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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

MLB tells court attempts at cheating are a part of sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Attempts at cheating are a part of sports, Major League Baseball said in urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants.

Five men sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five said they participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary ...

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QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, fantasy baseball, gambling, lawsuits, mlb

MLB tells court attempts at cheating are a part of sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Attempts at cheating are a part of sports, Major League Baseball said in urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by fantasy contestants.

Five men sued MLB, MLB Advanced Media, the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox in federal court in Manhattan, claiming fraud, violation of consumer-protection laws, negligence, unjust enrichment and deceptive trade practices by teams that violated MLB’s rules against the use of electronics to steal catchers’ signs. The five said they participated in DraftKings fantasy baseball contests.

“Rules violations — large and small, intentional and unintentional, technical and game-changing — are a never-ending source of sports television, talk radio, web and elevator commentary ...

Read More...
QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: cheating, fantasy baseball, gambling, lawsuits, mlb

Which MLB Teams Will Disappoint in 2020?

Every year features its share of surprise teams. Last year the Twins won 103 games, up from 78 the season before. On the flip side, the defending world champion Red Sox dipped from 108 wins in 2018 to a playoff-less, 84-win season in 2019. With that example in mind, which team is going to surprise in all the wrong ways this year? SI’s MLB staff weighs in

Riffing off of this: what differences would be present if this wasn’t just based on how the team will perform compared to last year, but looked at all the ways teams can disappoint us?

QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: disappointment, predictions, teams

Blue Jays To Sign Marc Rzepczynski

The Blue Jays have agreed to a minor league deal with veteran left-hander Marc Rzepczynski, manager Charlie Montoyo revealed when meeting with reporters Monday morning (Twitter link via Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling). Rzepczynski still needs to complete his physical, but once he does, the JBA Sports client will head to Major League camp as a non-roster invitee.

Rzepczynski, 34, didn’t pitch in the big leagues in 2019 — the first time since 2008 that he didn’t pitch at least 10 innings in a big league season. Instead, the southpaw spent the year with the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, where he pitched to a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts against 28 walks in 44 innings of relief. Suffice it to say, the 2019 campaign wasn’t one of ...

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QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:47 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, contracts, marc rzepcyznski

José Altuve loudly booed in his first spring training at bat

The Astros and sign-stealing has, quite obviously, been the story of the offseason. The basic news of the scandal has, quite understandably, led the headlines, but the response to the news on the part of Astros players and officials has managed to perpetuate it. What I originally figured would last only a few weeks before dying down has not, by any stretch of the imagination, died down.

In related news, the Houston Astros made the trip to Lakeland today to take on the Detroit Tigers in a spring training game. You’ll not be surprised that José Altuve, making his first trip to the plate this spring training, was given a less-than-warm greeting by Tigers fans

And so it begins…..

 

QLE Posted: February 25, 2020 at 12:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: boos, dirty rotten cheaters, hit by pitch, jose altuve

Monday, February 24, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-24-2020

Pittsburgh Press, February 24, 1920:

Out of New York the other day came a story to the effect that two well-known players had been dropped from the rolls for gambling on championship baseball games. It is said that the magnates have decided not to tell the names of these men, and to deny emphatically that any “blacklist” has been established against them. Nevertheless, it is reported that these men will never again be given employment in the big show, having simply been informed that their “services are no longer required.”
...
[Quoting Sid Mercer in the New York Globe:] “What are presumed to be the facts behind the reported unconditional release of Lee Magee by the Chicago Cubs have not been published, not will they be unless Magee is ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 24, 2020 at 09:49 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history

LA Times: After striking out as a ballplayer, Brandon Wood finds peace amid family in Montana

Failed prospect succeeds.

Yes, the game chewed him up and spit him out like a Wood chipper a decade ago, a highly touted prospect succumbing to anxiety and pressure that crippled him in the batter’s box.

But there is not a hint of bitterness or regret in his voice as he reflects on a disappointing career in which he hit .186 in 272 big-league games over five seasons while many of his prospect peers became stars.

