Mike Leake jumps right to majors while Stephen Strasburg debuts at Double-A

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Mike Leake made his MLB debut Sunday, becoming just the fourth pitcher in the past 32 years to go from being drafted to the majors without any time in the minors. He held the Cubs to one run in 6.1 innings, but handed out seven walks and rarely topped 90 miles per hour.
Leake is a solid prospect and the control problems are surprising given his reputation for being so polished, but the No. 8 overall pick likely isn’t ready to thrive and the Reds’ decision to rush him is questionable at best.
Leake jumped from college to the majors Sunday, but Stephen Strasburg merely made his pro debut at Double-A. Picked seven spots ahead of Leake, he struck out eight while allowing four hits and two walks in 4.2 innings. Strasburg gave up four runs, but three were unearned and his electric fastball was in the high-90s throughout. Washington is suppressing his service time, but also limiting his pitch count before a midseason arrival.

Yasiel Puig was late to a workout on Monday, so Dave Roberts benched him

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Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.

Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.

Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.

MLB, MLBPA grant Pirates exemption for Jung Ho Kang to participate in Dominican Winter League

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Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.

Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.

Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.