Dusty Baker finally makes it official: Sean Marshall is the Reds’ closer

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For whatever reason manager Dusty Baker was hesitant to name Sean Marshall the Reds’ new closer after Ryan Madson went down, saying: “You just don’t throw somebody in that role.”

Marshall made it very clear that he wanted the job and his excellent performance during the past two seasons made it equally clear that he deserves the opportunity, and yesterday Baker finally relented.

Marshall, who’s been one of the elite setup men in baseball, will take over ninth-inning duties and Aroldis Chapman will be a setup man after plans for his potential move to the rotation were scrapped yesterday.

By this time next year there’s a good chance Marshall will be referred to as a “proven closer.”

Dodgers designate Sergio Romo for assignment

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The Dodgers announced on Thursday that the club activated pitcher Grant Dayton from the 10-day disabled list and designated pitcher Sergio Romo for assignment.

Dayton, 29, went on the disabled list earlier this month with neck stiffness. He’ll resume with a 3.63 ERA and a 20/12 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings.

Romo, 34, signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Dodgers in February. It didn’t really work out, as the right-hander posted a 6.12 ERA with a 31/12 K/BB ratio in 25 innings. His peripherals are still decent, so it wouldn’t be surprising if a team in need of a bullpen arm makes a deal with the Dodgers within the week.

Nate Karns underwent season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that Royals pitcher Nate Karns underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome on Wednesday. He’s expected to be ready for spring training next year. Karns went on the disabled list in May with an elbow injury and didn’t make much progress.

The Royals acquired Karns from the Mariners in January in exchange for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. Over eight starts and one relief appearance, the 29-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.17 ERA and a 51/13 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

Karns will enter his first of three years of arbitration eligibility after the season, so he’ll be under the Royals’ control through 2020.