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Report: Cardinals sign Preston Guilmet to a minor league deal

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The Cardinals have agreed to a minor league deal with right-hander Preston Guilmet, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. The righty will receive an invitation to spring training and stands to make $600,000 upon reaching the majors.

Guilmet has not seen a major league mound in nearly three years, when he split the 2015 season pitching back-to-back stints for the Rays and Brewers. In fact, he’s only accumulated 23 innings at the game’s highest level, posting his best single-season numbers during a 10-inning tryout with the Orioles back in 2014.

The Cardinals are likely far more intrigued by Guilmet’s performance in Nippon Professional Baseball in 2017, during which he produced a cumulative 3.62 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 9.4 SO/9 in four starts and 24 relief appearances for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. If he can bring that kind of heat to the club’s minor league system in 2018, his next major league call-up may not be far behind.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.