Bobby Valentine likely to become Brewers’ next manager

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People have been hinting at the idea all week, and now it seems close to becoming a reality.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “all signs” are indicating that Bobby Valentine is going to become the next manager of the Brewers.

Valentine was interviewed for a variety of managing gigs this fall, and even appeared to be the front-runner for the Marlins’ job at one point, but talks fell through on all fronts and most believe that the stalled negotiations had to do with money.  Specifically, Bobby V’s demands — a $10 million contract extended over three years.

The Brewers draw well and have a dedicated fanbase, but spending $3 million on a skipper seems misguided.  That money would be better served in the back pocket of a reliable back-end starter.  Or, heck, a front-end starter.

But let’s focus on some of the positives here.  Valentine has a 1117-1072 career managerial record over 15 years with the Phillies and Mets and he’ll bring a higher media profile to the Brewers.  There’s a load of talent in place for him in Milwaukee, where the Cardinals, Cubs, Astros and Pirates have proven themselves plenty beatable.  We’ll see about those Redlegs.

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.