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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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1Rusney Castillo, BOS, CF6439
2Lance McCullers, HOU, SP6029
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5Delino DeShields, TEX, LF5384
6Jaime Garcia, STL, SP4940
7Tsuyoshi Wada, CHC, SP4700
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Player News
Shelby Miller's promising start has piqued interest of opposing teams
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:35 am ET) Thanks to a strong start to the season, teams have begun to eye Braves starting pitcher Shelby Miller as a potential trade target, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

However, Heyman writes it is hard to see the Braves moving Miller since he is still under team control through 2018.

The right-hander, who was acquired in an offseason trade with St. Louis, is coming off a two-hit shutout against the Marlins. He is 5-1 with a 1.33 ERA through eight starts.


Marlins P Henderson Alvarez has been pitching with torn UCL
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:32 am ET) Could the Marlins have rushed right-hander Henderson Alvarez back from the disabled list? Alvarez returned from the DL last weekend after suffering elbow tightness and shoulder inflammation, and had a rough start on Saturday against the Braves. But the Marlins needed him to come back with fellow starter Jarred Cosart placed on the DL with a bout of vertigo.

CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reports that Alvarez has apparently been pitching with a 90-percent torn UCL for years, but has been able to get by without needing surgery.

Last year, Alvarez made 30 starts for the Marlins, and finished with a very impressive 2.65 ERA. It is worth wondering if Alvarez was in fact ready to return from his DL stint, or if the return will have any long-term ramifications.


Padres' Melvin Upton needs at least 40 at-bats before DL activation
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(11:30 am ET) With Yonder Alonso and Wil Myers sidelined with injuries, this could Padres outfielder Melvin Upton's best opportunity to show he can still contribute, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

Upton, who has been sidelined all season with a left toe injury, began a minor-league rehab assignment with Triple-A El Paso on Monday. He is hitting .333 (3 for 9) with a double and an RBI in two games. He will need another 40 at-bats before he is activated from the disabled list.

"His pride is kicking in," a friend of Upton said. "He doesn't want to be remembered as the worst contract in baseball history."


Braves inquiry about Jonathan Lucroy rebuffed by Brewers
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:26 am ET) With catcher Christian Bethancourt having a poor start to the season, the Braves inquired about Brewers starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. However, the Braves were told he was unavailable.

Bethancourt began the season as the Braves starting catcher, but he was quickly replaced by veteran A.J. Pierzynski after he struggled at and behind the plate.


Dodgers' Hector Olivera's contract has team option for seventh year
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(11:23 am ET) The six-year, $62.5 million contract for Dodgers Cuban-import Hector Olivera contains a club option for a seventh year, to protect themselves in case Olivera's elbow proves to be an issue, reports CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

As Heyman notes, Olivera recently passed his physical and is in Arizona getting ready to join the team this summer. But the option year gives the team some insurance in case the elbow acts up. The amount of the option is not currently known. 


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).


 
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