Braves prospect Billy Bullock suspended 50 games

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Braves pitching prospect Billy Bullock has been suspended 50 games following a second violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program for a “drug of abuse.”

Bullock was Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2009 out of the University of Florida, but the Twins traded him to the Braves for the ability to keep Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond in the minors instead of the big-league roster in 2011.

Bullock throws in the mid-90s and has impressive strikeout totals at every level, totaling 283 in 218 career innings, but he’s also walked 6.0 batters per nine frames and was a mess between Double-A and Triple-A this year.

Diamond, meanwhile, has developed into a middle-of-the-rotation starter for the Twins with a 3.82 ERA in 212 career innings in the majors.

Report: Athletics sign Chris Herrmann to one-year, $1 million deal

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Athletics and catcher Chris Herrmann have agreed to a contract. It’s a one-year deal worth $1 million with performance incentives, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman.

Herrmann, 31, spent last season with the Mariners, batting .237/.322/.421 with a pair of home runs and seven RBI in 87 plate appearances. He opened the season at Triple-A Tacoma, then was called up in late May. Herrmann battled an oblique injury during the season as well.

Herrmann figures to back up Josh Phegley behind the plate in 2019.