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Marlins expected to play next home series at Miller Park

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The Marlins have two more games in Philadelphia against the Phillies before returning home for a six-game homestand against the Brewers and Mets. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins are expected to announce that the club will play at least a three-game series against the Brewers in Milwaukee at Miller Park.

Here’s a statement from Marlins president David Samson, via Mark Feinsand of MLB.com:

Major League Baseball in conjunction with the Miami Marlins agreed that it is in the best interest of our community to relocate this weekend’s Marlins games against the Milwaukee Brewers to Milwaukee. Marlins Park stood ready to host the games, but we all agreed that burdening public service resources was not the proper course of action. Following Hurricane Irma, the Miami Marlins realize that all of our employees, as well as our entire community, have other needs that must take a priority at this time. The Miami Marlins look forward to returning home on Monday to play the New York Mets.

MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy notes that attendance will be capped due to short-notice staffing issues.

The state of Florida has been ravaged by Hurricane Irma. Marlins Park appeared to have suffered some minor damage and as a result, the stadium may not yet be ready to host baseball games. The Rays have already had to move the location of some of their home games, as the club is in the midst of “hosting” the Yankees at Citi Field in New York.

Major League Baseball and the Marlins are in a tough place because teams only have one or two off-days remaining through the end of the regular season and the playoffs begin immediately afterward. There’s just no flexibility to allow the Marlins to delay a home series, so the next best thing is to move the location and make the Marlins pseudo-hosts.

The Marlins have one more short homestand before the regular season concludes, welcoming the Braves to Miami from September 28 through October 1.

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.