Johnson clutch as Mets keep Marlins reeling

Johnson clutch as Mets keep Marlins reeling

NEW YORK -- The Mets' improbable run toward a National League Wild Card berth continued Wednesday, when Kelly Johnson's three-run double in the eighth inning lifted them to a 5-2 win over the Marlins at Citi Field. The win moved the Mets two games above Miami in the NL Wild Card standings, also temporarily floating them within two games of the Cardinals and a postseason berth.

Stuck in a tie game in the eighth, Johnson hit a two-out double off Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos to give the Mets their first lead since the sixth. Moments later, Mets closer Jeurys Familia nailed down his 44th save to set a single-season franchise record.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets acquire reliever Salas from Angels

Mets acquire reliever Salas from Angels

NEW YORK -- The Mets made a trade to shore up their bullpen late Wednesday night, acquiring right-handed reliever Fernando Salas from the Angels for pitching prospect Erik Manoah.

Salas, 31, owned six saves with a 4.47 ERA this season for the Angels. He served as the Cardinals' full-time closer for part of 2011, compiling 24 saves with a career-best 2.28 ERA. In New York, he should serve as a middle-innings option in front of Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets bringing back Conforto among 4 callups

Club also plans to add Plawecki, Kelly, Ynoa to roster Thursday

Mets bringing back Conforto among 4 callups

NEW YORK -- Michael Conforto will have a chance to prove his otherworldly August run at Triple-A Las Vegas was no Pacific Coast League mirage. The Mets plan to call up Conforto and three others as soon as rosters expand on Thursday, fortifying a roster decimated by injuries.

A member of the Mets' Opening Day lineup, Conforto earned the second of his two demotions to Las Vegas in mid-August. But he hit .493 with six home runs and a 1.361 OPS there in 17 games, forcing his way back to the big league roster. Although the Mets will not guarantee Conforto playing time in September, manager Terry Collins has said he plans to give him at-bats.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets welcome Maine-Endwell LLWS champs

Mets welcome Maine-Endwell LLWS champs

NEW YORK -- No sooner had Billy Dundon finished saying how hopeful he was to meet Yoenis Cespedes than the Mets slugger sauntered over from his usual haunt around the batting cage. Cespedes grinned at Dundon and his Maine-Endwell baseball teammates, who on Sunday became the first New York team to win the Little League World Series in more than a half-century. Then Cespedes worked his way down the line, offering autographs for all of them.

In the days since Maine-Endwell won the LLWS, countless requests have poured in from organizations and media outlets around the local area. But as coach Scott Rush noted, "When the New York Mets call, you say, 'Absolutely.'"

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cecchini headlines Mets headed to Fall League

Cecchini headlines Mets headed to Fall League

NEW YORK -- Mets prospect Gavin Cecchini will continue his stellar season into November. Cecchini headlines the Mets' contingent in this year's Arizona Fall League, according to rosters that the league released Wednesday.

A first-round Draft pick in 2012, Cecchini will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions alongside Mets pitchers David Roseboom and Corey Taylor, catcher Tomas Nido, infielder Matt Oberste and outfielder Champ Stuart. Mets first-base coach Tom Goodwin will manage the club.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grandy homers twice as Lugo, Mets cruise

Grandy homers twice as Lugo, Mets cruise

NEW YORK -- For most of the season's second half, the Mets' trademark starting pitching has flagged and, in some cases, faltered. Matt Harvey is done for the season. Steven Matz may be, as well. Jacob deGrom recently skipped a start due to poor performance. Noah Syndergaard, for a large swath of midsummer, was pedestrian.

