Danny Espinosa

Danny Espinosa doubles down on Braves comment

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You may remember yesterday’s post which dealt with comments made by Nats starter Stephen Strasburg and second baseman Danny Espinosa where both said they were not impressed by the Braves. Espinosa had said this, after the Braves took the first two games of the three-game series in Washington:

“They’re good, I don’t think they’re better than us,” Danny Espinosa said. “They’re a good ballclub, they have talent. They’re hot right now, they only lost one game, but they’re hot. It all evens out.”

The Braves stomped the Nats again this afternoon, completing the sweep with a 9-0 win. The Nationals dropped to 7-5, while the Braves bumped to 11-1, the second-best start after 12 games in franchise history. Espinosa did not back down from his comments when he spoke to the media after the game, though.

The two teams meet in Atlanta for a four-game series starting on April 29, so Espinosa won’t have to wait very long to put his money where his mouth is.

Espinosa, by the way, had to leave this afternoon’s game after being hit on the right wrist with a pitch, but x-rays were negative. Steve Lombardozzi replaced him in the game and would fill in for him if Espinosa needs to miss any time.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.