UPDATE: Brad Penny placed on DL with strained lat muscle

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Brad Penny grand slam.jpgUPDATE: Penny was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left lat muscle, according to Matthew Leach of MLB.com.

He received an anti-inflammatory shot in the area of the injury this morning and hopes to resume throwing in about a week.

“Right now we think it’ll be a minimal stay on the 15-day,” Mozeliak
said on Saturday morning. “That’s what we’re hopeful of.”

The team recalled right-hander P.J. Walters from Triple-A Memphis to take his place on the roster.

10:21 AM: Brad Penny slugged his first career grand slam on Friday night, off Joel Pineiro no less, but was forced to leave the game after just three innings due to a strained muscle in the right side of his back. He told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he felt a twinge in the muscle after his last start, but did not disclose the injury to the team.

“I don’t think (Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan) were aware of it,” Penny
said. “It was something I was trying to deal with between starts. If it
was my shoulder, I’d be a lot more worried. … I could feel it when I
reached back for something. I was hoping there wouldn’t be a problem.
But there was something.”

I’m not going to act like this is a problem exclusive to the Cardinals, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote the following on his Twitter feed:

Strong sense Penny isn’t the only player not
disclosing condition to med/training staff. Either that, or club is
playing loose with truth.

If you recall, this isn’t the first time this season that a Cardinals
player has failed to disclose an injury to the team. Felipe Lopez didn’t tell the team about the discomfort in his elbow until
after he threw 21 pitches in the 20-inning marathon game against the
Mets on April 17. He just returned from the disabled list on Monday.

Penny is slated to undergo an MRI on Saturday to determine whether he will require a trip to the disabled list.
  

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.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.