Jonathan Sanchez makes the Pirates rotation

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Pieces falling into place for Pittsburgh:

 

Not sure what makes that sound like more of a threat: the all-caps or the fact that it involves Jonathan Sanchez having a prominent role here.

Which, look, I’m not meaning to hate. I want the Pirates to break the string of sub-.500 seasons because people in Pittsburgh are nice people and good baseball fans and it would mean a lot and be great story and all of that. But man, if Jonathan Sanchez makes your rotation, and if he’s not even the fifth starter, which he likely isn’t here, you have a pretty precipitous falloff afoot.

I feel like that no-hitter a few years ago is keeping him in the league way longer than he would have been otherwise. I also feel like the Pirates are gonna be shuffling around the back end of that rotation before the calendar hits May.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.

“While we understand the concerns raised by the league with respect to a bench-clearing incident during this challenging season, we’re disappointed by the decision,” the union said. “It was an unfair result for Joe Kelly given the cases presented.”

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty that was first reported by Barstool Sports.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.