Scott Feldman blanks the Rangers days after the passing of his father

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Scott Feldman turned in an early contender for the feel-good story of the year. As Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle writes, Feldman lost his father to brain cancer earlier this week and did not travel with the team to Toronto. However, he decided to make his scheduled start on Friday night against the Rangers. Feldman said his father would have been upset if he had skipped the outing.

The Astros are happy he showed up. Feldman held the Rangers scoreless over seven innings, going toe-to-toe with Yu Darvish. Darvish flirted with a perfect game entering the sixth inning, even. Overall, Feldman allowed two hits and walked four while striking out three. The 31-year-old right-hander now has an 0.44 ERA on the season in 20 2/3 innings over three starts.

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.