Pirates lose left-hander Zach Duke to disabled list

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Still dealing with a sore elbow, Zach Duke was expected to be placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Pirates on Wednesday.
Duke last pitched a week ago, when he allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the White Sox. He has lost four straight starts, leaving him 3-8 with a 5.49 ERA for the season.
While he was one of two Pirates’ All-Stars a year ago, Duke has been struggling for about 11 months now. Since the 2009 break, he’s 6-16 with a 5.32 ERA in 28 starts. He’s allowed 222 hits in 167 1/3 innings.
The hope is that Duke will miss just one more start, as the Pirates believe there’s nothing structurally wrong with his elbow. The team could turn to Dana Eveland or call up Daniel McCutchen to start in his place Saturday.

MLBPA agrees to extend deadline for new posting agreement between MLB, NPB

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Update (7:00 PM ET): The MLBPA announces that the deadline has been extended 24 hours while MLB and NPB continue to negotiate a new agreement for the posting system. The new deadline is 8 PM ET on Tuesday.

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Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.

Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.

Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.