Mariners fall short in Elias' return to rotation

Mariners fall short in Elias' return to rotation

CHICAGO -- Carlos Rodon continued his strong stretch through August, allowing two runs across six-plus innings as the White Sox defeated the Mariners, 4-2, on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Adam Eaton scored three runs and reached base four times while Avisail Garcia knocked him in twice.

Rodon struck out five and gave up just three hits, and didn't give up a run until the seventh inning when Franklin Gutierrez connected on his ninth home run of the season. Rodon has had fourth straight quality starts with a 1.61 ERA in that stretch.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Cruz has found a home and taking a liking to it

Cruz has found a home and taking a liking to it

CHICAGO -- Given the difficulty of hitting a baseball, it helps to be something of an optimist.

Nelson Cruz, who was traded three times before his 27th birthday, learned long ago about the beauty of the glass half full. So here he is at 35, continuing to raise his level with the Mariners, despite them being his third team in three years.

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Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners deal Rodney to Cubs

Rosscup optioned to Triple-A; Schlitter designated for assignment

Mariners deal Rodney to Cubs

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Cubs added another arm to the bullpen mix Thursday, acquiring right-hander Fernando Rodney from the Mariners for a player to be named or cash considerations. Rodney is expected to join the Cubs on Friday in Los Angeles.

"I was there for that year when he had the best in history," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of the right-hander's 2012 season with the Rays, when he compiled an 0.60 ERA in 76 games with 48 saves. "He has the kind of stuff to get out both righties and lefties. I know he had trouble or struggled a bit this year, but I'm eager to see him in person and find out what's going on."

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Danks, Walker to duel for 2nd time this week

Danks, Walker to duel for 2nd time this week

Taijuan Walker and John Danks face each other for the second time this week when the White Sox host the Mariners Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Both pitchers are hoping this meeting goes better than the previous game on Sunday.

Walker was credited with the win in the Mariners' 8-6 victory, but allowed five runs on seven hits in the game. He took a 7-1 lead into the sixth inning, but didn't make it out of the frame. Jose Abreu and Adam LaRoche each had two-run homers as the White Sox put together a five-run inning to make it 7-6.

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John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Seager hopes he's on verge of snapping slump

Mariners 3B, batting .196 in August, given rare off-day

Seager hopes he's on verge of snapping slump

CHICAGO -- Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager said he felt improved at the plate after he homered on Wednesday and drove multiple balls to center field. But he also admitted that he has a ways to go to return to where he was only a month ago.

The four-year veteran has batted .196 in August, while posting a .248 on-base percentage. Over his last six games, Seager has gone 2-for-27 with eight strikeouts.

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Greg Garno is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cruz, Mariners back Felix, who cruises after homer

Cruz, Mariners back Felix, who cruises after homer

SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz clubbed his Major League-leading 39th home run and Felix Hernandez pitched eight innings of two-run ball to win his 15th game of the season, an 8-2 decision over the A's on Wednesday as the Mariners wrapped up a series win at Safeco Field.

Hernandez gave up a leadoff homer to Billy Burns and a seventh-inning shot to Brett Lawrie, but allowed just those two runs and three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Hernandez (15-8, 3.66) had an 8.48 ERA over his previous five starts, but he dominated the A's to move into a tie with Dallas Keuchel of the Astros for the most wins in the American League.

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Greg Johns and Jane Lee are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix finds fix in rare bullpen session

Felix finds fix in rare bullpen session

SEATTLE -- Although he's won 15 games, tied for the most in the American League, for a team that is 15 games under .500 on days he hasn't pitched, there had been concerns about Felix Hernandez in recent days.

The Mariners' ace had an 8.48 ERA over his previous five outings, the worst five-start span in his career, and he had allowed 10 or more hits in four of his last nine games. But on Wednesday, Hernandez looked like the King of old, holding the A's to three hits and two runs over eight innings in an 8-2 win at Safeco Field.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amid MVP talk, Cruz lets play do the talking

Amid MVP talk, Cruz lets play do the talking

SEATTLE -- Before the Mariners' 8-2 win over the A's on Wednesday afternoon, manager Lloyd McClendon said Nelson Cruz was rightfully receiving some American League MVP consideration, but that the Mariners' position in the standings could hurt Cruz.

