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Troy Tulowitzki suffers setback

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Troy Tulowitzki was removed from a minor league rehab game yesterday when he felt tightness in the left calf. The same left calf which sent him to the injured list in the first place. He had been on the verge of being activated before this.

Tulowitzki, who the Yankees signed to take over shortstop from the injured Didi Gregorius, has managed to play only five games and make only 13 plate appearances so far this year. In his absence, Gleyber Torres has played most of the season at short, D.J. LeMahieu has covered second and Gio Urshela has handled third. All three of them have performed well so far, so Tulowitzki’s presence — an unknown given how much time he’s missed over the past couple of seasons — has not really been missed.

It was an interesting experiment to sign Tulowitzki — and, in so doing, foregoing other, more expensive but reliable options on the infield — but at this point it seems to be turning out about how one would’ve expected when one signs an often-injured player in his mid-30s.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).