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Cleveland Indians place Franmil Reyes on 10-day IL with abdominal strain

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CLEVELAND — The Indians placed cleanup hitter Franmil Reyes on the 10-day injured list Sunday because of a strained left abdominal muscle.

Reyes was injured while fouling off a pitch in the sixth inning Saturday against the Minnesota Twins. He had an MRI on Sunday morning. The team is expected to provide a more detailed medical update before Sunday’s game, but Reyes could miss a significant amount of time.

Reyes and third baseman Jose Ramirez have carried Cleveland’s struggling offense for most of the season. Reyes leads the Indians with 29 RBIs and is second with 11 homers as the designated hitter while batting .257 in 40 games.

He hit a two-run homer in the first inning Saturday before doubling over in pain after taking a swing in the sixth and being replaced during the at-bat by Jordan Luplow.

Infielder Owen Miller, the top hitting prospect in Cleveland’s minor league system, was called up from Triple-A Columbus. Miller, 24, was batting .406 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 16 games at Columbus. The right-handed hitter has played all four infield positions and left field.

Miller was acquired in a nine-player trade that sent pitcher Mike Clevinger to the San Diego Padres in August. He was drafted in the third round by the Padres in 2018.

Catcher Roberto Perez, who had surgery for a broken right thumb earlier this month, was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

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San Diego Padres’ Fernando Tatis exits game after hurting left shoulder again

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SAN DIEGO — Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder Friday night in the San Diego Padres‘ 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

Tatis will be re-evaluated Saturday, manager Jayce Tingler said, adding that the injury appeared similar to the ones Tatis suffered earlier this season.

It was the third time the 22-year-old Tatis left a game this year due to a left shoulder injury. He was the NL’s starting shortstop in the All-Star Game.

Tatis singled in the first inning and advanced on Machado’s sharp grounder to third baseman McMahon, who came up with the ball but then had it pop out of his glove and roll behind him into short left-field. Tatis made a dash for third but shortstop Rodgers ran toward third, took the throw from McMahon and tagged out the sliding Tatis.

Tatis slid awkwardly over the bag and crumbled in pain a few feet away, bringing a hush over Petco Park. Tingler and a trainer helped Tatis off the field as he winced in pain, holding his left arm. The trainer was holding Tatis’ upper arm/shoulder.

Tatis suffered a partially dislocated left shoulder on a violent swing April 5 against San Francisco and went on the injured list. He reinjured the shoulder and left a game against Cincinnati on June 19, although he missed only one game. Tatis left a spring training game after hurting the shoulder while making a throw but was back two days later.

Tatis also missed eight games in mid-May after testing positive for COVID-19.

Tatis came into the game batting .290 with an NL-best 31 home runs, 23 stolen bases, 78 runs scored and a .650 slugging percentage. His 70 RBIs are third in the NL.

Tatis is known for making spectacular plays at shortstop although he currently leads the majors with 20 errors. He became the first Padres player voted to start an All-Star Game since Tony Gwynn in 1999.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Jed Hoyer says Chicago Cubs’ major trade-deadline shake-up was ‘right thing for the organization’

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WASHINGTON — An 11-game losing streak sealed the Chicago Cubs‘ fate in the standings not only for 2021, but also for the future of the franchise well beyond this season.

In the span of 24 hours, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer tore down the team he helped put together — which won a World Series in 2016. First baseman Anthony Rizzo was traded to the New York Yankees, shortstop Javy Baez to the New York Mets and third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant to the San Francisco Giants.

All three popular Cubs will be free agents after this season.

“We could either hold these players for two months and have them compete for a fourth-place team or do everything we could do in our power to reset our farm system and reset our organization,” Hoyer said on a post-trade deadline Zoom call. “We accelerated that over the last 10 days or so.”

Hoyer also traded All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel to the White Sox. Though it looks like a full-on rebuild, Hoyer actually believes he avoided one, calling the Cubs’ significant roster shake-up at the trade deadline difficult but necessary.

“Was it emotionally difficult?” Hoyer asked. “Yes. Do I think it was absolutely the right thing for the organization? I do.”

