Report: The Pirates are close to sending Paul Maholm to the Padres

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Though there are a couple of dissenters, multiple other sources are reporting that the Pirates and Padres are nearing a deal for Pirates’ started Paul Maholm. Tim Brown at Yahoo! just said that the teams were “close.”

I”m never sure what to make of these types of conflicts. It seems easier to assume that some guys are of the loop and thus don’t know that something is going on than it is to assume that multiple people are simply being lied to or making something up, but weirder things have happened.

But let’s assume the talks are legit:  The Padres have great pitching overall, but they could use some rotation depth and, of course, don’t know if Mat Latos can truly hold up all year, even if they try to make him.  Maholm is 6-9 this year with a 4.52 ERA. He doesn’t strike out enough guys and he walks a few too many, but Petco is a forgiving park, so who knows?

No word yet on who would come back to Pittsburgh.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.