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Marlins’ 2014 first-rounder Tyler Kolek underwent Tommy John surgery

5 Comments’s Jonathan Mayo reports that Marlins pitching prospect Tyler Kolek underwent Tommy John surgery on Wednesday. That’ll keep him out of action for the 2016 season likely some of the 2017 season.

Kolek, 20, was selected by the Marlins in the first round (second overall) in the 2014 draft. The Astros selected Brady Aiken ahead of him and the White Sox took Carlos Rodon third.

In 108 2/3 innings at Single-A Greensboro last season, Kolek compiled a 4.56 ERA with an 81/61 K/BB ratio.

Video: George Springer slugs a grand slam against the Yankees

Houston Astros' George Springer reacts after scoring a run on a double by teammate Colby Rasmus during the first inning of Game 2 in baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

The Astros found themselves in a 6-1 hole after the first inning during Wednesday night’s game against the Yankees, but George Springer helped them claw back into the game, slugging a grand slam to left field off of Michael Pineda in the top of the second inning to make it a 6-5 game. It’s the first grand slam of the 26-year-old’s career.

Unfortunately for the Astros, Starlin Castro immediately took three of those runs back as he hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the second. Mark Teixeira added a three-run shot of his own in the third, pushing the Yankees’ lead to 12-5.

Carlos Correa gave the Astros their first run with a solo home run and hit another solo shot in the fifth, so there’s been a lot of power at Yankee Stadium tonight.

Rangers sign Burke Badenhop to a minor league contract

Washington Nationals pitcher Burke Badenhop warms up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016, in Viera, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP Photo/John Raoux
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Jared Sandler, the play-by-play guy for the Rangers Radio Network, reported on Twitter that the club signed pitcher Burke Badenhop to a minor league contract. Badenhop had signed with the Nationals on a minor league contract in February, but was released on March 30. The Nationals then re-signed Badenhop to a new minor league contract and released him again on April 1.

Badenhop, 33, spent last season with the Reds, posting a 3.93 ERA with a 36/20 K/BB ratio over 66 1/3 innings. Despite pitching well over the last four seasons, Badenhop’s velocity and his already-mediocre strikeout rate have been in decline, so teams likely aren’t willing to commit to a major league contract.

The Rangers’ bullpen has been porous in the early going. Tom Wilhelmsen was on the hook for five runs in Tuesday’s appearance and closer Shawn Tolleson yielded five runs on Wednesday.

Bill Maher thinks Bryce Harper is a D-bag

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2013, file photo provided by HBO, Bill Maher hosts "Real Time with Bill Maher" in Los Angeles. The PBS series "Finding Your Roots" has discovered that political television's polar opposite Bills _ Maher and O'Reilly _ are distant cousins. The series, which had been put on hold following revelations that actor Ben Affleck sought to quash news that he had a slave-owning ancestor, begins its third season Jan. 5. The Maher-O'Reilly episode airs a week later. (AP Photo/HBO, Janet Van Ham, File)
AP Photo/HBO, Janet Van Ham

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher”, has tossed his hat into the anti-Bryce Harper ring. In an appearance on WOR 710, Maher called the Nationals outfielder a “d-bag,” among other things. He criticized Harper’s use of hair gel and his confidence, but admitted that if Harper were a Met, he would learn to love the defending NL MVP.

In a feature for ESPN, Harper called baseball “a tired sport because you can’t express yourself,” referring to the controversy over players flipping their bats in celebration of home runs. On Monday, Harper wore a funny trucker hat that read “Make Baseball Fun Again”, referencing both his comment and the tagline for the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Harper’s recent outspoken critics have included Brent Honeywell [link] and Sergio Romo [link]. His own teammate, Jonathan Papelbon, choked him in the Nationals’ dugout at the end of last season. Eventually, once enough people express their dislike of Harper, it will become cool to like him, right?

13 of the 17 outs Jose Fernandez recorded Wednesday were strikeouts

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, left, laughs from the dugout during the ninth inning of an exhibition baseball game against the New York Yankees on Friday, April 1, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/Rob Foldy)
AP Photo/Rob Foldy

Marlins starter Jose Fernandez couldn’t finish the sixth inning on Wednesday against the Tigers, yielding five runs on five hits and a walk. It was a tough day, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia took him for a two-run home run in the second inning, and the Tigers got three hits before chasing Fernandez from the game in the sixth. Reliever Dustin McGowan allowed two of his inherited runners to score, charged to Fernandez.

It was still a very dominant afternoon for Fernandez, however, as 13 of the 17 outs he recorded on Wednesday came via the strikeout. He had everything working, getting Justin Upton to strikeout three times while Ian Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera each fanned twice.

This is a great sign for the Marlins, as Fernandez made only 11 starts last season after recovering from Tommy John surgery, then suffering a strained biceps. The Marlins are expected to limit Fernandez’s innings this season, similar to the way the Mets handled Matt Harvey — who also had Tommy John surgery — last year.