red Sox -- and their budget.

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Kyle Hendricks, who shares a clubhouse with reigning NL Cy Young award winner Jake Arrieta, not to mention Jon Lester and John Lackey, is supposed to be the easy matchup, the Chicago Cubs starter opposing teams most look forward to facing.

Turns out he isn't. Just ask the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On a night when most in the midwest were fixated on LeBron James, the 41,024 that came out to Wrigley Field found themselves fawning over Hendricks, who notched a career-high 12 strikeouts over six innings of one-run ball en route to a 10-5 victory and three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hendricks, who now boasts a 2.94 ERA through 13 starts, threw 67 of his 100 pitches for strikes and induced a season-high 16 whiffs, with all but two coming on his changeup.

Four weeks away from the All-Star break, Hendricks' numbers are looking eerily similar to those of his most heralded teammates. In his last six starts, the 26-year-old right-hander owns a 2.33 ERA, allowing more than two earned runs on just one occasion while managing a 3.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

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Jered Weaver has had a rough go of it in 2016. His strikeout numbers have fallen, his velocity has dipped considerably - his fastball now averages 83.3 mph - while the 18 home runs he's allowed lead all of baseball.

But on Sunday, save for the velocity, Weaver looked like his old three-time All-Star self for the first time in ages.

The Los Angeles Angels right-hander tossed baseball's first "Maddux" of 2016 with a complete-game shutout of the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on just 95 pitches. Perhaps even more incredibly, he did it while striking out just one batter.

A 3-hit shutout on just 95 pitches? What a performance by Jered Weaver. #Angelshttps://t.co/mTvqdmcr7o

— Angels (@Angels) June 20, 2016
Weaver's the 25th pitcher ever to throw a "Maddux" with one strikeout or less, and the first since Rick Porcello did it in 2014, coincidentally also against Oakland. He's the second Angels pitcher to throw a one-K-or-less Maddux, joining Ken Forsch, who recorded a zero-strikeout Maddux, on May 12, 1981.

The 33-year-old came into the start allowing 11.4 hits per nine innings, but allowed just three Athletics hits, all of them singles. He also issued just one walk. Weaver clearly didn't overwhelm the A's, as his fastest pitch of the afternoon clocked in at 85.7 mph, but still left them shaking their heads in search of an answer.

Albert Pujols provided all the run support Weaver would need by grounding into a first-inning fielder's choice that scored Yunel Escobar from third base. Carlos Perez added a homer in the fifth inning off hard-luck loser Eric Surkamp.

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The Seattle Mariners boosted their rotation depth Sunday, acquiring minor-league right-hander Zach Lee - the 28th overall selection in the 2010 draft - from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for shortstop Chris Taylor.

Widely considered among the game's more promising pitching prospects after signing for a record $5.25 million six years ago, Lee has struggled to live up to his lofty draft pedigree, managing a 3.98 ERA with a 1.30 WHIP and 18.6 percent strikeout rate in 720 professional innings. Now in his third season at Triple-A, the 24-year-old owns a 4.89 ERA with a 1.49 WHIP in 13 starts for Oklahoma City in 2016.

Lee, who made his first and only MLB appearance in July, will be assigned to Triple-A Tacoma, according to MLB.com's Greg Johns.

Taylor, meanwhile, impressed in 47 games with the Mariners in 2014, but struggled mightily in Seattle the following season, and has logged just two games in the majors this year, spending the bulk of the campaign in Triple-A. Over parts of three seasons in the majors, Taylor - who boasts an .847 OPS with Tacoma in 2016 - is hitting .240/.296/.296 with no home runs and a 28.1 percent strikeout rate in 86 games.

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Roenis Elias was sent back to Triple-A after allowing seven runs Friday in his first-ever start for Boston. So, with nobody else to turn to, the Red Sox will have right-hander Clay Buchholz rejoin the rotation after spending the last three weeks in the bullpen, manager John Farrell announced following his club's 8-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Relegated to bullpen for the first time in his career May 27 after stumbling to a 6.35 ERA in his first 10 starts, Buchholz impressed in a relief role, posting a 2.89 ERA while limiting opponents to a .182 batting average and notching four scoreless outings in his five appearances.

However, with Boston's rotation in disarray - their starters not named David Price or Steven Wright own a combined 6.58 ERA over the last month - Buchholz will get the ball Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox for his first start since allowing six runs in five innings against the Colorado Rockies on May 26.

"We didn't anticipate the number of guys we've gone through for 66 games," Farrell told MLB.com's Ian Browne. "We'll continue to search. Right now it's internal. Right now that would put Clay back in the rotation. That's the approach we're going to take, and hopefully he continues to build on the three innings he pitched [Thursday] night, which might be the most crisp he's thrown so far. That's the approach we're going with right now."

srossi

 

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lobo316 wrote: The Los Angeles Angels right-hander tossed baseball's first "Maddux" of 2016 with a complete-game shutout of the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on just 95 pitches. Perhaps even more incredibly, he did it while striking out just one batter.


It would be more incredible if he struck out 9 batters while throwing a 95-pitch shutout. 

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A day after Henderson Alvarez was forced to exit his first rehab start early, the Oakland Athletics have reason to believe the right-hander will be on the shelf even longer than expected.

Oakland shut down Alvarez after he left his start for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, and he's expected to pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews, according to ESPN.

Last July, Alvarez underwent season-ending shoulder surgery and still hasn't appeared in the majors this season. He signed a one-year deal with Oakland in December.

Over five big league seasons, Alvarez owns a 3.80 ERA in 563 innings. He was named a National League All-Star in 2014 while a member of the Miami Marlins.

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Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson were rewarded for their recent offensive surges, as the league announced Monday they've won the latest Player of the Week honors.

Freeman's historic week included the majors' first cycle of the 2016 season in Atlanta's extra-inning win on Wednesday. He became the seventh player in franchise history to record a cycle, and just the first Braves player to do so in eight years.

The Braves slugger homered the next day and doubled three more times over the next several games to finish the week with a staggering .548/.588/1.065 slash line and three homers to earn the National League award. Freeman's big week also helped fuel the streaking Braves, who are riding a season-high five-game winning streak.

Meanwhile, in the American League, Donaldson's award-winning efforts also included a trio of homers, to go along with nine runs batted in, eight extra-base hits, and a .444/.545/1.000 slash line. The Blue Jays third baseman is now batting a red-hot .333/.474/.717 in June to help Toronto climb back into contention in the AL East.

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On Monday, one day after laying claim to the the longest consecutive games streak in the majors, San Francisco Giants third baseman Matt Duffy landed on the 15-day disabled list with a left Achilles strain, manager Bruce Bochy told reporters after his club's 1-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Though the 25-year-old took over as baseball's active ironman Sunday, Duffy was forced from his club's series finale in Tampa Bay due to Achilles tenderness. After undergoing an MRI in Pittsburgh on Monday, Duffy was omitted from the lineup for his club's series opener against the Pirates for the first time since being held out of the nightcap of a doubleheader in Colorado on May 23, 2015.