Wood is 34 and happily married to Elly, 31. They have a 2-year-old son named Brooks — after Garth Brooks, Elly’s favorite country singer, not Brooks Robinson, the Hall of Fame third baseman. They live amid the lush rolling hills of Billings, Mont., in a house that backs up to a farm.

“Life is good,” Wood said in an ...

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Greg Franklin Posted: February 24, 2020 at 07:04 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, history

Ready to Rock? 2020 MLB Ballpark Concerts

Over the years, Major League Baseball ballparks have evolved from hosting more than baseball by expanding into entertainment and welcoming major concerts. This year is no different, with several high-profile tours making stops across MLB’s slate of facilities…

The Stadium Tour brings Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts together…Another classic rock act hitting the road this summer is Guns N’ Roses. On select dates, they will be joined by special guests The Smashing Pumpkins…The Hella Mega Tour will be hitting the road featuring Green Day, Fall Out Boy, Weezer and special guests The Intruders…Dead & Company will once again tour MLB ballparks this summer, with stops scheduled at multiple ...

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NattyBoh Posted: February 24, 2020 at 07:04 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: ballparks, concerts, music

MLBTR: A’s place their Betts on Semien

[block]So, even as the Red Sox determined they couldn’t “sit on [their] hands and lose” Betts without adequate compensation after the coming season, the Athletics decided to keep Semien in roughly analogous circumstances. Well, analogous from a roster talent and postseason odds perspective. The low-budget A’s are the sort of team that’s typically forced to take its Betts-type players off the table on the rationale set forth by Henry, even if it stings, in order to preserve a long-term flow of talent and keep up with deeper-pocketed rivals. Instead, they’re letting their version of Betts ride.

It’s quite the juxtaposition. Perhaps the A’s still have designs on a Semien extension, but it’s far from inevitable and we ...

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How Giants, Farhan Zaidi might choose to use new 26th roster spot

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—As Giants veterans checked into camp last week, a couple of them referred to the 25-man roster in interviews. Like writing a new year on your checks, it’ll take a while for players to adjust to having a 26th man.

But on the second floor of the new facility at Scottsdale Stadium, there already have been plenty of conversations about it.

The front office has an extra roster spot to work with, and few executives will dig that more than Farhan Zaidi, who spent 2019 in an endless roster shuffle as he added depth and talent to the 40-man roster. Zaidi, general manager Scott Harris and manager Gabe Kapler have talked this spring of all the different ways they can go.

As the Giants go through their spring rotation for the ...

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QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 01:36 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: farhan zaidi, giants, rosters

Sunday Notes: Dodgers Prospect Kody Hoese is Calm, Cool, and Collects Hits

Kody Hoese exploded last season at Tulane. In a breakout junior campaign that saw him shoot up draft charts, the right-handed-hitting third baseman slashed a preposterous .391/.486/.779, bashing 23 home runs along the way. Duly impressed, the Los Angeles Dodgers selected Hoese with the 25th pick of the first round.

He proceeded to acclimate well to pro ball. The numbers weren’t nearly as loud as they were with the Green Wave, but his .299/.380/.483 line between rookie-level Arizona and the low-A Great Lakes Loons was more than adequate. In terms of getting his feet wet, Hoese did just fine.

Asking Hoese about the sudden-rise path he took from Tulane to top-shelf prospect unearthed no great revelations. The 22-year-old Griffith, Indiana ...

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Betts draws big cheer, drives in run during Dodgers debut

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Mookie Betts still has some work to do, settling in with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On the field, though, he’s fine.

“The hardest thing is finding a house and learning everybody’s name,” Betts said Sunday after making his Cactus League debut. “The baseball’s the same. We all have the same focus.”

Betts led off and played right field for the Dodgers against the Chicago Cubs at Camelback Ranch. He received an enthusiastic welcome from the sellout crowd of 13,282 when he was introduced before the game with the rest of the Dodger starters and again when he batted in the first inning.

Well, glad that some people like this trade…..

QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:54 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, mookie betts, spring training

Red Sox put former AL MVP Pedroia on 60-day injured list

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — The Boston Red Sox placed second baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injured list Sunday, further putting in doubt whether the former AL MVP will play again.

