Ian Desmond set to take “paternity leave” from Nationals

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No one tell Richie Witt, but Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond will soon join Rangers starter Colby Lewis is taking advantage of MLB’s new “paternity leave” roster rule.

Lewis missed one start, which has become a surprisingly big deal (or at least surprisingly frequent talking point), whereas Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Desmond plans to leave the Nationals for one or two games once his wife goes into labor with their first child any moment now.

According to Kilgore the Nationals are likely to call up Brian Bixler from Triple-A to fill Desmond’s roster spot, with Alex Cora or Jerry Hairston Jr. likely replacing him in the lineup.

Blue Jays sign Marc Rzepczynski to minor league deal

Marc Rzepczynski
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The Blue Jays announced on Monday the signing of lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. “Scrabble,” as he’s affectionately known, spent the first two and a half years of his career with the Blue Jays in 2009-11.

Rzepczynski, 34, hasn’t appeared in the majors since July 2018. He struggled across 44 2/3 innings with the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, last year. He posted a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 28 walks.

While lefty relievers are always high in demand, it seems likely that Rzepczynski will begin the regular season in the minors and serve as organizational depth for the Blue Jays.