Johan reads statement on sexual assault accusations

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TMZ.com ran a story this afternoon detailing an October 2009 accusation of sexual battery against Mets ace Johan Santana.  He addressed the report before Thursday’s game against the Tigers, reading a pre-written statement in the Citi Field clubhouse while surrounded by several media types.  MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo was in attendance.  As you can probably guess, Santana didn’t say much.

“I’m aware of the situation. What I can tell you is that
police have investigated these claims last year, and I was never
charged with anything, and the case is closed. Unfortunately at this
time, that’s all I can say. And I have no further comments.”

The Mets also put out a release of their own:

“We’re aware of
the situation.  It’s a personal matter.”

And that’s that.  As Craig said earlier, we don’t have enough facts at the moment to make any kind of judgments about the incident.  And we may never have enough facts. 

Santana, 31, is 5-4 this season with a 3.31 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and 62 strikeouts in 98 innings for the Mets, who are 1.5 games back of the Braves in the NL East.  We do know that.

Report: Phillies want a top-five prospect for Jeremy Hellickson

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 20: Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the second inning during a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on July 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.

ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.

Video: Matt Cain launches a three-run home run

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 26: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants hits a three run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at AT&T Park on July 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.

Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.

It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.

On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.