Stat of the day: Triple-A ERA leaders

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International League top 10
1. Carlos Torres (White Sox) – 2.39
2. Matt Maloney (Reds) – 3.08
3. Michael Bowden (Red Sox) – 3.13
4. Justin Lehr (Reds) – 3.31
5. Kyle Kendrick (Phillies) – 3.34
6. Drew Carpenter (Phillies) – 3.35
7. Wade Davis (Rays) – 3.40
8. Daniel McCutchen (Pirates) – 3.46
9. Marco Estrada (Nationals) – 3.63
10. Chris Lambert (Tigers-Mets) – 3.84
– Of course, most of the International League’s most talented pitchers didn’t qualify for the list. Tommy Hanson had a 1.49 ERA in 11 starts, Clay Buchholz had a 2.36 ERA in 16 starts and Chris Tillman had a 2.70 ERA in 18 starts.
– The league strikeout leader was Carlos Carrasco at 148. He also had just a 1.24 WHIP, but he finished with a 4.64 ERA. It’s becoming easier to see why since the Indians added him to their rotation at the beginning of the month.
– Making Bowden’s season remarkable was that he finished 4-6 with a whopping 14 no-decisions in his 24 starts. He did average just 5.3 innings per start, but that’s still pretty incredible.
– It will be interesting to see if anyone wants to take a chance on Kendrick after the season he had. To go along with his 3.34 ERA, he had a fine 1.17 WHIP and he allowed only nine homers in 143 innings. However, he also struck out just 68 batters. The Phillies will probably opt to keep him around as insurance unless they get offered a quality prospect for his services.
PCL top 10
1. Bud Norris (Astros) – 2.63
2. Ramon Ortiz (Giants) – 3.05
3. Yorman Bazardo (Astros) – 3.20
4. Lenny DiNardo (Royals) – 3.32
5. Josh Banks (Padres) – 3.46
6. Giancarlo Alvarado (Dodgers) – 3.49
7. Charlie Haeger (Dodgers) – 3.55
8. Clay Hensley (Astros-Marlins) – 3.56
9. J.R. Mathes (Cubs) – 3.62
10. Willie Collazo (Marlins) – 3.70
– Brandon Hynick, the pitcher the White Sox got from the Rockies for Jose Contreras earlier this month, also deserves mention. He finished 11th at 3.83, but given that he was pitching at Colorado Springs, his performance was more impressive than that of a few guys ahead of him on the list.
– Hensley came in at 3.24 in his 19 starts with New Orleans after a failed stint at the Astros organization at the beginning of the year.

Report: Braves sign Kurt Suzuki

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Kurt Suzuki #8 of the Minnesota Twins hits against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on August 20, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.

Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.

The team has yet to confirm the deal.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.