Cardinals promote John Mabry to replace Mark McGwire as hitting coach

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As expected the Cardinals have promoted John Mabry from assistant hitting coach to hitting coach following Mark McGwire’s departure to take the same job with the Dodgers.

Mabry was chosen for manager Mike Matheny’s coaching staff last offseason after Mike Aldrete went from assistant hitting coach to bench coach. No word yet on who the Cardinals will turn to as their new assistant hitting coach, although Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch expects it to be an in-house choice.

St. Louis also announced Triple-A pitching coach Blaise Ilsley as their new bullpen coach, replacing Dyar Miller, who was the only member of Matheny’s coaching staff not asked to return.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.

Yankees activate Didi Gregorius from the disabled list

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The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.

Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.

Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.