Major League Baseball
MLB News Wire
  • Improved A's expect record home crowd Saturday night against Giants
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    The resurgent Oakland A's are expected to set the all-time baseball attendance record at their home stadium when they host the San Francisco Giants Saturday night. The crowd also is expected to be the largest in major league baseball this season.

    • The game is sold out, and the stadium capacity is 56,782. The largest baseball crowd ever in the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was 55,989 on June 26, 2004, for a game also against the cross-Bay rival Giants. All seats in Mt. Davis, the upper deck that usually is covered by tarp, were sold by Friday night.

      The Mt. Davis section is open for the first time in 13 seasons.

      The biggest major-league crowd this season came on June 26 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, when 53,904 fans watched the Cubs and Dodgers.

      Oakland averaged 18,446 fans per game in 2017, which was second to last in the major leagues, and finished last in the American League West. This season, the A's are 55-43 and in third place in the division, nine games behind Houston and also trailing second-place Seattle.

      The A's-Giants drew a crowd of 45,606 on Friday, and fans waited 45 minutes or longer to get into the Coliseum parking lots, despite pleas by the team to take public transit.

      Limited tickets remained Saturday morning for the Sunday game against the Giants.

      --Field Level Media

  • Yankees call up P Acevedo from Double-A to help in bullpen
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    The New York Yankees have called up one of their top prospects, hard-throwing right-handed pitcher Domingo Acevedo, from Double-A Trenton, the team announced Saturday.

    • MLB Pipeline ranks Acevedo as the Yankees' No. 7 prospect. The 6-foot-7 Acevedo typically throws in the mid- to high-90 mph range but can hit triple digits.

      In a corresponding move, the Yankees optioned pitcher Domingo German to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. German started Friday night's Subway Series opener against the Mets and took the loss. He lasted 3 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on five hits and two walks.

      This is the first trip to the majors for Acevedo, 24, who is expected to pitch in relief, with Luis Cessa taking over German's starting role.

      At Trenton, Acevedo is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA over 50 2/3 innings. He has started eight of the 11 games he's appeared in, and missed about six weeks with a blister.

      Touted for his triple-digit velocity and his 6-foot-7 frame, Acevedo climbed the Minor League ladder last year all the way to Triple-A and logged a career-high 133 innings. His velocity typically registers in the mid- to high-90s as a starter, and he complements his fastball with a changeup and a slider. According to scouting reports, Acevedo could blossom into a high-leverage reliever.

      --Field Level Media

  • Callaway surprised by Cespedes' offseason surgery talk
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    Yoenis Cespedes made a triumphant return to the New York Mets on Friday, hitting a home run and reaching base three times in a 7-5 victory over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

    • But afterward, Cespedes delivered some sobering news that despite his return from the disabled list, he could need an offseason procedure that would sideline him for part of next season.

      Cespedes was activated after missing over two months with a right hip flexor strain, but it's his heels that have him worried.

      "Cespedes says that the cause of his medical issues is calcification in both heels. He says the only way to fix the issue is surgery. He's considering it for the off-season, but the recovery time is apparently 8-10 months," Mets field reporter Steve Gelbs said in a tweet after the game.

      Cespedes shrugged when asked if he'd be able to finish the season.

      Mets manager Mickey Callaway left Cespedes out of Saturday's starting lineup and said Friday's comments were news to him. "(I'm) not quite exactly sure what he said," Callaway said, deflecting further questions.

      Callaway said Cespedes arrived at the ballpark "pretty sore" on Saturday, a development he called "concerning."

      Cespedes, 32, is batting .262 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 38 games this season. He played in just 213 games total over the previous two seasons with the Mets and is owed nearly $60 million over the next two seasons.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cardinals send P Martinez (oblique strain) to DL, make other roster moves
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    The St. Louis Cardinals announced a handful of roster moves involving right-handed pitchers Saturday morning. The roster shuffle came before the Cardinals will play a day/night doubleheader on the road against the Chicago Cubs.

    • The team activated Miles Mikolas from the paternity list and Luke Weaver from the taxi squad as the 26th man. The Cardinals placed Carlos Martinez on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Friday, with a right oblique strain.

      Additionally, the team recalled John Brebbia from Triple-A Memphis and sent Matt Bowman back to Memphis.

      Martinez, who also was on the disabled list from May 9 to June 4 with a right lat strain, started for the Cardinals Thursday night in a loss for St. Louis. He's now 6-6 with a 3.39 ERA. He has started 17 games this season.

      Weaver (5-8, 4.72) is scheduled to start Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader at Wrigley Field. Mikolas, who made the All-Star team, is the scheduled starting pitcher on Sunday.

      Brebbia has pitched in 27 games for St. Louis this season and is 1-3 with two saves and a 4.13 ERA. This will be his fifth trip to the Cardinals this season.

      -- Field Level Media

  • Red Sox activate Devers, send Poyner to Triple-A
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    The Boston Red Sox activated third baseman Rafael Devers from the 10-day disabled list Saturday morning, the team announced.

    • In a corresponding move, the Red Sox optioned left-handed pitcher Bobby Poyner to Triple-A Pawtucket.

      Devers, 21, went on the 10-day disabled list on July 12, retroactive to July 11, with left shoulder inflammation. In his first full major league season, he is batting .241 with 14 home runs and 48 RBI in 89 games. Since June 6, he has batted .275. The Red Sox signed him as an international free agent in 2013, and in Game 3 of the 2017 American League Division Series, he became the youngest player ever to hit a home run for the Red Sox in the postseason.

      Poyner, 25, has made 10 relief appearances over five stints with the Red Sox this year. He has given up two runs and 12 hits over 10 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and a walk. His ERA is 1.69.

