Joe West scratched for tonight’s Nats-Phillies game, still manages to mess it up

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An irresistible force — Natitude — has defeated an immovable object — umpire Joe West:

And because he’s Joe West, he has already screwed the game up, even in his absence. In the first inning Bryce Harper took a walk on a questionable check swing. Because there was no ump at third base, it was very difficult for anyone to handle the appeal and it may have been a bad call (I didn’t have the game on).  Charlie Manuel came out an argued it and got ejected.

This is why Joe West is a pro, folks. His influence is always felt.

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?