Bill Lee starts and wins independent league game at age 63

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Two weeks ago Bill Lee signed with the Brockton Rox of the independent Can-Am League and yesterday the 63-year-old former Red Sox and Expos star made his debut … and picked up his first professional victory since 1982.
Rox manager Chris Carminucci said he was prepared for a quick hook if Lee struggled, but instead he held the Worcester Tornadoes–who’re managed by former Red Sox catcher Rich Gedman–to two runs over 5.2 innings in a 7-3 win.
“He got people out today with his mind and hitting spots and knowing how to pitch,” Carminucci told Jim Fenton of the Quincy Patriot Ledger. “He threw a changeup that was like eephus and then he threw a fastball that looked like it was 105. It was amazing. It was cool stuff.”
NESN.com has some video of The Spaceman in action.

The Rays acquire reliever Dan Jennings from the White Sox

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The White Sox have traded multiple relievers recently. They just traded another, sending lefty Dan Jennings to the Rays for first baseman Casey Gillaspie.

Jennings has a 3.45 ERA and a 38/19 K/BB ratio in 44.1 innings. He’ll likely serve as a setup man with Tampa Bay. He’s more than a rental, as he’s under team control for two more years.

Gillaspie, 24, is hitting .227/.296/.357 with nine home runs in 395 plate appearances at Triple-A. He hit much better in 2016 at Triple-A, however, and made it on some top-100 prospects lists. What the White Sox’ plans for him are with Jose Abreu around, however, are unclear.

The Braves send Dansby Swanson to Triple-A

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The Atlanta Braves have optioned shortstop Dansby Swanson to Triple-A Gwinnett.

It was a move that was a long time coming. It was probably overdue. Swanson had been relegated to a backup role since the All-Star break, and him neither (a) contributing to the club; or (b) getting regular work in order to develop as a player, was the least optimal of situations.

Swanson has had a down, momentarily up, and then down again season. He batted .156 in April and .216 in May. He rebounded in June, batting .306, but his July has been a nightmare in which he has gone 6-for-48 with only five walks. He has started just six of the Braves 13 games since the All-Star break, losing time to Johan Camargo.

Swanson, 23, jumped from Double-A to the big club in August of last year and hit .302 with an .803 OPS over 38 games. That earned him the shortstop job heading into 2017, but he’s obviously in need of either more seasoning or, at the very least, some time to clear his head, because he’s not getting the job done.