      The Red Sox play at Detroit Saturday night.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB roundup: Carpenter makes history in Cardinals rout
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    Matt Carpenter hit three home runs and drove in seven runs to back five strong innings of pitching from Jack Flaherty as the St. Louis Cardinals powered their way past the host Chicago Cubs 18-5 on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

    • Carpenter also slugged two doubles as part of his 5-for-5 performance, becoming the second player ever to hit three homers and two doubles in the same game. The Cubs' Kris Bryant first accomplished the feat in 2016.

      Carpenter tied the major league record with five extra-base hits in a game, and he's the first player to record the feat in the first six innings of a game. He was replaced defensively in the bottom of the sixth with the Cardinals leading 15-1.

      In an effort to conserve his bullpen for a doubleheader Saturday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon used three position players to pitch the final 3 1/3 innings. Infielder Tommy La Stella (three hits, one run) came to the mound first, followed by catcher Victor Caratini (two hits, two runs) and outfielder Ian Happ (one hit, no runs).

      Dodgers 6, Brewers 4

      Manny Machado went 2-for-3 with two walks in his team debut, and Los Angeles held on for a win at Milwaukee.

      Machado, who wore No. 8 and played shortstop, singled in the first inning, walked in the third and fifth and singled in the seventh. The Dodgers acquired the four-time All-Star on Wednesday for five prospects.

      Enrique Hernandez clubbed a three-run homer for the Dodgers. Christian Yelich went 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBIs for Milwaukee, which has lost seven straight.

      Astros 3, Angels 1

      Dallas Keuchel flirted with a no-hitter before settling for a two-hit performance over 7 2/3 innings in Houston's victory over host Los Angeles.

      Keuchel (8-8) did not allow a hit until Justin Upton singled off the glove of shortstop Marwin Gonzalez with two out in the seventh inning. The Angels scored a run in the eighth inning off Keuchel on a sacrifice fly by Jabari Blash.

      Hector Rondon pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season. Josh Reddick led the Astros offensively with two hits, including an RBI triple.

      Mets 7, Yankees 5

      Yoenis Cespedes homered and reached base three times as the New York Mets held on for a victory over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

      Cespedes was activated from the disabled list before the game after missing over two months with a right hip flexor strain. He started at designated hitter and batted second, hitting a fastball off the middle of the left field pole in the third inning for his ninth homer of the season.

      Noah Syndergaard (6-1) lasted five innings in his second start back from the disabled list. He held the Yankees to one run on eight hits, but his velocity appeared to dip in the last two innings. Syndergaard said afterward he had "dead arm," but he expects to make his next start.

      Red Sox 1, Tigers 0

      David Price and three relievers silenced Detroit, and visiting Boston made a first-inning run stand up in a shutout win.

      Price (11-6) allowed four hits and a walk while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 31st save.

      Steve Pearce had two hits and drove in the game's lone run while Andrew Benintendi added two hits and scored the run. Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt left the game in the fourth inning with a knee contusion.

      Pirates 12, Reds 1

      Sean Rodriguez, just off the disabled list, homered and drove in four runs, Starling Marte hit a grand slam and Corey Dickerson also homered as red-hot Pittsburgh won its seventh straight by beating host Cincinnati.

      Heavy rain delayed the start of the game by almost three hours.

      Marte doubled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, matching his career best, before crushing a pitch 421 feet to right-center in the eighth inning for the second slam of his career.

      Braves 8, Nationals 5

      Freddie Freeman drove in three runs while Ronald Acuna Jr. and Charlie Culberson both homered as Atlanta defeated host Washington.

      Freeman (2-for-5) knocked in one run on a grounder and two more on a double. Culberson pinch-hit for Ozzie Albies in the third -- Atlanta took him out as a precaution due to right hamstring tightness -- and later hit a solo homer.

      Washington starter Stephen Strasburg (6-7) returned from the disabled list (right shoulder inflammation) to pitch for the first time since June 8. However, the veteran right-hander struggled on his 30th birthday, giving up six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. After Strasburg was pulled, he was greeted at the dugout by Max Scherzer, where the two exchanged words before both heading down the tunnel toward the locker room.

      Phillies 11, Padres 5

      Carlos Santana homered and five Philadelphia relievers combined to toss 5 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over visiting San Diego.

      Phillies starter Jake Arrieta struggled mightily as he lasted only 3 1/3 innings while giving up six hits and five runs (four earned). Austin Davis (1-0) earned his first career win with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

      Freddy Galvis, playing against his former team for the first time, had three hits and two RBIs while Wil Myers added two hits, an RBI and run scored for the Padres.

      Rockies 11, Diamondbacks 10

      Pinch hitter Raimel Tapia hit his first career grand slam to cap a six-run seventh inning and Nolan Arenado hit his 24th and 25th homers to move into a tie for the National League lead as Colorado topped host Arizona in a slugfest.

      Arenado had two-run homers in the first and fifth innings for the Rockies, who have won six straight and 14 of their last 17 to get within a half-game of the Diamondbacks for second place in the NL West.

      A.J. Pollock set a career-high with five hits and scored three runs, Ketel Marte had a career-high four RBIs and David Peralta had four hits and scored three runs for Arizona, which has lost 11 of 17.

      Blue Jays 8, Orioles 7 (10 innings)

      Aledmys Diaz had four hits, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning, and Toronto defeated visiting Baltimore.

      After the Orioles tied the game with a three-run ninth, the Blue Jays won the game in the 10th against rookie left-hander Paul Fry (0-1).