His durability notwithstanding, Duffy - who finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2015 - hasn't had the most impressive season so far, hitting just .253/.313/.358 (83 OPS+) with four homers and eight stolen bases through 70 games.

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The Chicago Cubs placed center fielder Dexter Fowler on the 15-day disabled list Monday, two days after the 30-year-old left his club's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with a right hamstring injury.

Fowler, who boasts a career-best .881 OPS (138 OPS+) through 64 games in 2016, was diagnosed with a strain after undergoing an MRI on Sunday, but general manager Jed Hoyer is optimistic his club's leadoff man will be back in the lineup as soon as he's eligible.

"We don't think it’s a long-term injury," Hoyer told CBS Chicago. "I hate to put timetables on this. But, ultimately, we knew it was going to be something that would sideline him for at least the next handful of games, week or so, and that’s the case. Playing shorthanded for what would be the significant part of a DL stint doesn’t make a lot of sense."

Related: Fantasy Fallout: Royals' Whit Merrifield Can Help Hamstrung Fowler Owners

For now, the Cubs will likely have rookie Albert Almora - hitting .346 with four doubles through his first 11 MLB games - take over in center for Fowler, who leads all National League outfielders in All-Star voting with 1,611,833 votes (as of Wednesday).

"He has pretty much set the offensive tone for us along with (Ben Zobrist)," manager Joe Maddon said recently of Fowler's impact. "You look at our run differential, he is the one that pretty much set that up. The first part of the season really took on this tone that it did, because of him. When I say to him 'you go, we go,' it’s pretty much true when he is making things happen at the top. When it happens, the rest of the group seems to fall in order. He has been playing really high-caliber baseball."

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The Washington Nationals are confident a back injury that prevented Stephen Strasburg from pitching Monday won't cause the right-hander to miss his next turn in the rotation.

"We don't think it's serious," Nationals manager Dusty Baker told reporters. "We hope that he makes his next start."

Strasburg felt a pinch in his back during a workout Saturday, which continued leading up to his scheduled start Monday against Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Nationals opted to play it safe with the 27-year-old, scratching him from his appearance in order to receive some extra treatment from the training staff.

"I think it's something that's manageable," Strasburg said. "It's gotten better, that's the big thing. It's just still there. I just don't want to make the same mistake I made last year and have it become a long-term thing. I just want to nip it in the bud, and get ready for the next one."

Strasburg is tentatively scheduled to make his next Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The division-leading Nationals can hardly afford to lose Strasburg. He's 10-0 with a 2.90 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 14 starts this season.

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Kenley Jansen has pitched his way into the Los Angeles Dodgers' history books.

After throwing a clean ninth inning in Monday's 4-1 win over the Washington Nationals, the closer earned the 162nd save of his career, moving him past Eric Gagne for first on the franchise list.

"Being in Dodger history, that's awesome," Jansen told reporters. "I'm honored to just be a part of the history now. It's a great day."

Gagne called Jansen to congratulate him on his accomplishment and is expected to attend a pregame ceremony Tuesday.

Jansen began his tenure as closer for the Dodgers in 2012 as a 24-year-old. He became just the fourth pitcher in team history to reach the 40-save plateau in 2014 when he finished with 44. Jansen has already converted 20 saves this season and owns a 1.53 ERA over 29 1/3 innings.

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Despite sitting fourth in the American League East and one game under .500, New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner isn't planning for his club to be sellers at next month's trade deadline.

"I believe we're going to be right smack in the middle of it at the end of July," Steinbrenner told reporters Tuesday.

The Yankees slogged through April, finishing 8-14. They've managed to turn things around over the last two months, though, going 26-21 and winning three of their last four games.

"The last month has been promising," Steinbrenner said. "The offense up and down the line is starting to produce. (Chase) Headley certainly had a rough start; he's hitting now. And you're starting to see other guys contribute, too. I like what I've seen the last month. We just have to stay healthy."

Should the Yankees make a run and put themselves in playoff contention, addressing first base and the rotation are essential. However, if the gap becomes too much to overcome, the Yankees have numerous pieces (Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller) they could look to deal.

"We'll have to see at the end of July, which we always do," Steinbrenner said. "We'll take a look at everything. We'll see what injuries we've had from here to then and where the deficiencies are and where we go from there. But if we stay healthy, I'm confident we have a shot."

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lobo316 wrote: Despite sitting fourth in the American League East and one game under .500, New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner isn't planning for his club to be sellers at next month's trade deadline.

"I believe we're going to be right smack in the middle of it at the end of July," Steinbrenner told reporters Tuesday.

The Yankees slogged through April, finishing 8-14. They've managed to turn things around over the last two months, though, going 26-21 and winning three of their last four games.

"The last month has been promising," Steinbrenner said. "The offense up and down the line is starting to produce. (Chase) Headley certainly had a rough start; he's hitting now. And you're starting to see other guys contribute, too. I like what I've seen the last month. We just have to stay healthy."

Should the Yankees make a run and put themselves in playoff contention, addressing first base and the rotation are essential. However, if the gap becomes too much to overcome, the Yankees have numerous pieces (Carlos Beltran, CC Sabathia, Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller) they could look to deal.

"We'll have to see at the end of July, which we always do," Steinbrenner said. "We'll take a look at everything. We'll see what injuries we've had from here to then and where the deficiencies are and where we go from there. But if we stay healthy, I'm confident we have a shot."

This is the worst news.  I was really hoping the Yankees would continue to tank because I knew this would happen.  This is a .500 team that doesn't have a prayer of getting past the 1st round of the playoffs, and we should be selling and looking towards the future instead of spinning our wheels for yet another year.

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Jose Bautista will remain in a walking boot for at least two more weeks after a specialist diagnosed the Toronto Blue Jays slugger with turf toe in his ailing left foot.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Tuesday that Bautista will be re-assessed in a couple weeks, according to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, and the team will continue to utilize Ezequiel Carrera in right field in his place.

Bautista was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday after jamming his toe into the outfield wall in Philadelphia during a game against the Phillies last week. He was initially diagnosed with a hyperextended big toe and ordered to remain in a walking boot to avoid additional swelling.

Gibbons told reporters that Bautista will instead remain in Florida, where he'll continue to rehab the injury.

Bautista, a six-time All-Star, is enjoying another productive campaign in Toronto, managing an .815 OPS, 12 homers, and an American League-leading 48 walks through 65 games. He's also one of two Blue Jays - Josh Donaldson is the team's leading vote-getter - with over a million votes in balloting for this year's All-Star Game in San Diego.

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New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the club has scheduled a private workout for Cuban infielder Yulieski Gourriel as it considers options to replace injured third baseman David Wright.

