Jeff Francis’ one-year deal with Rockies worth $1.5 million

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com has the financial details of Jeff Francis’ one-year contract with the Rockies: He gets $1.5 million in guaranteed money, plus another $1.5 million in potential incentives.

Francis worked in the mid-80s with his fastball this year and posted a 5.58 ERA in 113 innings for the Rockies, but did top 6.0 strikeouts per nine innings for the first time since 2007 and has become an extreme strike-thrower with one of MLB’s lowest walk rates.

And of course the Rockies are very familiar with Francis, having drafted him ninth overall in 2002. He played for Colorado from 2004-2010, left for a one-year stint in Kansas City, and then returned this year. Now he’ll slide into the back of the Rockies’ rotation for 2013.

Dallas Keuchel to return to Astros’ rotation on Friday

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Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.

Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.

Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.

Video: Ketel Marte hits an inside-the-park home run

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Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.

The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.