D.J. Carrasco tells Pirates he's "open to" trade to contender

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It’s not often you hear about a journeyman middle reliever asking to be traded, but Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that D.J. Carrasco met with Pirates general manager Neal Huntington last week “to express his openness to being traded to a contender.”
Kovacevic makes it clear that he “neither demanded a trade in the meeting nor said he would prefer one” and Carrasco clarified the situation by saying “it’s just something that I’m open to, playing for a contender.”
While the situation is an odd one, the Pirates would be smart to trade Carrasco regardless of what he’s “open to.” He’s a solid enough pitcher, posting a 3.88 ERA this season and a 3.84 ERA over the past three seasons, but he’s also 33 years old and was available for just a minor-league contract this offseason. If the Pirates can get a decent prospect or two for him six months after acquiring him for essentially nothing they’d be silly not to jump at it.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.