Rocco Baldelli rejoins the Rays and homers in his first at-bat

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Rocco Baldelli began this season as a minor-league coach in the Rays’ system and then officially started his comeback as a player in mid-July, playing 23 games between high Single-A and Triple-A before a call-up to Tampa Bay when rosters expanded last week.
And yesterday his second stint with the Rays kicked off with a two-run homer on the first swing of his first at-bat. Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times notes that Baldelli also homered in his last at-bat for the Rays, going deep in Game 5 of the World Series in 2008.
Because of his various injuries and health problems Baldelli is no longer capable of being an everyday player even if his skills warranted it, but he’s also still just 28 years old and could thrive as a backup outfielder or platoon starter against left-handed pitching. He’s definitely someone to root for.

Yusmeiro Petit pitched shortly after his mother passed away on Monday

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Athletics reliever Yusmeiro Petit found out his mother passed away on Monday prior to his team’s game against the Rangers, Martin Gallegos of The Mercury News reports. Petit decided to pitch anyway, turning 1 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, limiting the Rangers to just one hit.

Manager Bob Melvin said, “I was amazed. Didn’t expect it.”

It’s admirable — though certainly not expected — when a player pitches shortly after suffering a personal loss. Some people like adhering to their routine while grieving.

Petit was added to the bereavement list on Tuesday. He will spend some time away from the team for the funeral. We send our heartfelt condolences to the Petit family.