Cliff Lee tossed for throwing at D-backs catcher

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Cliff Lee, who was making his second spring start since returning from minor foot surgery, was tossed from Monday’s game against Arizona in the third inning for intentionally throwing at catcher Chris Snyder.
Lee appeared to miss with his first attempt to send Snyder a message. On his second try, he threw one just over Snyder’s head, causing Snyder to walk towards the mound and both dugouts to empty. Nothing escalated from there, though.
Umpire Brian Knight viewed Lee’s pitches as revenge for an incident in the first, when Lee tripped over Snyder while trying to back up a play at home plate.
Considering that Lee had his a motive and went after Snyder twice, it’s quite possible the commissioner’s office will come down on him with a brief suspension to start the season. It’d certainly be deserved if Lee was throwing at Snyder’s head.

Mariners sign Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal

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The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.

This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.