Must-Click Link: Ryan Westmoreland’s long road back

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Charles Pierce has a major piece on Ryan Westmoreland, the Red Sox farmhand who last year was diagnosed with a congenital condition that led to brain surgery and a long, long road back to baseball:

Over the past year, Ryan Westmoreland had to teach himself how to relearn all the most basic things that made him the person he was before he ever picked up a bat. He had to learn how to remember how to do things he had learned to do before. He had to visualize how he used to look when he ran, because that would help him remember how to run again. He was 19, and he had to wrestle with the most basic question of all. He had to learn how to remember who he really was.

Thanks to MooseInOhio for the heads up.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.