Michael Cuddyer enhances his trade value

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Michael Cuddyer has been talked about as a potential target for a contender seeking a bat.  Maybe he can be a two-for-one kind of deal now, because last night he showed that he can be an effective reliever too.

Well, effective by comparison to the rest of the Twins’ staff. Unlike the rest of those dudes, he pitched a scoreless inning last night in the Twinkies’ 20-6 loss to the Rangers.

Sure, he gave up a double, a single and a walk to load the bases, but he induced a groundout and a couple of pop flies. Of the six pitchers the Twins used last night, only Phil Dumatrait was more effective, but he’s had years to hone his craft.  And, unlike Cuddyer, Dumatrait didn’t go 1 for 4 with a walk last night.

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Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.