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Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesToronto Blue Jays slugger
Kendrys Morales and pitcher Marco Estrada have each cleared waivers and are
eligible to be traded to any team Lance
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, according to Jon Heyman of Fancred.Players must be on
a team's roster before Sept. 1 in order to be eligible for the
postseason.Toronto (60-72) has long been out of contention, but it could now
make an impact in the playoff race if it moves its veteran players.Morales is
having yet another solid season, hitting .261/.342/.480 with 21 home runs, 14
doubles and 53 RBI in 109 games. The switch-hitter has been on an absolute tear
recently, hitting .459 with eight home runs and 15 RBI in the last 14 days.He
recently set a Blue Jays franchise record by going deep in seven consecutive
games:That streak came to an end on Monday.Morales could bring pop to a
contender, although he may be more of a platoon player. He is hitting .287 with
18 home runs against right-handers this season, while he is a .209 hitter with
just threedingersagainst southpaws.The 35-year-old is best suited for the
American League at this point in his career. While he played in the outfield
early in his career, he has been mainly limited to designated hitter in recent
years. He has made occasional appearances at first and third this year.Morales
is making $11 million this season and is owed $12 million next year http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-mark-mcgwire-jersey ,
perSpotrac.Estrada, meanwhile, has seen his numbers rise in each passing season
in Toronto. Although he posted a solid 3.13 ERA in 34 appearances in 2015 and
was named an All-Star the following year, he is 7-10 with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.367
WHIP in 23 starts this season.The 35-year-old may be in need of a change of
scenery, as he is 3-6 with a 5.49 ERA, a .274 average against and 15 home runs
allowed in 12 starts (60.2 innings) at theRogers Centre in 2018.Estrada is
making $13 million this season, perSpotrac, and is set to be a free agent this
winter. Not only is he struggling and making a sizable amount of
money Dexter
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, but he has also been bothered by aback
injuryrecently. HOUSTON — The Houston Astros fared decently the last time they
faced Shohei Ohtani more than four months ago.The Astros will get another crack
at Ohtani on Sunday afternoon when they conclude a four-game series with the Los
Angeles Angels.Ohtani will make first start on the mound since June 6. He missed
22 games on the disabled list with a right UCL sprain but returned exclusively
as a designated hitter on July 3.Article continues below ...When Houston’s
hitters saw him April 24 in Houston, Ohtani allowed four runs and six hits in 5
1/3 innings. He threw 98 pitches and issued five walks in an 8-7 victory.To
prepare for his 10th career start, Ohtani threw up to 50 pitches in bullpen
sessions and will be on a pitch limit.“Very excited,” Angels manager Mike
Scioscia told reporters on Thursday. “But obviously, I don’t know if we could
put those expectations that we had for Shohei when he really hit stride, have
those expectations what he’s going to come out and do for Sunday. Hopefully,
he’s going to get back to that.”Ohtani will oppose Gerrit Cole, who is 2-0 with
a 3.71 ERA in his last three starts after a three-start losing streak. Cole is
0-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against the Angels (66-70) this season and 1-1
with a 3.60 ERA in four career starts. With rosters expanding Saturday
throughout the majors http://www.stlouiscardinalsteamshop.com/authentic-steve-carlton-jersey ,
the Astros added two pitchers with one, left-hander Cionel Perez, poised to join
an already crowded bullpen.Astros manager A.J. Hinch had 10 relievers at his
disposal on Saturday as the Astros (83-53) rallied for a 7-3 victory. With
right-hander Charlie Morton set for reinstatement from the 10-day disabled list
next weekend in Boston, left-hander Framber Valdez or right-hander Josh James,
who made his debut against the Angels, is likely to be bumped from the
rotation.Currently, Hinch has eight right-handers and two lefties in his bullpen
heading into the finale of a four-game series with the Angels.“It depends on how
our pitching staff goes,” Hinch said of predicting future bullpen usage. “Most
of the season our starters have logged the majority of the innings as they
should; they’ve gone deep into games. I know I’ve cut back a little bit of that
in August Paul
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, some of it out of performance, some of it out of
trying to work the bullpen in there. I guess we have the weapons, but I’m still
going to read the game.“I don’t think I need to aggressively change a ton. We’re
trying to get to 27 outs, we’re trying to get to as many wins. If the starters
get the bulk of those outs, great. If I’ve got to go to the pen early I have the
reinforcements. Most of the time in September you don’t worry about running out
of pitching.”The Angels on Saturday selected the contract of veteran
right-hander Junichi Tazawa from Triple-A Salt Lake. Tazawa is the fifth
Japanese native in club history, including Ohtani. He signed as a free agent
with the Angels on July 13.Tazawa, 32, spent his first seven seasons in the
majors with the Boston Red Sox lex
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, finishing 17-20 with a 3.58 ERA and four saves in 56
appearances (four starts) from 2009 to 2016. He subsequently made 16 appearances
with the Miami Marlins in parts of two seasons before being released May 21 and
went 0-1 with a 7.11 ERA in seven games with Salt Lake.“He still has plenty of
velocity, spins the ball really well, and he’s a veteran pitcher that can make
pitches,” Scioscia said. “He threw the ball well down below and hopefully he’ll
continue to bring it up here and throw the ball with the consistency that he
has.”
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