Mike Leake to rejoin Giants’ rotation on Saturday

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John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Mike Leake is set to rejoin the Giants’ rotation on Saturday, in Pittsburgh against the Pirates. Shea adds that Leake will be taking Chris Heston’s spot in the rotation, and Heston will head to Triple-A Sacramento for a breather.

Leake, 27, was expected to return from the disabled list on Tuesday, but his left hamstring injury didn’t heal up as quickly as anticipated. Leake said on Thursday that his hamstring still isn’t one hundred percent and might not be for the rest of the season. The right-hander has made just one start since the Giants acquired him from the Reds, holding the Rangers to two runs in 6 1/3 innings on August 2.

Heston hasn’t been able to complete the fifth inning in three of his last four starts. In his most recent start, he needed 104 pitches to record 14 outs against the Cardinals. Nevertheless, he has a productive 3.34 ERA with a 110/48 K/BB ratio in 145 2/3 innings.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).