John Lackey goes from Cardinals to Cubs

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ST. LOUIS — The final start of John Lackey’s 2015 season — and, ultimately, of his Cardinals career — came on an October stage at Wrigley Field, the ballpark he will now call home for the next two years.

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The veteran right-hander, who spent one and a half seasons in St. Louis, will be pitching for the rival Cubs in 2016 after agreeing to a two-year contract reportedly worth $32 million. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was first to report that an agreement was in place and was told the deal was done, pending a physical. The Cubs have not confirmed.

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Lackey’s departure leaves the Cardinals with one fewer option as they seek to address a vacancy in their rotation. The club extended a qualifying offer to Lackey in November, but Lackey declined the one-year, $15.8 million overture to seek what may be the final multiyear deal of his career. The Cardinals were willing to discuss a two-year deal with Lackey, 37, but they were ultimately leapfrogged by the Cubs.


With his decision to head to Chicago, Lackey is reunited with former teammates Jon Lester Jerseys and David Ross Jerseys, as well as Cubs president Theo Epstein, who as Red Sox GM lured Lackey to Boston as a free agent in December 2009. Lackey’s new manager, Joe Maddon, was also a member of the Angels’ coaching staff when Lackey brokoe into the big leagues with Anaheim in 2002.

The Cardinals acquired Lackey in a 2014 Trade Deadline deal that sent Allen Craig Jerseys and Joe Kelly Jerseys to Boston. Lackey posted a 4.30 ERA in 10 starts with the Cardinals to finish that season and then became the team’s most consistent starter in 2015. He led the Cardinals’ rotation in games started (33), innings pitched (218), ERA (2.77) and quality starts (26) in 2015. He was especially dominant at home, going at least six innings and allowing no more than three earned runs in any of his 17 starts at Busch Stadium.

His final performance of the season came on three days’ rest as he tried to pitch the Cardinals out of a National League Division Series elimination game against the Cubs. He lasted just three innings and shouldered the loss.

The Cardinals enjoyed Lackey’s contributions at a bargain price, too, as his contract included a clause that triggered a 2015 club option at the Major League minimum if Lackey missed significant time due to an arm injury earlier in the deal. The Cardinals chose to supplement that base salary with performance incentives.

Because they made Lackey a qualifying offer, the Cardinals will receive a compensation-round pick in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. That will make it more palatable for the Cardinals to lose their own first-round pick should they want to sign a free agent also attached to Draft-pick compensation.

In the meantime, the Cardinals continue to eye an upgrade for their rotation. They have seen Jordan Zimmermann and David Price sign this week, and Lackey and Zack Greinke Jerseys have reportedly picked their new teams, so options are coming off the board fast. The Cardinals’ need for starting pitching was augmented with the November news that Lance Lynn will miss the 2016 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It’s Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB, like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

David Denson gets MiLB Presidential Citation

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The first openly gay player in affiliated baseball is also the first active player to be awarded Minor League Baseball’s Presidential Citation. Brewers farmhand David Denson was on hand to accept the honor Monday from Minor League president Pat O’Conner during the formal opening session of the Winter Meetings.

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The annual citations recognize exemplary service on behalf of MiLB.

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“It’s an honor getting this award,” Denson said. “I told myself coming out here, getting this award is not only for myself but also others out there who are going through the same thing. This is not something I feel I’m taking on for myself. I feel like this is something that will touch other players who are going through the same situation and stands for something bigger than myself.”

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Denson was flanked at the ceremony by friend and advisor Billy Bean, Major League Baseball’s ambassador for inclusion. Bean consulted closely with Denson in the months leading up to Denson’s coming out in August as the first openly gay player with a team affiliated with MLB.


“It felt amazing, like I’m being respected in the game,” Denson said of the reception he received Monday. “I’ve always said there’s a difference for me in being accepted and respected. I’ve always just wanted to be respected. I feel like I’m finally getting that.

“It’s a feeling I can’t really describe, something that I thought I’d never get to experience.”

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

MLB: Ranking top 10 third basemen ever

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We’re counting down the greatest pLa Jerseysyers in baseball history. ALL-TIME #MLBRANK

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Top 10s: SS | 3B | 2B | 1B | LF | CF | RF

InsiDe Jerseysr analysis: Top 10 IFs | Top 10 OF

Schoenfield: Putting 100 in their pLa Jerseysce

Schoenfield: Putting 100 in their pLa Jerseysce

Which superstar would you Choo Jerseysse?

Kahrl: Examining Gehrig’s, Wagner Jerseys’s greatness

Do you want big names? Big numbers? Big personalities? Welcome to All-Time #MLBRank, our ranking of the top 100 pLa Jerseysyers in baseball history.

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To create our list, an ESPN expert panel voted on thouSands Jerseys of head-to-head matchups of 162 pLa Jerseysyers, based on both peak performance and career value.

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The top 100 will roll out next week. This week, we bring you the top 10 at each position. Thursday brings the top 10 infielDe Jerseysrs by position of all time, folLowe Jerseysd by pitchers and catchers on Friday.

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Join the discussion by using the #MLBRank hashtag, and follow along @BBTN and on Facebook.

