Phillies re-sign infielder Ronny Cedeno to a minor league deal

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After releasing Ronny Cedeno on Tuesday, CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have re-signed the infielder to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The Phillies had originally signed Cedeno in mid-January and brought him to big league camp as a non-roster invitee.

Cedeno was one of a handful of candidates to make the Phillies’ 25-man roster after Freddy Galvis was sidelined with a case of MRSA. He was competing with Reid Brignac, Andres Blanco, and Cesar Hernandez. Hernandez ultimately won and the Phillies recently traded for Jayson Nix. Cedeno, 31 and a nine-year Major League veteran, is unlikely to see playing time in the big leagues unless the Phillies suffer another rash of injuries to infielders.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.