      Russell Martin hit a two-out infield single on a grounder to shortstop. Randal Grichuk walked and Diaz, who also had a solo homer in the game, singled on a grounder that found a hole through the left side of the infield as Martin ran home.

      Indians 9, Rangers 8 (11 innings)

      Edwin Encarnacion hit an RBI single in the top of the 11th inning to snap a tie and lift new-look Cleveland to a win at Texas.

      Brad Hand and Austin Cimber, added in a trade with the Padres on Thursday, made their debuts and appeared as if they would bridge the Indians to a routine win when they combined to allow a run over 1 2/3 innings in setting up closer Cody Allen. But after retiring the first two batters of the ninth, Allen gave up mammoth homers to Robinson Chirinos and Joey Gallo on consecutive pitches.

      Jose Ramirez hit his major-league-leading 30th homer in the contest. The Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo reached base for the 52nd consecutive game, the longest such streak in the majors since Kevin Millar hit that mark in 2007.

      Mariners 3, White Sox 1

      Wade LeBlanc allowed one run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings and Nelson Cruz drove in two runs as Seattle snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory against visiting Chicago.

      LeBlanc (6-1) walked one batter and struck out 10, tying his career high set on Sept. 23, 2011, while a member of the Padres.

      Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his major-league-leading 37th save of the season.

      Marlins 6, Rays 5

      Derek Dietrich pulled two homers to right field and piled up four RBIs to lead Miami to a win at Tampa Bay.

      Tampa Bay rallied in the bottom of the ninth on a one-out, three-run triple by Mallex Smith against reliever Drew Steckenrider, who had just entered the game.

      Steckenrider then allowed a sacrifice fly by C.J. Cron, and Adam Conley got the final out -- striking out Daniel Robertson with two runners on -- for his first save in eight years as a pro.

      Royals 6, Twins 5

      Lucas Duda homered and had three hits and three RBIs and Danny Duffy gave up just one run and five hits over seven innings as Kansas City held off visiting Minnesota.

      Duffy (6-8) struck out four and walked three while yielding five singles as Kansas City won for just the third time in its last 16 games.

      Salvador Perez had a two-run double, and Alcides Escobar added two hits for the Royals. Brandon Maurer got the final out during a nail-biting three-run ninth by the Twins to earn his first save.

      Giants 5, Athletics 1

      Ryder Jones and Pablo Sandoval homered to back the strong pitching of rookie Dereck Rodriguez, helping San Francisco win at Oakland.

      The game was tied 1-1 before Jones, recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day when Brandon Belt went on paternity leave, blasted an Edwin Jackson pitch off the right field foul pole leading off the fifth inning. Sandoval made it 3-1 in the seventh with his ninth homer of the season, another solo shot.

      Rodriguez (5-1), picked to open the Giants' second half ahead of Madison Bumgarner, limited the A's to three hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

      --Field Level Media

  • Angels' Scioscia 'encouraged' as Ohtani begins throwing
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani threw from 60 feet and played catch a day after being cleared to resume throwing following a six-week checkup on the sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

    • "We're very happy," manager Mike Scioscia told reporters Friday. "We're excited about him being able to throw. Hopefully he'll start that journey to get back to pitching for us. I think we're encouraged with this step, but there's obviously some hurdles he's going to have to get over before he's throwing in a game. Hopefully we'll continue to get good news as he moves through his progression."

      Ohtani, who pitches right-handed, went on the disabled list June 8 with a Grade 2 sprain of his right UCL. He returned to action on July 3, but only as a designated hitter. At the time of Ohtani's reactivation, general manager Billy Eppler said it would still be three weeks before Ohtani would be re-evaluated with regard to his ability to pitch.

      At the time, Eppler would not say whether or not Ohtani would pitch again this season, but he maintained the team's optimism that Tommy John surgery -- which would likely sideline Ohtani until 2020 -- would not be needed.

      Scioscia reiterated that mindset Friday.

      "It's very tough to foresee the future," he said, "but we do anticipate him pitching for us this year if everything with his rehab goes as planned."

      If the Angels do get Ohtani close to rehab starts, they could have him throw simulated games instead of sending him to the minors, which would require a DL stint.

      "It's going to require some creativity," Eppler said Friday.

      "We just need to do what's best for the player. If it lends itself to him making starts here, great. If it takes longer, then it takes longer. We just have to stay flexible."

      Ohtani, 24, is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts as a pitcher this season and has struck out 61 batters in 49 1/3 innings. He also is batting .277 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 45 games after striking out in all three of his at-bats against the Houston Astros on Friday.

      --Field Level Media

  • Strasburg, Scherzer mum after heated dugout spat
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    It wasn't the happiest 30th birthday for Stephen Strasburg.

    • Not only did the Washington Nationals' longtime ace lose in his return from the disabled list Friday against the Atlanta Braves, but he got into a verbal altercation with All-Star teammate Max Scherzer in the dugout after getting pulled from the game in the fifth inning.

      It was not exactly what the Nationals were hoping for coming out of All-Star week after limping to the break having lost 22 of 33 games, and falling to .500 in third place in the National League East behind Philadelphia and Atlanta.

      Hoping for a boost from the return of their three-time All-Star right-hander, who was pitching for the first time since June 8 after an extended DL stint due to right shoulder inflammation, Strasburg didn't make it past the fifth inning. Strasburg allowed six runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings, and was pulled after giving up the fourth Braves hit in a three-run fifth inning that pushed Atlanta's lead to 6-2.

      As he entered the dugout, Scherzer patted Strasburg on the shoulder as he passed by. Cameras caught Strasburg appear to say something back to Scherzer, igniting a visible and animated exchange, although nothing physical was involved. Both pitchers quickly left the dugout for the clubhouse tunnel.

