Pirates manager John Russell says Lastings Milledge 'looks like he's ready' to play every day

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For the past month or so the Pirates have used a quasi-platoon in right field with Ryan Church starting against righties and Lastings Milledge playing versus lefties, but manager John Russell said yesterday that’s going to change in the second half.
Milledge will now be more or less an everyday player, in part because he’s played well and in part because Church is hitting .176. He’s yet to turn into the type of player many projected when he was a top-ranked prospect in the Mets’ farm system, but Milledge is still just 25 years old and has hit .276/.347/.392 in 74 games this season.
Of course, that’s nothing special for a corner outfielder and his splits reveal an excellent .318/.431/.518 line versus lefties compared to a terrible .255/.297/.327 mark against righties. In other words, Russell wants to see Milledge play regularly because “he’s earned it” in a role that gave him favorable matchups but through 1,055 career plate appearances versus right-handing pitching he’s hit just .261/.317/.385.

Cubs sign Drew Smyly to a two-year, $10 million contract

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday evening that the club signed pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year contract. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports the contract is for $10 million total and allows Smyly to earn another $7 million with performance bonuses. Smyly was non-tendered by the Mariners at the beginning of the month and became a free agent.

Smyly, 28, underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery in late June. He’s expected to miss, at minimum, the first half of the 2018 season. The Cubs are hoping he can contribute to a playoff push in the latter half of the season as well as in 2019.

Smyly didn’t pitch at all in 2017. When he was healthy the season prior, he made 30 starts for the Rays and put up a 4.88 ERA and a 167/49 K/BB ratio in 175 1/3 innings.