Gourriel and his younger brother Loudes defected from the island nation during a visit to the Dominican Republic in February, when the pair reportedly abandoned the hotel where the Cuban national team was staying.

The elder Gourriel, 31, is among the most decorated players to have ever played in Cuba and has been on the radar of major-league teams since his first World Baseball Classic in 2006. He hit .488/.569/.858 with 11 home runs and just one strikeout in 35 games last year with Industriales, and played 15 years in the Series Nacional.

Alderson's comments come less than 24 hours after a report indicated the club was considering Gourriel, as well as a reunion with free-agent shortstop Jose Reyes. Subsequent reports have suggested the Mets are less likely to pursue Reyes in the wake of his domestic violence case and subsequent suspension.

"We always evaluate talent and character," Alderson said Tuesday when asked about the Reyes rumors. "With respect to character, those are things we look at."

The Mets have been struggling of late, with the losses and injuries piling up, frustration in Queens is clearly setting in.

Amid injuries to Wright, Lucas Duda, Travis d'Arnaud, and Juan Lagares, the Mets have gone 21-25 since the beginning of May, and were overtaken by the Miami Marlins for second in the NL East on Sunday.

"I think we might need to do something before that, because the deadline is still four-to-six weeks away," Jeff Wilpon, the club's chief operating officer, told ESPN's Adam Rubin on Monday. "We've got to start playing better baseball now."

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After sending just one player to last year's Midsummer Classic, the Boston Red Sox are on the verge of being well represented this season.

Mookie Betts moved into third place among outfielders in the latest tally of American League All-Star voting released Tuesday. He joins fellow outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., shortstop Xander Bogaerts, and designated hitter David Ortiz as Red Sox players leading their respective positions.

OF @mookiebetts of the @RedSox has moved into 3rd place among outfielders in the latest AL update for the 2016 ASG. pic.twitter.com/tTaUvcixeT

— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 21, 2016
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez remains the AL's top vote getter after collecting another 680,834 since last week.

Reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson jumped into second place among third baseman. The Toronto Blue Jays slugger trails Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles by 513,321 votes.

Despite being released by the Royals, Omar Infante still sits in fourth place among second baseman with 807,443 votes.

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The American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians won't have All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley back in their lineup any time soon after the 29-year-old experienced a setback during his injury rehab.

After feeling continued discomfort in his surgically repaired right shoulder earlier this week, Brantley was re-examined Tuesday by Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas, where he received a cortisone shot and was diagnosed with right biceps tendinitis.

Although the news isn't good, the Indians, who were reportedly worried Brantley would miss significant time earlier this month, are relieved with the diagnosis, according to Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.

"We are focused on working with Michael to help him get to the point where he's not only healthy, but strong enough to make a meaningful impact on the balance of our season," team president Chris Antonetti said of his ailing outfielder to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports on June 6.

Brantley began the year on the DL while recovering from offseason surgery to repair a tear in his left shoulder and has only managed to appear in 11 games for the Indians this season, hitting .231/.279/.282 with 7 RBIs.

Cleveland has had a difficult time maintaining a steady outfield rotation throughout the year with the injury to Brantley, as well as suspensions handed out to Abraham Almonte (80 games) and Marlon Byrd (162) for PED violations.

Brantley contributed to the Indians offense in a big way over the past two seasons and was a contender for the American League MVP in 2014 after hitting .327/.385/.506 with 20 home runs, 45 doubles and 97 RBIs.

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DETROIT -- The Seattle Mariners are trying to bolster their pitching by signing right-handed reliever Tom Wilhelmsen and acquiring left-hander Wade LeBlanc in a trade with Toronto.

Seattle made the moves on Wednesday. Wilhelmsen was signed to a one-year deal after he declined an outright assignment by Texas earlier this month and was granted free agency. Wilhelmsen was a solid reliever with Seattle from 2011-15 before being traded to the Rangers last offseason. He struggled in Texas with a 2/3 record and 10.55 ERA in 21 appearances.

To clear a roster spot for Wilhelmsen, Seattle transferred left-hander Charlie Furbush to the 60-day disabled list and optioned Jonathan Aro to Triple-A Tacoma.

LeBlanc was acquired in exchange for cash or a player to be named later and will likely be Seattle's starter on Friday. LeBlanc was 7-2 with a 1.71 ERA in 14 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. He last pitched in the majors in 2014 with the Yankees and Angels.

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With the NHL expecting to formally welcome Las Vegas as its 31st franchise this week, might Major League Baseball be the next to roll the dice and add an expansion team there?

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, appearing on The Michael Kay Show on Tuesday, said Las Vegas is definitely a "viable alternative" and the city's gambling industry wouldn't be a viewed as a negative.

"I think the whole 'You can't go to Vegas because there are casinos there' ... we passed that by a long time ago," Manfred said. "There's casinos all over the place. I see Las Vegas as a viable alternative. I would not disqualify it just because of the gambling issue."

The city is currently home to the Las Vegas 51s, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets in the Pacific Coast League.

Earlier this year, Manfred has said the league needs to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement with the players' union and resolve stadium issues in Oakland and Tampa Bay before considering expansion. The union also must sign off on any plan to add teams, but it likely would be open to discussions about balancing the American and National Leagues through expansion, according to a union representative.

"The idea of having nice, even numbers in each league would be a good thing," Manfred said in February of adding a club to each league. "The timeline, it's not immediate. It's not a topic we would begin to consider until we have a new agreement in place."

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The New York Mets are considering where Jose Reyes would fit on the diamond should they acquire the Colorado Rockies shortstop.

In order to accommodate the lifelong middle infielder, team officials have reportedly discussed moving Neil Walker to third base in order to use Reyes at second, according to David Lennon of Newsday.

The 33-year-old was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week following a 51-game suspension for a domestic violence incident and is scheduled to become a free agent Saturday should Colorado be unable to deal him.

Reyes has almost exclusively played shortstop during his 13-year career but does have 43 games experience at second base, though that came in 2004. Reyes defense has been in decline in recent years, but Rockies manager Walt Weiss believes he'll be able to field another position without issue.

"As far as the skill-set, I think he'd be fine doing it," Weiss said Tuesday. "He's still a good player. He could certainly help."

Walker has played 864 of his 879 career games at second base. He has 15 games experience at the major-league level at third. The Mets are currently using Wilmer Flores at third base with David Wright sidelined.

New York could certainly use a boost to an offense that ranks 28th in runs scored. Reyes has hit .285/.329/.399 with 26 home runs, 78 doubles, and 69 stolen bases in 352 games since 2013.

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The Texas Rangers' ailing pitching staff was dealt yet another blow Wednesday, as the club announced right-hander Colby Lewis will miss at least two months with a strained right lat muscle.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said Lewis will be shut down for four weeks, at which point he'll undergo another MRI before determining whether he's ready to resume a throwing program.

