Angels acquire Vinnie Pestano from Indians

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The Angels announced this evening that they acquired right-handed reliever Vinnie Pestano from the Indians in exchange for minor league right-hander Michael Clevinger. Per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Pestano will report to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Pestano was quietly one of the game’s best relievers from 2011-2012, but he has a 4.26 ERA in 50 appearances dating back to the start of last season and has spent the majority of this season in the minors. While his stuff isn’t what it once was, his numbers in Triple-A have been pretty good this year, with a 1.78 ERA, six saves, and 37/12 K/BB ratio over 30 1/3 innings. Perhaps the Angels will catch some lightening in a bottle down the stretch. If not, they’ll likely just non-tender him this offseason.

Clevinger, a fourth-round pick in 2011, has posted a 4.31 ERA and 85/32 K/BB ratio in 79 1/3 innings over 18 starts between Class A Burlington and High-A Inland Empire this season. Baseball America ranked him as the Angels’ No. 17 prospect over the winter.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.