Put away the iPhone: Brandon McCarthy won’t need Siri’s help with Josh Hamilton

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Last week after another of Josh Hamilton’s monster games A’s right-hander Brandon McCarthy jokingly tweeted: “Siri, how do you get Josh Hamilton out?”

McCarthy is starting against the Rangers today and I’m not sure if his iPhone was much scouting help, but it turns out Hamilton is getting the day off. Oh well.

Actually, maybe it turns out that Siri can actually influence manager Ron Washington’s lineups. They should really make that into a new commercial starring Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson. It beats ordering tomato soup, if nothing else.

Of course, “Siri, how do you get Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, and Mike Napoli out?” is also a very important question to which there have been very few answers.

Reds ink Oliver Perez to a minor-league deal

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The Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.

Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.

While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.