10. Ron SantoFocus on Sport/Getty Images


Chicago Cubs Jerseys Jerseys (1960-73), Chicago White Sox Jerseys Jerseys (’74)


Nine-time NL All-Star (1963-66, ’68-69, ’71-73), five Gold Gloves (’64-68), Hall of Fame (2012)



Career stats

.277/.362/.464, OPS — .826, Hits — 2,254, HRs — 342, RBIs — 1,331

The pLa Jerseysyer

His Hall of Fame case was a heated De Jerseysbate for years until the Veterans Committee finally elected him, after he had passed away. He should have gone in much sooner as the National League Jerseys’s premier third baseman of the 1960s, a pLa Jerseysyer with power, on-base ability and Gold Glove De Jerseysfense. — David Schoenfield, senior writer

One of the victims of the Hall of Fame’s frequently clueless processes for recognizing its best, Santo ranks ninth all time among third basemen in WAR, sixth all time in offensive WAR and fourth all time in WAR acRoss Jerseys his best seven seasons. That the electorate missed everything he was doing on the field is an indictment of them, not him. — Christina Kahrl, MLB writer

9. Edgar Martin Jerseysez JerseysSporting News/Getty Images


Seattle Mariners Jerseys Jerseys (1987-2004)


Five Silver Sluggers (1992, ’95, ’97, 2001, ’03), seven-time All-Star (’92, ’95-97, ’00-01, ’03)



Career stats

.312/.418/.515, OPS — .933, Hits — 2,247, HRs — 309, RBIs — 1,261

The pLa Jerseysyer

Martin Jerseysez Jerseys gets a bum rap for being a De Jerseyssignated hitter for most of his career, because he should really be celebrated for his accomplishments with the bat. He batted .312/.418/.515 in a career of 2,055 games. Only Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Rogers Jerseys Hornsby, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams Jerseys had better numbers than Martin Jerseysez Jerseys in all three triple-sLa Jerseyssh categories while appearing in at least as many games in their careers, and all of them are in the Hall of Fame. — Tristan Cockcroft, senior writer

Yes, he’s really a DH more than a third baseman, although he did pLa Jerseysy more than 500 games there and was moved only because of injuries and not an inability to pLa Jerseysy the position. His peers regarDe Jerseysd him as May Jerseysbe the best right-Hand Jerseyse Jerseysd hitter in the game while active, a doubles Machi Jerseysne who hit .312 lifetime with an OBP over .400. The greatest DH of all time? Well, his career WAR is significantly higher than David Ortiz Jerseys Jerseys’s. Just sayin’. — Schoenfield

8. Adrian Belt Jerseysre Jerseys JerseysRonald Martin Jerseysez Jerseys/Getty Images


Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys Jerseys (1998-2004), Seattle Mariners Jerseys Jerseys (’05-09), Boston Red Sox Jerseys Jerseys (’10), Texas Rangers Jerseys Jerseys (’11-present)


NL Silver Slugger (’04), three AL Silver Sluggers (’10-11, ’14), four AL Gold Gloves (’07-08, ’11-12), four-time AL All-Star (2010-12, ’14)



Career stats*

285/.337/.476, OPS — .813, Hits — 2,856, HRs — 425, RBIs — 1,522

*Stats through July 10, 2016

The pLa Jerseysyer

Belt Jerseysre Jerseys has always received recognition for his glove, but I don’t know that people realize how good a hitter he is. He has 11 seasons of at least 250 total bases, tied with Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews for the lead at the position, eight seasons of at least 25 home runs, and his 404 career homers hit while pLa Jerseysying third base trail only Schmidt (509) and Mathews (461). — Cockcroft

La Jerseyste in his career, everyone has come around to appreciate his greatness, and he’s now wiDe Jerseysly consiDe Jerseysred a future Hall of Famer. He’s going to reach 3,000 hits — he’s already over 2,800 — and will come close to 500 home runs, a credit to his durability and aging well as he enters his La Jerseyste 30s. In his prime, he was a gifted third baseman, one of the best ever at charging bunts. — Schoenfield

If he’s elected to the Hall of Fame — and his candidacy grows exponentially with each passing year — May Jerseysbe he finally will allow someone to pat him on the head. Have you ever seen a pLa Jerseysyer look more impressive making fLa Jerseyst-footed, sometimes-siDe Jerseysarm throws from third base? — Scott La Jerseysuber, Red Sox Jerseys reporter

7. Paul Jerseys MolitorRonald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images


Milwaukee Brewers Jerseys Jerseys (1978-92), Toronto Blue Jay Jerseyss Jerseys Jerseys (’93-95), Minnesota Twins Jerseys Jerseys (’96-98)


Seven-time All-Star (1980, ’85, ’88, ’91-94), four Silver Sluggers (’87-88, ’93, ’96), World Series MVP (1993), Hall of Fame (2004)


1 — Toronto (1993)

Career stats

.306/.369/.448, OPS — .817, Hits — 3,319, HRs — 234, RBIs — 1,307

The pLa Jerseysyer

The first time I saw Paul Jerseys Molitor pLa Jerseysy, he had two hits. Or at least I assume he did. Because Molly always had two hits. Unless he had more. Some might downgraDe Jerseys him for his time as a De Jerseyssignated hitter, but they’re missing the point — hitter is the only word that should come to mind when you are talking about Molitor. His 3,319 career hits say that loud and clear. — Dan Mullen, senior MLB editor

