White Sox pick up reliever Pena from Diamondbacks

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So much for that idea
of Brandon Allen being sent to the Blue Jays in a Roy Halladay trade.
The White Sox just used him to bolster their bullpen with the
acquisition of Tony Pena from the Diamondbacks.

Pena, once known as Adriano Rosario, was considered a future closer
for Arizona when he debuted in 2006, but his stuff had only
occasionally translated into the expected results. After a strong 2007
in which he had a 3.27 ERA and 30 holds, he was overlooked in favor of
Brandon Lyon for the closer’s role in 2008. He was later passed by Chad
Qualls, so he remained a setup man this year with Lyon gone. He did
well in that role early on, amassing a 1.85 ERA through the end of May,
but he had given up 15 runs — 13 earned — in his last 15 appearances,
leaving him at 4.24 for the year. Pena makes barely more than the
minimum now and is under control through 2012, so this isn’t just a
trade for this year.

Pena still seemed like a possibility to close for the Diamondbacks with
Qualls likely to attract suitors before the deadline. With the White
Sox, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll ever get that opportunity. Bobby
Jenks, Scott Linebrink, Octavio Dotel and Matt Thornton are all ahead
of him on the depth chart. Fantasy leaguers should now be looking at
Jon Rauch as a possible sleeper for saves.

Allen gives the Diamondbacks something they didn’t have in their
system: a possible first baseman of the future. The 23-year-old hit
.290/.372/.452 with seven homers in 241 at-bats for Double-A Birmingham
to begin the year. Since a promotion to Triple-A last month, he was at
.262/.262/.377 with no walks in 61 at-bats. He’s a potential 25-homer
guy, and he’s shown better on-base ability with every move up the
ladder, at least until a couple of weeks ago. He’s probably not going
to be a regular to begin 2010, but the move suggests that the
Diamondbacks aren’t interested in turning either Mark Reynolds or Conor
Jackson into a full-time first baseman going forward.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.