MLB investigating links between Melky’s agents and steroid dealer Kirk Radomski

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This is interesting. Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports:

Major League Baseball is investigating whether four-time All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca’s relationship with steroid distributor Kirk Radomski was arranged by his former agents, three people with knowledge of the investigation told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the investigation.

And it’s not just old news simply because it involves an old player like Lo Duca. Because the agents in question — Seth and Sam Levinson — are also Melky Cabrera’s agents. And the information about the Lo Duca-Radomski relationship has arisen in the context of MLB’s investigation into the Melky Cabrera fake website craziness.

Nightengale lays out the relationship between Lo Duca, Radomski and the Levinsons. Some of this was in the Mitchell Report — we know Lo Duca was a total genius and wrote personal checks to Radomski for his HGH — but Nightengale reports that the checking account was in both Lo Duca’s and the Levinsons’ names.  That’s news. The Levinsons strongly deny any relationship to Radomski or any involvement in procuring PEDs for their clients, Lo Duca and Melky Cabrera included.

Obviously it’s too early to tell what this may mean. But it certainly puts that whole Melky website thing in a new light. Remember, the guy who created it worked for the Levinsons. He claimed to be a lone gunman, but one wonders if Major League Baseball isn’t playing Jim Garrison here and looking to see if there were any agents on the grassy knoll.

If so: bye-bye agents livelihood, as they will be drummed out of the player representation business permanently, one assumes.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

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Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.