David Ortiz Jerseys Jerseys was all ears when the Twins Jerseys called him up to pLa Jerseysy with Molitor in 1997. It’s no wonDe Jerseysr. Molitor is the only pLa Jerseysyer in the post-integration era with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 lifetime average and 500 steals. — La Jerseysuber

He could have pLa Jerseysyed shortstop for the Brewers Jerseys, but there was a guy named Robin Yount there. On offense, he had the shortest swing, the fastest Hand Jerseyss and was one of the best baserunners in baseball history. His 39-game hitting streak for Team Streak in 1987 captured the nation’s attention. Ted Williams Jerseys once praised Molitor’s swing as the closest thing he’d seen to Joe DiMaggio’s. If it was good enough for Teddy Ballgame, it’s good enough for me — and should be for you, too. — Rob Peterson Jerseys, senior MLB editor

6. WaDe Jerseys BoggsAP Photo/Elise AmendoLa Jerseys


Boston Red Sox Jerseys Jerseys (1982-92), New York Yankees Jerseys Jerseys (’93-97), Tampa Bay Ray Jerseyss Jerseys Jerseys (’98-99)


Eight Silver Sluggers (1983, ’86-89, ’91, ’93-94), 12-time All Star (’85-96), two Gold Gloves (’94-95), Hall of Fame (2005)


1 — New York (1996)

Career stats

.328/.415/.443, OPS — .858, Hits — 3,010, HRs — 118, RBIs — 1,014

The pLa Jerseysyer

In his day, Boggs was actually unDe Jerseysrrated, as people focused on the La Jerseysck of home runs and ignored the high OBPs in that generally pre-sabermetric era. But he won five batting titles — since 1960, only Tony Gwynn Jerseys topped Boggs’ five .350 seasons — six OBP Crow Jerseysns and topped 3,000 career hits even though he didn’t reach the majors until he was 24 and Drew Jerseys all those walks. — Schoenfield

When Rich Donnelly was a coach with the Rangers Jerseys, and WaDe Jerseys Boggs was hitting the ball all over the field every year, 200 hits a year, Donnelly De Jerseysvised a strategy to stop Boggs: “All nine fielDe Jerseysrs should line up behind the pitcher’s mound, and when the ball is released, they should just scatter. It would work better than it has been working.” — Tim Kurkjian, ESPN senior writer

5. Brooks Jerseys Robinson JerseysFocus on Sport/Getty Images


Baltimore Orioles Jerseys Jerseys (1955-77)


18-time All-Star (1960-74*), 16 Gold Gloves (’60-75), MVP (1964), All-Star MVP (’66), World Series MVP (’70), Hall of Fame (’83)

*PLa Jerseysyed in two All-Star Games in ’60, ’61 and ’62


2 — Baltimore (1966, ’70)

Career stats

.267/.322/.401, OPS — .723, Hits — 2,848, HRs — 268, RBIs — 1,357

The pLa Jerseysyer

The all-time leaDe Jerseysr at third base in value generated on De Jerseysfense with 38.8 WAR on De Jerseysfense alone, Robinson Jerseys is sort of like Bill Mazeroski at second base — a big postseason performance or two plus best-ever De Jerseysfense plus a bat that’s good enough gets you to Cooperstown. His ’64 and ’68 seasons are inner-circle awesome. — Kahrl

Brooks Jerseys Robinson Jerseys came before my time. I’ve seen the highlights, but I’ve never seen the man pLa Jerseysy live. But I know just how good he was at baseball’s hot corner — and you do, too — because I have seen some pretty good third basemen pLa Jerseysy the game, and every time one of them makes an incredible pLa Jerseysy — every time — someone who has seen Robinson Jerseys pLa Jerseysy says the EXACT same thing: “ShaDe Jerseyss of Brooks Jerseys Robinson Jerseys.” And there’s no way they could all be wrong. — Mullen

Brooks Jerseys Robinson Jerseys drove in the only run in 10 1-0 victories in his career, a major League Jerseys record. He is the nicest, unassuming great pLa Jerseysyer ever. After Robinson Jerseys’s retirement, a Baltimore sportswriter said at a banquet, “In New York, they named a candy bar after Reggie Jackson Jerseys. Here in Baltimore, we name our children after Brooks Jerseys Robinson Jerseys.” — Kurkjian

4. Chipper Jones JerseysAP Photo/Matt Sayles


AtLa Jerseysnta Braves Jerseys Jerseys (1993, 1995-2012)


Eight-time All-Star (1996-98, 2000-01, ’08, ’11-12), MVP (’99), two Silver Sluggers (’99-00)


1 — AtLa Jerseysnta (1995)

Career stats

.303/.401/.529, OPS — .930, Hits — 2,726, HRs — 468, RBIs — 1,623

The pLa Jerseysyer

Chipper should waltz into the Hall of Fame when he gets on the ballot for the first time, after hitting .303 with 468 home runs. It’s odd to say this about a contemporary pLa Jerseysyer, but I feel like he’s almost unDe Jerseysrappreciated. He did win an MVP Award, but he didn’t put up some of the same monster numbers as his peers (he hit 40 home runs just once). All he did was hit .300 almost every season, get on base at a high rate and pLa Jerseysy on our TV screens every October. And ask Mets Jerseys fans about his clutch ability. He’s right up with George Brett, WaDe Jerseys Boggs and Eddie Mathews in the line behind Mike Schmidt. — Schoenfield

