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Carlos Ruiz out 3-4 weeks with hamstring strain, Ryan Howard day-to-day with sore knee

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The Phillies placed reliever Mike Adams on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon due to a back injury, but the club is also dealing with some injuries to their everyday lineup.

Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Carlos Ruiz is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after he suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hamstring yesterday. The 34-year-old backstop will be placed on the disabled list tomorrow while right-hander Tyler Cloyd will be called up from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take his roster spot.

The Phillies didn’t have Ruiz for the first 25 games of the season as he served his suspension for Adderall use, so they’ll now have to get by without him until around mid-June. Erik Kratz should see the bulk of the playing time during his absence while Humberto Quintero has replaced Adams on the active roster.

As for Howard, he’ll miss his second straight game tonight due to a sore left knee. The 33-year-old first baseman received a cortisone shot after an MRI revealed inflammation and a “change” in his meniscus, but the Phillies are calling him-to-day for now. Of course, he could be headed for the disabled list too if his knee doesn’t respond to the cortisone shot.

Phillies head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan told Lawrence that Howard has been dealing with symptoms for a couple of weeks and finally decided to shut things down. Interestingly, Sheridan hasn’t ruled out the possibility that the knee issue was a result of him overcompensating for his Achilles.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
AP Photo/J Pat Carter
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.