Buck Showalter confident Manny Machado will be back to start next season

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We don’t have a diagnosis on Manny Machado yet — he had his MRI today and official word is supposed to come soon — but at the moment his manager is waxing optimistic. From Roch Kubatko, quoting Buck Showalter:

“I feel very confident that Manny will be playing for us early next season … We should have a pretty good idea what we’re dealing with post-BP, so I’m not going to sit here and speculate on that part of it until all parties kind of weigh in,” Showalter said. “So far, so good.”

Later Kubatko tweeted thusly:

 

Um. Wasn’t sure they were allowed to do that, but whatever.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.