Aaron Gleeman

MLB reduces Will Smith’s “foreign substance” suspension


Brewers reliever Will Smith appealed his eight-game suspension for having a “foreign substance” on his arm during a May 21 appearance and MLB has now reduced it to six games.

Smith will begin serving the suspension tonight, leaving Milwaukee without a left-hander who has a 1.83 ERA and 29/8 K/BB ratio in 20 innings this season.

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of rhyme or reason to when pitchers get in trouble for a “foreign substance” or the length of the suspensions handed out, so it’s possible MLB will address the topic this offseason.

Cardinals, Cubs, and Blue Jays interested in Rafael Soriano


Rafael Soriano is scheduled to hold a throwing session for interested teams next week in the Dominican Republic, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the free agent reliever could sign before then.

That’s according to Alan Nero, who replaced the fired Scott Boras as Soriano’s agent recently. Cafardo says the teams showing the most interest in Soriano are the Cardinals, Cubs, and Blue Jays.

Soriano has gone unsigned in part because he’s 35 years old and struggled badly down the stretch for the Nationals last season and in part because he (and Boras) held out for big-time money when it just wasn’t there all offseason.

Now that he’s apparently willing to accept a more reasonable offer in the name of simply finding a job for the second half he’d make plenty of sense for a lot of bullpens. Soriano has a 2.85 ERA in 631 career innings, including a 3.19 ERA last season and a sub-3.25 ERA in eight of the past nine years.

No timetable for Justin Morneau’s return from concussion as symptoms continue


Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau continues to experience post-concussion symptoms four weeks after suffering a brain injury and cervical neck sprain on a diving play and has not been cleared to resume baseball activities.

Morneau has a history of concussions, which derailed his career for several seasons in Minnesota. He got back on track with the Rockies last season, hitting .319 to win the batting title, but now the former MVP’s career is again in jeopardy at age 34.

Rockies manager Walt Weiss told Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that the team plans to be very cautious and patience with Morneau’s recovery timetable, saying:

It’s difficult for Justin, given his history with concussions. This is a process and we have to wait it out. When Justin is ready to play and he’s himself again, he’s our first baseman.

What a shame.