Kansas City Royals v San Diego Padres

Clayton Richard placed on disabled list with shoulder strain

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The Padres placed left-hander Clayton Richard on the disabled list today with a left shoulder strain, one day after he was pulled from his start against the Giants after five shutout innings.

As Richard told Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune this evening, he’s confident he won’t have to miss significant time.

“It feels better today,” said Richard, who has never been on the disabled list before. “I’ve never been hurt before,” he added.

“It works out with the timetable available to us with the All-Star break. They’re just going to shut me down and left the inflammation calm down.”

There are no immediate plans for Richard to undergo an MRI on the shoulder. He’s eligible to return from the disabled list on July 20 against the Marlins, which falls during the second series following the All-Star break.

Richard, 27, is 5-9 with a 3.88 ERA across 19 starts this season. He has a 2.30 ERA at home compared to a 5.30 ERA on the road. Ah yes, PETCO Park is pretty nice place to hang your hat.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.