      After the game, manager Dave Martinez held a private meeting with his pitching staff.

      When asked by media members about the incident, Strasburg replied, "Part of family. You have to be in the family (to know)." Scherzer was not available for comment after the game.

      With the defeat, Strasburg is 6-7 in 14 starts this season, with 101 strikeouts in 85.1 innings. He has not finished a season with a losing record since 2013, when he was 8-9 with a 3.00 ERA. The nine-year veteran currently owns a 3.90 ERA, which is higher than any single-season ERA in his career.

      --Field Level Media

  • Braves' Albies to miss games with hamstring injury
    By Field Level Media / Saturday, July 21, 2018

    The Atlanta Braves will stay away from All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies for "a day or two" after he left Friday's game against the Washington Nationals in the third inning as a precaution due to right hamstring tightness.

    • Albies hit an RBI double in the first inning, stole third base and scored on a Freddie Freeman grounder to third. The 21-year-old was pinch-hit for by Charlie Culberson in the third inning.

      Culberson would later homer in the contest, as the Braves beat the Nationals 8-5.

      Albies is hitting .283 with 20 home runs, 56 RBIs and 10 steals on the season, his second in the majors with the Braves. He leads the National League in runs scored (75) and extra-base hits (53).

      "He felt [the hamstring] enough that I didn't want to take any chances," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker told reporters after the game. "We'll just go day-to-day with him so we can stay in front of it."

      The Braves are a half-game back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mariners GM Dipoto: Cano could play 1B upon return
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    Robinson Cano's return to the Seattle Mariners' lineup when he becomes eligible Aug. 14 may include a change of position, according to general manager Jerry Dipoto.

    • Without their everyday second baseman in the lineup, the Mariners have turned to Dee Gordon at second. Gordon isn't likely to relinquish that spot even when Cano returns in mid-August, meaning the Mariners might shift Cano to first in order to get his bat in a lineup that desperately needs more pop.

      "There may be a time, especially mid-August to the end of the season where [Gordon] slides out to center field for a day," Dipoto said. "But primarily he's going to play second base. We sat down and talked with Robbie, and he said again, 'Whatever I need to help this team get to the postseason.' He was great about it."

      The Mariners are in the thick of playoff race, entering Friday trailing the Houston Astros by five games in the American League West while sitting in a tie with the New York Yankees at the top of the AL wild-card standings.

      At first base, Cano would replace current starter Ryon Healy, who is hitting .240/.270/.447 with 18 home runs and 46 RBIs.

      "Robbie has really good hands," Dipoto said. "So I think transitioning to first base as an alternative position is something that once he does it once, he'll realize how good he can be at it."

      Cano, 35, was suspended 80 games after he tested positive for the banned substance furosemide, a diuretic which is often used to help mask banned substances in urine tests. He began serving his suspension in May.

      The eight-time All-Star is working out in his native Dominican Republic, training for his return to Seattle's lineup with former major-leaguers and young prospects at a baseball facility he and his father own. He'll likely begin an official rehab stint in the minor leagues before rejoining the Mariners' lineup once he is eligible to return from his suspension. While Cano can help the Mariners make a playoff push, he is not eligible to participate in the postseason.

      The Mariners, who have longest playoff drought in major American sports -- last reaching the playoffs in 2001 -- were 23-17 when Cano was suspended and have gone 35-22 since. Most of that success centered on the starting pitching, and the offense struggled, amassing the worst run differential among any of the playoff contenders.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Nationals activate Strasburg, Zimmerman
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Washington Nationals officially activated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day disabled list before his scheduled start Friday evening against the Atlanta Braves.

    • Manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Tuesday that Strasburg, who last pitched June 8 and is returning from right shoulder inflammation, would start the second-half opener on Friday.

      First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was also activated, from the 60-day DL, after he had been out since May 9 with a right oblique strain. Zimmerman was not in the starting lineup Friday, as Matt Adams got the nod at first base.

      The moves are a big boost for the Nationals, who ended the first half 48-48, 5 1/2 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

      -- Around the same time the Los Angeles Dodgers officially activated newly acquired shortstop Manny Machado, the four-time All-Star bid farewell and thanked the Baltimore Orioles and their fans.

      Machado, who was dealt to L.A. on Wednesday for five prospects headlined by outfielder Yusniel Diaz, wrote a lengthy post on Instagram to the team he spent more than eight years with and the fans who cheered him along the way.

      "I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn't an easy way to do it," Machado wrote. "I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could've imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I've enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart!"

      --The Seattle Mariners announced they have reached agreement on a multi-year contract extension with manager Scott Servais. Terms were not disclosed.

      Servais, 51, was hired in 2016 following 10 years in player development roles. The Mariners are 222-199 (.527) during his tenure, making Servais the fourth-winningest manager in franchise history. He has the fifth-most wins of any manager in the majors since being hired.

      Seattle entered the All-Star break with a 58-39 record, second to the Houston Astros in the American League West while also occupying the second wild card spot in the AL.

      --Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader made good on his word, apologizing to his teammates after years-old racist and anti-gay tweets surfaced during Tuesday's All-Star Game.

      Hader had apologized when speaking to reporters Tuesday night about the controversial comments, and he said he intended to apologize to the team.

      Hader also met with Billy Bean, Major League Baseball's vice president for social responsibility and inclusion, for roughly two hours to begin sensitivity training mandated to him by the league. "That's a young man who is in a tremendous amount of pain," Bean said of Hader.

