Don Cooper saves Adam Dunn from infamy

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Adam Dunn is not in the lineup for the White Sox’ last game today. Nor was he in yesterday’s starting lineup. That — and many other offsdays recently — means that he will not get to 503 502* plate appearances. Which is key, because that’s what you need to qualify for the batting title, and if Dunn qualified for the batting title, he’d set the record for the lowest batting average for a qualifier of all time.

The record holder is Rob Deer, who hit .179 in 1991. Dunn is at .160, so if he had played yesterday and today, he would have stood a good chance at shattering the record.  Which would have been something of a shame because Rob Deer is fun to remember and 2011 Adam Dunn basically stinks of failure.

Enjoy the pine today, Big Donkey. It — and the mercy of interim manager Don Cooper — is saving your butt from infamy.

*Sorry. Rounding error/brain lock issues. 

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

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Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.

The Red Sox sign Jhonny Peralta

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The Red Sox have signed third baseman Jhonny Peralta to a minor-league deal. He’ll report to Pawtucket.

Peralta, 35, hit a paltry .204/.259/.204 in 58 plate appearances for the Cardinals this year. But with Pablo Sandoval on the disabled list — and ineffective when he hasn’t been — the Sox could use some infield depth.

This is the second former Tiger that former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski has picked up today, after signing Doug Fister. No word if he’s kicking the tires on Andy Dirks or Brennan Boesch.