Luis Atilano

Former major leaguer, Red Sox prospect draw 50-game bans

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It’s late Friday afternoon, so of course it’s time to announce some drug suspensions.

Luis Atilano was one of two today. The former Washington Nationals pitcher got his 50-game ban for a second violation of the drug of abuse policy. Atilano, 27, is currently in the Reds system with Double-A Pensacola. He started 16 games for the Nationals in 2010, going 6-7 with a 5.15 ERA.

Red Sox prospect Marco Duarte received his 50-game suspension after testing positve for amphetamines. The 25-year-old right-hander was acquired from the Astros in a Rule 5 draft trade over the winter. Before that, he was pitching in Mexico. He had a 2.12 ERA in 34 innings of relief between Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland this season.

Adrian Beltre puts his helmet on backwards to face a switch pitcher

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“A” switch pitcher is probably not the most accurate way to put that. It’s more like “The” switch pitcher, as Pat Venditte of the Mariners is the only one extant.

Last night the right-handed hitting Adrian Beltre had to face Venditte, who obviously chose to pitch righty to the Rangers third baseman. Before coming up to the plate, Beltre jokingly donned his helmet backwards and pretended that he’d hit left-handed:

 

He needn’t have bothered. Beltre doubled to left field off of Venditte, showing that at some point, platoon splits really don’t matter.

MLB, MLBPA donate $250,000 for Louisiana flood relief

BATON ROUGE, LA - AUGUST 15:  Richard Schafer navigates a boat past a flooded home on August 15, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Record-breaking rains pelted Louisiana over the weekend leaving the city with historic levels of flooding that have caused at least seven deaths and damaged thousands of homes.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced this morning that they are contributing $250,000 to assist victims of the devastating floods that recently hit Louisiana.

The $250,000 contribution is being divided among three charitable organizations: The American Red Cross will receive a $125,000 contribution and two charities connected to Major League Players – the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and High Socks for Hope – will each receive a $62,500 contribution.

According to the joint press release, several players with connections to the area, including Reid Brignac, Will Harris, Wade LeBlanc, Mikie Mahtook, Anthony Ranaudo and Ryan Schimpf were consulted in determining which organizations would receive funding support.

Nice move, union and league.