      -- The New York Mets activated outfielder Yoenis Cespedes prior to their game at the New York Yankees.

      Cespedes has been on the disabled list since May 14 due to a hip flexor. He will bat second as the Mets' designated hitter in his return.

      The club also announced the recall of right-hander Drew Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas, while optioning infielder Dominic Smith and right-hander Corey Oswalt to the same club.

      -- The Baltimore Orioles designated struggling right-hander Chris Tillman for assignment, perhaps signaling the end to the 30-year-old's tenure with the club.

      The former All-Star was just 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA before going on the disabled list with a back injury after two disastrous outings in May. He was also shelled during his rehab starts as minor leaguers batted .333 against him. He compiled an 0-3 mark and 6.75 ERA in six starts at four different destinations.

      Tillman went 56-30 from 2013-16 before falling on hard times. He suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder late in the 2016 campaign and never regained his form. He went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 appearances (19 starts) for the Orioles in 2017 before this year's struggles.

      --The Texas Rangers placed outfielder Nomar Mazara on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right thumb, retroactive to July 17.

      In a corresponding move, the Rangers recalled outfielder Willie Calhoun from Triple-A Round Rock.

      Mazara was injured prior to the All-Star break in a game at Baltimore last Saturday. He finished that game but sat out Texas' final game before the break last Sunday. The 23-year-old is hitting .272 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 91 games this season.

      --The Detroit Tigers placed right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

      The Tigers also activated outfielder Leonys Martin from the disabled list, optioned outfielder Mikie Mahtook to Triple-A Toledo and recalled pitcher Victor Alcantara from Toledo.

      Fulmer was set to start Sunday against Boston and was considered a top trade target for teams looking to add starting pitching. Now he is unlikely to be moved prior to the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline.

      --The Chicago White Sox activated outfielder Nicky Delmonico prior to their game against the Seattle Mariners.

      Delmonico was placed on the 10-day disabled list on May 19 due to a fractured right hand suffered the night before.

      The 26-year-old batted .224 with one homer and seven RBIs in 37 games prior to the injury.

      --Field Level Media

  • Brewers' Hader apologizes to teammates for tweets
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader made good on his word, apologizing to his teammates ahead of Friday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers after years-old racist and anti-gay tweets surfaced during Tuesday's All-Star Game.

    • Hader had apologized when speaking to reporters Tuesday night about the controversial comments, and he said he intended to apologize to the team.

      "I just wanted them to know I'm sorry for what I did back in the day and the mistakes I made," Hader told reporters after Friday's meeting. "That they're a family to me and they weren't what I meant.

      "I'm grateful for having my teammates behind me and supporting me. I hope they know the person I truly am."

      As he said Tuesday, Hader, 24, stressed to his teammates that the thoughts expressed in his tweets seven years ago weren't similar to what he thinks today.

      "They were never my beliefs," he said. "I was young. It was stuff out of ignorance and not what I meant.

      "I regret mistakes I made in the past. They don't resemble the person I am now. That's not my beliefs at all. It's tough because of people I hurt by those tweets. That's not something I wanted to do. It hurts me deeply."

      Hader was emotional during the meeting, and the remorse he showed helped earn the support of his teammates.

      "It's always tough to see a grown man cry," outfielder Brett Phillips, a close friend of Hader's, said. "You could see the sincerity and hear the sincerity in his voice. He's very upset. Today was big for him. You could tell he's very sorry. He apologized to all of us. From here, it's just moving forward, as tough as that's going to be.

      "We know who Josh Hader is as a person. He's a great person; he's a great teammate. He respects everyone he meets. Obviously, we were all in disbelief when this came out because this isn't who he is. I've lived with Josh the last four years. Not once has he made me feel he is (the person) in those tweets."

      Manager Craig Counsell also extended his support.

      "He offered some very heartfelt, emotional comments to the team," Counsell said. "He's emotional, very remorseful. In there, really, he's asking for support. He's asking because he's hurting. We're supporting him and trying to extract some positives out of a tough situation."

      Earlier Friday, Hader met with Billy Bean, Major League Baseball's vice president for social responsibility and inclusion, for roughly two hours to begin sensitivity training mandated to him by the league.

      "That's a young man who is in a tremendous amount of pain," Bean said of Hader. "I sympathize for him tremendously. I was really proud of him today, the way he wanted to convey that he let his teammates down. He wants to repair that more than anything."

      Hader has a 1.50 ERA and has struck out 89 batters in 48 innings with the Brewers this season. In addition to apologizing to his teammates, he also provided a message to Milwaukee fans.

      "I hope that from people I've touched and come across, they know who I truly am," he said. "I made mistakes. I'm not perfect. I've grown as a person. Baseball really helped me grow.

      "I just have to move on from my mistakes. That's not the person I am."

      --Field Level Media

  • Tigers put Fulmer on DL, Martin returns to lineup
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Detroit Tigers have put right-handed pitcher Michael Fulmer on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, the team announced Friday.

    • The Tigers also activated outfielder Leonys Martin from the disabled list, optioned outfielder Mikie Mahtook to Triple-A Toledo and recalled pitcher Victor Alcantara from Toledo.

      Fulmer was set to start Sunday against Boston, and was considered a top trade target for teams looking to add starting pitching. Now he is unlikely to be moved prior to the July 31 non-waivers trade deadline.

      Fulmer, 26, was the 2016 American League Rookie of the Year and was slated to be Detroit's ace entering this season, but he has struggled for most of the season, going 3-9 with a 4.50 ERA. In his last start on Saturday against the Astros, Fulmer allowed a season-high seven earned runs on 10 hits in a loss.

