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Phillies, Cameron Rupp avoid arbitration

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The Phillies and catcher Cameron Rupp have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $2.05 million salary for the 2018 season, Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Rupp had been eligible for arbitration for the first of three years.

Rupp, 29, hit .217/.299/.417 with 14 home runs and 34 RBI in 331 plate appearances last season. He was the starting catcher for most of the first half with Andrew Knapp backing him up. He split time with Jorge Alfaro behind the plate for most of the second half.

According to Gelb, Rupp and Knapp will compete for one spot on the 25-man roster in spring training. Alfaro is expected to have cemented a roster spot since he is out of options, which means he can’t be sent to the minor leagues without his permission.

The Phillies have other pending arbitration cases with Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco, and Luis Garcia.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.