Devin Mesoraco leaves Friday’s game vs. Braves with strained left hamstring

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C. Trent Rosecrans reports that Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco left Friday night’s game against the Braves with a strained left hamstring. Mesoraco led off the top of the seventh with a single, advanced to second base on a wild pitch, and scored on Billy Hamilton’s double. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon says Mesoraco appeared to trip rounding third base. Mesoraco didn’t take the field for the bottom half of the inning, as he was instead replaced by Brayan Pena.

It sounds like the injury could require a stint on the disabled list. Catcher Tucker Barnhart was taken out of Louisville’s lineup in the seventh inning of¬†Friday night’s Triple-A affair against Syracuse. Should Mesoraco need to hit the DL, Pena would take over on an everyday basis and Barnhart would be the back-up.

Mesoraco has been on fire to start the 2014 season, carrying a 1.338 OPS in 50 plate appearances for the Reds.

Report: Red Sox, J.D. Martinez close to a deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox and outfielder J.D. Martinez are close to a deal. He takes care to note that the deal is not done yet and the details are not known yet.

Martinez, 30, entered the offseason as the top free agent hitter. Last season, between the Tigers and Diamondbacks, he hit a lusty .303/.376/.690 with 45 home runs and 104 RBI in 489 plate appearances. He missed the first 33 games of the season with a sprained right foot; one wonders what his numbers might’ve been like if he hadn’t been injured.

The Red Sox were the team most strongly linked to Martinez throughout the offseason, despite the relatively slow-moving market. Martinez said he wants to play in the outfield and the Red Sox are currently spoken for at all three positions with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts. Hanley Ramirez is also penciled in at DH. Should the Martinez deal become official, the Red Sox may try to trade Bradley and move Benintendi to center field. If Martinez is willing to concede his outfield wishes, the Red Sox could slot him in at DH and move Ramirez to first base.

The AL East is shaping up to be a familiar two-horse race between the Red Sox and Yankees. The addition of Martinez, in a way, answers the Yankees’ addition of Giancarlo Stanton.