He cited teams like the Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers and Giants who went all the way to the end of their team control with players and then took years to be competitive again.

“They ran to the end of the cliff and fell off and they had to rebuild,” Hoyer said. “We were willing to go to that point if this was a winning team this year, but we weren’t, so with that we were able to speed that process up dramatically.”

The Cubs sped it up even before the season began when they traded Cy Young runner-up Yu Darvish and failed to make meaningful additions to the team. Their inability to sign their own players to contract extensions also contributed to the breakup. From the 2016 roster, only pitcher Kyle Hendricks signed a long-term deal.

“I have to say that we made offers to everyone that I believe will stand up exceptionally well,” Hoyer said. “We weren’t able to reach deals. Does that frustrate me? It does, but I have to be honest, I know we put our best foot forward. I’m proud of the offers we made.”

Rizzo turned down an extension this past spring, while Baez was a pandemic casualty as talks stalled when baseball shut down in March.

There’s disagreement between the Cubs and Bryant’s camp on exactly what — or if — he was offered a big contract several years ago. Bryant claims he never saw a deal worth over $200 million or else he would have signed it.

The team also struggled to an extent since winning the World Series. There were three more playoff appearances between 2017 and 2020 but the team was flawed, lacking contact as well as young, up-and-coming pitching. Despite being in pennant races every year, the Cubs underachieved, looking and performing poorly at the plate in particular.

The result of it all was Hoyer maxing out the situation facing him on Friday and trading for seven players over the last two days, all of whom are at the beginnings of their careers.

“There’s two types of currency in this game,” Hoyer said. “There’s prospect/talent currency and there’s financial currency. The last two or three years, we were short on both.

“We have prospect currency and financial currency going forward.”

But now they are short on star players as a depleted Cubs team took the field on Friday night against a depleted Washington Nationals squad. Both organizations are resetting with the hope to compete again in short order. For Hoyer, it meant saying goodbye to players he’s watched grow up. Players who helped break a 108-year championship drought.

“I don’t want anyone to feel like there is a lack of emotion,” Hoyer said about trading away a number of beloved players. “Did we decide as a group to not have them the last two months here? We did. But I love those guys and I hope people understand that. What we created was really special.”

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Dodgers’ Andrew Friedman says willingness to ‘be aggressive’ key to team’s big trade-deadline splashes

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Andrew Friedman’s reputation as a pragmatic executive who seeks value on the margins and shies away from the headline-grabbing acquisitions is no longer applicable. The Los Angeles Dodgers ‘ president of baseball operations, who cut his teeth in the front office of a famously frugal Tampa Bay Rays organization, is officially a big-game hunter. Over the last four years, Friedman has acquired — either through free agency or via trade — Yu Darvish, Manny Machado, Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, a sextet of players who have combined for 25 All-Star Game appearances, four Cy Young Awards and one MVP.

The latest move — plucking Scherzer and Turner from the Washington Nationals for a package of four prospects, headlined by catcher Keibert Ruiz and pitcher Josiah Gray — might have provided the Dodgers with some distance in a tightly contested National League West and made them the favorites to repeat as champions.

“I feel like we had a championship-caliber team before this, with the group of talent we have, with the guys that are coming back from injury,” Friedman said Friday. “But whenever you’re in position to win a championship and you have impact-type players that you can add — our mindset is to be aggressive on that and try to balance the today and the tomorrow. And some of the times that we’ve balanced the future have put us in position to do this.”

Scherzer, the best starting pitcher available by a wide margin, was being pursued by the division-rival San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers, with a clear need at the top of their rotation because of the sexual-assault allegations surrounding Bauer, made him a clear target. But they didn’t want to part with premium prospects for someone who would amount to a rental. Adding Turner, a star shortstop who is controllable through 2022 and might offer positional flexibility, created a path for both teams to acquire what they needed.

The question now is where Turner plays.

