David Ortiz leaves game with back spasms

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David Ortiz left today’s game against the Blue Jays in the ninth inning after hurting his back with a swing. After the game he said it was just back spasms and that it’s not much cause for concern.

He’s day-to-day and it’s unclear if he’ll miss any time. Worth noting that this afternoon and evening he’ll be flying from Toronto to Tampa Bay, and old backs don’t do too well on airplanes, even if the airplanes are posh chartered jobs.  Wouldn’t hurt to give him a day off, but we’ll know if he gets one tomorrow afternoon.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.