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Long Ballers (ID# 45108)
  • Report: Mariners likely to buy out Smoak
    Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports the Mariners are likely to buy out the 2015 option for Justin Smoak.

    Advice: Smoak has a $3.65 million club option for 2015, and it will cost the M's $150,000 to buy out that final year. Smoak, 27, never reached his full potential in Seattle, hitting .202/.275/.339 in 80 games this year. His pedigree may earn him another major league deal, but Smoak will be hard-pressed to find a starting gig on the free agent market this winter.
    48 minutes ago
    W, 4-1 vs x LAA
  • Volquez gives up grand slam in Wild Card loss
    Edinson Volquez gave up a grand slam and allowed five runs total over five innings in Wednesday's Wild Card Game loss to the Giants.

    Advice: Volquez got by in the first three innings before two singles and a walk loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth inning. An ill-placed pitch to Brandon Crawford changed that. Volquez was charged with another run in the sixth inning, giving up five hits and three walks on the evening. It was a disappointing end to a great season for Volquez, who revived his career to go 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA during the regular season. His strong year certainly earned him a few more million dollars on the free agent market this winter.
    Today, 8:21 pm
  • Vogt expected to have offseason foot surgery
    Stephen Vogt is expected to have surgery to repair a plantar plate tear in his foot.

    Advice: Vogt will get a second opinion, but surgery seems likely. Vogt is expected to be ready for the start of spring training.
    Today, 4:13 pm
    W, 4-0 ^ @Tex
  • Ryu (shoulder) throws 45-pitch simulated game
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) threw a 45-pitch simulated game with "no problems before, during or after with his shoulder."

    Advice: With no problems reported, Ryu should be on schedule to make a start against the Cardinals in the NLDS. With Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke slated for the first two games, the earliest the Dodgers would need Ryu is Monday. Ryu hasn't started since September 13.
    Today, 4:02 pm
  • C.J. Wilson slated to start ALDS Game 3
    C.J. Wilson will start Sunday's Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Royals.

    Advice: The Angels are rolling with a three-man rotation, with Jered Weaver and Matt Shoemaker slotting into the other two spots. Wilson finished the year with a mediocre 4.54 ERA, and the Angels will be hoping for more out of him come Sunday.
    Today, 3:26 pm
  • Hamilton playing LF, batting 7th in Game 1
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder, chest, rib cage) will start in left field and bat seventh in Thursday's Game 1 of the ALDS.

    Advice: Hamilton missed the last few weeks of the season, not playing a game after September 4, due to the ailments, but he recently declared himself good to go for the ALDS. Hamilton and the Angels will square off with Jason Vargas and the Royals Thursday night.
    Today, 3:24 pm
  • Weaver to start Game 1 of ALDS against Royals
    Jered Weaver will start Thursday's Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

    Advice: Weaver will be opposed by Jason Vargas. Angels manager Mike Scioscia also said Weaver would start Game 4 on short rest if needed.
    Today, 3:16 pm
  • Alvarez could begin baseball activities soon
    Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Pedro Alvarez (foot) could soon begin baseball activities.

    Advice: Hurdle's statement suggests Alvarez' meeting with a doctor Tuesday to receive clearance for the foot went well. Still, Hurdle didn't specify how soon or what Alvarez would be cleared to do, and he said he still hadn't talked with Alvarez or the team's training staff about a plan of action. A return still appears to be a ways away at this point.
    Today, 3:06 pm
  • Nick Punto's $2.75 million option has vested
    Nick Punto's $2.75 million option for 2015 has vested.

    Advice: So he'll be back in Oakland as a utility infielder. Punto batted just .207/.296/.293 this season for the A's, but he is still a solid and versatile defender at age 36. He turns 37 years old in November.
    Today, 2:57 pm
  • Jason Motte not on Cardinals' NLDS roster
    Jason Motte didn't make the Cardinals' NLDS roster.

    Advice: Motte struggled mightily this season in his return from Tommy John elbow surgery, posting a 4.68 ERA and 1.52 WHIP in 29 appearances. The 32-year-old right-hander is going to be a free agent this winter and will likely have to settle for a "prove it" type of contract.
    Today, 1:31 pm
  • Ishikawa starting in LF for Wild Card Game
    Travis Ishikawa will start in left field and bat eighth in Wednesday's Wild Card Game against the Pirates.