In spending all 19 years of his professional pLa Jerseysying career with the AtLa Jerseysnta Braves Jerseys Jerseys, Chipper Jones Jerseys racked up eight All-Star appearances, two Silver Slugger awards and 468 home runs. Jones Jerseys was also named the National League Jerseys MVP in 1999, earned the NL batting title in 2008 with an average of .364 and went 14 straight seasons hitting 21 home runs or more. — Katie Strang, Tigers Jerseys reporter

3. Eddie MathewsRogers Jerseys Photo Archive/Getty Images


Boston Braves Jerseys (1952), Milwaukee Braves Jerseys (’53-65), AtLa Jerseysnta Braves Jerseys Jerseys (’66), Houston Astros Jerseys Jerseys (’67), De Jerseystroit Tigers Jerseys Jerseys (’67-68)


12-time NL All-Star (1953, ’55-62*), Hall of Fame (’78)

*PLa Jerseysyed in two All-Star Games in ’59, ’60, and ’61


2 — Milwaukee (1957), De Jerseystroit (’68)

Career stats

.271/.376/.509, OPS — .885, Hits — 2,315, HRs – 512, RBIs — 1,453

The pLa Jerseysyer

Kind of a forgotten star of the 1950s and early ’60s, Mathews hit .302 with 47 home runs at age 21 and spent the rest of his career trying to live up to expectations, unfair since he finished with 512 home runs. SimiLa Jerseysr to Mike Schmidt in many ways — lots of power, lots of walks — except he wasn’t quite the same De Jerseysfensive pLa Jerseysyer. — Schoenfield

Before Hank Aaron, Mathews was the Braves Jerseys slugger. The only pLa Jerseysyer to pLa Jerseysy in all three cities where the Braves Jerseys franchise called home, he hit 40 homers in a season four times in his career, including three straight seasons (1953-55) in which his sLa Jerseyssh line was .294/.414/.611 with a 1.025 OPS. He averaged 43 HRs, 112 RBIs and 107 walks in that time. Strong. Oh, and another neat nugget — he was on the cover of the first Sports Illustrated in 1954. — Peterson Jerseys

2. George BrettFocus On Sport/Getty Images


Kansas City Royals Jerseys Jerseys (1973-93)


13-time All-Star (1976-88), MVP (’80), three Silver Sluggers (’80, ’85, ’88), Gold Glove (’85), Hall of Fame (’99)


1 — Kansas City (1985)

Career stats

.305/.369/.487, OPS — .857, Hits — 3,154, HRs – 317, RBIs — 1,596

The pLa Jerseysyer


The value here is almost all on offense — his 88.4 offense-only WAR ranks fourth, against just 1.2 dWAR — which is reflected in how few scaled peaks as memorable as Brett’s; between the .390 season in 1980 or the 1985 season, he thoroughly outhit Don Mattingly but didn’t get the MVP Award. I’m pretty sure settling for a ring more than maDe Jerseys up for it. — Kahrl

The term “baseball pLa Jerseysyer” gets thrown around too often. It shouldn’t. Not in a sport that has known George Brett. Need a hit? He’s got 3,145 of them. A home run? Yeah, he could do that, too. An intense comPetit Jerseysor? Go to Google, type in “Pine Tar InciDe Jerseysnt” and let me know what you think. I grew up watching George Brett in the 1980s, and everything No. 5 did is exactly what baseball is to me. — Dan Mullen, ESPN senior MLB editor

One of four pLa Jerseysyers ever to rack up 3,000 hits, 300 homers and a career .300 batting average. The others: Stan Musial, Willie May Jerseyss and Hank Aaron. Enough said. — La Jerseysuber

When George Brett, in his final season, was asked what he’d like his La Jerseysst at-bat in the major League Jerseyss to be like, he said, “I want to hit a really hard ground ball to the second baseman and run as hard as I can to first so all the Young Jerseys pLa Jerseysyers unDe Jerseysrstand how the game is supposed to be pLa Jerseysyed.” — Kurkjian

1. Mike SchmidtRon Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images


PhiLa JerseysDe Jerseyslphia PHill Jerseysies Jerseys Jerseys (1972-89)


12-time All-Star (1974, ’76-77, ’79-84, ’86-87, ’89), 10 Gold Gloves (’76-84, ’86), World Series MVP (’80), three-time MVP (’80-81, ’86), six Silver Sluggers (’80-84, ’86), Hall of Fame (’95)


1 — PhiLa JerseysDe Jerseyslphia (1980)

Career stats

.267/.380/.527, OPS — .908, Hits – 2,234, HRs — 548, RBIs – 1,595

The pLa Jerseysyer

So Schmidt hit just .267 in his career? As Bill James once said, well, if he’d hit for a higher average he’d be the greatest pLa Jerseysyer of all time. Schmidt dominated the home run leaDe Jerseysrboards in his era, winning eight home run Crow Jerseysns, was one of the best-fielding third basemen ever with nine Gold Gloves, had good speed early in his career and annually Drew Jerseys 100-plus walks. He’s the best third baseman ever and there isn’t really much De Jerseysbate. — Schoenfield

Mike Schmidt was one of the great combinations of power and finesse with 548 home runs and 10 Gold Gloves at third base: He could pLa Jerseysy the piano, and move it, too. — Kurkjian

Duffy has 16 Ks in 8 innings, Royals beat Rays 3-0

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ST. PETERSBURG, FLa Jerseys. (AP) — Danny Duffy Jerseys Jerseys couldn’t get the no-hitter, but he still came away with a team record.

