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Miguel Cabrera, Alex Wilson receive reduced suspensions after brawl

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Tigers’ first baseman Miguel Cabrera and right-hander Alex Wilson will serve reduced suspensions following their involvement in a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees last month. Both suspensions were shortened by one game and are set to begin on Saturday, when the Tigers host the Indians for the remainder of their four-game series this weekend.

Cabrera was suspended and fined for seven games after he instigated the brawl by shoving Yankees’ catcher Austin Romine. He’ll serve a six-game suspension instead, and should be eligible to rejoin the team by the time they hit the road in Toronto next Saturday.

Wilson’s original four-game suspension has been reduced to three games. He didn’t jump into the initial fray between the two sides, but was ejected alongside Detroit manager Brad Ausmus after intentionally throwing at Todd Frazier in the eighth inning. He’ll be available for the Tigers again on Wednesday as they finish off a three-game series against the Royals.

Ausmus will still serve his automatic one-game suspension, since warnings were in place when Wilson threw at Frazier. Bench coach Gene Lamont is scheduled to step in as acting manager during Saturday’s game against the Indians.

Blue Jays shut down Steve Pearce for the rest of 2017

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The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.

Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.

With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.