Author: Drew Silva

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Brett Cecil back in at closer for the Blue Jays


Brett Cecil was removed from the Blue Jays’ ninth-inning role just a few days into the 2015 regular season after blowing a save on April 8 at Yankee Stadium, but Toronto management has now turned back to the 28-year-old left-hander after watching 20-year-old righties Roberto Osuna and Miguel Castro fail to get the job done Monday night at Fenway Park.

Castro, the Blue Jays’ primary closer for the last two weeks, has allowed earned runs in four of his last five appearances. He’ll be kept away from high-leverage situations for a little while. Osuna has been very effective overall, boasting a 1.59 ERA and 13/4 K/BB ratio in 11 1/3 innings.

The youngest pitcher in franchise history, Osuna might get the next crack at saves if Cecil can’t cut it.

It’s also possible Aaron Sanchez could be moved back to the bullpen. He has a 5.03 ERA in four starts.

Carl Crawford diagnosed with torn oblique

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Some more rough news here for the Dodgers’ outfield, which is already absent Yasiel Puig.

According to beat writer Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, veteran Carl Crawford has been diagnosed with a torn oblique and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. “It’s pretty bad,” acknowledged the 33-year-old left fielder, who suffered the injury in Monday’s defeat of the Giants. There’s no timetable for his return. Severe oblique injuries can sometimes cost players two months.

Alex Guerrero is starting in left field on Tuesday night against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner.

Scott Van Slyke is in right field and callup Enrique Hernandez is in center field.

Tim Cooney gets first shot at replacing Adam Wainwright in Cardinals’ starting rotation

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As first reported Tuesday by beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cardinals have settled on 24-year-old left-hander Tim Cooney as Adam Wainwright’s replacement in their starting rotation. At least for now. Cooney will be called up from Triple-A Memphis on Thursday and debut in an afternoon matinee against the visiting Phillies.

Wainwright suffered a torn Achilles tendon during an at-bat Saturday in Milwaukee and will be sidelined for 9-12 months. Marco Gonzales and Jaime Garcia were both vying for rotation spots this spring, but they’re both currently sidelined with shoulder issues.

Gonzales should be ready sometime in mid-May and will presumably get the call if Cooney isn’t working out.

Cooney, a third-round pick in 2012 out of Wake Forest University, has registered a decent 3.50 ERA and 324 strikeouts across 385 1/3 career minor league innings.

A’s sign Ryan Roberts to minor league contract

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As first reported by Jeff Hem, the play-by-play announcer for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds, the Athletics have signed veteran infielder Ryan Roberts to a minor league contract. He is starting at third base and batting fifth for Nashville on Sunday afternoon.

Roberts was released by the Royals near the end of spring training after struggling in the Cactus League. The 34-year-old hasn’t been an effective major league player since 2011, when he hit .249/.341/.427 with 19 home runs and 18 stolen bases across 143 games for the Diamondbacks. It was by far his best season.

Roberts went 2-for-19 (.105) in eight games last summer with the Red Sox.

A’s option fifth starter Kendall Graveman to AAA

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From the official Twitter account of the Oakland Athletics …

Graveman allowed six earned runs in 4 2/3 innings Saturday in a loss to the Astros, falling to 1-2 on the season with an 8.27 ERA and 2.02 WHIP in 16 1/3 total frames (four starts). Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle says right-hander Jesse Chavez, who opened the 2015 season in the Oakland bullpen despite posting a 3.45 ERA across 146 innings last year, will take over the vacant rotation spot.