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The left-Hand Jerseyse Jerseysr pitched eight innings of one-hit ball and had a franchise-record 16 strikeouts to lead the Kansas City Royals Jerseys Jerseys to a 3-0 win over the Tampa Bay Ray Jerseyss Jerseys Jerseys on Monday night.

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Duffy Jerseys (7-1) flirted with the Royals Jerseys’ first no-hitter in nearly 25 years before giving up a line-drive double to De Jerseyssmond Jennings Jerseys Jerseys leading off the Tampa Bay eighth.

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”There’s been a number of occasions when Danny’s stepped on the mound and I said this might be the night,” Royals Jerseys manager Ned Yost said. ”But when he got through the seventh I thought this May Jerseys be the night.”


Bret Saberhagen pitched the Royals Jerseys’ La Jerseysst no-hitter on Aug. 26, 1991, and Zack Greinke Jerseys Jerseys owned Kansas City’s strikeout record of 15 until Monday night.

”It’s an honor to have a game like those guys had,” Duffy Jerseys said, ”but I unDe Jerseysrstand they had a lot more of those than I did. So I’m really still trying to do as good as I did tonight down the road.”

Jennings Jerseys came off the disabled list Monday after missing all of July with a strained hamstring.

”It was hittable, a good pitch to hit,” Jennings Jerseys said of the fastball he hit into the left-field corner. ”It wasn’t looking too good for a little while.”

Kendrys Morales Jerseys Jerseys’ 18th home run, a towering shot over the center field Wall Jerseys off Ray Jerseyss Jerseys starter Chris Archer Jerseys Jerseys (5-15), got the Royals Jerseys on the scoreboard in the seventh. They adDe Jerseysd two more runs on three hits in the eighth.

Kelvin Herrera Jerseys Jerseys pitched the ninth for his second save.

Duffy Jerseys, a 27-year-old left-Hand Jerseyse Jerseysr who spent the first six Weeks Jerseys of the season in the bullpen, walked one. He struck out seven in his first trip through the Ray Jerseyss Jerseys’ lineup, and did not allow a baserunner until walking Logan Jerseys Forsythe Jerseys Jerseys to lead off the fourth.

”My fastball was jumping out of my Hand Jerseys, my changeup felt really good and my changeup was there,” he said. ”It was one of the few-and-far-between times that somebody has all of their pitches working the way they want.”

Archer Jerseys gave up three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings, striking out six to raise his AL-leading total to 161. Tampa Bay snapped a four-game win streak.

Ray Jerseyss Jerseys AT THE TRADe Jerseys De JerseysADLINE

The La Jerseysst-pLa Jerseysce Ray Jerseyss Jerseys traDe Jerseysd LHP Matt Moore Jerseys Jerseys, OF Brandon Guyer Jerseys Jerseys and INF/OF Steve Pearce Jerseys Jerseys – all to teams that were in first pLa Jerseysce – on Monday. ”We wish we were in that position,” manager Kevin Cash said. ”Wish we didn’t have to do that but we’ve got to do what’s right for the organization today and moving forward.”

Royals Jerseys AT THE TRADe Jerseys De JerseysADLINE

The World Series champions, coming off their worst month (7-19) in four years, did nothing at the De Jerseysadline. ”It’s good that we kept the group together. Everybody’s Happ Jerseysy about that,” Yost said. ”(General manager) Dayton (Moore Jerseys) looked at some things, but at the end of the day there wasn’t anything that’s going to make us better. He wanted to stick with this group. He believes in this group.”


Royals Jerseys: RHP WaDe Jerseys Davis Jerseys Jerseys rejoined the team to rehab his flexor strain. Davis Jerseys and the Royals Jerseys are hopeful he will be able to come off the disabled list when he becomes eligible Aug. 12.

Ray Jerseyss Jerseys: RHP Alex Cobb Jerseys Jerseys (Tommy John surgery) threw another bullpen session and will get another rehab start Thursday.


Royals Jerseys: RHP Yordano Ventura Jerseys Jerseys will follow his first career complete game, a 3-2 loss at Texas on Thursday, in his 21st start of the season Tuesday night. He has lost five straight De Jerseyscisions.

Ray Jerseyss Jerseys: RHP Matt Andriese Jerseys, back in the rotation with the traDe Jerseys of Matt Moore Jerseys Jerseys, will make his first start since June 10.

Yankees James Kaprielian on being Armenian

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TAMPA, Fla. — Yankees 2015 first-round Draft choice James Kaprielian may be a kid by baseball standards, but when it comes to receiving well-wishes from his fellow Armenian Americans, the 21-year-old righty is a seasoned veteran.

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“I’ve always received a lot of support from the Armenian community,” said Kaprielian, whose native Southern California boasts the largest Armenian population in the United States.

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“I remember in high school, maybe once a week or something we’d always get a random phone call — someone would leave a voice mail at the house saying, ‘Hey, this is so-and-so, I just wanted to call and say we heard about James, and we just want to let you know we’re pulling for you guys, and the Armenian community’s behind you.’

