Braves minor leaguer caught in prostitution sting

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When I saw the headline all I could do was to think “Please don’t be Jason Heyward! Please don’t be Jason Heyward!”  Then I remembered that it’s all but certain that Heyward will officially break camp with the big club, thus isn’t really a minor leaguer and everything was alright again.  Well, not for this dude:

Atlanta Braves minor league player Deunte Heath was arrested near the
Braves spring training home in Kissimmee, Fla. Thursday night. He is
facing prostitution charges after allegedly responding to an ad on a
classifieds web site. Heath was arrested during an undercover sting operation at a Kissimmee
townhouse according to Orlando TV station WFTV . . . Investigators say he responded to an ad online and agreed to pay $75 for
sex.

In other news, the fact that police in Kissimmee are running sting operations involving phony $75 prostitutes suggests to me that they have too much damn time on their hands. I’m not one of those people who erroneously believe that prostitution is a victimless crime — it could be in theory and if the laws were changed, but in practice it’s really not — but I would hope that public resources in that area of the vice beat would go more towards helping victimized and abused women, arresting drug dealing pimps and things of that nature than running sting operations in the suburbs.

In other other news, Deunte Heath is probably not making the Braves this year.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.