Reds calling up prospect John Lamb for MLB debut

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Reds left-hander John Lamb, a 25-year-old prospect acquired from the Royals in the Johnny Cueto trade last month, will be called up from the minors to make his MLB debut Friday.

Lamb cracked Baseball America’s top-100 prospects list in 2011, but then underwent Tommy John elbow surgery and struggled for two seasons before bouncing back in 2014. He’s taken another big step forward this season at Triple-A, posting a 2.67 ERA and 117/36 K/BB ratio in 111 innings.

Along with Lamb the Reds also received fellow left-handers Brandon Finnegan and Cody Reed in the July 26 deal for Cueto, who has a 2.05 ERA through three starts for the Royals. Lamb’s debut will come against the Dodgers.

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.