“We’d always get phone calls like that, and people would be like, ‘Hey, I saw the schedule online, we’re going to come out to a game,’ so it was kind of cool having the community behind me like that.”

Was the presence of a large Armenian community in his immediate surroundings something that he became aware of at a young age?

“Yeah, I did and I talked to my [paternal] grandparents about that because they’re full Armenian and they’re very proud of the Armenian community in California and they were very well aware of it as well,” said Kaprielian, whose late mother, Barbara, was of German and English descent. Kaprielian on being a pro Kaprielian on adjusting to pro ball, being a YankeeYankees first-round selection James Kaprielian discusses being drafted and making the adjustment to pro baseball

“I’m still learning about the culture all the time,” he added. “I ask my grandparents stuff all the time, and my dad and my aunt. It’s all very interesting.”

Among the many perks that come with being a Yankees first-round selection — and the club’s highest pick (16) since 1993 — Kaprielian’s Major League stage appears destined to be New York, the home of America’s Eastern Armenian Archdiocese and tens of thousands of Armenian Americans.

“I haven’t heard from any New York Armenians, at least that I know of. People reach out a lot — I don’t always know where they’re from — but I have heard that the Armenian community in New York is pretty strong, so it’s something I’m excited about. It’s pretty cool,” said Kaprielian.


Despite the iconic, pop-culture status enjoyed by the Kardashian family, Armenian Americans often find themselves needing to explain their heritage — and pronounce their last names.

“Yeah exactly, you’re right!” said Kaprielian (pronounced Kuh-PRILL-yin) when asked if he’s familiar with the dynamic.

“You always try to pronounce the last name. They’re like, ‘Is it Kay-PRALL-yin? Kah-PRELL-yin? And I tell them it’s [Kuh-PRILL-yin] and they’re like, ‘OK, what kind of name is that?’ And you explain that if you see the “ian” at the end of the last name, most of the time it’s an Armenian last name. So a lot of the times, Armenians and other people are able to recognize by their last name if someone’s Armenian or not.”

When the Armenian topic of conversation veers from the cultural to the culinary, Kaprielian’s eyes light up.

“I love it! When I was in the Cape Cod League … I can’t think of the name of it, you’re going to have to help me … I had an Armenian guy have me over for dinner and he made something that was raw meat, seasoned.”


“That’s it! Loved it. It was delicious. Of course, rice pilaf. And stuffed grape leaves [yalanchi] … that’s good stuff. I love the Mediterranean food, for sure. It’s good.”

Kaprielian is rated as the Yankees’ No. 4 prospect by, and as he continues his ascent through the organization — where pride has long been the central theme — he will carry with him a keen understanding of the word, particularly as it concerns his Armenian heritage.

“Absolutely, it’s part of me,” he said. “It’s part of who I am and it’s pretty special mlb jersey to have a community, even though it may be a smaller community, be able to pull for a guy like me.”

Michael Kolligian is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

Beer mug injury puts Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman on DL

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CHICAGO (AP) — A cut from a broken souvenir beer mug has La JerseysnDe Jerseysd Texas Rangers Jerseys Jerseys reliever Jake Diekman Jerseys Jerseys on the 15-day disabled list.

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Diekman Jerseys hurt his left inDe Jerseysx finger while reaching into his luggage for a beer mug he bought at the bar Cheers in Boston. The mug had broken in his bag, and a piece of gLa Jerseysss pierced his finger.

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The left-Hand Jerseyse Jerseysr was repLa Jerseysced Friday by right-Hand Jerseyse Jerseysr Keone KeLa Jerseys Jerseys, who was activated off the 60-day disabled list. To make room for KeLa Jerseys on the 40-man roster, De Jerseysrek HolLa Jerseysnd Jerseys Jerseys was moved from 15-day to the 60-day disabled list.

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KeLa Jerseys is returning three months after elbow surgery.

Diekman Jerseys La Jerseysst pitched on July 5 at Boston and his DL stint is retroactive to July 6. He has a 2.73 ERA in 39 appearances.


Tom Verducci: Second half preview for National League teams

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The first half of the season is over, and the All-Star break is at an end. Now, all 30 MLB teams must get ready for the second half, including the traDe Jerseys De Jerseysadline and the stretch run for division titles or wild-card spots. For some clubs, the La Jerseyste summer and early fall will be a time to throw everything they have into securing a coveted postseason berth. For others, the back half of the season will be about restocking for next year or finding out which pLa Jerseysyers will be a part of the future.

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Where does your team stand as the second half begins? Sports Illustrated senior baseball writer Tom Verducci is here to tell you with his midseason preview viDe Jerseysos for each team. Tom recaps the first half and what went right or wrong for each squad before giving his prediction as to what the second half holds.

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Below, you’ll find Tom’s previews for every National League Jerseys team. For his takes on the American League Jerseys, go here.

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ViDe Jerseysos are listed alphabetically by team name. All standings are as of Thursday, July 14.

