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 Posted: Mon May 22nd, 2017 02:51 am
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lobo316



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The Boston Red Sox may have their eyes on a possible solution to their hole at third base.

With Boston unable to find a replacement to fill in for Pablo Sandoval who's currently on the disabled list with a knee sprain, the club is reportedly scouting Chicago White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, according to the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo.

Since placing Sandoval on the disabled list in late April, the Red Sox have attempted to fill the void at the hot corner with a mix of Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez, and Deven Marrero, though neither has impressed enough in the month of May to stake a permanent spot at the position.

Frazier, meanwhile, a two-time All-Star during his time with the Cincinnati Reds from 2011-2015, has struggled with the White Sox since arriving in a three-team trade following the 2015 season. In 191 games with Chicago, Frazier is slashing a combined .221/.299/.446 with 44 home runs over two seasons in the Windy City.

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 Posted: Tue May 23rd, 2017 01:03 am
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lobo316



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Following Saturday night's extra-innings contest against the St. Louis Cardinals, Buster Posey and Brandon Belt appeared to have a disagreement in the postgame handshake line.

In the 13th inning with the team up 3-1, Posey kept gesturing that Belt should be playing closer to first base, to prevent Stephen Piscotty from getting a big lead. Following the final out of the game, Posey and Belt stared at each other before the San Francisco Giants' catcher decided to air the grievance in the middle of the diamond.

"Whatever happens between us, it's just going to stay on the field," Posey told Andrew Baggarly of The Mercury News following Sunday afternoon's finale against the Cardinals.

Belt toed the same line that his catcher did, affirming that "stuff happens on the field and we'll just keep it between us."

It was skipper Bruce Bochy that confirmed to Baggarly that Posey was upset about Belt's defensive positioning.

Most of this interaction was missed by the broadcast as it turned away prior to it all happening. However, Posey did look visibly upset in a discussion with battery-mate Mark Melancon immediately following the game.

Despite the disagreement, the Giants came away with the victory - just their 19th win of the season. With the team now nine games back of first place, patience could very well be wearing thin in the Giants clubhouse.

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 Posted: Tue May 23rd, 2017 01:07 am
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lobo316



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Eric Gagne's attempt to revitalize his pitching career is over.

The 41-year-old former Cy Young winner retired just 16 days after signing a contract with the Long Island Ducks, an independent league club.

"He spoke to (Ducks manager) Kevin Baez and said that he gave it everything he had, his body wasn’t responding the way he hoped it would and he decided to call it a career," said Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff, according to Jordan Lauterback of Newsday. "He was a pro. We appreciated having him here and the effort he gave. We wish him nothing but the best."

Gagne, who won the National League's Cy Young award with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003 after saving 55 games, posted a 12.27 ERA across five appearances for the Ducks.

"I’m sure the results weren’t what he had hoped for, but he wanted to give it one last shot to get back to the big leagues and we were happy to give him that opportunity,” Pfaff said.

After appearing for the Canadian national team in the World Baseball Classic and touching 93 mph with his fastball, Gagne drew some interest from big league clubs before signing with the Ducks.

He initially retired from baseball after 10 years in the show, amassing 402 appearances, while saving 187 games.

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 Posted: Tue May 23rd, 2017 01:09 am
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lobo316



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The Washington Nationals may be one of baseball's top teams and the owners of the best record in the National League East, but even they have areas of concern that president and general manager Mike Rizzo is hoping to address.

"Losing games in the ninth inning has been so demoralizing," Rizzo recently told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "It’s certainly not the way you want to go through a season. You look at our team, and all of the great performances and great seasons we’re having, and nobody is talking about it. It’s all about the bullpen and how those guys are struggling. It gets old.

"We’ve got guys that are underperforming in the bullpen, and that’s on me to take care of it."

The ninth inning has been a concern for the Nationals most of the season, with their 'pen combining to post a 5.55 ERA in the game's final frame, and while youngster Koda Glover has recently offered some stability, the Nationals' relief corps hasn't proven effective.

