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Fernando Rodney ((USATSI))
Fernando Rodney has been a frustration this season but many of his stats don't explain why. Chris Towers dives into the latest Closer Stock Watch. Full Story
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Player News
Cubs switch starts of Tsuyoshi Wada, Jason Hammel
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:31 pm ET) The Cubs have flip-flopped starters Tsuyoshi Wada and Jason Hammel in their rotation this weekend against the Royals, per ESPN. The former is now set to start Saturday and the latter Sunday.

The team wants to give more time to Hammel, who is dealing with a fingernail issue. It has certainly not affected him too negatively on the mound - he has six straight quality starts.


Shelved Red Sox DH David Ortiz plans to 'come back and rake'
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:24 pm ET) Red Sox slugger David Ortiz has the same plan that a guy taking a break doing yard work might have.

"Come back and rake," he said.

Ortiz was referring to his forced time off. John Farrell has benched the designated hitter so he can figure out his swing, which has not been itself lately. His 1-for-20 and 3-for-31 slides that have lowered his batting average to a disturbing .216 motivated the move.

Whether it reaps its intended rewards is another matter.

"Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't," Ortiz told WEEI about the hiatus. "...I've just been thinking too much and overdoing things. Sometimes that works and sometimes that doesn't. I know this ballclub needs me, and now we have a long season ahead. I'm just going to try to pull the best out of this."

That means finding the stroke that has made him a potential Hall of Famer.

"A guy like myself, I always have to be on top of my game because every night I see the best coming out of everyone," he said. "So the minute I walk away from my game, this is exactly what happens. The pitcher be like, 'Just keep that monster down there sleeping. Don't wake him up. Bury him.' So in my case, I've got to figure out how to execute better."


Blue Jays 2B Devon Travis starting rehab Friday in Triple-A
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(1:05 pm ET) What was expected is now official - Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis will begin a rehab assignment Friday for Triple-A Buffalo, per Sportsnet. He is set to lead off and serve as the designated hitter.

Travis has been out with a shoulder injury since May 16. It is anticipated that he will return to the Jays when eligible, which would make his stint in the minors quite short. When he returns, he will be on a four-game hitting streak.


Royals OF Alex Rios set to return to lineup Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:56 pm ET) It has been seven weeks since outfielder Alex Rios stepped onto the field with the Royals. Now it's down to just one day.

Ned Yost has announced that Rios will return to the lineup Saturday against the host Cubs, MLB.com has reported.

Rios has been out with a fractured left hand. He will replace Paulo Orlando as the starter in left field. He slammed nine hits in 28 at-bats before going down, then went 3-for-17 with Triple-A Omaha in his rehab assignment.


Royals DH Kendrys Morales forced to sit Friday at Wrigley
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:49 pm ET) Kendrys Morales has been penciled in as the designated hitter for the Royals in every game this season. But when there is no DH, there is no Morales.

Such is the case Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, where Morales is out of the lineup against the Cubs. It remains to be seen if he finds his way into the outfield during the three-game weekend series or if he's used strictly as a pinch-hitter.

His bat will be missed. Morales owns a fine .306/.364/.489 slash line and his 37 RBI is tied for third in the American League.


Tigers not strongly confident they can sign SP David Price
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:25 pm ET) The Tigers are not particularly confident that they will be able to sign ace left-hander David Price, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman is reporting. Price could be destined for free agency after this season.

Detroit is 9-1 when Price starts this year despite his occasional meltdowns. But its front office is concerned that he will want to test the market and top the contract earned by Max Scherzer, who left the Tigers after last season to join Washington. Scherzer earned $210 million after turning down the Detroit offer of $144 million.

Price, however, is considered more likely to remain where he is comfortable than a guy who is seeking maximum dollar.

He has seven quality starts and another in which he pitched shutout ball for 5 2/3 innings. But two terrible outings has resulted in a still-strong 2.97 ERA.


Nationals' Anthony Rendon could be 7-10 away from returning
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:23 pm ET) Nationals infielder Anthony Rendon is believed to be 7-10 days away from returning, CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported Friday. He began playing in extended spring games Wednesday.

Rendon has been on the disabled list all season recovering from knee and oblique injuries.


Scout: Mets SP prospect Steven Matz is 'really good'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:11 pm ET) Mets starting pitcher prospect Steven Matz continues to impress in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. He is 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA and 1.05 WHIP through 10 outings (nine starts).

"He's really good," an AL scout told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. "He has a slower curveball that works in the minors, so he may need to complement that with a slider. But he has deception with his fastball."


Exec: Tigers OF Yoenis Cespedes won't skip free agency
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(12:11 pm ET) There is no possibility that Tigers slugger Yoenis Cespedes will eschew free agency to sign early with Detroit, an executive of one of his former teams told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman.

"He's a businessman," the source said.

The Tigers, however, like Cespedes and plan to keep him in Detroit. He has been steady and productive this year to the tune of a .285/.320/.478 slash line and 27 RBI.


Rivals teams prefer Mets' Bartolo Colon over Dillon Gee
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:08 pm ET) The Mets are still keeping starting pitcher Dillon Gee on the trade market, according to CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman. However, his injury history limits his value.

Also, rival teams seem to prefer acquiring veteran Bartolo Colon.

"He takes the ball every fifth day and throws strikes," a rival executive said of Colon.


 
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