J.T. Realmuto
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J.T. Realmuto elected player-manager for Marlins’ last game of 2018

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Russell Martin isn’t the only major league player who will assume control of the dugout when the regular season comes to an end on Sunday. According to Marlins skipper Don Mattingly, catcher J.T. Realmuto will take over managing duties for the day in what has become something of a tradition for the team.

Realmuto, 27, made his final appearance of the season on Saturday and will round out his fifth year in Miami with a .277/.340/.484 batting line and career-best 21 home runs and .825 OPS through 531 plate appearances. His .300+ batting average and double-digit home runs helped him to his first All-Star nomination during the first half of the year as well. There’s still some ambiguity surrounding Realmuto’s future within the organization, however, and the Marlins haven’t yet indicated whether they intend to extend or trade the catcher as they look to restructure their roster into something resembling a postseason contender.

After calling the game from the dugout during the Marlins’ final game against the Mets, Realmuto will join A.J. Ellis and Martin Prado as the team’s most recent one-time player-managers. Ellis took his turn in the skipper’s seat during the 2017 season finale and steered the club to an 8-5 loss against the Braves, while Prado did double-duty in 2016 after juggling a full lineup and third base duties against the Nationals, who eventually took the series with a 10-7 win.

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.