The Red Sox made the move while claiming right-hander Phillips Valdez off waivers from the Seattle Mariners.

The 36-year-old Pedroia has played just nine games over the last two seasons. The four-time All-Star has spent the time trying to recover from an injury he sustained when Baltimore’s Manny Machado slid spikes-high into his left knee in May 2017.

Pedroia has two years and $25 million remaining on his contract.

 

 

QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dustin pedroia, injured list

Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name

The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly and Zach Buchanan report that Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner has been competing in rodeos under a fake name as recently as December. The fake name is Mason Saunders. Bumgarner explains that “Mason” is shortened from “Madison,” while “Saunders” is his wife’s maiden name.

Bumgarner — err, Saunders — and one of his rodeo partners, Jaxson Tucker, won $26,560 in a team-roping rodeo competition in December. The Rancho Rio Arena posted a picture of the pair on Facebook, highlighting that they roped four steers in 31.36 seconds.

As Baggarly and Buchanan point out, Bumgarner also pointed out in a rodeo competition last March, just a couple days before pitching in a Cactus League game ...

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QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:33 AM | 73 comment(s)
  Beats: madison bumgarner, rodeo

Adding Dozier gives Padres infield options

PEORIA, Ariz.—The Padres added a veteran and a reigning World Series champ to their wide-open second-base race on Sunday.

Brian Dozier agreed to a Minor League deal with San Diego, which includes an invitation to Major League Spring Training. The 32-year-old righty hitter is expected to join the club on Monday, once he completes his physical.

“He’s been to the World Series the last two years in a row,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler. “He’s got a really good track record, a very good resume. He’s played on a lot of winning teams, especially the last couple years. We’re excited to get around him.”

Dozier, who is entering his ninth season in the big leagues, batted .238/.340/.430 with 20 homers and 20 doubles for the Nationals last ...

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QLE Posted: February 24, 2020 at 12:24 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, contracts, hot stove, padres

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Brandon Morrow sidelined with upper chest strain, no timetable for return

Brandon Morrow’s comeback attempt has hit a bump in the road.

Morrow, the Cubs reliever and former closer, has what the club is calling a “mild right upper chest strain,” according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. Bastian added Morrow felt the strain in his last bullpen session and there is no clear timeline for his return.

The strain is the latest ailment to sideline the oft-injured Morrow, who hasn’t pitched since July 2018 due to a series of arm troubles. The 35-year-old has undergone two elbow surgeries since then (November 2018, September 2019) before becoming a free agent this winter. He rejoined the Cubs on a minor-league deal.

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 01:21 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon morrow, injury

Fans heckling Astros spring opener get signs stolen

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Fans hoping to heckle the sign-stealing Houston Astros at their spring opener were met with quite the coincidence.

They got their signs stolen.

In the Astros’ first spring training game since their sign-stealing scandal rocked baseball, some fans brought signs jeering Houston, and ballpark personnel confiscated them before the exhibition opener against the World Series champion Washington Nationals on Saturday night.

In a Series rematch, the Nats got hearty cheers, while everyone in an Astros jersey — including the mascot, Orbit — was booed. Houston did not use any players implicated in MLB’s probe.

The sort of story for which drum riffs seem to be the only appropriate comment…..

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 01:05 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, fans, hecklers, sign-stealing

Hall of Famer Perry leads 7 into SC Athletic Hall of Fame

Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry is among seven named to the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Perry won 314 games over 21 seasons and won the Cy Young Award with the Cleveland Indians in 1972 and the San Diego Padres in 1978. He was also baseball coach at Limestone College in the Palmetto State.

Strange- you’d think that he’d have been in a long time ago…..

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:59 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, gaylord perry

Top pick Rutschman not awed in 1st Orioles’ big league camp

SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — A year ago, Adley Rutschman was a student at Oregon State, and now he’s in his first major league camp.

Nothing overwhelming about that, he says.

Rutschman was the top pick in last June’s draft and signed with the Baltimore Orioles for an $8.1 million bonus. He’s played just 37 minor league games, and yet the 22-year-old switch-hitting catcher is fitting in fine at spring training among 67 other players who all have more experience.

