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Reds call up Tyler Mahle for big league debut

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Reds’ right-hander and top pitching prospect Tyler Mahle is getting the call for Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates, the club announced Friday. He’ll take the place of fellow right-hander Homer Bailey, who’s still working back from a minor shoulder issue and has been pushed back to Wednesday’s game against the Mets.

Mahle, 22, finally made the jump to Triple-A Louisville in 2017. After starting his year with a remarkable 1.59 ERA in Double-A Pensacola, he continued to dominate at the Triple-A level, carrying a 3-4 record through 10 starts and turning in a 2.73 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through 59 1/3 innings.

According to, the righty placed fourth among the Reds’ top 30 prospects and boasts a fastball that tops out at 96 MPH and a variety of average-quality breaking balls. His efforts in the Reds’ system were crowned by his first career perfect game in June, and while he doesn’t appear to have the stuff to make it as a front-end starter in the long term, his poise and command should be a welcome addition to a rotation that currently ranks dead last in the league.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.