Strasburg placed on 15-day DL

Strasburg placed on 15-day DL

CINCINNATI -- A day after pitching one-plus innings against the Reds, Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was placed on the disabled list because of what the team termed neck tightness. Nationals manager Matt Williams cited back issues.

In Friday's 5-2 loss to the Reds, Strasburg left because of neck muscle tightness. Strasburg is on his way to Washington and will see the team doctor Monday.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Abreu rests with ailing finger; Avisail returns

X-rays reveal no major damage for slugging first baseman

Abreu rests with ailing finger; Avisail returns

HOUSTON -- White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu sat out Saturday's game against the Astros, even though X-rays came back negative for structural damage on his sore right index finger.

Abreu left Friday's game in the eighth inning after aggravating the nagging hand issue on a single off the end of the bat earlier in the game. His finger gradually swelled to the point where he couldn't throw, and it only ballooned more overnight.

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

MLB's most productive shortstop? Peralta

Cardinals infielder tops 2014-15 WAR leaderboards

MLB's most productive shortstop? Peralta

Think about the elite shortstops in baseball, and think about the names that come to mind. Troy Tulowitzki, certainly. Andrelton Simmons, of course, and maybe Starlin Castro, Ian Desmond, or Brandon Crawford, depending on where your loyalties lie.

Now, realize that not a single one of the players named owns the title of "baseball's most valuable shortstop" dating back to the beginning of 2014. That crown belongs to a player generally best known for the nearly two full seasons he spent being moved off shortstop to third, or maybe even just the unusual way in which he spells his first name. You might not think of Jhonny Peralta, who turned 33 on Thursday, as among baseball's best at shortstop. But as he keeps proving, like when he was playing a central role in St. Louis' 3-0 win over the Dodgers on Friday night, it's where he belongs.

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Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

ASG debate: Jones or Cespedes in starting OF?

ASG debate: Jones or Cespedes in starting OF?

*** We will be doing daily ASG debates until 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game balloting ends on July 2. We will frequently be pitting one player against another and have a writer make a case for one of them, but that doesn't mean there aren't other great candidates for that position. In fact, your comments could spark a new debate for us to tackle. So let us know what you think! ***

In the first results of the American League All-Star Game balloting, Baltimore's Adam Jones ranked fourth and Detroit's Yoenis Cespedes was fifth.

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

Watch Stephen Vogt's Chris Farley routine

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Watch Stephen Vogt's Chris Farley routine

Stephen Vogt is less a catcher than he is a folk hero at this point. The posterboy of Billy Beane's Moneyball antics in Oakland didn't make his MLB debut until age 27 and is only now enjoying his first big breakout season at 30. 

And while his .324/.419/.606 slash line is making it easy for A's fans to love him, it's his acting chops that are really doing the heavy lifting. 

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Today's starting lineups: May 30

Below are today's starting lineups that have been made public by Major League Baseball's clubs.

A lineup is not official until it is handed to the umpire.

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Harper scratched due to sore back

Harper scratched due to sore back

CINCINNATI -- Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper was scratched from Saturday's lineup against Reds because of a sore back.

Harper was hurt Friday night when he was hit in the back by a pitch thrown by Reds left-hander Tony Cingrani during the Nationals' 5-2 loss.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Royals drawing fans across the country

'America's team' intriguing for baseball lovers everywhere

Royals drawing fans across the country

CHICAGO -- You won't hear the Royals call themselves America's team.

So let me do it.

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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.

Jones out of starting lineup for first time this season

All-Star center fielder sits with left ankle injury suffered Thursday vs. White Sox

Jones out of starting lineup for first time this season

BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones was out of the Orioles' starting lineup on Saturday against the Rays due to an injured left ankle, the first time the All-Star center fielder has not started this season.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Jones, who rolled the ankle while sliding into home plate in the nightcap of Thursday's doubleheader with the White Sox, woke up on Saturday with some soreness and swelling.

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

MLB.TV unveils new media player, price drop

MLB.TV unveils new media player, price drop

Along with the new Web-based media player (version 5.0) that was introduced this week by Major League Baseball Advanced Media, there is another new reason to sign up now to watch live out-of-market games. The cost of a yearly subscription was lowered on Friday to $99.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $79.99 for MLB.TV.

This is the final weekend of May, and the price drop for MLB.TV reflects the fact that nearly a third of the regular season is in the books. The new HD media player has an in-page layout, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download, and the new game scoreboard will make it easier to track games.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

As Manny turns 43, recall his high-five DP

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As Manny turns 43, recall his high-five DP

The only definitive proof you'll need to assure yourself and your loved ones that age is just a number is Manny Ramirez's body of work.

