What we're watching – Lincecum vs. Pirates

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– Tim Lincecum will make his start Friday on two days’ rest after
throwing 35 pitches in the All-Star Game. He’ll be facing the Pirates
for the second time in his career after losing to them when he gave up
six runs in six innings on Aug. 11, 2007. He’s made 57 starts since and
given up six runs just once more.

– Clay Buchholz makes his 2009 debut for the Red Sox after going 7-2
with a 2.36 ERA for Triple-A Pawtucket. It will be one and done for the
24-year-old, who will take on the Blue Jays and Ricky Romero. The Red
Sox wanted to give their rotation some extra rest after having two
starters chosen as All-Stars — even if neither pitched — and they
could easily manipulate the roster spot with Jed Lowrie set to be
promoted on Saturday.

Game of the Night

Houston vs. L.A. Dodgers – It’ll be Roy Oswalt versus Chad
Billingsley in Manny Ramirez’s second home game since returning from
his suspension. Oswalt has allowed just six runs over 29 innings in his
last four starts, lowering his ERA from 4.48 to 3.85. He’s 5-3 with a
3.91 ERA lifetime versus the Dodgers. Billingsley will be looking to
snap a five-start winless streak that’s taken his ERA from 2.72 to
3.38. He’s 3-2 with a 2.62 ERA against the Astros. It’d help his
chances if Lance Berkman misses the game with a calf strain he
aggravated last night. Ramirez will pass Mickey Mantle for 15th place
on the all-time list with his next homer.

Dominican Journalist Reports that Yordano Ventura was robbed as he lay dying

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 22:  Starting pitcher Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers the ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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There is a disturbing report out of the Dominican Republic, yet to be confirmed by police, but in wide circulation thanks to a series of tweets from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. The report: that looters encountered a still alive Yordano Ventura after his automobile accident, robbing of him his World Series ring and other possessions, before leaving him to die.

The report comes from Dominican Republic journalist Euri Cabral, who made the claim on a radio station. His comments were picked up by Martinez, who tweeted about it in Spanish. The tweets, collected and translated by the Royals Review blog:

“How outrageous to know that a life like Yordano’s could have been saved had it not been that they looted him the way he was looted . . . Now it is more painful to know that Yordano remained alive after the accident and instead of someone to help him, they robbed him and let him die . . . I hope an investigation will be carried out, because if there is any specific evidence of this, I would feel a great deal of shame for my country.”

As for the state of details which are currently confirmed, Rustin Dodd and Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star report that Ventura crashed his Jeep after leaving an annual festival, losing control and hitting a guardrail in a mountainous area in foggy conditions. Ventura was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was ejected from the vehicle.

Ventura’s family is said to be pushing for further investigation and clarification as to Cabral’s claims. We will obviously followup with anything Dominican authorities say on the matter.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.