Jason Hammel
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Jason Hammel to retire

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Rangers right-hander Jason Hammel is set to retire from Major League Baseball just one day after making the team’s Opening Day roster, according to multiple reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan and Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. While Hammel has informed the team of his decision, a formal announcement has yet to be made.

After finishing out a two-year gig with the Royals in 2018, the 36-year-old righty signed a minor league deal with the Rangers in February, then made it abundantly clear that he wouldn’t settle for anything less than a spot on the 25-man roster.

“I certainly won’t go to Triple-A,” he told Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News last week. “This is a grind. If it requires me to go home, I know my family is waiting for me and has been for a while. I’m more than willing to go home and spend time with them.”

The Rangers eventually placed Hammel on their Opening Day roster with the intent of using him in long relief and spot starts. That may not have been enough of a guarantee for the veteran starter, however, especially considering his recent streak of bad luck in the majors. And, as he told Texas GM Jon Daniels, his priorities had shifted from baseball to his family, making the decision to step away from his MLB career an easy one.

Hammel hit some career-low numbers last year, pitching to a 3-12 record in 18 starts with a 6.02 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 0.9 fWAR across 127 innings in the rotation and bullpen. It was a disappointing finish to a long career, one in which he racked up a cumulative 298 starts and 20.1 fWAR for the Rays, Rockies, Orioles, Cubs, Athletics, and Royals from 2006 through 2018.

The Rangers have yet to name a replacement.

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.