Tigers, Cubs, Orioles talking about a potential three-way trade involving Rick Porcello and J.J. Hardy

Tigers, Cubs, Orioles talking about a potential three-way trade involving Rick Porcello and J.J. Hardy

This could be fun, even if it’s somewhat vexing: MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Tigers have discussed trading Rick Porcello to the Cubs, with the Orioles involved as a possible third party. The Orioles’ piece: J.J. Hardy, who Kubatko says the Tigers really want.  Which, given that Jhonny Peralta is already under contract with the Tigers…

Led by Cousins, Redskins top NFLPA's 'Rising 50' with five players

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Led by Cousins, Redskins top NFLPA's 'Rising 50' with five players

The Redskins boast more players in the NFL Players Association’s ‘Rising 50’ than any other team, the union announced Thursday.

Five Redskins, led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, made the cut on the 2016 list. The Rams are second with four players, and the Cardinals, Texans, Jaguars and Seahawks each have three. 

Joining Cousins, who ranks second behind Rams running back Todd Gurley, are All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman (8th), tight end Jordan Reed (24th), running back Matt Jones (35th) and rookie wide receiver Josh Doctson (36th).

Cousins is one of four quarterbacks ranked among the top 10. Norman, meantime, is the highest ranking defensive player, while Doctson is one of 10 players who were selected in this year's draft.

What is the Rising 50? According to the NFLPA, the second annual list identifies "players best positioned to rank among the top-sellers of all officially licensed merchandise and become future retail stars." The union says it takes into account on-field performance, fantasy league popularity and early demand from current sponsors and licensees.

(To be considered for the Rising 50 players must not have appeared in previous NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales quarterly lists. Last year, 11 players from the Rising 50 ascended to the Top 50 Player Sales list during the 2015 season.)

While leading the league in players in the Rising 50 doesn’t guarantee success on the field, it does underscore the fact that second-year GM Scot McCloughan is assembling a group of talented and popular players in Washington.

Here’s the full Rising 50 list:   

  1. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
  2. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
  3. Thomas Rawls, RB, Seattle Seahawks
  4. Jared Goff, QB, Los Angeles Rams
  5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
  6. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
  7. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
  8. Josh Norman, DB, Washington Redskins
  9. Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  10. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
  11. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
  12. Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
  13. Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
  14. Tyrann Mathieu, DB, Arizona Cardinals
  15. Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears
  16. Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills
  17. Paxton Lynch, QB, Denver Broncos
  18. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
  19. Tyler Lockett, WR/KR, Seattle Seahawks
  20. Aaron Donald, DL, Los Angeles Rams
  21. Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Carolina Panthers
  22. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
  23. Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
  24. Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins
  25. Brock Osweiler, QB, Houston Texans
  26. T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
  27. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  28. Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns
  29. Patrick Peterson, DB, Arizona Cardinals
  30. Joey Bosa, DE, San Diego Chargers
  31. Eric Decker, WR, New York Jets
  32. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
  33. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
  34. Buck Allen, RB, Baltimore Ravens
  35. Matt Jones, RB, Washington Redskins
  36. Josh Doctson, WR, Washington Redskins
  37. Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  38. Corey Coleman, WR, Cleveland Browns
  39. Tyler Eifert, TE, Cincinnati Bengals
  40. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
  41. Tavon Austin, WR/KR, Los Angeles Rams
  42. Ameer Abdullah, RB, Detroit Lions
  43. Allen Hurns, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
  44. Brandin Cooks, WR, New Orleans Saints
  45. Laquon Treadwell, WR, Minnesota Vikings
  46. Malcolm Butler, CB, New England Patriots
  47. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
  48. Myles Jack, LB, Jacksonville Jaguars
  49. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
  50. Blaine Gabbert, QB, San Francisco 49ers

 

 

 

Ubaldo Jimenez tries to follow Kevin Gausman's solid start for Orioles

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Ubaldo Jimenez tries to follow Kevin Gausman's solid start for Orioles

Tonight's Game: Oakland Athletics (13-16) vs. Baltimore Orioles (16-11), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m. 

Starting pitchers: Rich Hill (3-3, 2.53) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (1-3, 5.20)

Keys to the Game:

Can the Orioles Jimenez give the Orioles a solid start to match Kevin Gausman's on Thursday night? 

Can the Orioles hit Hill? In his last start against them, Hill pitched a two-hit shutout last Sept. 25, striking out 10 when pitching for Boston. 

News and Notes:

Hill is trying for his fourth win, which would be his most since 2007. 

Current Orioles are batting .174 (4-for-23) against Hill. 

Jimenez is 3-1 with a 5.28 ERA in six starts against Oakland.

Billy Butler is batting .345 (10-for-29) with a home run against Jimenez. 

Ross' 9 Ks not enough to overcome Zobrist and Hendricks' big night

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Ross' 9 Ks not enough to overcome Zobrist and Hendricks' big night

Postgame analysis of the Nats' 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night at Wrigley Field:

How it happened: Ben Zobrist came to play. The highly prized free agent signed during the offseason to round out the Cubs infield started things off early, driving in Tommy La Stella and Kris Bryant in the fourth inning on a single to put the Cubs.

Four innings later, with the Nationals unable to make good contact off Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO), Zobrist tacked on two more thanks to a big, two-out home run to left field off reliever Felipe Rivero.

Two batters later, Addison Russell drove in Ryan Kallish on a double off Joe Kelley to put the Cubs up 5-0.

Bryce Harper reached on a walk in the top of the ninth and Jayson Werth cleared the bases on a home run off Travis Wood, but Carlos Rodon shut the door on Wilson Ramos and the Nats, procuring the final out.

What it means: The 5-1 win moves the Cubs' run differential to an absurd +96. It's still an early-season series, but four games in Chicago will help fuel the narrative heading toward the All-Star break. The Nats' bats were cold, but Bryce Harper reaching base four times is a good sign that maybe brief slump is coming to an end.

Ross' standout start: Despite suffering his first loss of the year, Joe Ross tossed perhaps his best game of the 2016 campaign. Although he gave up a season-high two runs, he also recorded a season-high nine strikeouts and allowed just five hits and two balls.

His slider was working early, recording his first three punchouts using his go-to pitch. The 22-year-old hurler continues to dazzle early in the year and his been a pleasant surprise.

He faced his biggest test to date and while he took the loss, his performance certainly wasn't anything to scoff at.

With a 1.23 ERA, he ranks behind just Gio Gonzalez and Jake Arrieta for the league lead. That's good company to keep.

Murphy comes up empty: Daniel Murphy did not record a hit. That may sound a bit odd and with good reason. Thursday night was just the fourth time all season Murphy has failed to get a hit this season. His two strikeouts was also a rareity, just the second-time he's been sent down twice in one outing in 2016. But fear not. Each of Murphy's hitless games have been followed up by multi-hit games with at least one RBI. Friday will be different for sure.

Revere waits again: There was speculation that Ben Revere would make his return to the lineup on Thursday after spending a month on the DL due to a strained oblique he suffered during the first week of the season. But after giving it a go in pregame warmups it was determined that one more day of rest would get Revere back to 100%, and he is expected to be back on the field on Friday, 

What's next: Max Scherzer (3-1, 3.31 ERA) takes on John Lackey (3-1, 4.32 ERA) on Friday afternoon with Lackey needing just six strikeouts to become the fifth active starter with at least 2,000 Ks, joining the likes of Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez, Jake Peavy and CC Sabathia.