Russ Springer calls it a career at age 42

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From Bob Tompkins of the Alexandria Daily Town Talk (via MLB Trade Rumors) comes word that veteran reliever Russ Springer has decided to hang up his cleats for good.

The 42-year-old native of Alexandria, Louisiana broke into the majors back in 1992 as a reliever for the Yankees.  He played for 10 different teams throughout his 18-season MLB career and will finish with a 4.52 career ERA and 1.37 WHIP.

Springer was at his best while with the Cardinals, posting a 2.18 ERA over 76 relief appearances in 2007 and a 2.32 across 70 relief appearances in 2008.  He made only two appearances last season for the Reds before season-ending hip surgery forced him to the 60-day disabled list in August.

“For the first time in my career, it feels right,” Spring told the Daily Town Talk.  “This year, I’ve had no pull towards going to the gym. I’m totally content to be with the family. There comes a time when you can ask only so much of your body physically, and you’ve got to stop beating it up.”

It sure sounds like he is at peace with the decision.  Which is good, because the free agent market for him was not pretty and he would have probably had to settle for a minor league contract and spring training invite.

Astros’ bullpen throws combined one-hitter for MLB-best 30th win

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The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.

The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.

After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.

Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career home run

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Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.

Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.