Decreased velocity leads to DL stint for Rafael Perez

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Rafael Perez showed significantly diminished velocity in his last outing, with his fastball topping out in the mid-80s, and not surprisingly it turns out he was injured.

Cleveland has placed Perez on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in his shoulder, recalling Nick Hagadone from Triple-A to replace him on the roster.

Perez has been a key setup man for the Indians during the past five seasons, posting an ERA under 3.50 in four of those years, but the 30-year-old left-hander’s average fastball velocity has gone from 90.7 miles per hour in 2010 to 89.3 mph in 2011 to 87.7 mph this year.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.