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Braves, Rex Brothers avoid arbitration

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David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves and reliever Rex Brothers have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal.

Brothers, who turns 30 years old next month, was eligible for arbitration for the second of three years. He pitched in only 27 games last season with ugly results, posting a 7.23 ERA with a 33/12 K/BB ratio across 23 2/3 innings.

Brothers was once a dominant reliever with the Rockies, peaking in 2013 when he compiled a 1.74 ERA across 67 1/3 innings. His 2017 strikeout rate suggests he still has some dominance in his arm and the Braves are taking essentially no-risk in keeping him around. Brothers will still need to have a strong spring showing to earn a spot in the bullpen.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Score and Highlight

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Yeah, singular. Other than those ESPN Sunday Night games that opened the season for several years until recently I can’t remember a regular season day or night with only one game scheduled. I also don’t much like it, but no one asks me these things.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 6: The Cardinals led 3-1 heading into the Cubs’ half of the fifth, at which point Chicago went off for five runs, with Ian Happ hitting a two run homer and Jason Heyward, Antony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist each knocking in a run. St. Louis would continue to score but each time they did the Cubs answered, never trailing again.

Heyward had three hits on the night, Happ had that dinger, Rizzo had two doubles and Victor Caratini, giving the just-returned All-Star Willson Contreras an extra day off, had three hits and scored three times.

As for pitching, check out this usage pattern from Joe Maddon:

I guess everyone was fresh after the break, though, so why not?

We get a full slate of 15 games today. As God and Nature intended.