D.J. Short

Homer Bailey

Reds activate Homer Bailey from disabled list to make season debut

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Reds right-hander Homer Bailey landed on the disabled list at the end of spring training while he completed his rehab from surgery to repair a tear of the flexor tendon in his elbow, but he has been activated to make his season debut this afternoon against the Cardinals.

Bailey, 28, had a 3.71 ERA and 124/45 K/BB ratio in 145 1/3 innings over 22 starts last season prior to having the surgery in September. That wasn’t quite what the Reds were hoping for after giving him a six-year, $105 million extension last February, but he’ll look for some redemption starting today.

The Reds optioned right-hander Pedro Villarreal to Triple-A Louisville to clear a spot for Bailey on the active roster.

Giancarlo Stanton says “the fire is not there” with Marlins

Miami Marlins v Atlanta Braves
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After dropping back-to-back games to the Mets, the Marlins are now off to a disappointing 3-8 start this season. There’s still a long way to go, but Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com after last night’s loss that he’s not happy with what he’s seeing so far:

“We’re not really giving ourselves a chance, it feels like,” Stanton said. “We’ve got a positive vibe, but [something] is just not there. The fire is not there, it seems like. You always want to have it. But when you’re out there, and it’s game time, it’s just nothing there — it seems like.”

Miami has dropped the first two of four to the red-hot Mets, winners of six straight. After each of Stanton’s first-inning homers, the Mets each night seized momentum in the mid to late innings.

“The game is nine innings,” Stanton said. “It’s not two, three. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fifth through the seventh, or the seventh through the ninth. It’s not two innings, it’s nine. We’re not playing nine.”

The Marlins managed to lock up Stanton to a massive long-term deal over the winter while making some high-profile additions like Dee Gordon, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Martin Prado, and Michael Morse. The offseason activity made them a trendy pick for a Wild Card spot with many pundits, but Latos is off to a rough start and Henderson Alvarez is currently sidelined with shoulder inflammation, so their rotation looks shaky at the moment. Jose Fernandez is due to back at some point later this season, but it’s hard to know what to expect from someone coming back from Tommy John surgery.

Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Marlins this weekend, as they are slated to face Jacob deGrom and Matt Harvey over the next two days.

Report: Angels and Josh Hamilton discussing a number of scenarios to resolve dispute

Josh Hamilton
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As we heard this morning, Josh Hamilton’s teammates say that he’s recovered from his shoulder surgery and recent drug relapse and is ready to play baseball again. Of course, whether he’ll do as a member of the Angels is anybody’s guess. Here’s the latest on the situation from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal:

Angels owner Arte Moreno indicated last Friday that the team could use language in Hamilton’s contract to take away some of the money they still owe to him. He also wouldn’t say for certain whether the embattled outfielder would play for the team again. Stay tuned.

Victor Martinez back in Tigers lineup for first time since last Sunday

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Victor Martinez got a few days off this week to rest his surgically-repaired left knee, but he’s back in the starting lineup this afternoon against the White Sox.

Martinez had a minor scare with his knee last Saturday. He was in the lineup one day later, but has been limited to pinch-hitting duties since, partially because the Tigers were playing the Pirates under National League rules this week. However, he was on the bench again last night against the White Sox while Yoenis Cespedes served as the designated hitter.

V-Mart is 6-for-23 (.261) with five walks over eight games this season. The Tigers will have to hope that the rest did him well.

Indians keeping Danny Salazar in starting rotation, moving Zach McAllister to bullpen

Danny Salazar
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It was announced on Thursday that the Indians were calling up right-hander Danny Salazar for a spot start on Saturday against the Twins, but the plan now calls for him to remain in the rotation while Zach McAllister will move to the bullpen.

Salazar was expected to land a rotation spot out of spring training after Gavin Floyd went down with another elbow injury, but he struggled during Cactus League action and was optioned to Triple-A Columbus. However, after striking out seven and walking none over six scoreless innings in his lone start in the minors, the Indians are ready to give him another shot.

Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com that they received positive reports about Salazar’s slider from his Triple-A start, which he feels could be the key to a breakout:

“If he can do that,” Callaway said, “throw the ball over the plate with some command, and throw that secondary pitch for a strike to set up that changeup, he’s going to be good to go.”

Salazar was great down the stretch as a rookie in 2013, but he had mixed results last year while posting a 4.25 ERA over 20 starts. Still, he has averaged 10.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 in the majors and has obvious frontline starter potential. Can’t blame the Indians for going with upside.

McAllister was knocked around for five runs over four innings in his lone start last week. He was throwing in the high-90s with his fastball out of the bullpen last night (thanks, Brooks Baseball), so this could be a good change for him.