But the Mets have patched things together to the chagrin of the Marlins and every other National League Wild Card contender. Seth Lugo continued to author his surprise success story on Tuesday, holding the Marlins to two runs in six innings of a 7-4 Mets victory at Citi Field.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Lugo spins a Statcast curveball record

3,498 rpm curve by Mets rookie righty has highest spin measured

Lugo spins a Statcast curveball record

You may not have noticed it in the midst of Curtis Granderson's two home runs or Jose Reyes' four hits as the Mets beat the Marlins, 7-4, on Tuesday night, but we saw a Major League record set in Queens, by none other than Seth Lugo. The relatively unheralded Mets rookie allowed just two runs over six innings while helping New York keep pace with St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

As for the record, it happened in the sixth inning, when Lugo dropped a nasty 1-2 curveball to strike out Miami's Xavier Scruggs swinging. Statcast™ measured that curve at 3,498 rpm, which is the highest-spin curve we've ever tracked.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ailing Cabrera stays hot, homers in victory

Ailing Cabrera stays hot, homers in victory

NEW YORK -- Asdrubal Cabrera is convinced at this point that his left knee injury will linger for the rest of this season. The discomfort has been there, chewing up his patella tendon since Spring Training. It has come and gone since then, but Cabrera knows it never leaves for good.

So the Mets' shortstop is playing through his knee issue as well as he can, which on most days lately has been about as well as possible. Returning to the starting lineup on Tuesday after a two-day absence, Cabrera sparked the Mets' 7-4 win over the Marlins with a two-run homer in the first inning, reaching base safely three times on the night.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Grandy's 2 HRs propel him closer to odd record

Grandy's 2 HRs propel him closer to odd record

NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson's optical illusion of an offensive season has blurred the lines between power and futility. Seen years later on the back of his baseball card, it will certainly make some squint.

Look at it one way, and Granderson's 22 home runs may color him the Majors' best top-of-the-lineup slugger, totaling more than middle-of-the-order stars Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto. But look a column over, and his 38 RBIs not only raise an eyebrow but also challenge some baseball history.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Oh, no: Hernandez figured out the telestrator

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Oh, no: Hernandez figured out the telestrator

Generally, broadcasters know how to use telestrators. It's a good tool for them to use when explaining shifts or drawing mustaches on players they've always wanted to see with mustaches.

Anyway, during Tuesday's Marlins-Mets game, New York broadcaster/revered sitcom actor Keith Hernandez figured out how to use Citi Field's -- just in time for the stretch run. And, well, he loves it. By loves it, I mean he loves drawing circles around Ron Darling's head.

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Mets extend deal with Triple-A Las Vegas through '18

NEW YORK -- The logistical issues of having their top farm team on the other side of the country will continue to affect the Mets for at least the next two seasons. The organization announced on Tuesday it has extended its player-development deal with Triple-A Las Vegas through 2018, continuing what has been a long-distance relationship.

In addition to the logistical issues of having their top affiliate 2,500 miles from home, the Mets struggle with evaluation, given the inflated offensive environment at Las Vegas. But in a statement, general manager Sandy Alderson said he was "excited" to continue the relationship, while the 51s are thrilled to keep the Mets.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets recall Verrett, option Montero to Triple-A

Mets recall Verrett, option Montero to Triple-A

The New York Mets recalled right-hander Logan Verrett from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned right-hander Rafael Montero to Double-A Binghamton in a corresponding move, the team announced Tuesday.

Verrett, 26, is 3-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 games (12 starts) for the Mets in 2016. He went 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts for the 51s.

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

Cespedes' walk-off HR lifts Mets over Marlins

Cespedes' walk-off HR lifts Mets over Marlins

NEW YORK -- The National League Wild Card race is a tangled knot five teams deep, each of them enduring their share of issues. It's all the Mets can do these days, for example, to put a healthy team on the field. And no one embodies all that more than Yoenis Cespedes.

Battling through what has become a chronic leg injury, Cespedes hit a walk-off homer in the 10th inning Monday at Citi Field, leading the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Marlins that also evened the two teams in the Wild Card standings. Both clubs still trail the Giants, Cardinals and Pirates, each sitting 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moment never too big for clutch Cespedes

Moment never too big for clutch Cespedes

NEW YORK -- Even as he centered himself in the dogpile at home plate, gum and sunflower seeds flying around him, Jose Reyes cautioned Yoenis Cespedes to dampen his celebration. This was a night worthy of a party, to be certain. But the Mets remained all too aware of both Cespedes' nagging injuries and their dependence on him over the next month. It is impossible to consider one without the other.

