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Johnny Cueto could pitch for Dominican Republic in WBC finals

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Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto was late to arrive to spring training due to visa issues that came about trying to travel with his ill father. As a result, he did not pitch for the Dominican Republic in the first or second rounds of the World Baseball Classic.

If the D.R. is able to advance to the finals, however, Cueto might be able to pitch for the team, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Cueto said, “If the third round comes around and they need me, then I will cross that bridge when we come to it.” Cueto also apologized for not being able to contribute in the first and second rounds, saying, “I’m sorry. I would like to represent my country. I hope they understand why.”

Cueto made his Cactus League debut on Saturday, pitching two innings in a split-squad game against the Reds. He’s entering the second year of a six-year, $130 million contract signed with the Giants in December 2015. He finished the past season with an 18-5 record, a 2.79 ERA, and a 198/45 K/BB ratio over 219 2/3 innings.

The Dominican Republic lost its opening game of the second round to Puerto Rico 3-1 on Tuesday. It will face Venezuela next on Thursday night and wrap up the group in a game against the United States on Saturday.

The Red Sox are calling up Rafael Devers

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Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.

Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.

There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.

Stephen Strasburg exited Sunday’s start with an apparent injury

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It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.

Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.

The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.