A.J. Griffin exits start against Blue Jays with tight shoulder, MRI shows no damage

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UPDATE: Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says Griffin’s MRI turned up clean.

4:57 PM: Lee reports that Griffin exited due to right shoulder tightness.

4:46 PM: According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Athletics right-hander A.J. Griffin left his start against the Blue Jays this afternoon in the top of the second inning with an apparent injury.

No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Griffin’s velocity took a pretty big dip over his final couple of pitches. He was visited on the mound by Athletics manager Bob Melvin and team trainer Nick Paparesta before being replaced by Jordan Norberto. Not what you want after last night’s 15-inning marathon.

Griffin has been a nice surprise for the A’s since making his major league debut on June 24, posting a 2.42 ERA and 35/10 K/BB ratio in 44 2/3 innings. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that Brandon McCarthy is slated to make his latest minor league rehab start with Triple-A Sacramento tonight, so he would be on his regular turn if needed. McCarthy has been sidelined since June 19 with a right shoulder strain.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.