Red Sox activate Vicente Padilla from disabled list

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Vicente Padilla is back from the disabled list following a minimum 15-day stay, rejoining the Red Sox’s bullpen after missing time with a biceps injury.

To make room for Padilla’s return the Red Sox sent Danny Valencia to Triple-A after initially calling him up to help sub for the injured Will Middlebrooks at third base. Instead of turning to Valencia–who was acquired from the Twins in a small trade two weeks ago–manager Bobby Valentine opted to go with Nick Punto as Middlebrooks’ primary fill-in.

Padilla threw 39 innings with a very strong 43/11 K/BB ratio and very underwhelming 4.62 ERA before getting hurt. He’ll slide back into a setup role.

Pirates pitcher Steven Brault sang the National Anthem last night

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Pittsburgh Pirates swingman Steven Brault has a 4.38 ERA in 19 games this year. He also has a music degree and is a professional singer on the side of his baseball gig. He didn’t get into last night’s game against the Brewers as a pitcher, but he did get to use his singing skills.

Specifically, Brault got to sing the National Anthem. And he did an OK job of it too. He’s not Whitney Houston or anything, but he did what all Anthem singers who are not as gifted as Whitney Houston was should do: he kept it straight and businesslike, avoiding unnecessary flourishes:

It’s march, dang it, not a ballad, and it should be treated as such. Unless of course you’re Whitney Houston.