    Advice: With Angel Pagan (back) and Michael Morse (oblique) sidelined, Ishikawa started three out of the last four games of the regular season in left field. Despite his inexperience at the position, he'll remain there for Wednesday's do-or-die game. The full lineup: Gregor Blanco CF, Joe Panik 2B, Buster Posey C, Pablo Sandoval 3B, Hunter Pence RF, Brandon Belt 1B, Brandon Crawford SS, Ishikawa LF, Madison Bumgarner LHP.
    Today, 12:55 pm
  • Jose Fernandez begins throwing program
    Jose Fernandez threw Wednesday for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

    Advice: Fernandez, who had Tommy John surgery in mid-May, made 25 throws from a distance of 30 feet. It's just the first step in a long process, which will likely keep him sidelined until around midseason in 2015.
    Today, 11:15 am
    Disabled List
    L, 1-0 @Was
  • Ben Revere undergoes right ankle surgery
    Ben Revere underwent right ankle surgery this week.

    Advice: Revere had screws removed from the ankle and will be in a boot for two weeks. However, he should be fine by the time spring training rolls around. The 26-year-old outfielder batted .306/.325/.361 over 151 games this season while finishing fourth in the majors with 49 steals.
    Today, 9:08 am
    L, 2-1 vs ^ Atl
  • Adam Dunn says he still plans to retire
    Adam Dunn acknowledged after the Athletics' loss to the Royals in the Wild Card Game on Tuesday that he still plans to retire.

    Advice: "That's probably it," said Dunn, who waited 14 seasons and 2,001 career games to get to the playoffs, the longest such streak of any active player. The 34-year-old didn't make an appearance in Tuesday's Wild Card Game, but he has no regrets. "Not at all," said Dunn. "Let's not make a bigger deal out of it. I love Bob [Melvin]. He's one of the best managers I've ever played for. He's as good as there is out there. You wish the best for a guy like that. He's awesome. Awesome." If this is the end for Dunn, he'll finish with 462 career home runs, tying him for 35th on the all-time list.
    Today, 5:51 am
    W, 4-0 ^ @Tex
  • Sean Doolittle blows save for A's
    Sean Doolittle yielded a run in the ninth inning to blow the save in Tuesday's loss to the Royals.

    Advice: Doolittle didn't pitch poorly, as he gave up a bloop single to Josh Willingham to start the inning and then watched the Royals score following a sac bunt, stolen base and sac fly. He then stayed in to pitch a scoreless 10th inning. The A's took the lead again in the 12th inning, but Dan Otero and Jason Hammel combined to surrender a pair of runs.
    Yesterday, 10:27 pm
  • Travis Ishikawa to start in left field
    Travis Ishikawa will start in left field for Wednesday's Wild Card game.

    Advice: With Angel Pagan (back) done for the season and Michael Morse's (oblique) status looking iffy, at best, the Giants are scrambling in left and center field. Gregor Blanco will hold down center, and Ishikawa will be in left after starting three of the last four games of the regular season there. His experience as an outfielder is limited, but manager Bruce Bochy obviously feels comfortable enough with the 31-year-old.
    Yesterday, 3:50 pm
  • Josh Hamilton says he's ready for the ALDS
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder, chest, rib cage) said Tuesday that he is ready to go for the ALDS.

    Advice: Hamilton has taken batting practice, thrown long toss, and run the bases without issue each of the last two days in Anaheim. He's played in just one game for the Angels since September 4 due to shoulder, chest, and rib cage injuries, but look for him to be in the starting lineup on Thursday.
    Yesterday, 2:01 pm
  • Ryu (shoulder) to throw simulated game Wed.
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) will throw around 45 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday.

    Advice: Ryu felt fine after his first full-effort bullpen session on Sunday and is ready to take the next step in his recovery from left shoulder irritation. The hope is that he'll be able to pitch at some point during the Dodgers' NLDS matchup with the Cardinals. He has been on the shelf since September 13.
    Yesterday, 1:11 pm
  • Hamilton to face live pitching Tuesday
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder, chest, rib cage) is slated to face live pitching Tuesday.

