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1:15 PM ET, May 19, 2017

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Jason Munz / Hattiesburg American:
Anthony Alford promoted to MLB by Blue Jays  —  Former Petal star Anthony Alford was called up to the big leagues by the Toronto Blue Jays Friday.  —  The 22-year-old outfielder was hitting .325 with three home runs and 11 runs batted in 33 games with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Toronto's AA affiliate.
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors and Sportsnet.ca
RELATED:
Andrew Schmid / Fox Sports:
Toronto Blue Jays Suspend Kevin Pillar for Two Games  —  The Toronto Blue Jays have suspended Kevin Pillar for two games after the center fielder used a homophobic slur.  —  According to Shi Davidi of Sporstnet.ca, the Toronto Blue Jays have suspended Kevin Pillar for two games.
ESPN:   Jays' Darrell Ceciliani injures shoulder, expected to go on DL
Richard W. Rodriguez / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Tensions high, suspension levied in Braves-Blue Jays series
Discussion: Bluebird Banter
New York Daily News:
Blue Jays suspend outfielder Kevin Pillar 2 games for yelling homophobic slur; MLB investigating
Discussion: Minor League Ball
Kevin Pillar / ESPN:
Blue Jays suspend Kevin Pillar 2 games for anti-gay slur
Discussion: baseballmusings.com
Dave Sheinin / Washington Post:
The NL East is so bad, it's hard to tell if the Nationals are any good  —  The Atlanta Braves have already endured two six-game losing streaks this season, plus a separate five-gamer.  They haven't spent a single day above .500 and haven't been within five games of first place since the third week of April.
Discussion: Federal Baseball
RELATED:
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
Heyman |  Nationals begin exploring market for a closer  —  The Washington Nationals have begun making calls now for closer, and while they haven't found anyone who's immediately available, David Robertson is very likely to become available and perhaps makes the most sense.
ESPN:
Who would say no? Dealing the Nationals a closer
Discussion: Royals Review
Zach Buchanan / Cincinnati.com:
BAR Mailbag: Who's to blame for the pitching?  —  114 Shares  —  Amir Garrett lasted just four innings and the Reds were swept in Chicago, losing 9-5 to the Cubs on Thursday.  The Enquirer/C. Trent Rosecrans … Happy Friday.  Let's get to your Reds questions. … I don't think it's a coaching staff issue.
RELATED:
Cincinnati.com:   Amir Garrett struggles in his return as Cincinnati Reds fall to Chicago Cubs
UPI:
Cincinnati Reds recall promising LHP Amir Garrett to start series finale vs. Chicago Cubs
Associated Press:
Turner injures right hamstring, Dodgers beat Marlins 7-2  —  Justin Turner left in the seventh inning after injuring his right hamstring, curbing the celebration for the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.  —  Turner was hurt running from second base to home in the seventh inning.
RELATED:
Dylan Hernandez / Los Angeles Times:
Column Alex Wood has adapted well to an ever-changing Dodgers pitching staff  —  The downside of constructing a team like the Dodgers is that players can feel like interchangeable parts.  The active roster changes every other day.  Roles switch.  Not everyone responds well to the instability.
Discussion: True Blue LA
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers reaction wonders if they'll ever lose again in Arlington  —  ARLINGTON  —  Is this becoming old hat?  Do people even use the expression “old hat” anymore?  The Rangers' 8-4 win over the Phillies Thursday afternoon, which capped a three-game sweep, an 8-0 homestand …
RELATED:
Jon Machota / Dallas Morning News:   Critical winning streak makes baseball fun again for the Rangers
Stefan Stevenson / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Rangers finish undefeated homestand with ninth straight win
Discussion: WFAA-TV and Lone Star Ball
Mike Mazzeo / New York Daily News:
Yankees baffled by Danny Duffy, fall to Royals in series finale  —  A-Rod may have been in the broadcast booth, but the Yankees could've used him in the batter's box on Thursday.  Maybe he could've hit Danny Duffy.  No one else seemed to be able to.  Duffy was dominant …
RELATED:
Blair Kerkhoff / Kansas City Star:   Danny Duffy strikes out 10 Yankees in dealing Royals a 5-1 victory
Detroit Free Press:
Tigers' opponents preview: Rangers ride into Comerica Park on nine-game winning streak  —  Series: Texas at Tigers for three games, Friday-Sunday night.  —  TV/radio: Friday — 7:10 on Fox Sports Detroit, Saturday — 7:15 on Fox (Channel 2 in Detroit), Sunday — 8:05 on ESPN.
Discussion: Bless You Boys
RELATED:
Detroit Free Press:   Next Slide  —  Victor Martinez is expecting another addition to his family.
ESPN:
The bullpen revolution has not been televised  —  There comes a point each spring when the buds of a bullpen revolution seem to be everywhere.  One team's closer competition between two great relievers inspires a managerial pledge to “play matchups” and get both pitchers saves.
ESPN:
Braves' Julio Teheran hits Jose Bautista in thigh day after bat flip  —  Braves starting pitcher Julio Teheran hit Toronto's Jose Bautista in the left thigh with his second pitch of the at-bat in the top of the first inning Thursday night at Atlanta.  —  The Braves weren't pleased …
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson homer as White Sox pull even with Mariners in 8th  —  Photos from the White Sox-Mariners game on Thursday, May 18, 2017, in Seattle.  —  Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to push the White Sox into a 4-4 tie with the Mariners on Thursday night at Safeco Field.
Max Gelman / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Series preview: Giants at Cardinals  —  Photo by Chris Lee, clee@post-dispatch.com  —  Scouting report  • The Cardinals welcome in the San Francisco Giants this weekend for a three-game series.  Coming off a two-game sweep at the hands of the Boston Red Sox, the Cardinals have fallen …
Discussion: Bleed Cubbie Blue
Tampa Bay Times:
Monken: DeSean Jackson took the money and better be great  —  If you think the Bucs will pressure DeSean Jackson to live up to his contract, well, you're right on the money.  —  At least that's the message from offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken to the 30-year-old Jackson …
Boston Herald:
A's spoil Velazquez's debut with 3 HRs in 8-3 win vs Red Sox  —  OAKLAND, Calif. — Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis hit first-inning homers to spoil Hector Velazquez's major league debut and the Oakland Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 8-3 on Thursday night.  —  Chad Pinder added a homer …
ESPN:
Source: Doug Fister agrees to minor league deal with Angels  —  The Los Angeles Angels have reached agreement on a major league deal with veteran right-hander Doug Fister, a source told ESPN's Buster Olney.  —  Because of his service time, the 33-year-old Fister has agreed to be optioned to the minors …
RELATED:
Steve Adams / MLB Trade Rumors:
Angels To Sign Doug Fister
 