      Martin started in center field for the Tigers on Friday, his first action since July 1 since he was sidelined with a left hamstring strain. He is hitting .257 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs.

      --Field Level Media

  • Rangers place Mazara on DL, call up Calhoun
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Texas Rangers have placed outfielder Nomar Mazara on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained right thumb, retroactive to July 17, the team announced Friday.

    • In a corresponding move, the Rangers recalled outfielder Willie Calhoun from Triple-A Round Rock.

      Mazara was injured prior to the All-Star break in a game at Baltimore last Saturday. He finished that game but sat out Texas' final game before the break last Sunday. The 23-year-old is hitting .272 with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs in 91 games this season.

      Calhoun was the top prospect the Rangers acquired in the deal that sent pitcher Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline last season. The 23-year-old was hitting .306 with eight homers and 42 RBIs in 94 games at Round Rock this season.

      This will be his first stint in the majors this year after he appeared in 13 games for the Rangers in 2017.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mets activate OF Cespedes from DL, to DH vs. Yankees
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The New York Mets activated outfielder Yoenis Cespedes prior to Friday's game at the New York Yankees.

    • Cespedes has been on the disabled list since May 14 due to a hip flexor. He will bat second as the Mets' designated hitter Friday night.

      The club also announced the recall of right-hander Drew Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas, while optioning infielder Dominic Smith and right-hander Corey Oswalt to the same club.

      Cespedes is batting .255 with eight homers and 28 RBIs in 37 games with the Mets this season.

      During his recent rehab stint, Cespedes played first base in addition to his normal left field. Mets manager Mickey Callaway indicated that the 32-year-old Cespedes may see time at first base over the rest of the season to help the stress on his often-injured legs.

      "One of the thoughts about first base is that he's going to stay hot the whole game because he's moving around all the time," Callaway told reporters before Friday's game. "There's not that component of standing out in left field for five, six minutes and all of a sudden having to sprint 30 yards and dive and make a catch. So we're really trying to determine that, to make sure that's the best spot for him."

      Dominic Smith was batting just .183 with one homer and one RBI in 28 games for the Mets.

      Oswalt was 0-2 with 5.64 ERA in five appearances (four starts) for the Mets.

      Drew Smith allowed one run and four hits in three relief appearances for New York earlier this season. He was 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 25 appearances (one start) at Las Vegas.

      --Field Level Media

  • Orioles designate RHP Tillman for assignment
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Baltimore Orioles designated struggling right-hander Chris Tillman for assignment on Friday, perhaps signaling the end to the 30-year-old's tenure with the club.

    • The former All-Star was just 1-5 with a 10.46 ERA before going on the disabled list with a back injury after two disastrous outings in May. He was also shelled during his rehab starts as minor leaguers batted .333 against him as he compiled a 0-3 mark and 6.75 ERA in six starts at four different destinations.

      Tillman went 56-30 from 2013-16 before falling on hard times. He suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder late in the 2016 campaign and never regained his form.

      He went 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 24 appearances (19 starts) for the Orioles in 2017 before this year's struggles.

      "Chris did a great job for us over the years," Orioles general manager Dan Duquette told reporters. "He was the ace of the staff for our last playoff team (in 2016) and was the starter in the wild-card game. He pitched in some big games for us over the years. But it's time for us to move on and give an opportunity to some of our younger pitchers as we attempt to reach our next competitive window."

      Tillman joined the Orioles in 2009 and went 74-60 with a 4.57 ERA in 210 career appearances (205 starts). He won a career-best 16 games on two occasions -- in 2013, when he made the American League All-Star team, and again in 2016.

      Duquette said he offered Tillman a chance to pitch at Triple-A Norfolk. Tillman is weighing the offer, according to Duquette.

      Baltimore also recalled infielder/outfielder Renato Nunez from Norfolk to fill the roster opening stemming from the trade of shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

      Nunez, 24, was batting .289 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 56 games at Norfolk. He was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers in May -- a month after Texas claimed him off waivers from the Oakland Athletics -- and batted .167 with one homer in 13 games for the Rangers earlier this season.

      --Field Level Media

  • Machado 'relieved' to join Dodgers
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    Manny Machado was activated by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, the culmination of what's been a wild week for the former Baltimore Orioles shortstop.

    • "I'm relieved," Machado said at his introductory press conference. "Relieved it finally got done. It's exciting to be here. It's a great group. Great organization, with a lot of baseball history. I'll just come here and be myself and try to fit into the club around here."

      Machado reached base four times on two singles and two walks in hie debut as the Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-4.

      Trade rumors have surrounded Machado for most the year as the Orioles have struggled from the start of the season. Reports that the 26-year-old was headed to the Dodgers came out before Tuesday night's All-Star Game, where Machado sported a Baltimore uniform for the last time.

      Machado was officially dealt to L.A. on Wednesday for five prospects headlined by outfielder Yusniel Diaz.

      "We think Manny was really the most impactful player that was on the market at the time," Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said. "I think any contender could see that he could make a positive impact on them. So there was a lot of teams involved. We just tried to stay engaged.

      "As I mentioned a couple of days ago when the deal went down, this has been in the making for over a month, and I know conversations with those other teams were taking place, too. For a player of Manny's caliber, you know you're going to have to give up a lot, and we did. That speaks to what we think this team can accomplish and how great a player we think he is."

      Machado, 26, is batting .315 with 24 homers, 65 RBIs and a .963 OPS in the final year of his contract before becoming a free agent. With each of those figures on pace for career highs, he's projected to fetch a long-term deal approaching $300 million on the open market this winter.