Rutschman is in camp to learn from major league players and coaches — and to show a dwindling fan base there may be some hope for a team that’s averaged over 110 losses the last two seasons.

Someone to follow for the coming year- interesting to see how far he advances, ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:55 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: adley rutschman, orioles, prospects

Hamels rejoins Braves, shoulder still healing

NORTH PORT, Fla. (AP) — Cole Hamels rejoined the Atlanta Braves just in time for their spring training opener. The injured left-hander is still a ways off from using the mound at the club’s new spring home, though.

Hamels signed an $18 million, one-year deal with Atlanta this offseason but informed the team just before camp started that he was experiencing shoulder discomfort during training. The 36-year-old was sent to Dallas to get treatment from surgeon Keith Meister.

Now he’s back but says he’s waiting for inflammation in the shoulder “to calm down.” He expects to remain in North Port after Atlanta breaks camp for opening day.

“I know I’m behind the 8-ball,” he said. “But once I knock (the inflammation) out right ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cole hamels, shoulder

2020 Fantasy Baseball: The Save Game

Wins may be the most challenging part of fantasy baseball to figure out, but closers are the most frustrating. On draft day, I have a tough time using a high draft pick on a one-category player. I also hate chasing closers and closers in waiting around in the free-agent market. The last couple of years in the high stakes games, I’ve tried to cheat saves. At times it can work, but many times a weakness will cost me a bench spot, which hurts my team in other areas. If you cheat saves and you’re mistaken, you need to roster more inventory to increase your chances of finding the next closer to earn a job.

In the high stake’s market in 15-team leagues in most seasons, you need about 85 to 90 saves on the year (about 3.5 saves per week) in ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:43 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fantasy baseball, relievers are inherently fungible, saves

Blue Jays games will be blacked out on MLB.TV in Canada

Canadian MLB.TV subscribers received an email yesterday that informed them that Blue Jays games will no longer be able to be streamed live on the league’s streaming service. Those wishing to stream Jays games will now need to subscribe to Sportsnet NOW, a streaming service provided by the broadcasting network that carries Jays games on television.

As Andrew Stoeten wrote in The Athletic, Canadian subscribers were unable to view the Jays live on MLB.TV until the mid 2010’s, when the restriction was lifted. MLB.TV subsequently became a popular purchase for Canadian fans.

Sportsnet is owned by Rogers Media, which also owns the Jays. Clearly this is meant to be a moneymaking opportunity for Rogers, but it’s remarkably shortsighted and ...

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QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blackouts, blue jays, broadcasting, canada, mlb.tv

Red Sox Name Jerry Narron As Bench Coach After Three Seasons With Diamondbacks

When the Boston Red Sox named Ron Roenicke the interim manager, they needed to fill the void of bench coach that was left behind.

And now the team has its guy.

The Red Sox on Saturday announced they have named Jerry Narron as the bench coach. Narron previously was with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a part of their coaching staff. Narron also served as Boston’s bench coach in 2003.

 

QLE Posted: February 23, 2020 at 12:35 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bench coaches, jerry narron, red sox

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Phillies will unveil a new-look Phanatic on Sunday

CLEARWATER, Fla. — You might have heard that slugger Rhys Hoskins made some changes to his batting stance and swing over the winter.

Hoskins isn’t the only prominent Phillie who made some adjustments in the off-season.

Word around Phillies spring training camp is that the Phanatic has made a few alterations himself. Fans will get a peek at the Big Green Guy’s new look Sunday when the Phillies host the Pittsburgh Pirates at Spectrum Field. Aaron Nola will be the Phillies’ starting pitcher, Hoskins will be in the lineup, and, yes, the game will be televised on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Don’t fret, Phanatic fans.

A story about how the desire for cash is about to lead to changes to a beloved mascot.

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:55 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dollah dollah bills, y'all, lawsuits, makeovers, mascots, philly phanatic

MLB Rumors: Ex-Red Sox pitcher Daniel Bard joins Rockies amid comeback attempt

Daniel Bard’s comeback dream might become a reality.