Still, there are ways to celebrate in safety. So as Cespedes walked over to conduct a television interview, answering questions about his walk-off homer in the 10th inning of a 2-1 win over the Marlins, Reyes grabbed an empty chewing gum canister and thunked it on top of Cespedes' head.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montero displays mettle in high-wire act

Montero displays mettle in high-wire act

NEW YORK -- As Rafael Montero took the Citi Field mound Monday night, a picture of his face appeared on the right-field scoreboard, a reminder for Mets fans who hadn't seen the right-hander since April. That wasn't all. Montero's ERA from that brief stint shone in white, bold numerals: 11.57.

By the end of the Mets' 2-1 victory over the Marlins, Montero's ERA had dropped to 3.68. It wasn't a perfect comeback performance, as the 25-year-old issued six walks. But he worked through the free passes and exited having thrown five shutout innings, earning the praise of teammates and manager Terry Collins in the process.

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Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cecchini among top prospect performers Monday

Giants' No. 2 prospect allows two hits, fans 11 in shutout for Squirrels

Cecchini among top prospect performers Monday

Tyler Beede needed just 94 pitches, 70 strikes, to spin his first shutout.

The Giants' No. 2 prospect led Double-A Richmond to a 4-0 win over Hartford on Monday, notching his first double-digit strikeout game of the season along the way.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera earns NL Player of Week nod

Shortstop comes off DL to hit three homers, but ends week with injury

Cabrera earns NL Player of Week nod

Asdrubal Cabrera returned from the disabled list with a performance that earned him National League Player of the Week honors.

The Mets shortstop hit an NL-best .545 (12-for-22) this week, with three home runs, eight RBIs and a .583 on-base percentage. His 25 total bases and 1.136 slugging percentage last week led the NL.

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

Mets' bats go cold as Phils erupt late

Mets' bats go cold as Phils erupt late

NEW YORK -- In his debut with the Phillies, catcher A.J. Ellis broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run double, highlighting a four-run frame in a 5-1 victory over the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field.

Through six innings, Mets right-hander Robert Gsellman's first Major League start had gone swimmingly, allowing only one run on four hits while striking out five. Then came the seventh.

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gsellman, Mets endure one rough frame

Righty solid in first start until Phils' four-run seventh

Gsellman, Mets endure one rough frame

NEW YORK -- Curtis Granderson raised his arms to his sides in confusion, shooting a quick glance to Alejandro De Aza. Where was the ball?

With his sunglasses flipped up, the Mets' left fielder fought to see through the sunny glare at Citi Field, but eventually settled under the pop fly off the bat of the Phillies' Cesar Hernandez, avoiding a potential embarrassment in an already unsettling seventh inning for the Mets on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

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Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Syndergaard (the horse) now an early Derby favorite

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Syndergaard (the horse) now an early Derby favorite

Noah Syndergaard owns a slider harder than most people's fastballs, and throws so hard he can literally brand a human being. Now, though, he might not even be the fastest Syndergaard on the East Coast: After winning the first race of his young career earlier this month, the horse named Noah Syndergaard took the Funny Cide Stakes at Saratoga this weekend -- by eight full lenghts. 

Not only was the purse a cool $200,000, but according to the New York Times, the equine Syndergaard is now the early favorite to win next year's Kentucky Derby. And, in accordance with the rule that real must recognize real, the actual Thor took notice.

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Cespedes, slam lead Mets' rout of Phillies

Cespedes, slam lead Mets' rout of Phillies

NEW YORK -- He had sent Citi Field into delirium once more, and Yoenis Cespedes wanted to show the 35,832 fans his appreciation. Jogging back to the dugout in the fourth inning of the Mets' 12-1 win over the Phillies on Saturday night, his 26th homer of the year in the seats, Cespedes raised both hands to his lips and blew the Mets faithful a kiss.

Queens has fallen in love with Yoenis Cespedes over the past 13 months, and with his three-run laser Saturday night, Cespedes set the wheels in motion for another Mets onslaught of the Phillies.

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Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Johnson's slam breaks Citi Field HR record

Pinch-hit, bases-loaded dinger was one of four Mets homers in rout of Phils

Johnson's slam breaks Citi Field HR record

NEW YORK -- The vibe around the Mets, Yoenis Cespedes said, is starting to feel a lot like it did the last two months of 2015. There are a few reasons: Desire. Motivation. An unwillingness to give up.