Lewis exited Tuesday's start after five innings with what the club initially described as cramping in his triceps. Subsequent tests revealed the Grade 2 strain.

"These are kind of nagging soft tissue injuries that if you go too quick, they happen again," Daniels told reporters. "There's really no accelerating this kind of injury. You have to give it time."


The news follows an injury-ridden week for the first-place Rangers, who also lost ace Yu Darvish and lefty Derek Holland to the disabled list because of shoulder issues. Hours before Lewis' diagnosis was revealed, the club placed Holland on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation.

Daniels said Lewis' injury was a "kick in the gut," according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan.

The timing couldn't have been any worse for Lewis, either, after the 36-year-old authored one of the best pitching performances of his career in his recent start at Oakland. Lewis lost a perfect game bid in the eighth inning and then had his no-hitter broken up in the ninth on a near-catch by outfielder Nomar Mazara.

''I feel like any time you go into the ninth and you haven't given up a hit, when it happens there's a disappointment there,'' Lewis said Friday. ''I'm not getting any younger. But I feel like it was a great day.''

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CHICAGO -- With the deadline for All-Star voting approaching, the Chicago Cubs are nearing a historic moment as all four of their starting infielders continue to lead voting at their respective positions.

If Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo are voted in as National League starters, it would be just the second time in baseball history that four infielders from the same team started the Midsummer Classic.

"I'm happy for our guys," manager Joe Maddon said after the latest round of voting was released on Wednesday. "I think it's great. It's great for the organization."

Of the four infielders, Russell has the slimmest lead, but he's still 379,996 votes ahead of his closest competitor, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. Rizzo leads all players with 2,202,494 votes, which is 1,363,306 more than the second-place first baseman, Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants.

Not since the 1963 Cardinals has a team started its entire infield in the All-Star Game.

"It will elevate their game," Maddon said. "I believe that."

Maddon also said it should be a proud day for those that scouted and developed those players. In addition to the infielders leading at their positions, injured centerfielder Dexter Fowler (right hamstring) leads all NL outfielders with over 2 million votes while Jason Heyward is a distant fourth. The top three vote-getters get to start in the All-Star Game, regardless of position. Fowler is hopeful that his absence from the lineup won't affect his All-Star status because he's eligible to come off the disabled list on July 4, about a week before the game.

"They [trainers] said I'll be 100 percent healthy when I get back," Fowler said. "It's not a high [injury], so it should not be reoccurring."

As for Cubs pitchers, Maddon made a case for all his starters plus closer Hector Rondon. Realistically, the Cubs are likely to send two hurlers to San Diego for the July 12 game, with Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester their best bets.

"There's an argument for every one of them," Maddon said. "I'd say, for sure, two."

A write-in campaign to get retiring catcher David Ross to the game hasn't taken off. He leads all NL players in write-in votes but hasn't cracked the top five among catchers. Miguel Montero ranks fourth. Any All-Stars among the Cubs' pitching staff and outfield will be a secondary storyline if the Cubs send their entire infield.

"You would have to believe the ratings will be up in Chicago on that particular night," Maddon said. "I know I'll be watching."

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Who else is with me on this one??

Let's just close up shop on baseball this year and give those stinkin' Cubs the World Series!!!

Remember last year there was such an uproar about KC voting the whole All Star lineup?? Where's the fuss over the Cubbies?

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In what is clearly the best news of the day, the Cleveland Indians have deservedly built a shrine to Jobu: http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/look-indians-build-a-shrine-to-jobu-from-major-league-in-their-clubhouse/


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Boog Powell, a 23-year-old center fielder widely considered one of the Seattle Mariners' top-10 prospects, was suspended 80 games without pay Thursday after testing positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance.

In a statement released almost immediately after his suspension was announced, Powell denied knowingly taking any illicit substances, and vowed to find out how the drug got into his system.

"While I realize this has become a common refrain among athletes faced with such discipline, the truth is I do not know how this substance could possibly have been in my system," Powell said. "I can only say that this is not a reflection on my true character, and those who know me understand the deep respect I have for my fellow competitors and teammates. I would never betray that by attempting to gain an improper advantage."

Powell, a 20th-round pick in the 2012 draft acquired by the Mariners in November, is the fourth player this year to test positive for dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, an anabolic steroid popular among East German athletes in the 1970s. In April, Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello landed an 80-game suspension after testing positive for the drug known commonly as Turinabol, while a pair of Philadelphia Phillies minor-leaguers - Daniel Stumpf and Alec Asher - were also suspended for taking dehydrochlormethyltestosterone.

Added to the Mariners' 40-man roster shortly after he came over from the Tampa Bay Rays this offseason, Powell had gotten off to a mediocre start with Triple-A Tacoma in 2016, hitting .270/.326/.359 with three homers and 10 stolen bases in 64 games in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.

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Terry Collins is apologetic after showing disrespect to a New York Mets executive at the conclusion of his press conference on Wednesday.

"I was out of line for saying what I said at the press conference," Collins said before Thursday's game against the Atlanta Braves. "He was just doing his job, and I wasn't doing mine."

After Noah Syndergaard was pulled a day earlier after the sixth inning, unknowingly to anyone that it was due to elbow discomfort, Collins was prepared to exit his presser without answering any questions about it.

When he stood up to leave, vice president of media relations Jay Horwitz forced the manager to sit down and tell the media the full story. Continuing to stand up, he told Horwitz "there wasn't any questions on it" before making his remark.

"Oh, Jesus. The puppy dog wants you guys to know that Noah Syndergaard is seeing the doctor," Collins said within earshot of Horwitz. "His elbow flared up on him. That's why I took him out of the game."

Late Wednesday night, the club announced there was no structural damage in Sydnergaard's elbow, and that he'll avoid the disabled list. Still, Collins regrets what he said in the heat of the moment.

"All I seem to talk about is injuries every day," Collins said Thursday. "I can't even enjoy a win. So that was my fault. It certainly was very unprofessional.

"That's part of my job is to handle those things. But I'd like to enjoy a victory one time for more than five minutes."

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The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired outfielder Oswaldo Arcia from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Arcia was designated for assignment by the Twins on June 16 to make room for Danny Santana.

The 25-year-old is two seasons removed from a stellar sophomore campaign that included 20 home runs and 57 RBIs in 103 games.

Adding Arcia, as well as Eury Perez - who was acquired from the Houston Astros on Thursday - to the Rays' outfield mix pretty much ends any potential reunion with free agent Carl Crawford, according to a source of FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Prior to his DFA, Arcia was hitting just .214/.289/.369 with four home runs and 12 RBIs across 114 plate appearances.

Over the course of four big-league seasons, the Venezuelan slashed .240/.303/.429 with 40 home runs, 37 doubles, and 120 RBIs.