    Advice: Hamilton has been limited to just one game since September 4 due to right shoulder, chest, and rib cage injuries, but he's confident he'll start in left field for Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday. The veteran outfielder has received a whopping 12 cortisone shots over the past couple of weeks to deal with the injuries.
    Yesterday, 11:29 am
  • Adam Dunn not in lineup for Wild Card game
    Adam Dunn is not in the starting lineup for Tuesday's Wild Card game against the Royals.

    Advice: Dunn is in the playoffs for the first time in his long career, but it looks like he'll be limited to pinch-hitter duty. The full lineup hasn't been announced yet, but Geovany Soto will catch Jon Lester while Brandon Moss will serve as DH and Sam Fuld will play left.
    Yesterday, 11:08 am
    W, 4-0 ^ @Tex
  • Hamilton (shoulder) goes through full workout
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder) went through a full workout on Monday afternoon without issue.

    Advice: Hamilton took batting practice, threw long toss, and ran the bases. He will repeat that routine on Tuesday and is then expected to face live pitching on Wednesday. The Angels are hoping he'll be close to full health by Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday.
    Monday, 12:22 pm
  • Pirates confirm Volquez for Wild Card Game
    The Pirates confirmed Monday that Edinson Volquez will start Wednesday's Wild Card Game.

    Advice: He'll be facing off against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in what should be a raucous environment at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. Volquez was one of the worst starters in the majors last season, but he bounced back with a 3.04 ERA and 1.23 WHIP in 192 2/3 innings this year. The team that wins on Wednesday night will advance to a Division Series matchup against the Nationals.
    Monday, 8:16 am
  • Ben Revere steals 49th base in loss to Braves
    Ben Revere went 1-for-4 with a stolen base in a loss to the Braves on Sunday.

    Advice: Revere led off the game with a single and stole second, his 49th stolen base of the year. It was a very good year for the 26-year-old, finishing with 71 runs scored and a .306 batting average. His 49 steals were third-most in the National League this year.
    Sunday, 2:43 pm
    L, 2-1 vs ^ Atl
  • Ryu (shoulder) throw pain-free 'pen session
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) said he felt fine during a bullpen session Sunday.

    Advice: It's his first full-effort 'pen session since being sidelined earlier this month with left shoulder irritation. The Dodgers haven't announced any future plans for Ryu, but he's trending towards being available for the NLDS.
    Sunday, 11:34 am
  • Hamilton (shoulder) to take BP on Monday
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder) will take batting practice on Monday.

    Advice: He'll take BP again on Tuesday before facing live pitching on Wednesday if all goes well. Hamilton has received a whopping 12 cortisone injections over the last couple weeks in hopes of getting his right shoulder in shape for the postseason. Game 1 of the ALDS is on Thursday.
    Sunday, 11:19 am
  • Edinson Volquez would start WC game
    Edinson Volquez will be the starter for the Pirates in a potential Wild Card game Wednesday.

    Advice: It had been set up that way with Francisco Liriano pitch Saturday and Gerrit Cole getting the ball Sunday. The Pirates can still tie for the National League Central crown with a win Sunday coupled with a Cardinals loss. Jeff Locke or Vance Worley would start a potential tiebreaker game on Monday. Volquez struck out a season-high 10 batters in his last outing and holds a 2.20 second-half ERA.
    Sunday, 7:42 am
  • C.J. Wilson goes six strong versus Mariners
    C.J. Wilson limited the Mariners to one run in six innings Saturday in a no-decision against the Mariners.

    Advice: All that really mattered to the Angels tonight was that Wilson had a bounce-back outing after lasting just two-thirds of an inning versus the A's last time out. Since that materialized, it didn't matter much whether they won or lost (as they made obvious when they started pulling regulars up 1-0 in the seventh). Wilson, who finishes the regular season 13-10 with a 4.54 ERA, is expected to start Game 2 of the ALDS.
    Saturday, 10:17 pm
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu to throw bullpen session Sunday
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) will throw a full-effort bullpen session on Sunday afternoon.

    Advice: Ryu made it through a 20-25 pitch mound workout on Friday with no issues. He has been sidelined since September 13 with lingering shoulder irritation but should become available at some point during the playoffs.
    Saturday, 3:27 pm
  • Jered Weaver allows three homers in loss
    Jered Weaver gave up four runs and three homers in six innings Friday in a loss to the Mariners.

