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‘MLB’ Articles

Indians extend Spring Training invitation to eight players

The Cleveland Indians today announced the following roster moves relative to the 2018 Spring Training roster:

Extended non-roster invitations to 2018 Major League spring training camp to the following players:

1B Bobby Bradley
RHP Louis Head
RHP Cameron Hill
RHP Josh Martin
INF Nelson Rodriguez
INF/1B Richie Shaffer
RHP Cole Sulser

The club also signed free agent LHP ROBERT ZARATE (zuh-RAH-tay) to a Minor League contract with a non-roster invitation to Major League spring training camp, bringing the total number of non-roster invitees to 17.

Bradley, 21, was the club’s third round (97th overall) selection in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Harrison Central High School in Gulfport, MS. He spent the 2017 season with Double-A Akron, hitting .251 (117-467) with 25 2B, 3 3B, 23 homers and 89 RBI in 131 games. He finished tied for the organizational lead with 89 RBI, fifth with 23 home runs and was named an organizational All-Star by MLB.com. Among Eastern League leaders he was second in RBI and sixth in homers. He was named Carolina League MVP in 2016 at Class-A Lynchburg and Arizona League MVP during his first professional season in 2014.

Head, 27, spent the 2017 in Triple-A Columbus, posting a mark of 3-2 with 7 saves and a 3.23 ERA in 50 relief appearances (61.1IP, 50H, 22ER, 28BB, 65SO, .222 avg). The Katy, Texas native finished tied for 8th in the International League in games pitched (50) and finished second on the club with 7 saves and struck out 9.5 batters per innings pitched on the season. He was the club’s 18th round pick in the 2012 draft out of Texas State and owns a professional career ERA of 3.04 in 257 relief appearances (361.2IP, 315H, 122ER, 367SO).

Hill, 23, was the club’s 17th round selection in the 2014 amateur draft out of Redlands Community College in El Reno, OK. He spent the majority of 2017 with the AA Akron RubberDucks, going 4-4 with a 3.18 ERA and 13 saves in 41 relief appearances (62.1IP, 55H, 22ER, 16BB, 50SO), finishing the campaign with 2.0 shutout innings for AAA Columbus. The 6-1, right-hander was named an Eastern League midseason All-Star after posting a first half ERA of 2.66 in 25 outings (47.1IP, 39H, 14ER) and finished tied for 7th in the Eastern League in saves, limiting left-handed batters to a .178 (16-90, 1HR) average against. He owns a professional career ERA of 2.21 in 141 games/12 starts (252.2IP, 196H, 62ER, 222SO).

Martin, 28, has completed six seasons in the Cleveland organization, going 23-21 with a 3.32 ERA in 216 appearances (4GS, 360.1IP, 300H, 133ER, 363SO). The Enterprise, OK spent 2017 with AAA Columbus, going 1-2 with 4 saves and a 3.25 ERA in 30 relief outings (13ER/36.0 IP) around a two-month stint on the disabled list (right elbow inflammation). He was the club’s 10th round pick in the 2012 draft out of Samford University (AL).

Nellie Rodriguez, 23, will begin his seventh season with the Indians organization, who drafted him in the 15th round of the 2012 Amateur Draft out of George Washington HS in New York City. The 2015 Carolina League (High-A) MVP spent his 2017 campaign with AAA Columbus and hit 17 homers with 49 RBI while posting an OPS of .613. He owns a professional career average of .239 (568-2373) with 100 home runs and 387 RBI in 667 games since 2012.

Shaffer, 26, spent his first season in the organization with the Columbus Clippers in 2017, hitting .227 (105-463) with 18 2B, 30 homers and 89 RBI in 131 games (.464/.338/.802). The Raleigh, NC native finished second in the International League in home runs (30), tied for second in RBI (89), tied for fourth in walks (67) and fifth in slugging pct. (.464) as he led organizational hitters in homers and was tied for first (Bobby Bradley) in RBI. He appeared in 57 games in left field, 26 games in right field and at first base and 18 games at third base at Triple-A. Shaffer was Tampa Bay’s first round pick (25th overall) in the 2012 draft out of Clemson and appeared in 51 Major League games for the Rays in 2015-16. He was claimed off waivers by Cleveland last offseason from the Cincinnati Reds.

Sulser, 27, went posted a combined ERA of 2.70 in 45 relief outings last season between AA Akron and AAA Columbus (63.1IP, 59H, 19ER, 70SO). He allowed just 1 earned run over his first 14 Triple-A outings (21.1 IP) and recently compiled a 3.86 ERA in 10 outings in the Dominican Winter League (4ER/9.1 IP). The Santa Ysabel native was the club’s 25th round pick in the 2013 draft out of Dartmouth.

Zarate, 30, has not pitched the last two seasons after undergoing reconstructive left elbow surgery in the summer of 2016 after a non-roster Major League camp invite with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He recently completed a stint in the Venezuelan Winter League, posting a 4.46 ERA in 10 games/8 starts (36.1IP, 33H, 18ER, 33SO) and limited let-handed batters to a .156 (5-32) average against. He began his pro career in the in Blue Jays system in 2005 and spent 2013-14 in Japan. He owns a professional career ERA of 2.55 in 41 games/15 starts (31ER/109.1IP/124 SO).

