The Orioles signed Aaron Laffey

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He’s not Grant Balfour, but when you’re the Orioles the real test is whether the guy can pass the physical:

 

Not exactly the sort of starting pitching splash O’s fans were hoping for, but he’s basically free. Best case: 5th/emergency starter. Likely case: organizational depth and that guy you call up when you’ve had three bullpen heavy games in a row and need a mopup dude at the ready. Worst case: he pitches like he did last year and is released in March.

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.