Chris Johnson hits eighth home run Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:37 am ET) Braves infielder Chris Johnson hit his eighth home run Thursday against the Marlins.

Johnson struck in his first at-bat. In the second inning, he hit a 93 mph fastball from Henderson Alvarez out to left for a two-run shot. Johnson finished 1 for 3, with one run scored and two RBI. 


Luis Valbuena hits sixth home run Wednesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena hit his sixth home run Wednesday against the Padres.

With two men on, Valbuena worked a two-pitch at-bat against Ian Kennedy in the fourth inning. On the second pitch, Valbuena belted a 76 mph curve out to right for a three-run shot. He finished 1 for 4, with one run scored and three RBI. 


Pirates recall Brent Morel from Triple-A
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) The Pirates recalled outfielder Brent Morel from Triple-A indianapolis Wednesday.

Morel takes the roster spot of Starling Marte, who was placed on the seven-day disabled list Wednesday. Morel has hit .246/.318/.342 with three home runs and 37 RBI in 260 at-bats with Indianapolis.


Pedro Alvarez sits out Wednesday due to knee injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez was held out of the starting lineup Wednesday vs. L.A. Dodgers after leaving Tuesday's game due to knee discomfort. Josh Harrison started in Alvarez's absence.

Aramis Ramirez to continue career past 2014 season
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who appeared in his 2,000th MLB game Wednesday, said he has decided to continue his career past the 2014 season, per the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"I'm going to go for 2,500 (games) so let's see what happens," Ramirez said. "I'm only 36; I'll be OK. I'm playing past this year, for sure. I don't know how much longer but definitely more years. I'll see where I'm at after the season but I feel good right now. Health is the main thing. My body is telling me I can still play."

Ramirez has a mutual option for $14 million for next season. If Ramirez exercises the option and the Brewers decline, he gets a $4 million buyout.

"That, I don't think about," he said. "I don't really like to talk about contracts during the season. They haven't approached me about anything, either, so we'll see what happens.

"I like it here. It's the reason I came here. I have no regrets. I've had a great three years here. I've liked it. It's a good place to play baseball. A great stadium; we have a roof (so) I don't have to worry about the conditions. A good team. We just missed the playoffs my first year here. This year, we're in the pennant race. So, we have a good team and it was the right choice."


Cubs considering moving Kris Bryant to right field
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) The Cubs have had internal discussions about transitioning prospect Kris Bryant from third base to right field, according to CSN Chicago. However, the talks have not progressed to making that move just yet.

"He can do it," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "He played center in college, and he’s played right. He feels good out there. The biggest focus for him right now is he’s working on his defense. He is almost 6-6, and with that the fundamentals of playing third base are more challenging.

"In the future, I would never say never that we wouldn’t put him out there. But right now, our focus is third."


Nolan Arenado blasts off for first time since May 5
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has been struggling to hit for power since returning from a thumb injury, but he didn't struggle in the third inning of a Tuesday night loss to Washington.

Arenado slammed his first homer since May 5, a two-run job against Jordan Zimmermann. Despite the power outage, Arenado does have nine hits in his last eight games.


Mike Olt optioned to Triple-A Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Cubs infielder Mike Olt has been optioned to Triple-A Tuesday.

Olt has struggled this season, hitting just .139 over 187 at-bats. He's been able to provide some pop, hitting 12 home runs. Olt was optioned following Tuesday's game. He went 0 for 4, with three strikeouts. 


Pedro Alvarez removed with knee discomfort Tuesday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/22/2014) Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez was removed from Tuesday's game with a knee issue.

Alvarez left the game with left knee discomfort. He was 1 for 2, with a double, before being removed from the game. 


Could trade resuscitate Yangervis Solarte's value?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/22/2014) The trade that brought Yangervis Solarte from the Yankees to the Padres Tuesday assures at least one thing: The 27-year-old utility player play every day again. Between Jedd Gyorko's plantar fasciitis, Everth Cabrera's strained hamstring and, of course, Chase Headley's sudden departure, the Padres have openings all across their infield.

Though Solarte hadn't completely disappeared from the lineup in his final weeks with the Yankees, he sat too often to have any chance of overcoming his midsummer slump -- which, by the way, has lasted only 18 games. Granted, he's gone 4 for 51 (.078) during those 18 games, but the lack of repetition certainly hasn't helped. When inexperienced players see fewer pitches, they tend to get worse rather than better. Solarte hasn't had a chance to work through this slump. The Yankees pulled the plug on him too quickly.

He'll get that chance with the Padres, and because of that, I wouldn't rule out him making an impact in the second half. Throughout his slump, he has continued to make contact at a high rate, striking out just nine times in those 18 games, and players who do that typically hit for a high batting average. When the Yankees sent Solarte down for five games in the middle of the slump (giving him those consistent at-bats he lacked in the majors), he went 12 for 20 (.600). The ability is still there.

That's not to say I'm rushing to pick Solarte back up. It's probably unnecessary outside the deepest of leagues. But if he shows signs of life, I'll be ready.


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