Right-hander Andrew Bellatti was DFA'd to make room on the Rays' 40-man roster for Arcia.

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Brad Ziegler's incredible 43-game save streak is over.

The Arizona Diamondbacks closer's streak came to an end against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday when he was handed a blown save despite not allowing a single run.

The right-hander came aboard for the struggling Daniel Hudson in in the bottom of the eighth inning and allowed a game-tying run to score after a DJ LeMahieu bunt before eventually picking up a win after the Diamondbacks scored in the ninth.

Absolutely brutal he gets a blown save for that. 100% should be mine

— Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) June 24, 2016
The streak, which began on May 29, 2015, was the longest active one in the majors and the seventh-longest in major league history.

Former Los Angeles Dodgers closer and Cy Young winner Eric Gagne holds the all-time record of 84, which he set from 2002-04.

"I am pretty impressed with how long that streak was," teammate Zack Greinke told reporters. "No matter who you are, that's pretty amazing. Today was a borderline impossible one to do. He's done a great job."

Despite watching his run come to an end, Ziegler didn't seem too displeased and said he looks forward to getting another one going.

The 36-year-old sidewinder has earned 78 saves during his nine-year career, 59 of them with Arizona.

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For the first time since 2013, the St. Louis Cardinals will have someone other than Trevor Rosenthal handling the ninth inning, at least temporarily, as manager Mike Matheny removed the scuffling 26-year-old from the closer role ahead of Saturday's game, reports MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.

For now, Matheny said, the Cardinals will spread the save opportunities around, with Korean rookie Seung Hwan Oh, left-hander Kevin Siegrist, and veteran Jonathan Broxton each expected to get ninth-inning chances.


Rosenthal, who leads the majors with 107 saves since the start of 2014 and earned his first career All-Star appearance last year, has struggled mightily this season, posting a career-worst 5.63 ERA with a 2.04 WHIP in 29 appearances. In 24 innings so far, Rosenthal owns a 30.3 percent strikeout rate, his best since 2013, but his 17.7 percent walk rate in second-worst among qualified relievers, while his .292 batting average against is seventh-highest in the National League.

On Friday, the hard-throwing right-hander blew his third save in 17 chances this year, serving up a walk-off, three-run homer to Adam Lind en route to a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

"I went out there and did my best, gave it everything I've got," said Rosenthal. "I thought I was making some good pitches and it just kind of happened. It's not fun doing that, but I felt like I had good stuff."

Last edited on Sun Jun 26th, 2016 08:22 am by lobo316

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The Chicago White Sox put on a historic power display Saturday at U.S. Cellular Field, pumping out a whopping seven home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays to tie their 61-year-old franchise record for long balls in a game.

It wasn't enough to sink the reigning American League East champs, though.

Despite a strong performance from expatriated Canadian Brett Lawrie (who spanked two homers against his former club - one of them, an inside-the-park shot that started a back-to-back-to-back jack sequence off R.A. Dickey in the second), the White Sox weren't quite able to erase an early five-run deficit, falling 10-8 while tying the MLB record for homers in a game by a losing team. The Detroit Tigers are the only other club to manage seven homers in a game and still lose, accomplishing the dubious feat in both 1995 and 2004.

Besides Lawrie, the White Sox also received some yard work from Dioner Navarro (another former Blue Jay), J.B. Shuck, Tim Anderson, Alex Avila, and Adam Eaton.

"I don't think I've ever been a part of a game like that," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star. "It didn’t feel good until the final out was made, that’s for sure."

Now 20-30 since the start of May, the White Sox are the third team to record a seven-homer game in 2016, though the two other clubs - the Baltimore Orioles (June 2) and Colorado Rockies (May 31) - won their respective games by at least five runs.

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On Saturday, Jose Reyes was released by the Colorado Rockies, who will now pay the four-time All-Star - suspended 52 games without pay earlier this year after allegedly grabbing his wife by the throat and shoving her into a sliding glass door in October - almost $40 million not to play for them.

Hours after being released, Reyes was offered a shot at redemption, reuniting with the New York Mets on a minor-league deal, but general manager Sandy Alderson knows some people in Queens won't be eager to welcome back an accused domestic abuser. Though Alderson insisted Reyes "doesn't deserve to be ostracized," he does anticipate some backlash.

"We fully understand that there will be a difference of opinions on this. We accept that, we respect that." Alderson told reporters shortly after the Mets announced their new deal with Reyes, who played in New York from 2003-11.


In a statement released Saturday, Reyes - expected to debut Sunday with the Mets' affiliate in the New York-Penn League before moving on to Double-A or Triple-A - said he "deeply regret(s) the incident that occurred and remains remorseful and apologetic to (his) family." Alderson added that Reyes, 33, will undergo counseling while noting that the club intends to be a leader with respect to combating domestic abuse.

"He is committed to ongoing counseling and support of organizations working against domestic abuse," said Alderson. “And obviously, in addition to this personal meeting, we had a lot of internal conversation. (COO) Jeff Wilpon was directly involved in this every step of the way. We were aware of the possible controversy that this would generate. We are also fully aware of the responsibility we have to be leaders in this area of fighting domestic abuse."

Signed by the Mets as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic in 1999, Reyes is widely regarded as the best shortstop in franchise history, compiling 30.7 WAR in 1,050 games with the club, while averaging a .790 OPS with 52 extra-base hits and 48 stolen bases per year from 2005 through 2011.

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Though Pete Rose forged a complicated, controversial legacy in Major League Baseball, the Cincinnati Reds have nothing but love for history's hit king, inducting the 75-year-old into their franchise Hall of Fame on Saturday as part of a weekend-long celebration of the Big Red Machine and its putative leader.

One night after 20 members of the Reds' 1975-1976 dynasty were honored in a pregame ceremony at Great American Ball Park, the Reds made Rose the 81st person in their Hall of Fame - a shrine that already honors many of his teammates from those glory years. Needless to say, the 17-time All-Star - banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on games - appreciated the gesture, and expressed his gratitude to the city and organization in a heartfelt speech ahead of the Reds' matinee with San Diego.

"Go ahead," Rose told the sellout crowd that gave him a standing ovation as he stepped to the microphone. "I waited 30 years."

Signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent in 1960, Rose - himself, a Cincinnati native - spent 19 seasons with the Reds, helping the club to a World Series in '76 and collecting 3,358 of his 4,256 hits with his hometown team.

"You motivated me to play the way I did," Rose said. "... We had the greatest fans ever in the '70s. ... I was diving for you."

Pete Rose: Hit King, Legend, #Reds Hall of Famer.https://t.co/vN6jyzZD71

— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 25, 2016
On Sunday, Rose will have his No. 14 retired, too, making him the 10th player to receive that honor from the Reds.