They've posted the second-highest ERA in the big leagues behind only the Seattle Mariners, have saved just 12 of 20 games, and are allowing opposing teams to hit .287, the highest opponent's average allowed by any team in baseball.

Washington's bullpen has been so bad that a report recently surfaced saying the team was internally discussing ninth-inning options such as Kelvin Herrera, Alex Colome, A.J. Ramos, and Roberto Osuna, as well as a possible reunion with Mark Melancon.

The Nationals have also had frequent trade discussions with the Chicago White Sox about closer David Robertson, whom they nearly completed a deal for before spring training, according to sources of Nightengale.

"We’re not afraid to make a trade, but the supply and demand of these elite relievers are far and between. They’re so hard to get," Rizzo explained.

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 Posted: Tue May 23rd, 2017 01:10 am
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lobo316



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The reinvention of Anthony Gose is expected to take its next step forward Monday.

Gose, who spent the past five seasons playing in the outfield, is expected to make his debut as a pitcher for the Tigers' Single-A affiliate in Lakeland.

The 26-year-old has been preparing for this moment for months after he approached the club this past March following his reassignment to minor league camp during spring training.

Gose, who last pitched regularly in high school over nine years ago, fascinated big-league skipper Brad Ausmus during a bullpen session at the end of March.

"I was very impressed," Ausmus told Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press. "His delivery was good. Smooth. Not a lot of effort involved. The ball came out good. Had real good finish."

Gose, a former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Phillies, last appeared in the big leagues in 2016, playing in 30 games and hitting .209/.287/.341.

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 Posted: Tue May 23rd, 2017 01:10 am
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lobo316



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Detroit Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez and Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb were announced as the Players of the Week by Major League Baseball on Monday.

Martinez went on a tear after returning from the disabled list May 12, hitting .389/.607/1.056 with four home runs and 10 walks during the past week to earn the American League honors.

The 29-year-old Martinez is hitting an impressive .407/.579/1.653 overall with six long balls and 12 RBIs.

In the National League, Lamb was part of a potent offensive attack for the Diamondbacks, swatting .412/.565/1.176 over the past week, which included four home runs and 10 RBIs.

Lamb and the Diamondbacks are two games behind the division-leading Colorado Rockies in the NL West.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:25 am
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lobo316



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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Nolan Fontana was called safe and then out on the same play by the same umpire - without a replay review.

Welcome to the majors, kid. Nothing is certain.

Making his major league debut for the Los Angeles Angels, Fontana was initially ruled safe by second base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt on a stolen base attempt in the second inning Monday night against Tampa Bay.

Rays manager Kevin Cash challenged the call - but before there was even a video review, Wendelstedt correctly changed his ruling to out.

"After consulting with me, he said, 'I want to change it myself. I think I erred,'" crew chief Joe West told a pool reporter. "I said, 'OK, it's your call.' So he changed it."

Wendelstedt said an umpire must be honest with himself.

"I committed one of the two errors that normally result in missing a play," Wendelstedt said. "You have good positioning, which I had, and good timing. Most of the time you're going to get them, most of the time, right. I had really bad timing. As soon as my hands were out, I knew that I missed it."

Los Angeles went on to win 3-2.

After the game, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Fontana was indeed out. Scioscia, however, said he'd never seen umpires get together on the field and change a challenged call before an available replay review.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:27 am
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lobo316



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The Washington Nationals could have addressed their closer issues over the offseason if the Chicago White Sox had just eaten more of David Robertson's contract.

Both teams agreed to almost all of the parameters of the trade before spring training, executives with direct knowledge of the deal told Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports: The Nationals would send left-hander Jesus Luzardo and infielder Drew Ward to the South Side in exchange for Robertson. The White Sox were reportedly going to eat roughly $12.5 million of the $25 million remaining on Robertson's deal, though sources said the deal fell through over the money.

Nationals relievers have combined to blow 8-of-20 save opportunities this season and own a 5.40 ERA over 125 innings - the second-worst mark in the majors.

