Obama to pitch to Pujols

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President Obama is going to throw out the first pitch of the All-Star
Game tomorrow night, and unlike every fifth pitch in Major League
Baseball these days, it won’t be caught by a Molina:

Albert Pujols of the Cardinals will slide behind the plate for one
memorable play when he catches the ceremonial first pitch from
President Barack Obama before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Busch
Stadium.

I suppose Obama’s approval ratings are still doing fairly well all
things considered, but he had better be careful. Missouri is a swing
state, and if he buries his pitch in the dirt and Pujols strains his
back reaching for it, he’ll have no hope of carrying it in 2012.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.