"This will be the ultimate thing to happen to me so far in my baseball career," Rose told Joe Kay of the Associated Press on Friday. "I tell people you should put it on your bucket list to go to the Reds' Hall of Fame, and I'm happy to be in there. It seems like everybody I played with is in there, so they might as well put me in there, too."

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The Kansas City Royals activated outfielder Alex Gordon from the disabled list Saturday after a one-month layoff with a fractured right wrist.

Gordon suffered the injury during a collision with teammate Mike Moustakas in late May. Moustakas suffered a torn ACL on the play and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

Prior to the injury, Gordon had struggled at the plate. In 42 games, the three-time All-Star slashed .211/.319/.331 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.

Kansas City optioned outfielder Brett Eibner to Triple-A in order to make room for Gordon.

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NEW YORK - First baseman Mark Teixeira has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and is in the New York Yankees' lineup against the Minnesota Twins.

Teixeira is set to bat sixth on Saturday, his first major league game since June 3. The switch-hitter had been sidelined with torn cartilage in his right knee.

To open a spot on the roster, New York designated first baseman Ike Davis for assignment. Davis was signed June 13 and went 3-for-14 (.214) with an RBI for the Yankees.

New York manager Joe Girardi says the team chose to keep Rob Refsnyder over Davis in part because Refsnyder can play other positions besides first base.

The 36-year-old Teixeira went one-for-nine in three rehab games with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The three-time All-Star was struggling at the plate before he got hurt, batting .180 with three homers and 12 RBIs.

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Brandon Nimmo's time has finally come.

The 13th overall selection in the 2011 MLB draft - rated by MLB Pipeline as the top outfield prospect in the New York Mets' system - is on his way to the big leagues, according to multiple reports.

Nimmo is expected to start in the outfield Saturday vs. the Atlanta Braves.

The 23-year-old was hitting a scorching .328/.409/.508 for Triple-A Las Vegas, including 16 doubles and 37 RBIs.

Nimmo would join a Mets outfield that already includes Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, and Alejandro De Aza.

In a corresponding move, the Mets plan to send down Michael Conforto, who's struggled to a .222/.296/.431 slash line with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs after a promising rookie campaign that included nine long balls, 26 RBIs and an .841 OPS in 56 games.

Conforto hit just .135/.210/.292 over the last month.

Conforto may have a grievance over the demotion, Keith Law notes, as he recently had a cortisone shot for cartilage damage in his wrist. Teams aren't allowed to option an injured player.

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SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners right-hander Adrian Sampson needs surgery on his injured right elbow and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

The 24-year-old right-hander (0-1, 7.71 ERA) left the mound in the first inning in Detroit on Thursday after appearing to suffer the injury during warm-ups. Sampson felt sudden discomfort in his elbow and had to be pulled from the game before throwing a single pitch.

Sampson said he had felt good during his pregame bullpen session, but he tired late in the warmup and began to feel like he couldn't finish his pitches. When he took the mound before the first inning in Detroit, his arm was sore and aching all of a sudden.

"My arm didn't feel good at all," he said. "I remember throwing that last pitch in warmups and, I think my arm was trying to protect itself, so I threw it and grimaced a little bit. I didn't feel it snap or pop or anything like that. I just felt total discomfort. I knew something was wrong. I was just listening to myself, which was tough. I'm right there on a big-league mound and I would have done anything to stay out but I just couldn't do it."

The injury requires surgery but it's not a tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, which would have required Tommy John surgery.

"It's the tendons that connect to the flexor and pronator, I believe. I'm not exactly sure though," Sampson said. "They're saying it's a Grade 3 (sprain), which is enough percentage (torn) where they have to repair it with surgery. I'm still in talks with the doctor and my agent and my family right now. Not exactly sure what the rehab process is but they're saying it should be good by spring training if anything."

Sampson made his major league debut five days earlier against the Boston Red Sox. Replacing an injured Wade Miley in the Mariners' rotation, Sampson allowed four runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings with a walk, two strikeouts and two home runs allowed.

"I haven't missed a start in my professional career and missing time and being here, being at the doorstep and feeling good about how my stuff is playing, it just sucks. There's nothing much else to say," Sampson said.

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Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Joe Blanton short-circuited Saturday after a forgettable relief appearance at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Shortly after serving up a two-run homer to Jordy Mercer during the Pirates' five-run sixth inning, cameras spotted Blanton pushing, smashing, and body slamming a Gatorade cooler inside the Dodgers' dugout.
Blanton's one-inning appearance - which included a walk and strikeout - followed a disastrous outing by Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda, who was chased in the sixth after allowing Andrew McCutchen's second homer of the game. Maeda gave up four runs on four hits with a pair of walks, and by the time the Pirates were finished with Blanton and Maeda, they were leading 6-1.






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Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols passed another legend on his ascent up the home run leaderboard Saturday, connecting for his 574th career blast to break a tie with Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew for sole possession of 11th on the all-time list.

Killebrew, an 11-time All-Star and the 1969 AL MVP, smashed 573 home runs during his 22 major-league season, nearly all of which were with the Twins.

The fifth-inning homer off Athletics lefty Dillon Overton was Pujols' 14th of the season, and moves him within nine of reaching baseball's top 10. Next up on the list is Mark McGwire (583) and Frank Robinson (586).

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SAN FRANCISCO - Bruce Bochy's 800th victory as Giants manager was anything but typical.

Three blown leads, four hit batters, a rare shaky outing from Johnny Cueto, and back-to-back doubles in the ninth inning by two seldom-used players that provided the winning run.

However, with the third-best record in baseball, Bochy certainly isn't complaining.

Conor Gillaspie hit a game-ending RBI double with one out in the ninth inning to lift San Francisco past the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 on Sunday and give Bochy his milestone win.

''It was appropriate I guess to have this type of game, a torturous game, where it looked like we had things under control and it started to get away from us,'' Bochy said. ''It's a good win, because that would have been a tough one to take, to lose this ballgame.''

Bochy became the fourth manager in franchise history to reach the 800-win mark, joining John McGraw (2,583), Dusty Baker (840) and Bill Terry (823). Bochy, who had 951 wins with San Diego, leads active managers with 1,751 - 16th all-time.

''I don't think John McGraw has anything to worry about,'' Bochy joked.

With the victory, the Giants (49-28) tied the Texas Rangers for the most wins in baseball.

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The Washington Nationals have placed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 15-day disabled list with an upper-back strain. The move, which is retroactive to June 16, comes a day after manager Dusty Baker announced that Strasburg had been scratched from his scheduled Sunday start in Milwaukee.

It was the second consecutive missed start for Strasburg, who was a last-minute scratch against the Dodgers on Monday.

Prior to that, the 27-year old hurler had started 14 games for the Nationals this year, going 10-0 with a 2.90 ERA. He's the first National League starter to begin the season 10-0 since San Diego's Andy Hawkins in 1985.