Despite its troubles on the back end, the club sits comfortably with a 6 1/2-game lead in the division and owns the resources needed to acquire an arm. It was reported over the weekend that the front office is looking at a number of potential trade targets including Mark Melancon, A.J. Ramos, Kelvin Herrera, Alex Colome, and Roberto Osuna.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:28 am
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lobo316



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Having sputtered through the first 43 games of the season, the Boston Red Sox could be in need of a major shake-up.

Projected to run away with the American League East this spring, the team sits third in the division entering play Tuesday at 22-21 and is coming off a road trip that saw the Red Sox drop three of four games to the Oakland Athletics.

The underwhelming start could eventually result in the firing of manager John Farrell, who's held the job since the beginning of the 2013 season. While Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports there's no guarantee that Farrell will be fired in the near future, or at all, trouble is brewing in the clubhouse.

"Some players, but not all, believe that (Farrell) does not stand up for them strongly enough to the media when the team is struggling, sources say," Rosenthal writes. "Some also question Farrell's game management, talk that exists in virtually every clubhouse, but some more than others."

Signs of conflict in the clubhouse became visible when Matt Barnes threw at the head of Manny Machado in April, leading an agitated Dustin Pedroia to separate himself from his team's actions. More recently, Farrell and Drew Pomeranz were involved in a testy exchange in the dugout during Saturday's game when the skipper removed the left-hander after four innings and 97 pitches.

"I don't like coming out of games that early," Pomeranz said after the game, according to Evan Drellich of CSN New England. "I gotta do a better job of being more efficient ... It's frustrating. As a starting pitcher, you want to be out there as long as you can."

There's not exactly a long line of options to manage the club should president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski choose to fire Farrell, as Rosenthal notes. Former Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo would have been the logical successor, but he moved on to manage the Arizona Diamondbacks this winter.

Farrell has gone 361-330 during his five seasons in Boston, winning two division titles and the 2013 World Series but posting back-to-back last-place finishes in 2014 and 2015. The club exercised Farrell's option for the 2018 season in December.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:29 am
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lobo316



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Anthony Gose certainly has the velocity that could one day make him a major-league pitcher.

The former outfielder is experimenting as a reliever and made his debut on the mound with Detroit Tigers minor-league affiliate Class-A Lakeland on Monday.

Gose allowed one run off one hit and a walk while striking out a batter in his only inning of work. He hit 99 mph on the radar gun with his first pitch, according to Lakeland assistant general manager Dan Lauer.

The left-hander took over for Lakeland in the top of the ninth with his club trailing 5-1, issuing a leadoff walk followed by a strikeout. A stolen base and a double then resulted in a run, before Gose induced a groundout and pop-up to end the inning.

Gose hit .209/.287/.341 with two home runs and 38 strikeouts in 30 games as an outfielder for the Tigers last season, but will focus solely on pitching with Lakeland.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:30 am
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lobo316



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Joey Bats is returning to his roots.

Toronto Blue Jays star Jose Bautista will make his first start at third base since the 2013 season on Tuesday night when the Canadian side visits the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.

It will be Bautista's third appearance at the hot corner this season; the 36-year-old previously took over the position as a mid-inning defensive replacement on two separate occasions. Prior to this year, Bautista's last work at third base came in three games (two starts) during April 2013.

While he made his name as a superstar playing right field, Bautista initially broke into the majors with Pittsburgh as a third baseman before settling into several years as a utility player. He's played 388 career games at the position since 2004, including a career-high 126 with the Pirates in 2007.

Bautista has been slow to get going at the plate this season but has heated up of late, posting a 1.005 OPS and six home runs since May 1.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:32 am
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lobo316



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Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell is fully aware that his club has not met expectations almost two months into the season.

The Red Sox have dropped three of their last four games and open a three-game set with the red-hot Texas Rangers on Tuesday at Fenway Park sitting at 22-21.

With pressure mounting, it was reported Tuesday that some Red Sox players do not believe their skipper backs them enough to the media when they're struggling, and some in-game management decisions have been scrutinized.