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY REDS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

Reds Youth Academy announces Winter Programming schedule

For Baseball, Softball & T-Ball

The P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy has announced the winter 2018 clinic and training schedule for baseball, softball and T-ball.

The Reds Youth Academy in Roselawn offers free, year-round baseball and softball instruction, plus educational and vocational opportunities for boys and girls ages 5-18 residing primarily in urban neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Free programs offered at the Reds Youth Academy
• Baseball/Softball Skills Training (ages 8-18)
• Speed & Agility (ages 8-18)
• Strength & Conditioning (ages 13-18)
• Individual Instruction (ages 12-18)
• Fun at Bat (ages 5-7): Entry level program for kids with an emphasis on character development, active play and having fun while learning baseball & softball skills.
• Homework Help & Tutoring: Assistance for all children participating in Academy programs. Program oversight and staff provided by the University of Cincinnati.

Registration
All participants must complete a member application and go through an evaluation at the Academy. For more information and to schedule your child’s evaluation, please visit reds.com/Academy or contact Academy staff at (513) 765-5000 and redsyouthacademy@reds.com.

Evaluation Dates
Clinics and training begin in January and boys and girls must attend one of the following evaluation sessions in order to register for the free programs based on skill level:
• Saturday, Jan. 13 (9-11 a.m.)
• Saturday, Jan. 20 (9-11 a.m.)
P&G MLB Cincinnati Reds Youth Academy
2026 E. Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45237
(513) 765-5000
redsyouthacademy@reds.com
www.reds.com/Academy
Academy hours: 3 to 9 p.m. (closed Friday)
Office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Friday)

The Reds Youth Academy is also available for daytime rental until 3 p.m. to host corporate or private events. Please contact Joe Palmer at (513) 765-7510 for rental information.

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY REDS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

MLB announces 2018 regular season schedule game times

ESPN to broadcast Opening Day quadruple-header on March 29th

Major League Baseball today announced the game times for its master 2018 regular season schedule, which will begin on Thursday, March 29th, when all 30 Clubs are scheduled to play. ESPN will provide extensive Opening Day coverage that begins with the Chicago Cubs visiting the Miami Marlins (12:40 p.m. ET), followed by the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros visiting their intrastate-rival Texas Rangers (3:35 p.m. ET/2:35 p.m. CT).

The quadruple-header on ESPN continues with the defending National League Champion Los Angeles Dodgers hosting their NL West-rival San Francisco Giants (7:08 p.m. ET/4:08 p.m. PT), while the Cleveland Indians visit the Seattle Mariners (10:10 p.m. ET/7:10 p.m. PT) to close out ESPN’s Opening Day coverage. Overall, ESPN will broadcast 10 games over the first six days of the 2018 season.

FOX will begin its 2018 national coverage on Saturday, March 31st when the Rangers host the Astros at Globe Life Park in Arlington at 4:07 p.m. ET/3:07 p.m. CT on FS1. MLB on TBS live game coverage will return Sunday, July 8th, and continue each Sunday through the end of the regular season.

MLB Network will have extensive coverage of Opening Day, featuring 17 hours of live coverage beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET on Thursday, March 29th, followed on Friday, March 30th by the return of its regular season programming lineup of MLB CentralHigh Heat with Christopher RussoThe RundownMLB NowIntentional TalkMLB Tonight and Quick Pitch with live look-ins at games in progress, previews, highlights and analysis.

The 2018 season will mark the first time since 1968 that every team across the Majors will open on the same date. The 1968 campaign began on Wednesday, April 10th with each of the 20 Major League Clubs in action. Additionally, the 2018 season will mark the 12th season in history, and the first since 2011, to open on a Thursday. Other seasons to do so include 1901-04, 1907, 1912, 1959, 1973-74 and 1976.

The final day of the 2018 regular season, which features 12 divisional match-ups, is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th. For the fourth consecutive year, all games played on the final scheduled day of the regular season will begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET), with potential Postseason ramifications at stake.

Among the other highlights of the 2018 regular season:

In a rematch of the last two National League Championship Series, the Cubs will host the Dodgers at Wrigley Field for a three-game series beginning on Monday, June 18th at 8:05 p.m. (ET)/7:05 p.m. (CT). The Clubs will square off again a week later for a four-game set at Dodger Stadium beginning on Monday, June 25th at 10:10 p.m. (ET)/7:10 p.m. (PT).

The Astros and New York Yankees, who met in the 2017 American League Championship Series, will play a four-game series at Minute Maid Park beginning on Monday, April 30th at 8:10 p.m. (ET)/7:10 p.m. (CT). The Clubs will meet for a three-game series at Yankee Stadium beginning on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28th at 1:05 p.m. (ET).

2018 Opening Day includes an Interleague match-up between the Detroit Tigers and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park (1:10 p.m. ET) in a renewal of the franchises that met in the 1909 World Series.

The Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium at 4:10 p.m. (ET)/1:10 p.m. (PT) on Sunday, April 15th, which is Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball.

Interleague play throughout the season will feature the AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central and AL West vs. NL West. Notable series feature renewals of four World Series matchups over the past 10 years, including Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays (April 13th-15th at Tropicana Field); Cubs-Indians (April 24th-25th at Progressive Field, May 22nd-23rd at Wrigley Field); Yankees-Phillies (June 25th-27th at Citizens Bank Park); and Giants-Rangers (August 24th-26th at AT&T Park).

In special international events, the Minnesota Twins will host the Indians on April 17th-18th at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, while the San Diego Padres will host the Dodgers at Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey on May 4th-6th in Monterrey, Mexico.

On Sunday, August 19th (7:10 p.m. ET), the Phillies will host the New York Mets in Williamsport, Pennsylvania during the second “MLB Little League Classic” at Historic Bowman Field.

In the 30th anniversary season of the 1988 World Series, the Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics will play a two-game series at Dodger Stadium on April 10th-11th, as well as a two-game series at Oakland Coliseum on August 7th-8th.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Tigers, who met in the 2006 Fall Classic, will square off at Comerica Park on September 7th-9th in a rematch of the 1968 World Series in its 50th anniversary season.

In the 110th anniversary season of the 1908 Fall Classic, the Cubs and Tigers will meet for a two-game series at Wrigley Field on July 3rd-4th, as well as a two-game series at Comerica Park on August 21st-22nd.

The 2018 All-Star Game, to be hosted by the Washington Nationals, is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17th at Nationals Park.

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

With Spring Training just weeks away, Top 10 Right Now! returns on MLB Network

Series returns for eighth season

Brian Kenny to host MLB Network’s ten-part countdown of the best players by position this Saturday, January 13 at 9:00 p.m. ET

With Spring Training less than five weeks away, MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now! series, which ranks Major League Baseball’s top players at each position, will return for its eighth season this Saturday, January 13 with Top 10 Shortstops Right Now! at 9:00 p.m. ET and Top 10 Third Basemen Right Now! at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Hosted by Brian Kenny, each Top 10 Right Now! ranking takes into account player performance over the last two seasons, a number of offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced Statcast data and traditional numbers, and expert analysis by the MLB Network research team. The Top 10 Right Now! series will feature analysis from MLB Network on-air personalities and former Major Leaguers Eric Byrnes, Cliff Floyd, Mike Lowell, Dan Plesac, Harold Reynolds, Hall of Famer John Smoltz, Jim Thome, Dave Valleand Preston Wilson, plus roundtable discussions with Kenny, President of SABR Vince Gennaro, The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh and MLB.com analyst Mike Petriello.

For the second consecutive year, fans can submit a top-10 list for each position by voting on MLB Network’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages using #Top10RightNow. All #Top10RightNow votes will be incorporated into an overall fan-generated Top 10 Right Now! list in each episode.

The complete schedule for MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now! series is listed below:

Saturday, Jan. 13: Shortstops, 9 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 13: Third Basemen, 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 20: Right Fielders, 9 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 20: Second Basemen, 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 27: Left Fielders, 9 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 27: Catchers, 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 3: First Basemen, 9 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 3: Starting Pitchers, 10 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 10: Relief Pitchers, 9 p.m. ET
Saturday, Feb. 10: Center Fielders, 10 p.m. ET

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLB NETWORK, MLBpressbox.com

Angels continue to upgrade starting roster with signing of free agent SS Zack Cozart

 

Zack Cozart (2013 photo by NewJack 984 via wikipedia commons)

General Manager Billy Eppler today announced the Angels have agreed to terms on a three-year contract with INF Zack Cozart. Per club policy, no financial terms of the agreement will be announced.

Cozart, 32, set career highs in 2017 with a .297 batting average (130/438), 80 runs scored, seven triples, 24 home runs, 55 extra base hits, 240 total bases and a .933 OPS, while also matching his 2013 career high with 63 RBI. He earned his first All-Star selection after being chosen as a starter for the National League via fan balloting. He became the third Reds shortstop to earn a fan election, joining Dave Concepcion and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. Cozart finished the year leading all N.L. shortstops in triples, home runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. His 24 home runs were the second highest single-season total by a shortstop in Reds history, trailing only Larkin’s 32 homers in 1996.

A native of Memphis, TN, Cozart joins the Angels after spending all 11 of his professional campaigns with Cincinnati (last six seasons in Majors). With the Reds, Cozart compiled a career clip of .254 (703/2,767) with 375 runs, 143 doubles, 22 triples, 82 home runs and 280 RBI in 743 games. His 82 career home runs rank third in Reds history for players whose primary position was shortstop (Barry Larkin 198, Dave Concepcion 101). At shortstop, he has logged a .980 career fielding percentage, finishing as a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist in 2014.

Cozart was selected by the Reds in the second round of the 2007 first-year player draft out of the University of Mississippi. He signed a one-year contract through 2017, avoiding arbitration, January 13, 2017.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ANGELS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

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