This marks Strasburg's first trip to the disabled list this season. Last year, Strasburg had two separate stints on the DL, including one for neck tightness. This past November, he underwent surgery to remove a non-cancerous growth from his back.

For his career, Strasburg -- who signed a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May -- is 64-37 with a 3.07 ERA.

In Strasburg's place, righthander Tanner Roark will start on Sunday against the Brewers. The Nationals are expected to announce a corresponding roster move on Monday.

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DANG!!!

The Tigers have been the Cleveland Indians BEEYOTCH this year. 0-9!!! Usually we whup up on those Indians!

Hats off to Francona- this year he seems to have righted the Cleveland ship.

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No more Mr. Nice Guy.

After notching his first career ejection Sunday, Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen said after eight years in the majors, it was about time he showed his emotions.

"I was like, 'I've had it,'" McCutchen told the Tribune-Review's Rob Biertemfel. "I'm sick of being the quiet guy. I'm sick of being the guy who people say, 'Oh, he's a really nice guy.' Jesus was a nice guy, too, but he went into the tabernacle and flipped tables. He could get angry.

"So, it's OK to be frustrated. It's OK to be angry. We have feelings, frustrations, and emotions. We all want to be treated equally and the right way. If you don't feel you've been treated that way, sometimes you need to show it."

McCutchen was tossed after a strike three call that appeared to be well below the knees. But his temper tantrum wasn't about just one game.

The slugger feels as though on numerous occasions this season, he's kept his mouth shut after blown calls, and it's not helping his case. He figured it was about time to say something.

"They're taking the bat out of my hands," McCutchen said. "All I ask is for fairness when I'm out there. I'm not asking for perfection. I'm just asking for fairness.

"No one's going to be perfect; I get that. That's why I snapped. What happened was not fair."

This season, McCutchen has 81 strikeouts in 320 plate appearances. He's been an All-Star in each of the past five seasons and a silver slugger in four of them.

McCutchen feels as though umpires are the common denominator when it comes to every player's strikeout total climbing.

"Why do you think the strikeouts have skyrocketed?" McCutchen said. “Everyone wants to look at the pitcher and the (batter), but there are three in this game. You have to add (the umpire) in there. That's the frustrating part."

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A pair of impressive showings at the plate during the past week have been rightfully honored by Major League Baseball, as Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon were announced Monday as Players of the Week for their respective leagues.

Correa led the way for the Astros during an impressive week for his club. The 21-year-old hit .333/.407/.875 with three home runs, four doubles, and six runs scored. His impressive work helped the streaking Astros move past their early-season struggles during their 5-1 week, as they now sit just 1 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot.

In Colorado, Blackmon put together a stellar .424/.472/.909 line with five homers and nine runs scored, while hitting safely in all seven of his team's games this week. Only once during the past week of play did the 29-year-old not have a multi-hit game.

This is the third time Blackmon's won the weekly award, but his first since the week of April 6, 2014. It's the first such honor for Correa.

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The Atlanta Braves have designated right-hander Alexi Ogando for assignment and recalled Mauricio Cabrera.

This season, Ogando owned a 3.94 ERA in 32 innings, notching 29 strikeouts while walking 23.

Back in 2011 when he was a starter for the Texas Rangers, Ogando was named an All-Star and finished the season 13-8 with a 3.51 ERA and 126 strikeouts.

Whenever Cabrera makes his first appearance, it will be his major league debut. At Double-A Mississippi, he had a 3.21 ERA in 33 2/3 innings pitched.

Last edited on Tue Jun 28th, 2016 01:21 am by lobo316

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The Miami Marlins have reportedly signed veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to a minor league contract, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

Guthrie will report to Triple-A New Orleans after opting out of his minor league deal with the San Diego Padres earlier this month.

The veteran hasn't pitched in the majors since last September when he was a member of the Kansas City Royals. This year at Triple-A El Paso, he racked up a 6.60 ERA in 11 starts.

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Philadelphia Phillies prospect Matt Imhof's career could be in jeopardy after the second-round selection in the 2014 draft suffered an eye injury after a freak accident during a post-game stretching routine.

The 22-year-old was taking part in a stretch involving arm care band work, when a piece of equipment malfunctioned and struck him in his right eye, according to a source of ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.

The 6-foot-5 left-hander underwent surgery and is recovering. He will likely need extra procedures on the damaged area.

Imhof was drafted 47th overall in 2014 out of California Polytechnic State University, receiving a $1,187,900 signing bonus.

The strapping lefty was 4-3 with a 3.91 ERA for SIngle-A Clearwater prior to his injury but has had some trouble with his control, walking 43 hitters in 53 innings pitched.

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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is done playing games.

The club is 7 1/2 games back of the division lead, and fading, while Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto continue to own the American League East.

Meanwhile, New York is struggling to keep pace.

"We can't keep treading water," Cashman told reporters prior to Monday's game against the Texas Rangers. "I want to be a contender, not a pretender."

Another sticking point in the changes across the locker room is Alex Rodriguez on the bench for a second consecutive game.

A-Rod, the richest player on the team, has two home runs in June and none since June 18. When he saw his name wasn't penciled in again, he was admittedly "a little surprised."

"You haven’t heard the last of me," he said, "and I’m looking forward to, when my number’s called, to come back and be very productive."

When Cashman was asked about why Rodriguez wasn't in the lineup, he said it has nothing to do with the idea of releasing him, because he isn't. It was about the team trying to win games.

"We're trying to get this 2016 going," he said. "We're struggling. It's almost July."

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Kris Bryant etched his name into the Chicago Cubs' history books Monday, establishing a new franchise record with 16 total bases on a magical night at Great American Ball Park in which he went 5-for-5 with three homers and a pair of doubles while driving in six runs.

Bryant, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, is now the first player ever to hit three home runs and two doubles in a game, and set a new single-game franchise record with five extra-base hits, too, en route to an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

"The best game of my whole life, obviously," Bryant told reporters, according to MLB.com's Carrie Muskat. "To hear that, there's so many good players in this game, it's just, I feel so fortunate, so thankful for this opportunity to play on a stage like this every day, and I give it my all and I make the most of every opportunity I get. To hear that, it keeps you coming back."

In the top of the eighth, after Bryant went yard off Ross Ohlendorf for his third homer of the contest, the Cubs fans in attendance tried to coax him out of the dugout for a curtain call, but, being on the road, the 24-year-old passed.

"Guys were pushing me out, but I've never been the type to show up an opponent or anybody. I don't think that's ever happened in baseball and I definitely didn't want to be the first," Bryant said. "I'm just not that type of player. I'm glad my teammates are having fun with it. I'm glad there are a lot of Cubs fans here, but I'm not that guy."

Asked for explanation for his extraordinary performance, Bryant - hitting .175 over his previous dozen games - said he was just due for a big night.

