Mike Minor returns to the Braves rotation on Friday

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The Braves have announced that Mike Minor will make his 2014 debut on Friday against the San Francisco Giants. He will take the place of David Hale in the rotation. There has yet to be an announcement about any roster moves to make space for Minor, but they don’t need to do that before Friday.

Minor underwent a urinary tract procedure on December 31 and showed up to spring training with shoulder soreness. He made three minor league starts without incident so he seems ready to go.  Not that his absence has been felt too severely. The Braves lead all of baseball in ERA and his replacement — Hale — has a 2.31 ERA in four starts.

Cardinals acquire Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins

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The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Miami Marlins. Craig Mish of Sirius XM was the first to report that the deal was done. Ozuna still has to take a physical.

There is no report yet about what the Cards had to give up to get Ozuna, but given that the Cards and Marlins put a deal together for Giancarlo Stanton, the sides certainly have discussed various Cards prospects recently.

Ozuna fills a major need for the Cardinals, who had serious weaknesses in the middle of the order in 2017. Last year their number three hitters hit a combined .246/.338/.425 and their cleanup hitters hit 270/.350/.444. Ozuna, 27, had a fantastic offensive year in 2017, hitting .312/.376/.548 with 37 home runs and 124 RBI in 159 games.

Ozuna made $3.5 million this past season and is due for arbitration this offseason. He is under contractual control through 2019.