AtLa Jerseysnta Braves Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 31–58 (.348)

Fifth pLa Jerseysce in NL East (22 1/2 games behind WAS)

16 1/2 games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: AtLa Jerseysnta Braves Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the AtLa Jerseysnta Braves Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Milwaukee Brewers Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 38–49 (.437)

Fourth pLa Jerseysce in NL Central (14 1/2 games behind CHC)

8 1/2 games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Milwaukee Brewers Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Milwaukee Brewers Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

St. Louis Cardinals Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 46–42 (.523)

Second pLa Jerseysce in NL Central (Seven games behind CHC)

One game behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: St. Louis Cardinals Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the St. Louis Cardinals Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Chicago Cubs Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 53–35 (.602)

First pLa Jerseysce in NL Central (Seven-game lead over STL)

Verducci: Chicago Cubs Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Chicago Cubs Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 38–52 (.422)

Fifth pLa Jerseysce in NL West Jerseys (19 games behind SFG)

10 games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 51–40 (.560)

Second pLa Jerseysce in NL West Jerseys (6 1/2 games behind SFG)

First pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (2 1/2 games ahead of NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Los Angeles Dodgers Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

San Francis Jerseysco Giants Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 57–33 (.633)

First pLa Jerseysce in NL West Jerseys (6 1/2 games ahead of La JerseysD)

Verducci: San Francis Jerseysco Giants Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the San Francis Jerseysco Giants Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Miami Marlins Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 47–41 (.534)

Second pLa Jerseysce in NL East (Six games behind WAS)

Tied for second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card with NYM

Verducci: Miami Marlins Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Miami Marlins Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

New York Mets Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 47–41 (.534)

Second pLa Jerseysce in NL East (Six games behind WAS)

Tied for second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card with MIA

Verducci: New York Mets Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the New York Mets Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Washington Nationals Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 54–36 (.600)

First pLa Jerseysce in NL East (Six games ahead of NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Washington Nationals Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Washington Nationals Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

San Diego Padres Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 38–51 (.427)

Fourth pLa Jerseysce in NL West Jerseys (18 1/2 games behind SFG)

9 1/2 games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: San Diego Padres Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the San Diego Padres Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

PhiLa JerseysDe Jerseyslphia PHill Jerseysies Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 42–48 (.467)

Fourth pLa Jerseysce in NL East (12 games behind WAS)

Six games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: PhiLa JerseysDe Jerseyslphia PHill Jerseysies Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the PhiLa JerseysDe Jerseyslphia PHill Jerseysies Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Pittsburgh Pirates Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 46–43 (.517)

Third pLa Jerseysce in NL Central (7 1/2 games behind CHC)

1 1/2 games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Pittsburgh Pirates Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Pittsburgh Pirates Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Cincinnati Reds Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 32–57 (.360)

Fifth pLa Jerseysce in NL Central (21 1/2 games behind CHC)

15 1/2 games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Cincinnati Reds Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Cincinnati Reds Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

Colorado Rockies Jerseys Jerseys

Record: 40–48 (.455)

Third pLa Jerseysce in NL West Jerseys (16 games behind SFG)

Seven games behind second pLa Jerseysce in NL wild card (NYM/MIA)

Verducci: Colorado Rockies Jerseys Jerseys 2016 midseason preview

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci previews the Colorado Rockies Jerseys Jerseys at the halfway point of the 2016 season.

For more second-half preview content, check out Jay Jerseys Jaffe’s bold predictions for the AL and NL.

Second-half storylines: Giants, Indians, Orioles are teams to watch

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Before the second half of the baseball season begins Friday, let’s take a look at some of the most intriguing statistical storylines from the first half, with an eye on the key stat to know looking ahead.

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Oh right, it’s an even year

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The Giants Jerseys went 17-18 (.486) in their first 35 games, ninth in the NL and 16th in the majors. But since May Jerseys 11, they’ve been the best team in baseball by going 40-15, with five fewer losses than any other team.

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The Elias Jerseys Sports Bureau notes that the 40-15 stretch is tied for the Giants Jerseys’ best 55-game stretch since moving to San Francis Jerseysco, also achieved in 1962.

They’ve done it on the strength of pitching, simiLa Jerseysr to the Giants Jerseys teams that won the 2010, 2012 and 2014 World Series. The 2.80 ERA by their starters since May Jerseys 11 is the best in baseball by more than half a run (Cubs Jerseys, 3.52).


There are 40 pLa Jerseysyers in baseball with 3.0 or more wins above repLa Jerseyscement this season (the equivalent of an All-Star season), and the Giants Jerseys have four — Madison Bumgarner Jerseys Jerseys, Johnny Cueto Jerseys Jerseys, Brandon Belt Jerseys Jerseys and Brandon Crawford Jerseys Jerseys.

Second-half stat to watch: The Giants Jerseys’ pitching staff has benefited greatly from catcher Buster Posey Jerseys Jerseys, who rates as the game’s top pitch-framer, and an infield that has a major-League Jerseys best 41 De Jerseysfensive runs saved. Next most by a team is the Blue Jay Jerseyss Jerseys with 24.

Summer and fall of BelieveLa Jerseysnd?

The Indians Jerseys lead the AL Central by 6½ games. Elias Jerseys notes that they’ve led by at least six games three times at the break in their history (1995, 1998, 1999) and went on to win the division each time.

The Indians Jerseys have owned at least a share of the AL Central lead each day since June 4. In that Span Jerseys, their starters have been the best in baseball, with a 3.13 ERA. When the Indians Jerseys get a lead, they find a way to win. Since June 4, the Indians Jerseys are 23-5 (.821) when leading at any point in the game, the most wins and the third-best win percentage of any team.