      "I'm here to play baseball," Machado said. "I've been there quite a few times. My wife loves it; my family does as well. We're just looking forward to enjoying the beautiful weather that's out there. Going out there to play and try to win a championship."

      Machado will wear No. 8 with the Dodgers, as Max Muncy currently wears the No. 13 Machado sported in Baltimore. Machado cited a "new beginning" when talking about how he didn't want to negotiate for his old number and also said he was a big Kobe Bryant fan growing up.

      Around the same time the Dodgers activated Machado, the four-time All-Star bid farewell and thanked the Baltimore Orioles and their fans in a lengthy Instagram post.

      It reads in full:

      "To my Baltimore family,

      "I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn't an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could've imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I've enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart!

      "To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be...I wouldn't be where I am today without all of you.

      "To my teammates, we've shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I'll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! !

      "Much love always,

      "Manny #13"

      Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, whom Machado referred to as "Schoopy" in his note, told reporters he left his vacation to drive to Machado's house and say goodbye in person.

      "I broke down like a kid," Schoop said. "I cried when I went to his house. I won't see him because he's a Dodger. I broke down and started to cry. I wish him the best and the emotions are still going on."

      In a corresponding move for Machado's activation, the Dodgers optioned outfielder Andrew Toles to Triple-A Oklahoma City

      --Field Level Media

  • Nationals activate RHP Strasburg, 1B Zimmerman from DL
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Washington Nationals officially activated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 10-day disabled list before his scheduled start Friday evening against the Atlanta Braves.

    • Manager Dave Martinez told reporters on Tuesday that Strasburg, who last pitched June 8 and is returning from right shoulder inflammation, would start the second-half opener on Friday.

      First baseman Ryan Zimmerman was also activated, from the 60-day DL, after he had been out since May 9 with a right oblique strain. Zimmerman was not in the starting lineup Friday, as Matt Adams got the nod at first base.

      The moves are a big boost for the Nationals, who ended the first half 48-48, 5 1/2 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

      "It starts Friday," Martinez said on Tuesday. "Friday, we're going to come out and start playing like our hair's on fire. Let's really make a run at this thing."

      Strasburg, who is making his return on his 30th birthday, was 6-6 with a 3.46 ERA in 13 starts before hitting the DL. He made two rehab starts for Class-A Potomac, allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits and striking out 12 in nine innings.

      Zimmerman, 33, is hitting .217 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 33 games this year, after enjoying a resurgent 36-homer campaign last season. He had four hits, including a home run, in nine at-bats between rehab games with Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.

      In a corresponding move, the Nationals optioned right-handed reliever Wander Suero to Triple-A Syracuse. Washington optioned right-hander Trevor Gott to Syracuse on Sunday and had not filled the roster spot until Friday.

      --Field Level Media

  • White Sox activate OF Delmonico from DL
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Chicago White Sox activated outfielder Nicky Delmonico prior to Friday's game against the Seattle Mariners.

    • Delmonico was placed on the 10-day disabled list on May 19 due to a fractured right hand suffered the night before.

      The 26-year-old batted .224 with one homer and seven RBIs in 37 games prior to the injury.

      He is being recalled after batting .314 during a 10-game minor league rehab stint.

      The White Sox optioned outfielder Charlie Tilson to Triple-A Charlotte on Wednesday to open a roster spot. Tilson was batting .264 in 41 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • Mariners extend Servais' contract
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Seattle Mariners announced Friday they have reached an agreement on a multi-year contract extension with manager Scott Servais. Terms were not disclosed.

    • Servais, 51, was hired in 2016 following 10 years in player development roles. The Mariners are 222-199 (.527) during his tenure, making Servais the fourth-winningest manager in franchise history.

      Seattle entered the All-Star break with a 58-39 record, second to the Houston Astros in the American League West while also occupying the second wild card spot in the AL.

      "Scott has created a culture here in Seattle that allows players to be successful," general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. "They are encouraged to be themselves, which has resulted in a loose environment, while still maintaining the focus on team above self. His leadership has also been evident through the ongoing growth and impact of one of the best coaching staffs in Major League Baseball.

      "He has been the right leader at the right time for the right team and I look forward to many more years together."

      Servais has the fifth-most wins of any manager in the majors since being hired.

      "I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to continue to work with an amazing group of players and staff," Servais said. "Our front office is extremely active and very supportive as we work toward bringing a World Series title to a very deserving and passionate fan base."

      A former catcher, Servais played 11 major-league seasons from 1991-2001, finishing his career with a .245 batting average, 130 doubles, 63 home runs and 319 RBI in 820 games.

      --Field Level Media

  • A's release RHP Casilla five days after DFA
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Oakland Athletics released right-handed reliever Santiago Casilla on Thursday, five days after he was designated for assignment.

    • Casilla, who turns 38 on Wednesday, had a 3.16 ERA in 26 appearances this season, but he had struggled with his command. He walked 20 batters, hit four more and threw four wild pitches in 31 1/3 innings of work.

      In his 15th MLB season, Casilla was two years into his second stint with the A's, with whom he spent the first six years of his career.

      He is 42-31 with a 3.29 ERA in 655 career games, all in relief with the A's and San Francisco Giants.

      --Field Level Media

  • Cubs trade for RHP Chavez after Morrow goes on DL
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The Chicago Cubs added to their depleted bullpen on Thursday night, acquiring Texas Rangers right-handed pitcher Jesse Chavez in exchange for minor league lefty Tyler Thomas.

    • Both teams announced the move shortly after the Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-6 to open the second half of the season.

      The move also comes the same day the Cubs placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list with biceps inflammation in his throwing arm.

