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Closer Stock Watch
A.J. Ramos 320 ((Getty Images))
The switch from Steve Cishek to A.J. Ramos is just part of the larger mess in Miami. Our Chris Towers updates the Marlins and five other closer situations. Full Story
Related Links:
• Waiver Wire: Garcia, Howard relevant again?
• Prospects Report: Castillo, Singleton time?
• Towers: Rethinking Rodon | Platoon values
•  Check out Fantasy podcasts | FBT blogs
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PlayerTotal
1Rusney Castillo, BOS, CF6309
2Lance McCullers, HOU, SP5891
3Enrique Burgos, ARI, RP5419
4Jon Singleton, HOU, 1B5294
5Delino DeShields, TEX, LF5258
6Jaime Garcia, STL, SP4874
7Tsuyoshi Wada, CHC, SP4584
8Shawn Tolleson, TEX, RP4460
9Devon Travis, TOR, 2B4307
10Mike Wright, BAL, RP4090
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Player News
D-Backs' Tomas likely moving to outfield once Lamb returns
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:20 am ET) Once Diamondbacks third baseman Jake Lamb returns from the disabled list, the thinking is that he will play at the hot corner and Yasmany Tomas will move to the outfield, where Arizona already has a glut of outfielders, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Tomas has been the team's primary third baseman since Lamb went on the disabled list in mid-April. After a slow start offensively, Tomas has been on a nice run as of late. He has multiple hits in six straight games through Thursday. He is batting .500 (13 for 26) with one home run, three doubles and four RBI in that span.

Lamb is expected to come off the disabled list around June 1.


Blue Jays still creating a plan to keep Bautista, Encarnacion
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:19 am ET) The Blue Jays want to lock up designated hitter Jose Bautista and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion to long-term extensions, but have yet to come up with a plan, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. Both Bautista and Encarnacion are under contract through at least 2015.

Astros could be on the lookout for pitching this summer
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:18 am ET) The Astros could be in the market for starting pitching this summer, as they continue their surprising run in 2015. The Astros do have the third-best ERA in the American League, but they could do well in bringing in another arm to shore up the rotation as they try to make a postseason run. 

CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman notes that rookie outfielder Preston Tucker could be a possible trade chip should the Astros wish to go that route. Tucker has hit well in his first stint as a Major Leaguer, but he may have trouble getting regular playing time with the state of the Astros' current outfield. 


Astros relievers Gregerson, Neshek giving team solid relief in '15
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:14 am ET) In 2014, the Astros had the highest bullpen ERA in baseball with a 4.80 mark. So, in the offseason, the team addressed that issue by bringing in a couple of solid right-handed relievers in Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek.

A competing general manager called Houston "real smart" for being able to sign both men and making a strength out of a weakness, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. 

So far, the two have been stellar out of the bullpen for manager A.J. Hinch. Though Gregerson's 4.08 ERA is a bit high, he is 10-for-11 in save chances and has a 14:5 K:BB ratio.

Neshek, meanwhile, is in the midst of 11 straight scoreless outings, and has not walked a batter this season. 


Phillies' Cole Hamels wouldn't waive no-trade clause for Blue Jays
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:11 am ET) The Blue Jays inquired about Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels, but were told Hamels would not waive his 20-team no-trade clause to go to Toronto, sources told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Heyman wrote Hamels turning down a trade to the Blue Jays was disappointing to the Phillies since Philadelphia likely saw Toronto as a good trade partner with all its young pitching talent (i.e. Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris).


Astros' Carlos Correa may have to wait a little longer for promotion
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:08 am ET) Astros top prospect Carlos Correa could just be biding his time at Triple-A as he awaits the call to the Major Leagues. But he may have to wait at least another month or so before that time comes, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports.

Heyman says that there are members of the Astros' staff that would like to have Correa up now. But it seems likely that the team will wait until June in order to reduce the chances of him becoming a Super Two player, giving the team an extra year of contract control.


Giants' Yusmeiro Petit likely to start second game of doubleheader
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:02 am ET) Giants pitcher Yusmeiro Petit will start the second game of a doubleheader Saturday against Colorado, unless he is needed out of the bullpen on Friday, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Petit made 12 starts last season. He owns a 3.27 ERA through his first 22 innings of relief this season. 

Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts reaches base three times Thursday
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:57 am ET) Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had the goods and bads in Thursday's loss to the Rangers. Bogaerts reached base safely in all three plate appearances, going 2 for 2 with a walk. He has a hit four straight games and has reached base in eight of his last nine. Since May 10, he has seen his season average rise more than 20 points from .250 to its current .271 clip.

But, Bogaerts did commit his third error of the season, and also ran into some back luck on the basepaths, literally. 

With teammate Daniel Nava at the plate in the bottom of the fifth, Bogaerts was on first base with one out. He took off trying to steal second, but Nava swung and tapped the ball to the right side, which clipped Bogaerts on the foot as he was running. Bogaerts was ruled out, and a strikeout by the next batter ended the rally for Boston.

"Probably the play there when I tried to steal and the ball hit me, that was probably the game-changer," said Bogaerts, per MLB.com. "I never knew, I was never aware the ball touched me until I came back down and I saw the video, it might've just scratched the bottom of my heel or something like that, but I never know it hit me at all."


Brewers' Counsell: It's 'probably likely' Will Smith will be suspended
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(10:46 am ET) Brewers reliever Will Smith is likely facing a suspension for being ejected Thursday night for having a foreign substance discovered on his forearm, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel.

"That's pretty real," said manager Craig Counsell, when asked if he is expecting a suspension. "We know that's probably likely."

Smith was tossed by crew chief Jim Joyce in the seventh inning of Thursday's 10-1 loss to the Braves after Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez asked officials to examine the glistening substance on his forearm.

After the game, Smith revealed that he had a mixture of sunscreen and rosin on his arm while warming up in the bullpen, and acknowledged he forgot to wipe it off after he was summoned to replace Matt Garza in the seventh inning because he was in a hurry.

Counsell noted that players everywhere in the league, including some on the Braves do the same thing to improve their grip on the ball.

"It happens everywhere in the league, and it happens on (Gonzalez's) team, too," Counsell said.

In 2012, Joel Peralta, who was with the Rays at the time, was slapped with an eight-game suspension for using pine tar to improve his grip. Last season, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball after he was caught using pine tar in an April game against Boston. Because Pineda's incident was more recent, Smith could be facing a suspension close to 10 games.

"Who knows? That's MLB's decision. It's not my call," Smith said.


Mets LF Michael Cuddyer could be finding his way at the plate
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(10:39 am ET) Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer had his first three-hit game of the season in Thursday's win over the Cardinals. Cuddyer reached safely in all four of his plate appearances, going 3 for 3 (all singles) with a walk. 

The veteran outfielder has gotten off to a rather slow start at the plate for his new team, but he may be starting to turn things around. He's reached base safely via a hit or a walk in each of his last seven games, batting .346 during that span. 

“I feel a little better,’’ Cuddyer said after the game, per the New York Post. “I don’t really tinker with mechanics too much. There’s a few things you I can do in the cage that will free you up a little bit, and we’re getting you that point. But ultimately, you look at the box score, and that’s how you say if a guy is hot or not.’’

Cuddyer hasn't homered since May 1, so the power hasn't quite been there for him yet. But the team is happy to see Cuddyer improving.

“Cuddy’s hitting the ball well. He hit the ball well [Wednesday] night, but right at them," Mets first baseman Lucas Duda said. "I think we’re getting rolling here offensively, and that will just help us. It should be fun.’’


 
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