Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Report: MLB investigating abuse allegations against Derek Norris by his ex-fiancée


ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Major League Baseball is investigating abuse allegations against Rays catcher Derek Norris made by his ex-fiancée, Kristen Eck, in an Instagram post. As Crasnick notes, Eck didn’t refer to him by name, but she did an interview with MLB Network two years ago in which she was identified as his fiancée.

In the post, Eck wrote that she “was physically and emotionally abused by this beautiful man.” Later on in the post, she wrote, “When I left, he and his family made sure I had nothing.”

Norris, 28, signed a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Rays near the end of spring training. So far this season, he has hit a poor .194/.256/.326 in 160 plate appearances.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has increased punishment for players alleged of domestic abuse. Last year, former Braves outfielder Hector Olivera was suspended 82 games, then-Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes got a 52-game suspension, and Aroldis Chapman got 30 games. Jeurys Familia served a 15-game suspension to start the 2017 season for his incident earlier this year. Punishments levied by Major League Baseball are not dependent on a criminal conviction.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

Denis Poroy/Getty Images
1 Comment

Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.