October 1, 2012

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MLB investigating homophobic message sent from Derek Holland’s Twitter account

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According to Janie McCauley of the Associated Press, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said earlier this evening that MLB is investigating a homophobic message sent from Derek Holland’s Twitter account to a heckler last night.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, was posted during the second game of yesterday’s doubleheader against the Angels in which Holland allowed seven runs over 6 2/3 innings as part of an 8-7 win. MLB prohibits players from using social media 30 minutes before a game or during a game.

Holland told Keith Whitmire of FOXSportsSouthwest.com that his fiancee has access to his Twitter account, but claims that the offensive message was the result of a hacker.

“It’s obvious it was not me,” Holland said. “It was during the game, for one. And for two, I’m in the dugout cheering my teammates on. Why would I say that anyway to begin with?”

“It’s definitely a hacker,” Holland said. “Obviously my fiancée can get into it, but trust me, she’s not like that. She’s one of the nicest people in the world.”

It’s not clear when MLB’s investigation will be complete, but Daniels called it a “serious issue” and an “unacceptable term to use.” The tweet was posted less than two weeks after Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar was suspended three games for displaying a homophobic slur written in Spanish on his eye black.

Troy Tulowitzki won’t rejoin Rockies this week

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Troy Tulowitzki hasn’t played a game for the Rockies since May 30, but we heard last week that he was hoping to make his return from groin surgery for the final series of the regular season this week against the Diamondbacks. Not anymore.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Tulowitzki is now expected to finish his season in the instructional league rather than rejoin the Rockies. He played six innings at shortstop today and even hit a home run. Even though he won’t play in one of the final two regular season games, he should still go into the offseason with some peace of mind.

Tulowitzki, who turns 28 next week, batted .287/.360/.486 with eight home runs, 27 RBI and an .846 OPS in 47 games played this year. He’s still guaranteed $144 million on the massive 10-year, $157.75 million extension he signed with the Rockies last year.

Jason Hammel throws simulated game, could be available as soon as Saturday

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Nick Markakis is still at least three weeks away from returning from thumb surgery, but the Orioles could get one of their best starting pitchers back as soon as this weekend.

According to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, Jason Hammel threw 73 pitches over five innings today during a simulated game in Sarasota, Florida. He also fielded his position without incident. Barring any setbacks, he could be available to start in a possible ALDS game on Saturday.

Hammel has been sidelined since he aggravated his surgically-repaired right knee on September 11. The 29-year-old right-hander has a 3.43 ERA and 113/42 K/BB ratio in 118 innings over 20 starts this year.

In another piece of good news for the O’s, Wilson Betemit had the splint removed from his right wrist and could begin swinging a bat within 5-7 days.