Phillies release infielder Yuniesky Betancourt

Phillies release infielder Yuniesky Betancourt

CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury reports that the Phillies have cut ties with Yuniesky Betancourt. Betancourt was signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training on January 28 by the Philadelphia front office. He had a .447/.451/.574 slash line in 51 Grapefruit League plate appearances as of Sunday morning, but the Phillies have…

Showalter hoping to get Flaherty back from Norfolk soon

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Showalter hoping to get Flaherty back from Norfolk soon

BALTIMORE – Friday is the game for the Orioles with a three-man bench. Pedro Alvarez, Caleb Joseph and Hyun Soo Kim comprise manager Buck Showalter’s extra players. 

The Orioles have gone with a short bench since Monday when the team optioned infielder Ryan Flaherty to Norfolk in order to have an eight-man bullpen. 

Showalter is hoping that he’ll be able to have Flaherty back soon. He’s eligible to return next Thursday, 10 days after he was optioned. The only exception is if Flaherty replaces a player placed on the disabled list.

Flaherty accepted his demotion to Norfolk in stride, quickly reporting to the Tides. 

“We’ll do what’s best, but we know Ryan’s time down there is up on the fifth,” Showalter said.

“He’s done real well down there. I’m proud of that.” 

Norfolk manager Ron Johnson is glad to have Flaherty in Norfolk.

“R.J. said he looks like a big leaguer playing in the minor leagues,” Showalter said. 

The Orioles don’t pinch hit much, and haven’t needed an extra outfielder, but with his team ahead by eight runs after six innings, Showalter felt comfortable enough to rest a few of his regulars.

“It was quite a challenge last night to get Adam (Jones) and J.J. (Hardy) and Chris (Davis) off the field with a three-man bench and still have one left on the bench,” Showalter said.

RELATED: SHOWALTERS ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR OCTOBER KIDSPEACE RACE

Nationals turn to Strasburg as they start series with Cardinals

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Nationals turn to Strasburg as they start series with Cardinals

Nats (14-7) vs. Cardinals (12-10) at Busch Stadium

The Nationals will look to bounce back after getting swept by the Phillies as they head to St. Louis for a series with the Cardinals.

Stephen Strasburg (3-0, 2.17) will take the mound for Washington looking to continue his impressive start to the 2016 season. Strasburg has never started a season 4-0.

The Cardinals will turn to Mike Leake who has allowed at least four runs in each of his four starts this saeson.

First pitch: 8:15 p.m.
TV: MASN 2
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - Stepehen Strasburg vs. Cardinals - Mike Leake

NATS

CF Michael Taylor
3B Anthony Rendon
RF Bryce Harper
1B Ryan Zimmerman
2B Daniel Murphy
LF Jayson Werth
SS Danny Espinosa
C Jose Lobaton
RHP Stephen Strasburg

CARDINALS

3B Matt Carpenter
RF Stephen Piscotty
LF Matt Holliday
1B Matt Adams
CF Randal Grichuk
2B Jeed Gyorko
SS Aledmys Diaz
C Eric Fryer
RHP Mike Leake

Follow along with GameView here.

Ronnie Stanley could begin Ravens career at guard instead of tackle

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Ronnie Stanley could begin Ravens career at guard instead of tackle

OWINGS MILLS – Will Ronnie Stanley make his Ravens debut at left tackle or left guard?

Stanley was drafted No. 6 overall to be the Ravens’ long-term fixture at left tackle. But in the short term, the Ravens must decide if moving Stanley to left guard, and keeping Eugene Monroe for another season at left tackle, would be better or worse for the entire offensive line.

The Ravens don’t need to make a hasty decision on whether to cut or keep Monroe, who is still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Remember, if they cut Monroe, the Ravens are a lot thinner at left tackle if something happens to Stanley. Once Monroe is healthy, the Ravens can see how he performs before determining his fate. 

Playing Stanley at left guard could also fill the void created when left guard Kelechi Osmele signed with the Raiders during free agency. John Urschel and Rick Wagner are expected to compete for the starting left guard job, but Stanley’s talent could make him the best option.

Stanley played both left tackle and right tackle at Notre Dame, but his only action at guard came during a spring game. However, Stanley was not opposed to the idea of switching to guard during his Ravens’ debut press conference Friday at team headquarters.

“I can handle it,” Stanley said of playing guard. “Wherever the coaches put me that they see fit, that’s where I’ll play.”

Ravens offensive line coach Juan Castillo believes competing with Monroe could accelerate Stanley’s development.

“We’re going to let Ronnie go in there and compete with Eugene,” Castillo said. “We want to play the best five players. Ronnie is a very good athlete, good player, so is Eugene. So we let them compete. We’re going to play the five best guys. The Ravens are all about competition. Coach (John) Harbaugh talks about that. It just makes everybody better.

Castillo believes Stanley has the skill set to play guard, despite his lack of experience there.

"Jonathan Ogden did that (played guard) his first year,” said Castillo, referring to the Hall of Fame left tackle who had a legendary career with the Ravens. “You draft tackles because they’re the better athletes. You stick them inside at guard, a lot of times what happens for those tackles, they say, ‘Whoa, it’s a lot easier inside. There’s not as much green to be able to cover.’"

Eventually, the Ravens expect Stanley to be their starting left tackle. But Monroe may not have lost the job just yet.