Bill Baer

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13:  Ray Searage #54 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during the game against the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Ray Searage would advise his pitchers not to pitch in the World Baseball Classic

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The World Baseball Classic is set to kick off in March. For the Pirates, none of their pitchers are participating, but catcher Francisco Cervelli (Italy) and outfielders Andrew McCutchen (USA), Starling Marte (Dominican Republic), and Gregory Polanco (Dominican Republic) are.

If any of the Pirates’ pitchers were participating, pitching coach Ray Searage would advise them against doing so, he said in an interview with MLB Network Radio.

I am not one of the guys that is in favor of the WBC and the reason being — I’ve seen it over the years before — guys cutting short their rest periods for the winter and their workout routines and speeding it up. Now, this doesn’t hold true for everybody. It’s just that, in my opinion, I just think that you’re speeding up the process and that you leave yourself open to an injury during the season because now, all of a sudden, instead of April where you’re firing off, now you’re firing off in March, which is a couple of weeks before you should be. And the body is, to me, looking at my pitchers and stuff, they’re routine orientated. And the way they go about their stuff, speeding up the process — it happened to two of our guys. That’s probably why I have a bad taste in my mouth, it happened to two of our guys the last time: Jason Grilli and Wandy Rodriguez. They played in the WBC and they ended up getting hurt during the season. I think it’s great for baseball, I really do, but it’s that catch-22 thing: you’re danged if you do and danged if you don’t. If any of my pitchers asked me, I’d say no.

Darin Ruf falls 14 days shy of qualifying for salary arbitration

MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 22:  Darin Ruf #18 of the Philadelphia Phillies hits a single against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on April 22, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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Dodgers 1B/OF Darin Ruf appeared to be on his way to qualifying for salary arbitration as a “Super Two” player. A “Super Two” player must rank in the top 22 percent of players in service time, having between two and three years of service time. The collective bargaining agreement has one other stipulation, however, which is that a “Super Two” player must have accrued 86 days of service time in the immediately preceding season, as Eric Stephen of SB Nation’s True Blue LA notes.

The Dodgers acquired Ruf along with Darnell Sweeney from the Phillies in the Howie Kendrick trade two months ago.

Ruf, 30, hit a meager .205/.236/.337 with three home run sand nine RBI in 89 plate appearances at the big league level this past season. He has an overall .747 OPS across parts of five seasons in the majors.

Chad Bettis says he’s now cancer-free

Chad Bettis
AP Photo/Matt Slocum
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Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis underwent surgery for testicular cancer last month. He received some good news from his doctor, who said he is now cancer-free. Via MLB Network Radio:

That’s wonderful news and we’re very happy for him.

Bettis, 27, will be entering his fifth season with the Rockies. Across 370 1/3 innings spanning 60 starts and 29 relief appearances, the right-hander has a career 5.01 ERA with a 279/131 K/BB ratio.

To quote Craig in his article about Bettis last month, “Do self-exams and get regular checkups. And read up on it here.”