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 More News: 
Paul Hoynes / Plain Dealer:
Cleveland Indians' starting rotation isn't just bad, it's perplexingly bad
Discussion: Let's Go Tribe
Associated Press:
Under Armour to make MLB uniforms in 2019, a year early
Jon Heyman / FanRag Sports:
Inside Baseball NL Notes | How Stanton's contract impacts Marlins
Discussion: MLB Trade Rumors
Ray Glier / VICE Sports:
The New Tommy John Surgery That Could Change Baseball
Bill Madden / New York Daily News:
Only thing Mets and Yankees have in common is top division rivals are weaker than expected
Robert O'Connell / The Atlantic:
Better, Slower, Safer Pitching
Derrick Goold / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Cardinals notes: Wacha is taking an extra day off between starts
 Earlier Picks: 
Evan Grossman / New York Daily News:
After pregame controversy, A-Rod has night of ups and downs in color commentary debut
Colleen Kane / Chicago Tribune:
Road has been a (7-home run) blast for White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu
Discussion: MLB on Yahoo! Sports
Associated Press:
Mets' Steven Matz, Seth Lugo pitch to Travis d'Arnaud in minors
Discussion: Bless You Boys
Fox Sports:
Twins ace Ervin Santana struggles early in rare loss
Discussion: Twinkie Town and Purple Row
Associated Press:
Rob Manfred acknowledges pace of game in MLB has gone ‘backwards’
 

 
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TMZ.com:
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Associated Press:
Meghan Markle appears at Prince Harry's Invictus Games

 
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