    Advice: That's not the kind of outing Weaver wanted headed into the postseason, but he still had a fine September overall to finish up 18-9 with a 3.59 ERA overall. He'll start Game 1 of the ALDS for the Angels.
    Friday, 10:24 pm
  • Adam Dunn plates two in victory over Rangers
    Adam Dunn drove home a pair of runs as the A's topped the Rangers on Friday in Arlington.

    Advice: Dunn got the A's on the board with a two-run double in the third inning, and they wouldn't relinquish the lead. Since joining the A's in a deadline deal, he's hitting .217 (13-for-60) with a pair of homers and 10 RBI.
    Friday, 8:36 pm
    W, 4-0 ^ @Tex
  • Josh Hamilton to resume swinging Saturday
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder) will resume swinging a bat on Saturday.

    Advice: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Friday that he'll face live pitching at normal velocity before the playoffs begin, but his availability for the postseason remains in question. Before hitting the shelf, he slashed just .263/.331/.414 with 10 homers in his 89 contests.
    Friday, 5:20 pm
  • Ryu throws successful bullpen session Friday
    Hyun-Jun Ryu (shoulder) threw 20-25 pitches in a successful bullpen session on Friday.

    Advice: While he won't return before the end of the regular season, this is a very encouraging sign for the Dodgers as they head into the postseason. More should be known on his status on Saturday after seeing how he responds after this session.
    Friday, 4:33 pm
  • Pedro Alvarez (foot) to be examined Tuesday
    Pedro Alvarez (foot) will be examined on Tuesday to determine if/when he can resume baseball activities.

    Advice: Alvarez has been nursing a stress reaction in the fourth metatarsal in his left foot since late August. It's an injury that normally requires 4-6 weeks to recover from, but he isn't giving up hope of returning at some point during the postseason.
    Friday, 1:31 pm
  • C.J. Wilson moved up to Saturday
    C.J. Wilson will move up a day to start on Saturday against the Mariners.

    Advice: He'll be taking the ball on regular rest and will also now be in line to start Game 2 of the ALDS. The Angels are leaving the identity of Sunday's start up in the air, but it will almost surely be Cory Rasmus, who had been scheduled to start Saturday. Wilson needs to bounce back after lasting just two-thirds of an inning in his last outing.
    Friday, 12:20 pm
  • Volquez fans 10 over seven shutout innings
    Edinson Volquez threw seven more shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process as the picked up the win against the Braves on Thursday.

    Advice: That's back-to-back starts of seven shutout innings for Volquez. He limited the Braves to four hits and a walk while setting a season-high in strikeouts with 10, eclipsing his previous high mark of seven. The right-hander has been a bargain find for the Pirates, as he ends the regular season at 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and a 140/71 K/BB ratio.
    Thursday, 8:16 pm
  • Hamilton not expected back before postseason
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder) said he doesn't expect to play before the end of the regular season.

    Advice: It was always a race against time as Hamilton attempted to overcome a variety of ailments. The outfielder did say he hopes to be back in time for the start of the playoffs. If Hamilton's regular season is over, he ends with a .263/.331/.414 with 10 home runs in an injury-riddled 89 games played.
    Wednesday, 4:48 pm
  • Ryu (shoulder) to throw off mound soon
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) will throw off a mound in the next few days.

    Advice: Ryu won't pitch again during the regular season, but this development is a good sign for his postseason availability. Ryu has been dealing with shoulder inflammation. The left-hander hasn't pitched in a game since September 12.
    Wednesday, 4:31 pm
  • Josh Hamilton (shoulder) unlikely for Friday
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder) is not expected to return to the lineup on Friday.

    Advice: His status for the rest of the weekend also remains in doubt. Hamilton has received a whopping 12 cortisone injections over the last couple weeks in hopes of getting his shoulder ready for the postseason, but his situations remains up in the air.
    Wednesday, 12:46 pm
  • Weaver (flu) expected to be fine for Friday
    Jered Weaver (flu) is expected to be fine to start on Friday in Seattle.