"I haven't really felt 100 percent in terms of my at-bats," Bryant said. "Just kind of grinding them out. But, I don't know what happened tonight. It was just, I figured the last couple weeks haven't been what I wanted, so I figured, you know what, I'm due. Throughout my whole life, I've always been that way, whereas when I'm struggling, I just tell myself I'm ready for a big game, and I guess tonight was the night."

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The New York Yankees' brilliant idea of owning the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings of games with the dynamic trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman may not even last a full season, as teams are already taking a close look at the "Big 3."

Three Chicago Cubs scouts were in attendance Friday to watch the threesome shut down the Minnesota Twins, and they appeared again Saturday to watch the trio do the same, according to the New York Post's George A. King III.

Over the course of the two days, the three relievers struck out nine Twins without allowing a hit over six spotless innings of work.

Chicago, which, despite a recent four-game slide, still sits atop the majors with a 48-25 record, and is obviously interested in adding one or more of the Yankees' dominant relief corps to their bullpen, which sits fourth in the National League in team ERA.

The Cubs have stated their interest in acquiring bullpen help, and with the Yankees potentially moving into sell mode amid a 37-36 season, they may have them in mind as a trade partner.

Chapman, who has saved 15-of-16, will be a free agent after the season and is attached to a $11.325-million salary.

Miller, on the other hand, is still locked in for two more seasons at $9 million per, while Betances is eligible for arbitration for the first time following the season. He's currently making $507,500.

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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez has been benched by Yankees manager Joe Girardi for a second consecutive game with the expectation that A-Rod will not be at DH against most righties in the foreseeable future.

Girardi declined to say he was entering the 40-year-old into a strict platoon with Rodriguez starting against lefties. But Girardi indicated he will choose carefully when Rodriguez will play against righties.

A-Rod is hitting .223 with eight homers and 26 RBIs on the season. Against righties, his OPS is just .584, while versus lefties, it is .837. A-Rod, for his part, vowed this is not the end of him.

"You haven't heard the last of me," Rodriguez said.

A-Rod is being paid $21 million this season. He is owed $21 million for next year, which the Yankees would be obligated to pay even if he were released.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees have had no discussions about releasing Rodriguez.

Girardi said that A-Rod would start on Tuesday against Texas lefty starter Cole Hamels. However, with righties starting on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as a trip to San Diego over the weekend -- where there is no DH -- it is hard to find too many more starts for Rodriguez over the next week. He does not play the field anymore.

The Yankees want to keep right fielder/DH Carlos Beltran healthy, while giving Aaron Hicks and Rob Refsnyder at-bats in right. With Hicks in the field, the Yankees are far superior defensively.

"Like I said, this is a tough decision," Girardi said. "This is something we are looking at."

Cashman started the discussion on reducing Rodriguez's at-bats during a recent meeting in which Cashman asked Girardi and the coaching staff, "How can we better? We have a short sprint now until the trade deadline. This team needs to declare itself as good enough as contenders or not."

The Yankees entered Monday with a 37-37 record. They were 7½ games back in the American League East and 2½ games back in the wild card.

"I want to be a contender, not a pretender," Cashman said. "I don't want to be a pretender."

The coaching staff thought one solution could be reducing Rodriguez's at-bats versus righties.

A-Rod said he was a "little surprised" when Girardi told him about the new plan.

"He just said he is going to start mixing it up," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez has 695 career homers in his controversial career.

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Bruce Bochy's a smart manager and knows a deadly bat when he sees one, having previously managed the likes of Bonds, Gwynn, and Henderson.

Madison Bumgarner is not close to those guys, of course, but the San Francisco Giants left-hander's quickly turned into arguably the best offensive pitcher in decades. He's made such an impression at the plate that Bochy is apparently giving some thought to letting Bumgarner hit in lieu of the designated hitter when he starts against the Athletics in Oakland on Thursday.

When asked about potentially making the shocking move ahead of Monday's game between the Bay Area rivals at AT&T Park, Bochy only told reporters that it's "too early to commit" to that decision.

Though it's fair to question whether the Giants would even be allowed to do this in an AL park, it would actually be perfectly legal. Under AL rules, any team can choose to start a game without their DH and bat a pitcher instead. It might also make a small bit of sense, as Bumgarner's right-handed bat could help balance the team's predominantly left-handed lineup against Oakland southpaw Dillon Overton.

If Bumgarner steps to the plate in Oakland, it would be a historic moment for baseball. While it's happened occasionally and quite unexpectedly in AL games due to an error on the lineup card, only four teams have voluntarily given up the DH to their pitcher since the position debuted in 1973. But none of those instances involved an NL team during an interleague game and it hasn't happened in 40 years.

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Hours after New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard threw one of the shortest outings of his career, sources told Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News that the 23-year-old is pitching with a bone spur and hopes to avoid in-season surgery.

The towering pitcher known throughout baseball as "Thor" responded to the claim almost immediately, denying there's anything wrong with his elbow.

"No, there's nothing structurally wrong with my elbow at all," he told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "My arm feels really good. I've just got be ready to go in five days."

Syndergaard lasted just three innings against the Washington Nationals on Monday, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and walking three.

The flamethrower also left a start Wednesday against the Kansas City Royals after experiencing elbow discomfort, which he said could've been caused by an increased workload.

He's already thrown 94 innings in 16 appearances this season.

The Mets did confirm another Mets starter, Steven Matz, is dealing with a bone spur and is expected to miss his scheduled start Wednesday. Matz is hoping to avoid surgery after experiencing discomfort in his throwing elbow.

Despite his poor outing Monday, Syndergaard is still one of the top pitchers in the National League, owning an 8-3 record with a 2.49 ERA and striking out 115 batters.

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Jon Jay's outstanding first season in San Diego has come to a crashing halt.

The Padres outfielder is reportedly headed to the disabled list after tests revealed he's sustained a broken forearm, according to multiple reports.

Jay hasn't played since leaving the Padres' June 19 game against Washington after being hit by a Gio Gonzalez fastball. X-rays taken after that game came back negative, and manager Andy Green told reporters that the arm was "just a little sore." A CT scan taken Monday, over a week after the injury, finally revealed the break, per Lin.

Jay struggled through a wrist injury in 2015 with the Cardinals but had been experiencing a revival after the Padres acquired him in the winter, posting a .296/.345/.407 line while leading the NL with 24 doubles. Before the injury he was having a red-hot month of June, slashing .356/.390/.466 with eight doubles while hitting safely in all but three of his games this month.

The extended loss of Jay is a huge blow to the struggling and rebuilding Padres, who were expecting to fetch a handsome return for the free-agent-to-be at the trade deadline.

San Diego has reportedly recalled outfielder Alex Dickerson to take Jay's roster spot, according to Mighty 1090 AM's Darren Smith.

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After reports surfac