Rays sign LHP Choate to one-year deal

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Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday reports that left-hander Randy Choate has avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract with the Rays.

Choate, 33, posted a 3.47 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 61 appearances with
Tampa Bay in 2009. He was especially effective against left-handed
hitters, holding them to a miniscule .141 batting average.

The secret to his success in 2009? Choate managed an excellent 65.3%
groundball rate, and in turn, a .244 BABIP (batting average on balls in
play), thanks to one of the best defenses in the majors. He was
pretty fortunate, it turns out. He’ll hope to duplicate his success as
a situational left-hander again next season, but he’ll compete with R.J. Swindle for the role during spring training.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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