Francisco Rodriguez set to return to Mets today

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Francisco Rodriguez is scheduled to return from his two-game suspension tonight, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.

Mets general manager Omar Minaya spoke with reporters before Friday’s game, expressing his disappointment in Rodriguez’s actions.

“It’s not acceptable,” Minaya said Friday, before the Mets opened a series against the Philadelphia Phillies.
“He understands that. He admits that. He feels really bad, of course.
He put not only himself, he put his teammates and the organization in a
bad light.”

Minaya said the two-game suspension without pay “was the right amount of time” for a suspension, but multiple sources told Rubin that the team likely would have faced a grievance and found themselves before an arbitrator if they tried to hand down a suspension for longer than two games. According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, Rodriguez has agreed to undergo anger management treatment, however if he somehow changes his mind and rejects the treatment, he could face further discipline. 

Because of back-to-back complete game shutouts by Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey, the Mets haven’t actually needed a closer over the past two days. Journeyman left-hander Pat Misch opposes Roy Halladay tonight, so it’s possible Jerry Manuel could give K-Rod some work.

Dodgers, Cubs could be interested in Justin Verlander

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network said yesterday that the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs have been engaged in trade talks involving starting pitcher Justin Verlander and catcher Alex Avila. Morosi also noted that the Los Angeles Dodgers have shown interest in Verlander as well. Whether this is idyl chitchatting of serious dispute is unclear, of course. Everything is unclear in the leadup to the deadline.

The veteran right-hander is carrying a 4.50 with a 120/57 K/BB ratio over 124 innings. Verlander impressed last year, finishing second in AL Cy Young Award balloting, but he has fallen back to Earth in 2017. His velocity remains high, however, and it’s not hard to imagine him going on a solid run in a way that could help a contender. He is owed $56 million over the next two seasons, however, and has a $22 million option that could vest for 2020, so negotiations for him could be tough. If the Tigers want talent back, they’ll have to eat salary.

Verlander got an ovation from a Detroit crowd last night which seemed to sense that, yes, it’s possible he pitched his last game for the Tigers. Given that he has 10/5 rights, allowing him to veto any trade, that decision is ultimately up to him. It’s not hard to imagine him accepting a trade to a contender, however.

We wait see.

A 30-year-old rookie won his major league debut

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The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.

That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.

Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.