Carlos Ruiz

Phillies place Carlos Ruiz on the seven-day concussion disabled list

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The Phillies have placed Carlos Ruiz on the seven-day concussion disabled list and called up Koyie Hill from Triple-A, Stephen Gross of the Morning Call reports. Ruiz was hit on the left ear flap of his helmet in the 11th inning of Thursday’s 14-inning victory over the Marlins. The Phillies designated outfielder for assignment to make room for Hill on the 40-man roster.

Ruiz has been hit by a pitch nine times this season, tied for the fourth-most in baseball. He has a penchant for getting hit by pitched baseballs, as he has been hit by a total of 42 since the start of the 2011 season, the fifth-most of any batter in that time span.

The 35-year-old catcher is in the first year of a three-year, $26 million contract extension signed last November. Ruiz is currently slashing .257/.363/.357 with two home runs and 14 RBI in 273 plate appearances.

The Phillies acquired Hill in a trade with the Nationals on March 17. With Triple-A Lehigh Valley, the 10-year major league veteran slashed .240/.341/.373 with three home runs and 17 RBI. With Wil Nieves also on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps, their catching corps at the major league level now features Cameron Rupp and Hill.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.