On Wednesday, Cruz added to his MVP stock and did his part in helping bump the Mariners' record, notching three hits and his league-leading 39th home run to secure a 2-1 series win for Seattle. It put him one shy of his career-high total of 40 from last year, but Cruz said he's not worried about any milestones with more than a month still to play.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cano sets MLB record with 30-double season

Cano sets MLB record with 30-double season

SEATTLE -- Normally when Robinson Cano reaches second base with a double, the bag stays put. But on Tuesday night, Safeco Field needed a new second base as Cano's trophy room gained another piece of hardware.

With a bloop double to left in the seventh inning of the Mariners' 6-5 win over the A's, Cano became the first player in Major League history to record 30 doubles in his first 11 seasons.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners overcome early 5-run deficit, beat A's

Mariners overcome early 5-run deficit, beat A's

SEATTLE -- Robinson Cano became the first player in Major League history to open his career with 11 straight seasons with 30 doubles, and the Mariners came from behind to top the A's, 6-5, on Tuesday at Safeco Field.

"You've just got to keep fighting and competing," Cano said after Seattle (58-68) won for the second time in its past six games. "You've got teammates here and people that follow you all over. You help each other and play hard until the season's over ... just go out there and play hard every single day."

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Greg Johns and Jane Lee are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elias replaces Nuno in Mariners' rotation

Elias replaces Nuno in Mariners' rotation

SEATTLE -- Roenis Elias will return to the Mariners' rotation on Thursday for the first time in two months, replacing Vidal Nuno for the opener of a four-game series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, manager Lloyd McClendon said Wednesday.

Elias is 14-18 with a 3.97 ERA in 43 games for Seattle over the past two seasons, including 42 starts before pitching one inning out of the bullpen on Monday after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With new perspective, Kensing thrilled to be back in bigs

With new perspective, Kensing thrilled to be back in bigs

SEATTLE -- Logan Kensing has added a veteran right-handed presence to the Mariners bullpen after being promoted from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday. But beyond that, the 33-year-old brought something else. Something called perspective.

After breaking into the Major Leagues at 21 with the Marlins in 2004, Kensing threw in 135 games over the next six seasons. But bone spurs in his right elbow resulted in two surgeries that wiped his 2010 season. After that, he made it back to the big leagues for just one game -- a two-out relief appearance for the Rockies in 2013 -- before being called up on Sunday by the Mariners to bolster a bullpen thinned by injuries, trades and poor performances.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Olmos earns first win with brilliant relief outing

Olmos earns first win with brilliant relief outing

SEATTLE -- On a night when the Mariners' bullpen provided an improbable boost, rookie southpaw Edgar Olmos proved to be the unexpected hero.

A relief crew that has taken plenty of lumps this season stepped up with 7 2/3 innings of scoreless work in Tuesday's 6-5 win over the A's. And it was Olmos -- pitching just his fourth game since his promotion from Triple-A -- picking up his first career win by hurling the first 3 2/3 frames after starter Mike Montgomery staked the A's to a five-run lead in the second.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte's newest first: facing a switch pitcher

Marte's newest first: facing a switch pitcher

SEATTLE -- Ketel Marte has dealt with a lot of new things in his first month in the big leagues, but nothing could prepare him for something few hitters have ever faced in Major League history.

When Marte stepped to the plate in the seventh inning of Monday's 11-5 loss to the A's, home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez asked Oakland reliever Pat Venditte which hand he wanted to throw with to the switch-hitting rookie.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Though short, Paxton's rehab outing a positive

Though short, Paxton's rehab outing a positive

SEATTLE -- James Paxton's first rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday lasted just 36 pitches and two-thirds of an inning, but the 6-foot-4 left-hander said he felt healthy and is a step closer to a return to the Mariners rotation this season.

"I felt good. I felt like I was throwing strikes. I was healthy, no pain. I would have liked to have gone deeper in the game, obviously," said Paxton, who allowed one earned run on two hits and walked one before exiting with a 3-2 count in the first inning against the Memphis Redbirds. "They were fouling off a bunch of stuff and my breaking stuff wasn't as sharp as I would like it to be. But I think that's going to come."

