Report: Rays ink Cody Hall to minor league deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have signed right-handed relief pitcher Cody Hall to a minor league deal. Hall elected free agency from the Giants last month, splitting his season between their Double-A affiliate and the independent Atlantic League Lancaster Barnstormers in his first year without a single major league outing.

The 29-year-old reliever last appeared in the big leagues during the 2016 season, logging just three innings (and a 12.00 ERA) with the Marlins before getting jettisoned in mid-August. He was given a longer leash in the minors last season, turning in a cumulative 3.09 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 12.0 SO/9 in 43 2/3 innings for Richmond and Lancaster.

The bullpen is still a big question mark for the Rays as they look toward the 2018 season, with Brad Boxberger, Steve Cishek, Sergio Romo and Tommy Hunter already gone and Alex Colome likely on the chopping block. Hall could find a few innings as a depth piece, but appears unlikely to latch onto a full-time role with limited major league experience under his belt.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.