Brendan Ryan scratched Saturday due to neck stiffness

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From MLB.com’s Greg Johns comes word that Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan was scratched from Saturday’s game against the A’s due to neck stiffness.

Ryan missed time near the end of the 2011 season with neck issues and suffered a pinched nerve this spring, but Mariners skipper Eric Wedge assured reporters that this recent bout of discomfort is not related.

“He just slept wrong,” Wedge said about an hour before first pitch. “With an off-day tomorrow, I don’t want to push it. I don’t want one day to turn into a week or 3-4 days, so it’s my call on that one.”

Ryan’s absence clears the way for Japanese infielder Munenori Kawasaki to make his major league debut.

Diamondbacks sign Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.

Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.

Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?