Zach Duke
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Report: Reds to sign Zach Duke

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The Reds are closing in on a deal with lefty reliever Zach Duke, per Jon Heyman of Fancred. Rumors of the deal first sprouted on Thursday evening, but as of Friday, the team has yet to reveal any contract terms or make a formal announcement.

Duke, 35, split his 2018 campaign between the Twins and Mariners following a midseason trade to Seattle for right-hander Chase De Jong and corner infielder Ryan Costello. He pitched to a combined 4.15 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 through 52 innings of relief. While his results weren’t anything to write home about, they represented an important step forward for the veteran left-hander in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery during the 2016 offseason and UCL and forearm surgery in the middle of the Cardinals’ 2017 run.

In Cincinnati, Duke will provide additional depth in a bullpen that already includes right-handers Michael Lorenzen, Jared Hughes, and David Hernandez, lefties Wandy Peralta, Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, and Brandon Finnegan, and closer Raisel Iglesias. The Reds may still seek further reinforcements as the 2019 season draws nearer, but already missed out on one of their targets when free agent reliever Shawn Kelley inked a deal with the Rangers earlier this week.

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.