The former Boston Red Sox pitcher has signed a minor-league contract with the Colorado Rockies, The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders reported Friday.

Bard was a Red Sox first-round draft pick in 2006 and spent four seasons with Boston from 2009 to 2013. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 1.93 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 2010 and appeared to be in line to succeed Jonathan Papelbon as the Red Sox’ closer.

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:42 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: comebacks, daniel bard, rockies

Remember Rusney Castillo? He’ll make $14 million in Triple-A, then finally become a free agent

FORT MYERS, Fla.—On an unseasonably cool Florida afternoon, Red Sox regulars scattered like mice before the start of the annual spring training exhibition vs. Northeastern.

None of them were going to play, and therefore, none had to stay, the promise of a rare afternoon off beckoning like an oasis.

So in their place, a parade of prospects, minor leaguers, and fringe performers comprised the starting nine. Some—such as center fielder Jarren Duran—may have a future in Boston. Others—such as third baseman Chad De La Guerra or left fielder John Andreoli—are household names only in their own households.

But there, batting cleanup and playing right field, was a man with more name recognition than all of them combined, finishing his Red Sox ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:20 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: free agency, rusney castillo, triple a

Let’s Dole Out Some Twists of Fate, National League Edition

Black swan events are a defining feature of each baseball season. Like any good sport, the contours of the game elicit a comfortable and familiar warmth. But also like any good sport, the details that make up the fabric of a particular contest or campaign are essentially unpredictable. It’s the round ball, round bat game: Weird stuff happens all the time.

Once they happen though, unexpected events have a way of enmeshing themselves in the game’s broader narrative as if they were just another ad on the outfield wall. Our brains struggle to handle surprises, and so we rationalize them. For a time, it was very weird that Lucas Giolito suddenly looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball; by the time the Cy Young ballots were ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:10 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: narratives, national league, twists of fate

The Obscenely Early ZiPS Projected Standings

Naturally, once the ZiPS elves have finished baking the ZiPS, the first thing I want to do — at least after actually getting some sleep — is to crank out some ZiPS projected standings. So let’s wrap up ZiPS Week (I’m possibly the only person calling it this) by doing the first run of the ZiPS projected standings for the 2020 season.

The methodology I use is not identical to the one we use in our Standings, so there will naturally be some important differences in the results. So how does ZiPS calculate the season?

Stored within ZiPS is the first through 99th percentile projections for each player it projects. I start by making a generalized depth chart, using our depth charts as an initial starting point. Since these are my ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 01:04 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: projections, zips

An Angell at Spring Training

What I know about spring training I know because of Roger Angell. With conversational elegance and a tireless spirit, he has described this annual baseball ritual as a romantic interlude, more experience than sport, that surely can’t be as romantic as Angell makes it seem.

Angell, a renowned editor and essayist at The New Yorker, has resided, figuratively, since 2014 in Cooperstown, N.Y., at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. No writer may be more deserving.

I’m now working on my sixth decade, and one of my most passionate baseball memories is the dog-eared paperback of an Angell essay collection that sat on my bedside nightstand for much of my youth. Late Innings: A Baseball Companion, published in 1982, is biblical in ...

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QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:57 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: roger angell, spring training

Alcántara, 3 minor leaguers banned for positive drug tests

NEW YORK (AP) — Free agent pitcher Victor Alcántara was suspended for 80 games Friday under the major league drug program following a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Stanozolol.

The 26-year-old right-hander was 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA last season in 46 relief appearances for the Detroit Tigers. He became a free agent last fall after he was assigned outright to Triple-A Toledo on Oct. 24.

Alcántara made his major league debut in September 2017 and was 4-3 with a 4.28 ERA in 79 games over three seasons with the Tigers.

He is the fourth player suspended this year under the big league program after Houston pitcher Francis Martes, Pittsburgh outfielder/infielder Pablo Reyes and Colorado pitcher Justin Lawrence.

 

QLE Posted: February 22, 2020 at 12:53 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: ped suspensions, stanozolol, victor alcantara

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