Author: Drew Silva

Colorado Rockies Photo Day

Jon Gray may debut right after the All-Star break

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post notes that the Rockies have designated Aaron Laffey for assignment, opening a 40-man roster spot for the possible arrival of top starting pitching prospect Jon Gray. Groke suspects that Gray will make his major league debut on Friday night in San Diego — Colorado’s first game after the All-Star break.

But this is all speculation for the time being.

Gray was the third overall pick in the 2013 MLB Amatuer Draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He hasn’t exactly excelled this season at Triple-A Albuquerque, but the 23-year-old right-hander owns a promising 3.87 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 248/82 K/BB ratio in 258 career minor league innings.

Colorado’s starting pitchers have registered a combined 5.01 ERA this season.

Rays lose Asdrubal Cabrera to hamstring strain

Asdrubal Cabrera
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From the official transactions feed of Major League Baseball …

Cabrera suffered the injury Saturday while scoring on a Rene Rivera RBI single. It looked like a bad strain, but he should be able to return before the end of the month. Cabrera has hit just .223/.275/.352 in 325 plate appearances this season for the Rays, but his defensive ratings have been fantastic so far.

Tampa Bay figures to use a combination of Tim Beckham and Jake Elmore in Cabrera’s absence.

Scott Kazmir expected to make next scheduled start following another minor arm problem

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees
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Some very good news here for the Athletics, who are certain to be sellers at this year’s trade deadline.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Scott Kazmir — who left his last start with a triceps injury — is expected to make his first scheduled start coming out of the All-Star break next Saturday night against the Twins. Kazmir long-tossed without issue on Saturday afternoon and he will throw a bullpen session early this week.

Kazmir has been bothered by various minor arm problems throughout the 2015 regular season, but the 31-year-old still owns a sharp 2.49 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, and 96/34 K/BB ratio in 101 1/3 innings.

If his health cooperates, Kazmir will be a big-time trade chip for Oakland.

Pirates interested in Ben Revere, Jeff Francoeur

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Per beat writer Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Revere has turned things around after a really rough start to the 2015 season and enters play Sunday with a respectable .294/.335/.377 slash line. He also has 21 stolen bases in 26 tries. As noted by Biertempfel, the 27-year-old Revere could operate as a fill-in at leadoff for the Bucs until Josh Harrison returns from a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and then slide into a pinch-running role down the stretch. The interest in Francoeur is a little harder to understand. He’s batting just .246 with a .688 OPS (89 OPS+).

Pittsburgh currently boasts the second-best record in the National League at 52-35.

Video: 108-year-old woman throws out first pitch

Evelyn Jones
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As if it needed to be stated, this is the oldest person ever to throw out a first pitch at an MLB game …

The previous record holder was 105-year-old Agnes McKee, who tossed a first pitch last July in San Diego.