Through 87 games this season, Francis Jerseysco Lind Jerseysor Jerseys is replicating his 99-game stint from 2015. He’s hitting .306 with 10 home runs and an .823 OPS after hitting .313 with an .835 OPS La Jerseysst season.

Second-half pLa Jerseysyer to watch Carlos Santana Jerseys Jerseys has upped his output since the team became division leaDe Jerseysrs. He’s hitting .296 since that point, after hitting .223 earlier in the season. He had nine home runs in 193 at-bats to start the season, but has 11 in his La Jerseysst 135.

Can the Orioles Jerseys’ power carry them?

The Orioles Jerseys lead the majors in home runs with 137 through 87 games. They are on pace for 255, which would be the fifth-most in a season.

But teams to hit that many home runs have not had success in October. Of the top 14 teams in home runs, only one won the World Series — the 2009 Yankees Jerseys. Elias Jerseys notes that they’re the only team to lead the League Jerseys in home runs and win a World Series in the La Jerseysst 30 seasons.

Second-half stat to watch:The Orioles Jerseys are 22-13 against their AL East rivals, with a run differential of only plus-13. In such a tight race, the Orioles Jerseys’ overachieving makes the difference between being in first pLa Jerseysce and being in third pLa Jerseysce.

The overachievers and unDe Jerseysrachievers

The Orioles Jerseys are one of a few teams to have outperformed their record based on Bill James’ PythaGore Jerseysan expectation formuLa Jerseys. They are 51-36, though their run differential is more indicative of a 48-win team.

The biggest overachiever is the Rangers Jerseys, who are 54-36 De Jerseysspite having a run differential more resembling a 47-43 team. The Rangers Jerseys are 19-7 in one-run games this season.

The Cardinals Jerseys top the list of unDe Jerseysrachievers, with a 46-42 mark, when their PythaGore Jerseysan expectation is 53-35. The Cardinals Jerseys went 6-6 in their La Jerseysst 12 games, with five of the losses being by one or two runs.

The Mariners Jerseys are 45-44 but should be 50-39 based on their run differential. Their bullpen has been the culprit, with an AL-high 16 blown saves. The Mariners Jerseys have led in 24 of their 44 losses, their fourth-most such losses in the AL.

Amazingly, the Cubs Jerseys are on the list of unDe Jerseysrachieving teams. The Cubs Jerseys are 53-35, though their expected record based on run differential is 58-30. The Cubs Jerseys are 4-28 when scoring three runs or fewer, the third-worst record in the NL.

Riley Foreman also contributed to this report.

Yu Darvish making strides towards return

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ARLINGTON — Rain forced Yu Darvish Jerseys to throw his live batting-practice session indoors on Sunday, but pitching coach Doug Brocail was still pleased with the results.

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Darvish could begin a medical rehabilitation assignment as early as April 26 in Frisco, Texas, although he still has one more live batting-practice session.

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Darvish, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on March 17, 2015, threw 50 pitches in increments of 15, 15 and 20 in the indoor batting cages. Josh Hamilton Jerseys and Bryan Holaday Jerseys stood at the plate tracking pitches, but did not swing. Chris Gimenez Jerseys, who is almost fully recovered from an infection in his left ankle, caught Darvish.

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“It went very good,” Brocail said. “He had good angle on his fastball, crisp. He spins the ball as good as anybody in the game. His curveball was better than expected, his slider was phenomenal and his changeup was good. He looked good.”
Darvish’s next session is scheduled for Thursday before the Rangers’ game with the Astros.

“Probably one more like this with live hitters,” Darvish said. “Fifty pitches and then see ya, go out on assignment.”

Darvish would likely make 5-6 starts on rehab assignment and be ready to return to the rotation in late May.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

Freddie Freeman has sore right hand, wrist

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Even as Freddie Freeman Jerseys spent the past two weeks producing surprising encouragement, there was reason to wonder if his right wrist truly had improved to the point where it would be durable enough to withstand the daily rigors the season might bring.

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Freeman was reminded of this when he exited Friday afternoon’s split-squad game with what the Braves termed as discomfort around his right hand and wrist. The veteran first baseman told reporters that he wanted to wait until Saturday to address the matter.

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Freeman made what the Braves hope was just a precautionary exit after he swung through David Buchanan Jerseys’s high fastball to conclude a second-inning strikeout. As Freeman made his way back toward the dugout, he was seen shaking his right hand.

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Though it is too early to know the extent of the ailment, this was certainly not an encouraging development for Freeman, who battled right wrist discomfort throughout most of last season’s final four months and a portion of this offseason. Freeman did not pick up a bat until Dec. 31, and he did not take regular batting practice until he arrived at Spring Training.


Freeman had felt no previous discomfort over the past two weeks. Through the 12 plate appearances he had compiled entering Friday, he had belted two homers, recorded a double and drawn five walks. His most recent homer was an opposite-field shot that he hit during Wednesday’s game against the Astros.

When Freeman arrived at Spring Training, he indicated that he planned to take things slow during the early days of camp. But he took some swings in batting practice during the second day of full-squad workouts and made starts on six of the Grapefruit League season’s first 12 days.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. Share This Email Print + Hide Comments

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