The Cuban slugger might be right, but the Mets are also borrowing a formula from last season: Hitting home runs in bunches. In fact, they set a franchise record last season by hitting 85 homers at Citi Field. This year's team smashed that mark Saturday in a 12-1 win over the Phillies. With 18 games to spare, they've already hit 87 dingers.

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Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lightning the load: Thor, Mets turning corner

Syndergaard posts second straight two-hit outing in win vs. Phillies

Lightning the load: Thor, Mets turning corner

NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard didn't have much time to react. After doubling earlier in the fourth inning, he took a lead off third base and watched as Yoenis Cespedes smoked a 104.2-mph line drive foul down the left-field line. Disaster wasn't as close as it seemed, but all Syndergaard could think of was self-preservation as his 6-foot-6, 240-pound frame staggered a bit before dropping to the grass.

"That was just all reflex," Syndergaard said. "I don't think it was really anywhere near me, but it was coming in fast. I don't know how unathletic I looked there, but I was just trying to hit the deck."

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cecchini among top prospect performers Saturday

Top Red Sox pitcher impresses in second start; Twins' No. 3 continues hot streak

Cecchini among top prospect performers Saturday

It hasn't taken Jason Groome long to reward the Red Sox for rolling the dice on him with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 Draft.

Making his second professional start on Saturday, Groome, No. 35 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, allowed one earned run and struck out five of the nine hitters he faced in two innings for Boston's Gulf Coast League affiliate in a contest against the Twins'.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bruce gets 'mental day'; Ruggiano to DL

Slumping right fielder out of starting lineup following 4-strikeout game

Bruce gets 'mental day'; Ruggiano to DL

NEW YORK -- Jay Bruce felt his balky right calf flare up on Friday, but the Mets were far more concerned with where the right fielder was mentally. On a day where the club scored nine runs on 11 hits to take the first game of a three-game series against the Phillies at Citi Field, Bruce went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts.

After fanning on a 94-mph two-seam fastball from Philadelphia reliever Frank Herrmann in the seventh inning, Bruce walked toward the Mets' dugout to a chorus of boos, a song that has been orchestrated with more and more frequency over the last couple of weeks. Since being acquired from the Reds at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, the 29-year-old has hit .160/.244/.272 with two home runs and six RBIs in 22 games.

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Four-es: Wilmer's slam among Mets' 4 HRs in win

Four-es: Wilmer's slam among Mets' 4 HRs in win

NEW YORK -- In need of another storybook run as they look to scale the National League Wild Card standings, the Mets on Friday turned to a player best known for his flair for the dramatic. Wilmer Flores slugged his third career grand slam, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes combined for three additional homers and Bartolo Colon cruised, leading the Mets to a 9-4 win over the Phillies at Citi Field.

The Mets remained 3 1/2 games behind the Cardinals, who also won, in an NL Wild Card race with five serious competitors.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Phillies on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins: Colon has kept Mets in playoff race

Ageless right-hander collects two hits, earns win in opener vs. Phillies

Collins: Colon has kept Mets in playoff race

NEW YORK -- On a day when the Mets announced that they will skip Jacob deGrom's next start because of mechanical issues, Mets manager Terry Collins couldn't provide enough praise for Friday's starter Bartolo Colon, the lone pitcher in New York's rotation who hasn't dealt with any sort of lingering issue this season.

"I can't come up with a name of a guy who we could have had that has done a better job," Collins said before the Mets' 9-4 victory over the Phillies at Citi Field. "Not only has he been the healthiest of the bunch, but he's won big games for us -- a lot of big games for us.

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Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blond bombshells make history with homers

Reyes, Cabrera become 2nd Mets duo to hit back-to-back dingers to open game; Asdrubal adds 2nd HR

Blond bombshells make history with homers

NEW YORK -- The play that did not show up in either the box score or the record books unfolded in the eighth inning Friday, with the Mets' 9-4 win over the Phillies already largely in hand.

Maikel Franco squirted a ground ball down the third-base line, where Jose Reyes attempted, unsuccessfully, to barehand it. As all of this was happening, Asdrubal Cabrera raced over from shortstop, positioning himself to grab the ball, dive toward third base and force out Aaron Altherr advancing from second.

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Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.