Tyler Flowers’ struggles lead White Sox to call up Josh Phegley

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Tyler Flowers was handed the starting catcher job following A.J. Pierzynski’s departure as a free agent, but he’s hit just .206 with 70 strikeouts in 64 games and now the White Sox are bringing in another option behind the plate.

Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the White Sox are calling up Triple-A catcher Josh Phegley, who’s hitting .316 with 15 homers, 18 doubles, and a .966 OPS in 61 games for Charlotte.

That’s certainly production worthy of a call-up, but Phegley is 25 years old and has never hit anywhere near that well before. Last season at Triple-A he hit just .266 with six homers and a .680 OPS in 102 games and his career slugging percentage in five seasons as a minor leaguer is .417.

Pierzynski, meanwhile, has hit .280 with seven homers and a .745 OPS in 62 games for the Rangers to basically match his career averages at age 36.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.