Manny had an impressive 19-year MLB career. A .312 lifetime average, 555 career home runs, 2,574 hits and 1,831 RBIs ... the list goes on. He's also responsible for the greatest cutoff in MLB history and once high-fived an opposing fan while turning a double play in left field.

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Hamilton crushes first two HRs since return

Battling a cold, slugger hits first two home runs since rejoining Rangers

Hamilton crushes first two HRs since return

ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton was still dealing with a bad cold on Friday afternoon before his second home game with the Rangers. Asked if he was feeling any better, Hamilton said simply, "no." Asked about the possibility of not playing, Hamilton shook his head, smacked his name on the posted lineup card and said, "There I am, baby."

Hamilton wasn't bothered by his ailment or Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright's knuckleball. Hamilton took Wright deep twice for his first two home runs of the season that helped lead the Rangers to a 7-4 victory.

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T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Dodgers' Draft in '68 was the best of all-time

Scouting director Campanis used football-like approach to nab six future All-Stars

Dodgers' Draft in '68 was the best of all-time

The Dodgers had mixed results in the first three years of the Draft. They didn't land anyone of note in 1965, came away with three All-Stars (Charlie Hough, Bill Russell, Billy Grabarkewitz) and a National League Rookie of the Year Award winner (Ted Sizemore) in the middle rounds in '66, and they found 1981 tri-World Series Most Valuable Player winner Steve Yeager in '67.

During that same period, Los Angeles went from World Series champion to pennant winner to eighth-place team, so the 1968 Draft took on added importance for the franchise. Al Campanis, who had been the club's director of scouting since it moved from Brooklyn in 1958, wanted to improve his approach to the Draft. So he sought advice from local officials in a sport that instituted the first pro draft in 1936: football.

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

Parra plays offense, defense at same time

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Parra plays offense, defense at same time

How many people do you need to play a game of baseball? At least nine per lineup, right? Not if you're playing with Brewers outfielder Gerardo Parra. He'll hit and field all in the same inning, and all you have do is watch. 

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Cow-milking duels set the tone for wins

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Cow-milking duels set the tone for wins

Having read the words "cow milking contest," there is no possible way that you, a human being who appreciates joy, aren't already dying from anticipation, so we'll just get right to it: Prior to Friday's Red Sox-Rangers game, Boston starter Wade Miley and Texas reliever Ross Ohlendorf engaged in a milk-off, a time-honored tradition passed down by gladiators of yore. 

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Coming off his best outing, Bettis tops it

Coming off his best outing, Bettis tops it

PHILADELPHIA -- If Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is awful in warmups, look out.

An awful bullpen before Sunday's start against the Giants preceded a performance in which he took a shutout into the ninth. Of Friday night's pregame bullpen, Bettis said, "This was by tenfold worse. Coming into the game, there was nothing that was working for me."

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Recent Draft picks making their mark

Gonzalez, starting for Rangers Saturday, follows Bryant, Rodon, Finnegan

Recent Draft picks making their mark

Two years ago, Chi Chi Gonzalez had just completed his junior year at Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, Okla.), and was waiting for the annual MLB Draft so he could begin his professional baseball career.

The Texas Rangers came calling, selecting Gonzalez in the first round with the 23rd selection overall. Saturday, the Rangers reaffirmed their belief in the right-handed pitcher's big league potential. He was called up and scheduled to start against the Boston Red Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

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

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

Base to bass: Hall of Famers are friends, and Big Unit rocks as a photographer

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

AUSTIN, Texas -- Amid the lights, video boards, shooting sparklers and other elaborate props that are commonplace on stage at a rock concert stands a quiet and very tall figure, dressed in blue jeans and an unassuming T-shirt, holding a camera.

He needs to be close to action, but he also has to stay out of the way of the main attraction, all the while capturing the poignant moments that will eventually document this particular moment in the band's history.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tulo breaks out of slump with power display

Tulo breaks out of slump with power display

PHILADELPHIA -- The problem with breaking down Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's season-long slump and home run drought is he has the power to change things quickly.

Tulowitzki entered Friday with a .266 batting average and no homers in 91 at-bats, 96 plate appearances. By the third inning, he had hit two solo homers, and he finished 4-for-5 in the Rockies' 4-1 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sore shoulder keeps Travis out of Triple-A game

Sore shoulder keeps Travis out of Triple-A game

MINNEAPOLIS -- Devon Travis was held out of the lineup for Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday afternoon because of soreness in his injured left shoulder.

Travis began his rehab assignment with Buffalo on Friday night and went 0-for-4 as a designated hitter. The original plan was for Travis to play second base the following day, but he was scratched because of lingering discomfort.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Padres win on Norris' walk-off grand slam

Padres catcher overcomes rough night to deliver walk-off grand slam

Padres win on Norris' walk-off grand slam

SAN DIEGO -- Derek Norris went 4-for-4 in five at-bats, but please follow along.

