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Mike Scioscia adds Dave Wallace as pitching coach for Team USA

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Dave Wallace will be Mike Scioscia’s pitching coach for Team USA as it tries to qualify for the Olympic baseball tournament.

Scioscia’s staff will also include Jerry Weinstein (bench coach), Ernie Young (hitting and first-base coach), Darren Fenster (third-base coach) and Roly de Armas (bullpen coach), USA Baseball said Thursday.

Wallace served as pitching coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1995-97), New York Mets (1999-2000), Boston Red Sox (2003-06), Houston Astros (2007) and Baltimore Orioles (2014-16) and spent 2017-19 as a pitching consultant for the Atlanta Braves.

Young was a member of the U.S. Olympic baseball team that won the gold medal at Sydney, Australia, in 2000.

Scioscia will lead the U.S. at the Baseball Americas Qualifier in Port St. Lucie and West Palm Beach, Florida, from May 31 to June 5 with a yet-to-be-announced roster of minor leaguers and released players. Only players not on 26-man major league rosters and injured lists will be eligible.

The U.S. plays the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua in Group A, and the top two teams advance to the super round along with two teams from Group B, which has Canada, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela. The top team from the super round joins Japan, Israel, Mexico and South Korea at the Olympic baseball tournament, to be played from July 28 to Aug. 7 in Fukushima and Yokohama, Japan.

Second- and third-place teams advance to a final qualifier in June in Taiwan, which will include Australia, China, Netherlands and Taiwan.

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Tampa Bay Rays deal reliever Hunter Strickland to Los Angeles Angels

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The Tampa Bay Rays traded right-handed relief pitcher Hunter Strickland to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Strickland, 32, has appeared in 13 games for the Rays this season, registering a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched.

He made the Rays roster in spring training as a non-roster invitee.

The eight-year veteran has a 16-16 career record with 21 saves and a 3.14 ERA and 249 strikeouts. He also has pitched for the Giants, Mariners, Nationals and Mets during his career.

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Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ ‘good’ after being activated from IL

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The Chicago Cubs activated outfielder Ian Happ from the injured list after he missed time due to bruised ribs.

“They’re good,” Happ said Saturday morning. “I feel great. It’s not like anything I’ve ever had before. Working out the last three to four days, being able to throw, hit, run and do everything it takes to play in a major league baseball game.”

Happ, 26, was injured in a collision with second baseman Nico Hoerner as both players converged on a pop up in the outfield earlier this month. Hoerner also spent time on the injured list with a forearm injury. He was activated on Friday.

To make room on the roster for Happ, infielder Ildemaro Vargas was designated for assignment. Happ is batting sixth and playing centerfield against the Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ AJ Pollock (hamstring) likely headed to IL, Dave Roberts says

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Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder AJ Pollock left Friday night’s 9-6 win over the Miami Marlins with a left hamstring strain and is likely headed for the injured list, manager Dave Roberts said.

Pollock was making his first start since straining his left hamstring last week in a 9-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

In the second inning Friday, Pollock singled in the game’s first run but aggravated his hamstring injury when he took third base on Austin Barnes‘ RBI double. Pollock was removed for a pinch-runner.

“He felt it grab, so kind of right now, with where we’re at, I assume it’s gonna be an IL and we’ll probably have a move tomorrow,” Roberts said.

Pollock is batting .277 with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 32 games.

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