Left-hander Joe Thatcher, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Astros this offseason, has been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster.
Thatcher filled a left-handed specialist role for Houston, appearing in 36 games but logging a total of just 19 innings. He had a decent 3.79 ERA, but wasn’t especially effective versus left-handed hitters. Or at least not good enough to warrant devoting a roster spot to that limited role.
Thatcher has a solid track record that includes a 3.43 ERA in nine seasons as a big leaguer, so he should be able to latch on somewhere else down the stretch.
Cubs shortstop Javier Báez pulled off one of the best jukes you’ll see, avoiding the tag from David Freese on a play at first base in the second inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Dodgers. Báez barely made contact with a Kenta Maeda pitch well outside the strike zone, tapping it towards Freese. Báez halted his momentum, juking Freese while he attempted to apply the tag, then dove into first base.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts attempted to argue that Báez went out of the baseline, but the umpires’ no-call stood and Báez had himself a single. He would end up stranded on base, unfortunately for him and the Cubs.