    Advice: Weaver is under the weather but reported feeling much better Wednesday. He'll be set up to start Game 1 of the ALDS after Friday's outing.
    Wednesday, 11:38 am
  • Ryu not expected back in regular season
    Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder) is not expected to appear in a game before the end of the regular season but remains hopeful of being ready for the playoffs.

    Advice: Ryu began his throwing program on Saturday but has yet to resume throwing off a mound. The third game of the NLDS isn't until October 6, so the left-hander still has time to get ready if he can progress without any setbacks.
    Tuesday, 4:20 pm
  • Jered Weaver under the weather
    Jered Weaver has been sent back to the Angels' team hotel because he's under the weather.

    Advice: Weaver isn't scheduled to start again until Friday and should be fine by then, though they could choose to push him back. The Halos' ace boasts a 1.91 ERA over his last five starts.
    Tuesday, 4:03 pm
  • Volquez interested in staying with Pirates
    Edinson Volquez is interested in re-signing with the Pirates.

    Advice: Volquez has rebounded with a 3.15 ERA and 130/70 K/BB ratio in 185 2/3 innings this season and credits the Pirates' coaches for his turnaround, so it makes sense that he's open to staying, but he would also like to parlay his success into a multi-year contract. "You always want to sign for more than one year," said Volquez. "Especially now that I'm 31 years old, I'd like to sign with someone for two or three years and stay a little bit longer."
    Tuesday, 6:31 am
  • Wilson ripped for 6 runs (4 ER) in 2/3 inning
    The wheels fell off of C.J. Wilson on Monday, as he surrendered six runs -- four earned -- in just 2/3 of an inning Monday in a loss to the A's.

    Advice: Wilson only gave up two hits while throwing 35 pitches. Instead, he was done in by an inability to locate the plate from the very beginning. Wilson walked four, the first two of which forced home a run. You could be forgiven for being surprised that the veteran picked this game to bomb. He had been 5-0 with a 2.79 ERA in his last eight starts against the A's. Wilson fired seven shutout innings and yielded only one hit in Wednesday's 5-0 win over the Mariners, helping the Angels to clinch the AL West; he came into play today 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA over his last three starts. Wilson is currently scheduled to take the ball in Los Angeles' last regular season game on Sunday against the Mariners, though plans could change as playoffs machinations begin.
    Monday, 10:28 pm
  • Hamilton (shoulder) won't play before weekend
    Josh Hamilton (shoulder) will not play until this weekend, at the earliest.

    Advice: Hamilton had been hoping to return as soon as Wednesday,' but Angels manager Mike Scioscia has ruled that out. The outfielder did hit off a tee Monday and Scioscia said Hamilton is doing "pretty good." Fantasy owners don't need to be counting on him playing at all this week.
    Sep 22, 5:28 pm
  • Doolittle strikes out four over two innings
    Sean Doolittle worked two perfect innings Sunday, striking out four in an extra-innings win over the Phillies.

    Advice: The A's, desperate to get a win any way they could, used Doolittle in the ninth and 10th in hopes of keeping the Phillies off the scoreboard. Doolittle obliged, retiring all six batters he faced. He then earned his second win of the season when the A's walked off in the bottom of the 10th inning. Doolittle has a dominant 2.82 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 87/7 K/BB ratio over 60 2/3 innings this season.
    Sep 21, 6:47 pm
  • Pedro Alvarez (foot) could return for NLDS
    Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday that there's a chance Pedro Alvarez (foot) could return if the team advances to the NLDS.

    Advice: He will not be ready for the Wild Card game. Alvarez has been nursing a stress reaction in the fourth metatarsal in his left foot since late August and it's an injury that normally requires 4-6 weeks to recover from.
    Sep 21, 10:33 am
  • Weaver picks up 18th win with 7 strong frames
    Jered Weaver improved to 18-8, scattering one run over seven innings as the Angels felled the Rangers by an 8-5 score on Saturday.

    Advice: Weaver seems to be in post-season shape, as he now sports a 1.91 ERA over his last five starts. Against the Rangers, he allowed just five hits and a walk while fanning seven. He'll take a 3.43 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and 164/63 K/BB ratio into his final start of the regular season on Friday in Seattle against the Mariners.
    Sep 20, 9:15 pm
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