Reds sign right-hander Clay Hensley to a minor league contract

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The Reds announced late this afternoon that they have signed reliever Clay Hensley to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to spring training.

Hensley posted a 4.62 ERA and 42/30 K/BB ratio over 50 2/3 innings last season out of the Giants’ bullpen. The 33-year-old right-hander actually had a 2.95 ERA as late as August 2, but then struggled through a groin injury and was left off the team’s postseason roster. He averaged just 85.5 mph on his fastball, a three mph drop-off from where he was when he had a 2.95 ERA with the Marlins in 2010.

The Reds already have a pretty full bullpen, so a lot of things will have to go Hensley’s way for him to make the Opening Day roster.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.