Jose Reyes has been playing through a shoulder injury for a month

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Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes committed throwing errors in back-to-back games Sunday and Monday, giving him eight throwing errors on the season compared to a career-high of nine.

When asked by Shi Davidi of Toronto Sportsnet about the throwing problems Reyes admitted that he’s been playing through a right shoulder injury for the past month:

It’s been long enough. One day I feel good, the next day I feel sore, that’s the way it is. Baseball, you’re never going to be perfect, you’re always going to have some soreness in your body. You need to find a way to control that. I feel like I’m not able to finish my throws when I’m throwing to first base. That’s why the ball is running away from first base a little bit.

Reyes also told Davidi that his shoulder bothers him at the plate, but only occasionally. During the past two weeks he’s hit .344 with an .885 OPS in 14 games, including going 4-for-5 with a home run last night, so clearly the shoulder is more of an issue on defense.

Reyes insists that the injury isn’t bad enough to keep him from being in the Blue Jays’ lineup and seemed hopeful that the time off during the All-Star break will help him get over the soreness.

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Reds acquire Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers

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The Reds acquired utilityman Darnell Sweeney from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.

This is the second time that the Dodgers have traded Sweeney. The club sent him to the Phillies along with John Richy in August 2015 for Chase Utley. The Phillies sent him back to the Dodgers this past offseason with Darin Ruf in exchange for Howie Kendrick.

Sweeney, 26, made his major league debut in 2015 with the Phillies, hitting a meager .176/.286/.353 in 98 plate appearances. With Triple-A Oklahoma City this season, he hit .227/.290/.412 in 131 PA. While Sweeney’s bat hasn’t proven to be anything special, he has played second base, third base, shortstop, and all three outfield positions, so his flexibility will make him useful at some point.

Bryce Harper to Little League players: “No participation trophies, first place only”

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Nationals’ star outfielder Bryce Harper had some words of advice for a local Little League team on Saturday, telling a crowd of young players and their parents that winning matters far more than any participation trophies they might receive for their efforts on the field.

“As much as they might tell you, ‘Oh, it’s okay, you guys lost…’ No, Johnny, no,” Harper explained. “No participation trophies, okay? First place only. Come on.”

The panic over participation trophy culture has swelled over the last few years as studies continue to suggest that children are happier when they’re praised for their accomplishments, rather than rewarded for simply trying their best. The general idea is that kids aren’t motivated to succeed when they know they’ll receive a ribbon or medal celebrating their efforts at the end of the day — regardless of whether they win or lose. (Granted, it stands to reason that every kid can feel the difference between winning a championship trophy and receiving a participation ribbon.) Some have taken the idea to an extreme, claiming that when a child receives too many accolades for mediocre or poor performances, it can warp the way they view the world by generating a sense of undeserved entitlement.

Harper kept his tone light during the Q&A session, however, drawing cheers and applause from the majority of parents and a few of the kids. The 2015 NL MVP has routinely taken his own advice over the years, earning Rookie of the Year honors, four All-Star nominations and a Silver Slugger award since he broke into the major leagues in 2012. Next on his list? A World Series championship.