Corey Seager, the Dodgers’ starting shortstop over these last five years, was activated off the injured list Friday after missing the last 11 weeks with a fifth metacarpal fracture in his right hand. Seager will return to his regular position while Turner navigates Major League Baseball’s health-and-safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, but it’s unclear how the lineup will shake out when both are active.

Turner spent a lot of time playing center field and second base in 2015 and 2016, while Seager has played almost exclusively at shortstop as a professional. It seems logical that the Dodgers would deploy Turner in center field, which can put the struggling Cody Bellinger in something of a left-field platoon with the right-handed-hitting A.J. Pollock, or second base, where he can occasionally spell the young Gavin Lux. But Friedman and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts remain non-committal.

“I’m gonna talk to him and kind of figure out where the best fit is for him, our club, but this guy can do so many things on a baseball field,” said Roberts, who got to know Turner when he was in the Padres’ minor league system and Roberts was on their major league coaching staff. “Right now, he’s a Dodger, Corey’s a Dodger. It’s about winning, and we’ll put the pieces together.”

The Dodgers began their weekend series against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks three games behind the Giants, who augmented their lineup in a big way by trading for four-time All-Star Kris Bryant. Two and a half games behind the Dodgers are the Padres, who acquired Adam Frazier, the major league leader in hits, and also traded for another back-end bullpen piece in Daniel Hudson. The Dodgers have won the NL West each of the last eight years, but doing so again is far from a foregone conclusion.

Freidman admitted that the dynamics of the division were “definitely a factor” in his approach.

“Right now, we’ve gotta really think long and hard about August and September,” Friedman said. “That definitely played a role in this for sure.”

The Dodgers still aren’t certain when they’ll see Turner, but Scherzer, who pitched six innings of one-run ball on Thursday, will join the team on Saturday, throw his side session on Sunday and is expected to make his first start for the Dodgers in Wednesday’s highly anticipated game against the Houston Astros. Duffy, nursing a flexor strain, isn’t expected to be activated off the IL until sometime around September, at which point the Dodgers will assess his role. Ideally the 32-year-old left-hander would act as a dynamic, multi-inning reliever, playing a role similar to the one Julio Urias filled in recent years.

The Dodgers began the year with a plethora of starting-pitching options, Urias included. But Dustin May has been lost to Tommy John surgery and Bauer has been caught up in legal trouble that has kept him away from the team since the end of June. Those circumstances — combined with Clayton Kershaw’s forearm inflammation and Tony Gonsolin’s inconsistencies — made starting pitching the Dodgers’ focus before the trade deadline.

“We collectively felt that that was a top priority for us to move the needle to give us the best chance to win the World Series in ’21,” Roberts said.

Roberts hand-selected Scherzer to serve as the NL’s starting pitcher at the All-Star Game earlier this month and called him a “fierce competitor, champion, winner.”

“The work he puts in each day before starts, in between starts, parallels Clayton’s, which is very well-documented to Dodger fans.”

From 2013 to 2021, Scherzer, 36, has accumulated 131 wins, three Cy Young Awards, eight invitations to the All-Star Game and a 2.86 ERA. Scherzer leads the majors in FanGraphs wins above replacement (fWAR) during that nine-year stretch with 48.4. Right behind him is Kershaw, with 45.4.

Turner, 28, ranks fourth among shortstops in fWAR since 2018, batting .298/.359/.484 with 68 home runs and 111 stolen bases in 439 games. He made his first All-Star Game this year and is on pace for a career-high 27 homers. Friedman called him “a dynamic player” who would add a welcomed blend of foot speed and contact ability to the Dodgers’ offense.

The Dodgers haven’t been particularly close to whole offensively for most of the year, but Seager returned on Friday and Mookie Betts (hip) will be back on Sunday. The hope is that Turner will be activated days after that, then Kershaw will follow, then Corey Knebel will rejoin the back end of the bullpen, all within the next two weeks — putting the Dodgers in prime position for what should be an epic battle in the NL West.

“For anyone — myself included, a sports fan, baseball fan — to wrap their head around the NL West baseball, see as the dust finally settles, it’s crazy,” Roberts said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this.”

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