Diamondbacks activate Brandon McCarthy, DFA Tony Sipp

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From beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic comes word that the Diamondbacks have activated right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy from the disabled list and designated reliever Tony Sipp for assignment to open up a roster spot.

McCarthy wound up missing all of June and July with a right shoulder injury. He will return to the Snakes’ rotation for Sunday’s series finale with the Red Sox.

Sipp, a 30-year-old southpaw, had registered a 3.86 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 37/18 K/BB ratio through 32 2/3 innings of relief this season for Arizona. He has held left-handed batters to a .220/.301/.410 slash line in his five-year major league career and could draw some interest on waivers from contending teams seeking a left-handed relief specialist.

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.