Willie Harris takes bereavement leave as Mets call up Fernando Martinez

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Sad news from the Mets, as Willie Harris has left the team and been placed on the bereavement list after his wife lost their baby five months into her pregnancy.

Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Harris’ wife unexpectedly went into early labor last night and the baby passed away this morning. The couple has two other children.

To replace Harris on the roster the Mets have called up Fernando Martinez, who’s been up and down several times over the years while hitting .186 in 143 plate appearances. Martinez’s prospect stock has steadily fallen and he was hitting just .266 with a .740 OPS at Triple-A, but he’s still just 23 years old.

Brandon Morrow shut down for the rest of the season

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Cubs closer Brandon Morrow has been out since the All-Star break with a bone bruise and biceps inflammation. In recent days there had been hope that he would be activated in the season’s final two weeks in order to be ready for the playoffs, but that’s not happening: Theo Epstein just said that Morrow is done for the season.

It’s not the first time good expectations for Morrow’s recovery were not met. When he was placed on the DL back in July manager Joe Maddon said he didn’t anticipate Morrow being on the DL for much more than the minimum 10 days. Two months later and here we are.

Morrow, 34, had an excellent season until the arm trouble started, saving 22 games with a 1.47 ERA and a 31/9 K/BB ratio in 30.2 innings. Once he went out the closer’s duties fell to Pedro Strop. Now Strop too is out for at least the rest of the regular season and likely more due to a hamstring strain he suffered last week while running the bases.

Bullpens become a lot more important in the postseason. The Cubs’ bullpen is becoming thinner.