Reds optimistic Mat Latos will throw off mound this week

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Mat Latos is just a little over two weeks removed from left knee surgery, but Reds manager Bryan Price told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com today that he’s “optimistic” that he’ll be able to throw off a mound by the end of this week.

Latos tore meniscus cartilage in his knee shortly before spring training when he slipped while throwing and required surgery on February 14. He hasn’t had any issues since the procedure and the Reds haven’t officially ruled him out for the start of the season, but he obviously can’t afford any setbacks at this point.

Latos, 26, posted a 3.16 ERA and 187/58 K/BB ratio over 210 2/3 innings last season. He’s also coming off October surgery remove bone chips from his throwing elbow.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.

Video: Jackie Bradley, Jr. robs Chris Davis of a home run

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Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. robbed Orioles first baseman Chris Davis of his 25th home run on Tuesday evening, leaping at the fence in center field to make the catch and keep the game scoreless in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Davis swung at the first pitch he saw from Drew Pomeranz, a slider that crossed the middle of the plate.

This game has potential playoff implications, as the first-place Red Sox hold a three-game lead over the Yankees in the NL East. Meanwhile, the Orioles are still in the AL Wild Card race, trailing the Twins by 5.5 games for the second Wild Card slot.