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fifth inning gets out of hand for Iwakuma

Fifth inning gets out of hand for Iwakuma

SEATTLE -- When last seen in Safeco Field, Hisashi Iwakuma was twirling the first no-hitter of his career and celebrating his finest moment in the Major Leagues. But things can change in a hurry in baseball and Iwakuma was roughed up for seven runs in the fifth inning Monday as the A's rallied for an 11-5 victory in his first home appearance since that historic gem.

For a while, it looked like Iwakuma was headed for another outstanding start. He glided through four innings with just one baserunner on a infield single by Brett Lawrie in the second. But things went south in a hurry in the fifth.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Iwakuma's no-no homecoming spoiled by A's

Iwakuma's no-no homecoming spoiled by A's

SEATTLE -- In his first Safeco Field start since his no-hitter, Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma gave up seven runs in the fifth inning as the A's stormed from behind for an 11-5 win Monday night to snap an eight-game road losing streak.

Oakland starter Felix Doubront left the game after two innings with a bruised right foot after being hit by a Robinson Cano line drive and the Mariners immediately racked up five runs in the third off reliever Evan Scribner as Franklin Gutierrez and Mark Trumbo homered.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Elias will relieve initially, but could start soon

Kensing gives up homer in debut with Mariners

Elias will relieve initially, but could start soon

SEATTLE -- Reinforcements for the Mariners bullpen arrived during the second inning of Sunday's 8-6 win over the White Sox as left-hander Roenis Elias and right-hander Logan Kensing flew from Denver to Seattle in the morning and arrived in time for Kensing to make his debut with the club.

Kensing, a 33-year-old making just his second Major League appearance since 2009, gave up a home run to the first batter he faced in Adam LaRoche, but then retired three in a row after entering in the sixth.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cano, Cruz come through to hold off White Sox

Cano, Cruz come through to hold off White Sox

SEATTLE -- Nelson Cruz hit a two-RBI double in the third and Robinson Cano launched a two-run homer in the fifth as the Mariners hung on avoid a White Sox sweep, 8-6, Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Mariners starter Taijuan Walker held the White Sox to just one run over his first five innings, but exited after allowing four hits in what became a five-run sixth inning for Chicago. Walker earned his first win since July 31, but snapped a streak of five straight quality starts, allowing five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wilhelmsen earns save amid bullpen reset

Mariners pitcher fills in as closer, throws perfect inning

Wilhelmsen earns save amid bullpen reset

SEATTLE -- With Fernando Rodney released and Carson Smith struggling, Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon went to Tom Wilhelmsen in the ninth inning Sunday, and the former closer threw a perfect frame to lock down a much-needed 8-6 win over the White Sox at Safeco Field.

Wilhelmsen had 29 saves in 2012 and 24 in the first four months of '13 before losing that job and eventually spending last year and the first five months of this season as a versatile middle-reliever.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

O'Neill on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Houston phenoms on list 20 times thus far, most of any team

O'Neill on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

The Houston Astros might be the feel-good surprise story in the big leagues, but let's not forget much of that has been built from within, taking advantage of one of the best farm systems in baseball.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayo on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Paxton's first rehab start cut short

Mariners pitcher struggles in two-thirds of an inning

Paxton's first rehab start cut short

James Paxton's initial Minor League rehab start with Triple-A Tacoma didn't go quite as smoothly as hoped, when the Mariners' left-hander lasted just two-thirds of an inning against Memphis on Sunday before being pulled when his pitch count reached 36.

Paxton, sidelined since May 28 with a strained tendon in his left middle finger, allowed one run on two hits, a walk and a wild pitch in the game at Cheney Stadium.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodney DFA'd; Farquhar optioned to Triple-A

Elias and Kensing will be added to shore up struggling bullpen

Rodney DFA'd; Farquhar optioned to Triple-A

SEATTLE -- Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney, who lost his closer's role in Seattle two and a half months ago, was designated for assignment after Saturday's 6-3 loss to the White Sox, as the Mariners made a flurry of moves to shuffle their beleaguered bullpen.

