Reds finalize deal with Gary Matthews Jr.

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The Reds did what we’ve been expecting them to do for a week on Thursday, finalizing a minor league deal with veteran outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. and sticking him in Triple-A Louisville.  This according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.

Matthews Jr. was released by the Mets in mid-June after posting a .190 batting average, .260 on-base percentage and .241 slugging percentage over his first 58 at-bats.  It’s no surprise that he struggled in New York, and it won’t be surprising when he fails to perform for the Reds.  He’s just not a very good baseball player these days, and hasn’t been for a while.  Measure it any way you want. 

But Reds GM Walt Jocketty doesn’t seem to agree:

“In the past, he showed that if he plays a lot, he’s a better
player.  He hasn’t had that
opportunity with the Angels or Mets the last couple of years.”

Wait, Walt, are you saying the Reds are going to give him that opportunity?  To play  “a lot?”  Have fun with this one, Cincinnati fans.

Rays acquire Sergio Romo from Dodgers

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The Rays acquired right-handed reliever Sergio Romo from the Dodgers, the teams announced Saturday night. Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash hinted that the team was in on Romo during the offseason, but couldn’t quite make a deal happen at the time. The righty reliever was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on Thursday and will net the club cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Romo, 34, struggled to find his footing in his first season with the Dodgers. He left a closing role in San Francisco to play set-up man to established closer Kenley Jansen, and saw mixed results on the mound with a 6.12 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through his first 25 innings of 2017. It’s a far cry from the sub-3.00 ERA he maintained in 2015 and 2016, but the Rays don’t seem to have ruled out a second-half surge just yet.

The veteran right-hander is expected to step into a bullpen that already boasts a solid core of right-handed relievers, including Alex Colome, Brad Boxberger, Erasmo Ramirez, Chase Whitley and Tommy Hunter. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Rays were intrigued by Romo’s extensive postseason experience, affordability and hefty strikeout rate, but will likely continue to hunt for additional bullpen depth in the weeks to come.

Colin Moran is carted off the field after taking a foul ball to the eye

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Astros’ third baseman Colin Moran was carted off the field on Saturday night after a foul ball caught him in the left eye. He was forced to leave in the sixth inning when a pitch from Orioles’ right-handed reliever Darren O'Day ricocheted off the handle of his bat and struck him in the face, causing considerable bleeding and bruising around his eye. The full extent of his injury has yet to be reported by the team.

Prior to the injury, Moran was 1-for-2 with a base hit in the third inning. He was relieved by pinch-hitter/third baseman Marwin Gonzalez, who polished off the end of the at-bat by catapulting a three-run homer onto Eutaw Street.

Evan Gattis and Carlos Beltran combined for another two runs in the ninth inning, bringing the Astros to a four-run lead as they look toward their 65th win of the season. They currently lead the Orioles 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth.