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Seibu Lions expected to announce that they’re posting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi

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Yahoo Japan — I’m probably getting the attribution for that wrong, but here is the link — reports that the Seibu Lions of NPB are expected to announce on Monday that they will post lefty starter Yusei Kikuchi.

Kikuchi, 27, posted a 3.08 ERA and 153/45 K/BB ratio over 163 and two-thirds innings in Japan Pacific this season. The year before that he was truly exceptional, going 16-6 record with a 1.97 ERA while striking out 217 batters and walking only 49 in his 187 and two-thirds.

A fastball-slider pitcher some have compared to Patrick Corbin, Kikuchi has made the Pacific League All-Star team three times. He’s generally viewed by scouts as a potential mid-rotation starter, but there is at least some concern about his durability given that shoulder problems cut short two of his seasons in the past, though that was several years ago.

Anyway, another guy to consider when looking at free agent starting pitchers.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”