Rodney, 38, didn't pitch Saturday, but has struggled all season and was 5-5 with a 5.68 ERA and six blown saves in 22 opportunities this season.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen struggles apparent in late-inning meltdown

Bullpen struggles apparent in late-inning meltdown

SEATTLE -- The White Sox scored five times in the final two innings -- including a trio of runs in the 10th -- to pull out a 6-3 victory over the Mariners on Saturday night at Safeco Field.

The White Sox crossed the plate on a bases-loaded walk, a passed ball and a fielder's choice in the 10th off Mariners relievers Danny Farquhar and Edgar Olmos in an inning where the only hit was a double by Jose Abreu to go along with three walks and an error.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Injuries, overuse take toll on relievers

Mariners shake up bullpen after Saturday's loss

Injuries, overuse take toll on relievers

SEATTLE -- With veterans Charlie Furbush and Joe Beimel both on the disabled list, Mark Lowe traded to Toronto on July 31 and previous stalwarts like Fernando Rodney and Danny Farquhar sent packing after Saturday's 6-3, 10-inning loss to the White Sox, Lloyd McClendon doesn't have a lot of answers in his Mariners bullpen.

As a result, a relief group that had the lowest ERA in the Majors last year at 2.59 has dropped to 27th among the 30 teams this year with a 4.46 mark after giving up five runs in the final two frames in Saturday's loss.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mariners' prospect O'Neill hits No. 30, ties for MiLB lead

Bakersfield outfielder connects for fourth straight game, has 14 homers in past month

Mariners' prospect O'Neill hits No. 30, ties for MiLB lead

The Minor League home run lead has changed hands several times this season, but Mariners No. 7 prospect Tyler O'Neill has the look of someone who could run away with the crown after tying Cincinnati's Adam Duvall at 30 homers on Saturday night.

O'Neill went 2-for-4 with a two-run blast for Class A Advanced Bakersfield to match Triple-A Louisville's Duvall, and he's now gone deep in four straight games. The 20-year-old has 14 home runs in less than a month since returning from the Pan-Am Games, and he's put together two different four-game home run streaks in that time.

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Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Felix falls short in ace faceoff with Sale

Felix falls short in ace faceoff with Sale

SEATTLE -- The story of Friday night's game at Safeco Field was always going to be about the electric matchup between White Sox starter Chris Sale and Mariners ace Felix Hernandez. And while Chicago's 11-4 victory wasn't a taut pitching duel, there was more than enough intrigue taking place on the mound.

Sale earned the win with seven innings of three-run ball and struck out 14 batters, giving him 29 punchouts in his last 14 innings and 222 for the season, the current Major League lead. He had a one-hitter going until the seventh, when he gave up crisp singles to Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano and a three-run home run to Mark Trumbo.

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Andrew Erickson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen can't pick up slack on Felix's off night

Mariners ace says he felt fine, but takes second straight loss

Bullpen can't pick up slack on Felix's off night

SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez says he's healthy. The Mariners ace said he felt great during his start Friday night, in which he endured his second consecutive loss and saw his ERA climb to a season high. He said he made one mistake that could have turned the whole game around in Seattle's 11-4 loss to the White Sox.

Unfortunately for the Mariners, the club's reeling bullpen made more than one mistake and let a game that could have been close get out of hand.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frustrated McClendon ejected in eighth

Frustrated McClendon ejected in eighth

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was ejected in the eighth inning of Friday night's 11-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox by home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott.

McClendon was engaging Wolcott in an argument as he walked to the pitcher's mound to replace relief pitcher Rob Rasmussen, and Wolcott ejected him. McClendon made the pitching change, bringing in David Rollins, and then continued his conversation with Wolcott briefly before being escorted off the field.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Furbush not likely to pitch again this season

Mariners lefty seeking second opinion on rotator cuff

Furbush not likely to pitch again this season

SEATTLE -- Charlie Furbush's season might very well be over, but the left-handed reliever is not giving up on the chance to return to the mound in 2015. At least not yet.

Furbush was diagnosed with a slight tear of the rotator cuff after Mariners team doctor Edward Khalfayan took an MRI exam of his left shoulder. Furbush will seek a second opinion from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. David Altchek, possibly visiting Altchek in his New York office Monday.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.