Stephen Strasburg gives up first runs with Triple-A Syracuse

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Strasburg Triple-A.jpgShip ’em out of town, says Steve Phillips. Stephen Strasburg yielded two runs — one earned — over a brief five-inning start for Triple-A Syracuse on Monday night, according to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com.

Strasburg gave up an unearned run in the top of the third inning — ending a scoreless streak of 20 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. He gave up his first earned run in the fourth inning. All told, he threw 36 of 52 pitches for strikes while whiffing five and walking none.

Strasburg wasn’t perfect, but now owns a 0.39 ERA through his first four starts with Triple-A Syracuse, posting a 27/4 K/BB ratio over 23 1/3 innings. The young phenom has a 0.99 ERA and 54/10 K/BB ratio over nine starts between Double-A and Triple-A.

Goessling speculates that there’s a small chance he could make his major league debut against the Padres this weekend, but still holds true to the more likely scenario of a debut at home against the Reds on Friday, June 4. Don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to be there.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.