Mariners designate Hector Noesi for assignment

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Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners have designated Hector Noesi for assignment. To fill his spot on the roster, the Mariners have called up 22-year-old right-hander Dominic Leone.

Noesi was acquired along with Jesus Montero in the trade that sent Michael Pineda to the Yankees. He struggled to start the 2014 season, allowing two runs to the Angels in his season debut on Wednesday, and serving up a walk-off solo home run to Coco Crisp in the 12th inning on Thursday night.

Noesi is only 27 years old and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season, so his youth and ability to be cost-controlled could make him attractive to other teams.

Leone has put up impressive numbers in his 97 innings in professional baseball. Last season, split between Single-A and Double-A, Leone posted a 2.25 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 17 unintentional walks in 64 innings. The Mariners will likely use him exclusively in low-leverage situations, but his strikeout potential could make him an attractive option to use in the late innings as the season progresses.

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Sheldon Ocker named winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has named Sheldon Ocker the winner of the 2018 J.G. Taylor Spink Award. He will be honored with the award that is presented annually to a sportswriter “for meritorious contributions to baseball writing” during Hall of Fame inductions in Cooperstown on July 29.

Ocker began covering the Indians for the Akron Beacon Journal in 1981 and did so until 2013, when he retired. He was national president of the BBWAA in 1985 and served as chair of the Cleveland Chapter 11 times. He named Ohio Sports Writer of the Year in 1997 and 2000 by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.