Forgotten reliever Pedro Feliciano likely to be September call-up for Yankees

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Pedro Feliciano hasn’t pitched for the Yankees since signing a two-year, $8 million deal in January of 2011, spending nearly two entire seasons on the disabled list with a shoulder injury that required surgery.

However, he’s finally seeing some game action in the minors and manager Joe Girardi indicated yesterday that the Yankees are planning to add him to their bullpen once rosters expand on September 1.

“I think that’s why he’s going through what he’s going through,” Girardi told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “If we didn’t think he could help us, we wouldn’t put him through this.”

Before the injury Feliciano was the most-used reliever in baseball, leading the league in appearances for three straight seasons, and once he got hurt Yankees general manager Brian Cashman opined that he’d been “abused” by the Mets.

There’s zero chance of the Yankees exercising their $4.5 million team option on Feliciano for next season, but they might feel a little better about the whole thing if he can at least get some outs in September.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.