Alfredo Simon to be activated from restricted list today

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The Orioles’ beleaguered bullpen took yet another beating in last night’s blowout loss to the Nationals, so Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that they have decided to activate Alfredo Simon from the restricted list a day earlier than originally expected.

Simon was placed on the restricted list in the early part of spring training while he was being held as the prime suspect in the New Year’s Eve shooting death of Michel Castillo Almonte in the Dominican Republic. He will still have to stand trial eventually, though he hasn’t been formally charged and no trial date has been set.

The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 3.38 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio across 16 innings over three recent rehab starts with Double-A Bowie. While he led the Orioles with 17 saves last season, he is now expected to serve as a long reliever.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.