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12:10 PM ET, April 21, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
MLB.com:
Phils strike early vs. Thor, take set from Mets  —  NEW YORK — Noah Syndergaard looked unhittable in the first inning Thursday night at Citi Field.  —  He struck out the side on 14 pitches, flashing his 100-mph fastball.  It looked like a long night ahead for the Phillies …
RELATED:
Stats / MLB on Yahoo! Sports:
Phillies, Braves still stuck at bottom of NL East  —  PHILADELPHIA — The National League East bottom-feeders from 2016 haven't really done much in the first 2 1/2 weeks of 2017 to prove they won't be there again.  —  The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves open a three-game set …
Discussion: Talking Chop and Federal Baseball
Marc Carig / Newsday:
Yoenis Cespedes leaves with hamstring cramp as Mets lose for fifth time in six games  —  Yoenis Cespedes hobbled across the clubhouse late Thursday night, his left hamstring wrapped tightly in a bandage.  The Mets called it a cramp.  He likened the sensation to a “shock,” one that could sideline him for two or three days.
Discussion: Amazin' Avenue
Fred Kerber / New York Post:   A Jay Bruce tour de force blasts away Mets' pain
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Sources: Tigers to call up Joe Jimenez, put Jose Iglesias on DL  —  ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Detroit Tigers are expected to place shortstop Jose Iglesias on the seven-day concussion disabled list Friday and call up top prospect reliever Joe Jimenez from Triple-A Toledo, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation.
RELATED:
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Detroit Tigers' Jose Iglesias could be placed on 7-day concussion DL
Discussion: Bless You Boys and Fox Sports
Greg Auman / UPI:
Tampa Bay Rays edge Detroit Tigers on wild final play in ninth inning
Discussion: DRaysBay and MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Anthony Fenech / Detroit Free Press:
Ausmus: Upton (forearm) likely done for Tigers-Rays series
Discussion: Bless You Boys
ESPN:
Cubs World Series title rings doing big business for Jostens  —  Chicago Cubs fans continue to prove they can't get enough championship gear — even the most expensive type.  —  Jostens started selling World Series Champion jewelry, including rings, on April 12, and in the first full week of sales …
Discussion: FanRag Sports
RELATED:
Jack McCarthy / UPI:
Chicago Cubs storm past Milwaukee Brewers, snap four-game slide  —  CHICAGO — The Chicago Cubs played more like the reigning World Series champions on Tuesday.  —  Chicago pounded out 14 hits — including homers from Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero — while rallying to a 9-7 victory …
Ryan Davis / The Cheat SheetStocks:
5 Reasons the Chicago Cubs Will Repeat in 2017
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Chicago Bulls:
Rajon Rondo Injury Update  —  Rajon Rondo injured his right hand in Game 2 at Boston on Tuesday night.  Rondo underwent a subsequent exam and x-rays that confirmed a thumb fracture.  Surgery is not required for this injury, and he is out indefinitely.
Bob Nightengale / USA Today:
David Freese, World Series hero, finds greater triumph in depression battle  —  ST. LOUIS - The World Series ring sits just a couple of miles away, in a bank security deposit box, but David Freese hasn't even seen it, let alone worn it, in five years.  —  The World Series MVP trophy …
RELATED:
Associated Press:   Fowler, Leake lead Cardinals past Marte-less Pirates 2-1
Bucky Dent / UPI:
Mike Leake, St. Louis Cardinals shut down Pittsburgh Pirates
Discussion: Viva El Birdos
James Kratch / New Jersey Online:
Giants' Weston Richburg reveals he played through injury for entire 2016 season  —  EAST RUTHERFORD — While his quarterback was discussing his legal woes a few feet away, Giants center Weston Richburg dropped some surprising news of his own.  —  Richburg revealed Thursday during a break …
Discussion: ProFootballTalk and FanRag Sports
Rick Hummel / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Peralta goes to DL; Carpenter at 3B ‘an option’  —  St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jhonny Peralta misplays a ground ball off the bat of Cincinnati Reds' Eugenio Suarez for an error in the sixth inning during a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, April 9, 2017, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
RELATED:
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:   Peralta finds playing time scarce as Cards turn to Garcia and Gyorko
WhiteSoxTalk / CSN Chicago:
Preview: White Sox welcome Indians to town tonight on CSN Plus  —  The White Sox take on the Cleveland Indians tonight, and you can catch all the action on CSN Plus and live streaming on CSNChicago.com and the NBC Sports App.  —  Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m …
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe
Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com:
Source: Cuban OF Robert cleared to sign May 20  —  The top prospect in Cuba is one step closer to fulfilling his big league dream.  —  Top Cuban outfield prospect Luis Robert, 19, was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball on Thursday, according to a source.
R.J. Anderson / CBSSports.com:
Rangers' early struggles have more to do with their lineup than their closer situation  —  Texas' lineup has been worse than the overall numbers suggest  —  The Texas Rangers, 5-9 and last in the American League West, are not where they wanted to be nearing May.
RELATED:
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers in need of turnaround after rough road trip out West
 
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 More News: 
Barry Horn / Dallas Morning News:
Tony Romo will call two Dallas Cowboys games this season with CBS
Discussion: FanRag Sports and ProFootballTalk
UPI:
Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw rips Colorado Rockies' Tyler Anderson for pregame walk
Discussion: Deadspin
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
Cubs catcher Miguel Montero makes most of limited playing time
Discussion: Bleacher Nation
 Earlier Picks: 
USA Today:
Minor League report: Braves' Aaron Blair must earn way to big leagues
Bradford DoolittleESPN / ESPN:
How is free swinger Eric Thames crushing his second act?
Discussion: Minor League Ball
Corey Seidman / CSN Philly:
Phillies call up pitching prospect Ben Lively; paternity leave for Pat Neshek
Discussion: Minor League Ball
Matt Snyder / CBSSports.com:
MLB Power Rankings: Blue Jays and Cardinals dig a hole and there's a new No. 1
 

 
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