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Brewers sign Christian Bethancourt to a minor league deal

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The Brewers have signed catcher Christian Bethancourt to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

You may recall that Bethancourt’s old team, the Padres, tried to convert him into a pitcher with an eye toward using him as a two-way player. Made some sense in that the dude hit 96 on the gun in some one-off mop-up appearances. The experiment never took, however, as he posted a 8.21 ERA at Triple-A and walked everyone within shouting distance across 41.2 innings of work. His bat has never been good at the big league level — he’s a career.222/.252/.316 hitter in 489 plate appearances — but that’s better than his pitching was.

So it’s back to catching for Bethancourt, who will serve as organizational depth for Milwaukee.

Marcus Stroman: Blue Jays are “f– terrible”

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.

Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.

Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”

Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.