Rinku and Dinesh go to Bradenton

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Remember those two guys who won the Indian reality show and ended up getting signed by the Pirates? They made their professional debuts on Saturday:

Pittsburgh Pirates farmhands Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel became the
first players from India to appear in organized baseball when each
pitched an inning for Bradenton of the Gulf Coast League on Saturday.

Singh allowed one run on two hits and struck out one, throwing 13 of
20 pitches for strikes during the seventh inning of the Pirates’ 4-2
loss to the Yankees. Patel threw a scoreless eighth, throwing seven of
nine pitches for strikes while striking out one.

Bad sign: the premise of that reality show was to find a guy who could
throw 90 m.p.h. On Saturday, however, Singh’s fastball topped out at 83
miles per hour and Patel’s at 84. Unless Patel can figure out how to
throw a knuckleball and unless “Rinku Singh” is Hindi for “Jamie
Moyer,” that ain’t gonna cut it.

But not everyone is as pessimistic as I am. Indeed, Singh is pretty optimistic: “Next time i promising I pitching good stuff.”

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.