      Chavez, who turns 35 next month, is 3-1 with a 3.51 ERA in 56 1/3 innings pitched over 30 relief appearances for the Rangers this season, his first in Texas. His innings pitched rank third among all American League relievers this season.

      In 383 career appearances (70 starts), Chavez is 36-52 with a 4.61 ERA. He has only three career saves but has finished 116 games in his career. The Cubs will be his ninth major league club.

      Thomas, 22, has a 3-5 record with a 2.88 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 14 walks in 15 games (14 starts) with Class-A South Bend this season. Over his last five starts with the South Bend Cubs, Thomas posted a 3.16 ERA with 35 strikeouts and just three walks. The Rangers assigned Thomas Class-A Hickory in the South Atlantic League.

      Chicago took Thomas in the seventh round of the 2017 draft.

      The Cubs have made a flurry of moves over the past few days by activating right-hander Anthony Bass off the disabled list, activating right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. from the paternity list, reinstating outfielder Albert Almora Jr. from the family emergency list and optioning infielder David Bote and left-hander Rob Zastryzny to Triple-A Iowa.

      --Field Level Media

  • Yankees activate C Sanchez from DL
    By Field Level Media / Friday, July 20, 2018

    The New York Yankees' second half is off to a good start, and their first game back isn't for almost another 24 hours.

    • The club announced on Thursday night that it activated catcher Gary Sanchez from the 10-day disabled list and optioned catcher Kyle Higashioka to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

      Sanchez has not played since June 24 because of a strained right groin. He hit two home runs in three rehab games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Before the injury, he was batting .190 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 63 games.

      Higashioka batted .167 with three home runs in 11 games while Sanchez was out.

      The Yankees open the second half at home against the New York Mets on Friday night.

      --Field Level Media

  • MLB notebook: Ohtani cleared to resume throwing
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 19, 2018

    Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani underwent a six-week checkup on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Thursday and has been cleared to resume throwing, the team announced.

    • "Shohei Ohtani had his six week re-evaluation [Thursday] with Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute," the team said in a release. "His ligament continues to show improved healing. He has been medically cleared to begin a throwing progression. We will update specifics regarding his progression and rehabilitation schedule at a more appropriate time."

      Ohtani, who pitches right-handed, went on the disabled list June 8 with a Grade 2 sprain of his right UCL. He returned to action on July 3, but only as a designated hitter. At the time of Ohtani's reactivation, general manager Billy Eppler said it would still be three weeks before Ohtani would be re-evaluated with regard to his ability to pitch.

      At the time, Eppler would not say whether or not Ohtani would pitch again this season, but he maintained the team's optimism that Tommy John surgery -- which would likely sideline Ohtani until 2020 -- would not be needed.

      --Closer Brad Hand was traded from the San Diego Padres to the Cleveland Indians.

      The Indians also acquired submarining right-hander Adam Cimber, who posted a 3.17 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings as a rookie. The Padres received Cleveland's top prospect, Francisco Mejia, in return.

      Hand, 28, posted a 3.05 ERA and 24 saves over 44 1/3 innings pitched in 41 appearances for the Padres this season. An All-Star in 2017, Hand registered a career-low 2.16 ERA last season while saving 21 games. He is under contract for the next two seasons for a total of $13.5 million and has a team option for 2021.

      --The Chicago Cubs placed closer Brandon Morrow on the 10-day disabled list prior to their game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

      The right-hander is dealing with biceps inflammation in his throwing arm. Morrow, who turns 34 on July 26, has a career-best 22 saves in 35 appearances this season. He also has a stellar 1.47 ERA, which would be his best career mark in a single season.

      The Cubs have made a flurry of moves over the past few days by activating right-hander Anthony Bass off the disabled list, activating right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. from the paternity list, reinstating outfielder Albert Almora Jr. from the family emergency list and optioning infielder David Bote and left-hander Rob Zastryzny to Triple-A Iowa.

      --Field Level Media

  • Ohtani cleared to resume throwing following checkup
    By Field Level Media / Thursday, July 19, 2018

    Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani underwent a six-week checkup on the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow on Thursday and has been cleared to resume throwing, the team announced.

    • "Shohei Ohtani had his six week re-evaluation [Thursday] with Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute," the team said in a release. "His ligament continues to show improved healing. He has been medically cleared to begin a throwing progression. We will update specifics regarding his progression and rehabilitation schedule at a more appropriate time."

      Ohtani, who pitches right-handed, went on the disabled list June 8 with a Grade 2 sprain of his right UCL. He returned to action on July 3, but only as a designated hitter. At the time of Ohtani's reactivation, general manager Billy Eppler said it would still be three weeks before Ohtani would be re-evaluated with regard to his ability to pitch.

      At the time, Eppler would not say whether or not Ohtani would pitch again this season, but he maintained the team's optimism that Tommy John surgery -- which would likely sideline Ohtani until 2020 -- would not be needed.

      Eppler and manager Mike Scioscia have each said multiple times that the team is optimistic about Ohtani's chances of recovering without surgery, though an ESPN report in early June said Ohtani would "probably" need surgery.

      Ohtani had a platelet-rich plasma injection in October, before he signed with the Angels, to treat previous elbow pain, and then had stem-cell and PRP injections on June 7, the day before his original DL stint.

      Ohtani, 24, is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA in nine starts as a pitcher this season and has struck out 61 batters in 49 1/3 innings. He also is batting .283 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs in 45 games.

      He has batted 6-for-24 (.250) with two doubles, a homer, three walks and 10 strikeouts since returning from the DL.

      The Angels enter the second half of the season 49-48, 14 games out of first in the AL West and nine games out of the final wild-card spot.

      --Field Level Media