Norris smashed a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the ninth Friday night, lifting the Padres to a 6-2 win over the Pirates.

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

Harvey downplays 'dead arm' talk after loss

Harvey downplays 'dead arm' talk after loss

NEW YORK -- In an attempt to silence the alarms and call off the hounds before Friday's 4-3 loss to the Marlins, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson amended a description of the scary-sounding term that ace Matt Harvey has spent the last week semi-diagnosed and maybe unfairly labeled with -- "dead arm."

"It's another way of explaining a bad outing," Alderson said.

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

Rox scratch De La Rosa from 2nd straight start

Colorado southpaw continues to be sidelined by cut on left middle finger

Rox scratch De La Rosa from 2nd straight start

PHILADELPHIA -- The Rockies on Saturday scratched left-hander Jorge De La Rosa for the second straight start because of a cut on his left middle finger. Righty Eddie Butler, who was originally scheduled to pitch Monday, started in his place this afternoon against the Phillies.

De La Rosa (1-2, 6.51 ERA) suffered the cut during a pregame bullpen session before a start against the Phillies on May 21, and he lasted just 4 1/3 innings after giving up three runs on five hits in a no-decision. The Rockies pulled De La Rosa from his scheduled start Tuesday at Cincinnati. The Rockies called up lefty Chris Rusin from Triple-A Albuquerque, and he held the Reds to one earned run, four hits, four walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.

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Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Words traded after Cingrani plunks Harper

Words traded after Cingrani plunks Harper

CINCINNATI -- Bryce Harper is one of the game's best players right now, so one could understand his feelings after he was hit in the back by a pitch thrown by the Reds' Tony Cingrani during the Nationals' 5-2 loss on Friday.

In the seventh inning, with Denard Span on second, Cingrani replaced right-hander Jumbo Diaz to face Harper. On the first pitch, Cingrani hit Harper, who was clearly upset. Harper threw his bat near the Nationals' dugout and slowly walked to first, where he exchanged words with first baseman Joey Votto.

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Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Reds beat reporter Mark Sheldon contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giants in first after Hudson beats Braves

Giants in first after Hudson beats Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Giants' scoreless-innings streak at AT&T Park ended Friday night, but their run of overall success at home remained very much alive.

Tim Hudson pitched seven stingy innings to gain his first career victory over the Atlanta Braves and benefited from Buster Posey's three RBIs as the Giants prevailed, 4-2. The outcome lengthened the Giants' home winning streak to six games and their overall winning streak to five as they climbed atop the National League West standings, a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dior, designer behind MLB logo, dies at 82

'He created a symbol that has stood the test of time'

Dior, designer behind MLB logo, dies at 82

Jerry Dior, the man who designed the Major League Baseball logo, has passed away.

Dior died at his home in Edison, N.J., according to The New York Times. His wife, Lita, told the newspaper that the cause was cancer.

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

Iglesias' strong throw finishes dazzling play

Iglesias' strong throw finishes dazzling play

ANAHEIM -- Jose Iglesias sometimes bypasses the highlight play in favor of getting rid of the ball as quickly as possible when there's a fast runner headed down the line. His play in Friday night's 2-0 loss to the Angels fulfilled both objectives.

Though Angels shortstop Taylor Featherston was hoping for his second Major League hit when his ground ball took Iglesias deep into the hole, Iglesias had other ideas. The Tigers shortstop and early American League Gold Glove Award candidate unleashed a strong throw across his body that one-hopped the infield dirt and reached Miguel Cabrera at first base in time for a big third-inning out.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A look inside new Top 200 Draft Prospects list

With less than two weeks remaining, rankings shift to highlight premier talent

A look inside new Top 200 Draft Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com has just unveiled an updated and expanded First-Year Player Draft Top 200 Prospects list. While Lake Mary (Fla.) High shortstop Brendan Rodgers remains the top-rated talent, much has changed since our previous installment last month.

Arkansas outfielder Andrew Benintendi has made the biggest move up the list, going from No. 63 in April to No. 8 with less than two weeks remaining before the Draft. The Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Benintendi is one of two NCAA Division I players with at least 15 homers and 20 stolen bases. The other is North Florida outfielder Donnie Dewees, who is also trending upward from No. 51 to 35.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tanaka to be activated for Wednesday's start

Yankees ace 'feeling good,' set to return from right wrist tendinitis, forearm strain

Tanaka to be activated for Wednesday's start

OAKLAND -- Masahiro Tanaka will be activated from the disabled list and has been scheduled to start against the Mariners in Seattle on Wednesday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Friday.

Tanaka flew to join the club following his second Minor League rehabilitation start Wednesday at Pawtucket for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and said that he feels healthy after spending the last month on the disabled list.

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Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.