Taylor Teagarden hits three homers for Triple-A Round Rock

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In his first game since being sent down by the Rangers, catcher Taylor Teagarden went deep three times and drove in seven runs for the Round Rock Express on Sunday.

The huge game gave him five homers in just 22 at-bats in the PCL this season.

Teagarden showed no rust at all despite a lack of action these last three weeks. He played in just two games, collecting four at-bats, in his 16 days with the Rangers.

Teagarden has flashed plenty of power in the majors, too, having delivered 16 homers and 19 doubles in 320 at-bats with the Rangers over the last four seasons. Unfortunately, all of that power came with 130 strikeouts. Since a nice 47-at-bat debut in 2008, he’s hit just .198 with 10 homers and a 111/23 K/BB ratio the last three seasons.

And that’s why the 27-year-old is back in the minors now. While Teagarden is considered average or above average defensively, teams seem to think his issues making contact will prevent him from becoming a quality regular. The Rangers buried him by bringing in Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli over the winter, and no team has stepped up with a significant enough offer to pry him away.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.

Indians to move Danny Salazar to the bullpen

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MLB.com’s William Kosileski reports that Indians starter Danny Salazar is being moved to the bullpen and will be available as soon as Wednesday or Thursday. The Indians will go on a five-game road strip starting on June 2, and manager Terry Francona said that Salazar could get a start during that trip.

Salazar, 27, has struggled to a 5.50 ERA over his first 10 starts this season. While none of those starts were absolute disasters, he failed to finish the sixth inning in seven of those 10 starts. It’s a far cry from his performance over the last two seasons, when he finished with a 3.45 ERA and 3.87 ERA.

Salazar’s walk rate is up to a career-high 11.9 percent, per FanGraphs, and he’s allowing many more line drives at the expense of ground balls. Compared to 2016, his line drive rate is up 8.9 percent and his ground ball rate is down 10.4 percent. All of that could explain Salazar’s struggles to some extent.