Athletics left fielder Josh Willingham was handed down a one-game suspension on Monday for some “inappropriate conduct” in Saturday’s game against the Royals.
Willingham made contact with umpire Bill Miller while arguing a called third strike in the eighth inning of the game. Willingham, who said Miller initiated the contact, appealed the suspension and is in the lineup for Monday’s game.
Willingham is hitting just .225 this season, but he leads the A’s with five homers and 17 RBI. It’s the first time in his eight-year career that he’s been suspended.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Dodgers are close to signing reliever Joe Kelly. Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the deal is for three years and around $25 million.
Kelly, 30, posted a 4.39 ERA with a 68/32 K/BB ratio in 65 2/3 innings out of the Red Sox bullpen during the regular season in 2018. He turned it up a notch in the postseason, limiting the opposition to two runs (one earned) in 11 1/3 innings with a 13/0 K/BB ratio.
With the Red Sox, Kelly mostly pitched seventh and eighth innings ahead of closer Craig Kimbrel. He will likely do the same ahead of closer Kenley Jansen, sharing the workload with Pedro Báez.