"All I can do is my very best to win games, and let's face it we need to win more games," Farrell told MLB Network Radio on Tuesday in response to being on the hot seat.

The Red Sox sat in a tie atop the AL East on April 18, but haven't been any higher than third place since. Injuries have played a role in their unbalanced play but they can't fully be to blame. Reinforcements are on their way, however, and it will be interesting to see how the club responds when David Price, Pablo Sandoval, Brock Holt, Carson Smith, and potentially Tyler Thornburg return from the disabled list next month.

Farrell is 361-330 (.522) in five seasons with the Red Sox. He helped lead the team to a World Series in 2013, though the team has two last-place finishes and have yet to win a playoff game since. Boston won the division last season, and were eventually swept by the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series.

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:33 am
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lobo316



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The Toronto Blue Jays are ready to welcome back two key pieces to their lineup soon.

Manager John Gibbons said Tuesday that third baseman Josh Donaldson and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki are expected to return this upcoming weekend for their series against the Texas Rangers, according to Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith.


Donaldson has been limited to just nine games this season due to a nagging calf issue originally suffered in spring training.

Tulowitzki has been out since April 21 after injuring his hamstring heading into third base against the Los Angeles Angels.

Earlier this month, Gibbons expressed his hope that both players would return during an upcoming homestand the following week, though those plans were eventually scrapped and both players' timetables were left in the air.

"I couldn't tell you when they're going to play," Gibbons said at the time. "Hopefully, next homestand. Hopefully, at the beginning of the homestand, but that's just guessing. Guessing and hoping."

Last edited on Wed May 24th, 2017 02:34 am by lobo316

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 Posted: Wed May 24th, 2017 02:35 am
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With two American League MVP awards to his name, at the age of 25, Mike Trout hasn't reached his ceiling yet as a baseball player.

The analytical world that consists of extensive advanced stats - such as WAR, for example - already have Trout pegged as one of the best, if not the best ever. Currently in the midst of a brilliant stretch of play, Trout admitted he still doesn't value analytics.

"I don't use any of that, if I think launch angle or look at those stats, I'll get all messed up," he said on Tuesday during an appearance on MLB Network Radio.

Though it's fair to assume he doesn't want to hear about it, Trout has some elite numbers so far this season. Entering Tuesday's game, he's hit .343/.464/.741 which are all higher than anything he's accomplished thus far in his career. However, it's still relatively early in the season.

At this current pace, Trout is projected to finish with 39 home runs and 107 RBIs, while hitting .317/.440/.628 with 9.2 WAR. If he continues to stay healthy throughout the season, it might be safe to say the Los Angeles Angels outfielder is well on his way to his third American League MVP award.

Trout, being the modest man he is, still thinks there's room for growth.

"Once you think you got the game figured out, that will come back to haunt you," he said. "There's always things you can improve on."

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 Posted: Thu May 25th, 2017 02:39 am
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lobo316



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David Ortiz is keeping busy in his retirement, doing the interview circuit for his new book, "Papi: My Story," and sharing some great anecdotes in the process.

When Highly Questionable asked Ortiz about any teammates that he didn't get along with, the Boston Red Sox legend divulged that he did not like playing with A.J. Pierzysnki.

"I want to kill A.J. Pierzynski when we played together," Big Papi said of his former teammate.

Of course, it didn't stay that way. "I was going through some tough time at some point and he was the one that was there for me," Ortiz said. "It was weird the way that happens."

Pierzynski was no stranger to controversy during his career. The catcher was voted the most-hated player in all of baseball in 2012 by a Men's Journal survey of 100 major leaguers - finishing 24 percentage points higher than second-place Alex Rodriguez.

"He's a good guy, man, he's a good guy," Ortiz added. "He had just this way to do things that you would think that he's something else, something different, but at the end of the day he was a good guy."

Pierzynski was a teammate of Ortiz's through the 1998-2002 seasons with the Minnesota Twins as well as the beginning of the 2014 campaign with the Red Sox.

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