UPDATE: Phillies, GM Ruben Amaro Jr. agree to four-year contract extension

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UPDATE: According to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com, the Phillies and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. have agreed to a four-year contract extension. He’ll remain in the fold through 2015.

7:12 PM, Friday: A team source tells Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer that a contract extension for general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. is “done.”

10:15 AM, Friday: Earlier this week manager Charlie Manuel and the Phillies agreed to a two-year contract extension and now Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that the team is “virtually done” and “lacking just the finishing touches” on an extension with general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

After playing eight seasons in the majors as a light-hitting outfielder Amaro spent 10 years as the Phillies’ assistant GM, working as the right-hand man for both Ed Wade and Pat Gillick. He took over for the retiring Gillick as GM just days after the team won the World Series in 2008 and has pulled the trigger on some incredibly bold moves in two-and-a-half years on the job.

Under his watch the Phillies have built a potentially historic rotation around holdovers Cole Hamels and Joe Blanton, as Amaro twice acquired Cliff Lee and also traded for Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt. He’s also made some questionable moves, like signing Ryan Howard to a $125 million extension long before it was necessary, but Amaro has built the Phillies into a powerhouse capable of extending their streak of four straight playoff appearances for years to come.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.