Rockies sign Willy Taveras to minor league deal

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The Rockies have signed outfielder Willy Taveras to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training, according to the team’s Twitter feed.

This is a homecoming of sorts for Taveras, who batted .320 with a .367 on-base percentage and .748 OPS with the Rockies during the team’s World Series run in 2007. Baseball’s version of a rotten hot potato, this is actually Taveras’ sixth organization in the past year.

He signed with the Nationals last February after being designated for assignment by the A’s, but was released last May after batting .200 over his first 35 at-bats with the club. He had brief minor league stints with the Phillies, Braves and Rangers from there, but didn’t find his way back to the major leagues.

Though the 29-year-old outfielder offers plenty of speed and defensive ability, he has been one of the least productive players at the plate since the start of the 2008 season, putting up a lowly .581 OPS, the lowest during that timespan among players with at least 1,000 plate appearances.

Here’s the ugliness in full detail:

1. Willy Taveras – .581 OPS

2. Cesar Izturis – .596 OPS

3. Jason Kendall – .635 OPS

4. Bobby Crosby – .637 OPS

5. Andy LaRoche – .637 OPS

6. Brendan Ryan – .641 OPS

7. Gerald Laird – .644 OPS

8. Carlos Gomez – .647 OPS

9. Ronny Cedeno – .649 OPS

10. Pedro Feliz – .651 OPS

Good grief. Sorry to ruin your dinner, but this is a boring Monday.

Sean Manaea pitches first no-hitter of 2018

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Athletics southpaw Sean Manaea delivered his first career no-hitter against the Red Sox in a decisive 3-0 victory on Saturday night. Any thought of a perfect game was banished in the first at-bat, when Mookie Betts drew a leadoff six-pitch walk to open the first inning. From there, Manaea was nearly flawless, holding the Sox to four total baserunners and striking out 10 of 30 batters faced — a career record.

Manaea was gifted a three-run lead thanks to RBI doubles from Jed Lowrie and Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien‘s solo shot off of Chris Sale in the fifth inning. While the Red Sox managed to draw two walks off of Manaea, they didn’t come anywhere close to plating a run. Andrew Benintendi tried to break up the no-no in the sixth inning with an infield hit down the first base line, but strayed out of bounds and later saw his hit reversed on a call of batter interference.

Entering the ninth inning, the 26-year-old lefty was sitting at just 95 pitches through eight frames of no-hit ball. He quickly deposed Blake Swihart and Mookie Betts with a groundout and fly out, then walked Benintendi on seven pitches. Any threat the Red Sox might have posed was soon eliminated, however, as Hanley Ramirez ground into a force out to complete the no-hitter.

Manaea is the first A’s pitcher to toss a no-no since Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Rays eight years ago. The last time the Red Sox were on the losing end of a no-hitter was also against an AL West rival, when the Mariners’ Chris Bosio clinched a 2-0 no-no on April 22, 1993. Manaea’s feat is even more outstanding given how dominant the Red Sox have looked this season: prior to Saturday’s defeat, they boasted a 17-2 record and had yet to be shut out during the regular season.