Yankees, Phillies tweak rosters for World Series

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With the World Series now just hours away the Yankees and Phillies have both made some minor roster changes.
Philadelphia has swapped utility man Miguel Cairo for a 12th pitcher, adding Brett Myers to the bullpen after leaving him off the NLCS roster. Cairo, who played for the Yankees for three seasons, appeared in two games and batted a total of five times through the first two rounds.
Myers made one poor appearance in the NLDS before being dropped for the NLCS and has allowed five runs in 7.2 innings since returning from hip surgery, but the Phillies hope that the time off will help after spending three months on the sidelines. When healthy Myers has shown that he’s capable of being a shutdown reliever, but he’s unlikely to be used in high-leverage spots if manager Charlie Manuel can help it.
New York has reversed the ALCS switch by adding Eric Hinske back to the roster in place of Freddy Guzman, and have also added a 12th pitcher in Brian Bruney at the expense of third catcher Francisco Cervelli. Bruney will give Joe Girardi a chance to be even more manic with his bullpen management and playing under NL rules in Philadelphia makes pinch-hitting Hinske for a pitcher more valuable than pinch-running Guzman.
Cervelli got just one plate appearance through two rounds, but subtracting him from the roster could mean Jorge Posada starting every game behind the plate instead of giving way to Jose Molina when A.J. Burnett is on the mound. There’s also speculation that adding Bruney makes it more likely that the Yankees will use a four-man rotation including Chad Gaudin, who had been a reliever against the Twins and Angels.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.