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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Vandy shortstop Swanson headlines latest mock draft

Vandy shortstop Swanson headlines latest mock draft

The First-Year Player Draft is rapidly approaching, with just 10 days before the three-day event begins on June 8 and the world hears who the D-backs will take at No. 1 overall.

Last week, Jim Callis took a crack at predicting the first 26 picks. Now it's time for us to up the ante as the clock is ticking, so we're expanding out to 36 picks, the entirety of what is officially called the first round.

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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.

Baseball brings Byrd, inspirational teen together

Former big league pitcher's life changed when he took in youth from poor neighborhood

Baseball brings Byrd, inspirational teen together

Alpharetta, Ga., is a leafy, affluent community north of Atlanta. The median family income, according to the 2010 census, is over $110,000. The population is 72 percent white, 11.2 percent African-American.

Former big league pitcher Paul Byrd lives there.

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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.

Harvey has 'pillow arm' on 'The Daily Show'

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Harvey has 'pillow arm' on 'The Daily Show'

Jon Stewart's guest on Thursday night's episode of "The Daily Show" was someone that he, a noted Mets fan, was clearly thrilled to speak with: Matt Harvey. Or, as Stewart described him, "the most exciting pitcher in the game today."

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Entourage's Ferrara: Harvey true Dark Knight

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Entourage's Ferrara: Harvey true Dark Knight

National Jersey Day is such a big deal that it's actually two holidays. To recognize the second installment of this glorious day in fashion, MLB and Majestic enlisted the services of professional jersey-wearer Jerry Ferrara.

You probably recognize Ferrara as Turtle, the typically-jersey-clad member of Vinny Chase's entourage on, well, "Entourage."

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

5 deserving All-Stars not among ballot leaders

First update is out, and these players deserve more love from fans

5 deserving All-Stars not among ballot leaders

Fan voting is the backbone of the All-Star Game. No matter what postseason implications have been thrust upon it, the Midsummer Classic remains at heart an exhibition for the fans, and as far as the starting lineups are concerned, by the fans. They have every right to choose the players they want to see featured, which they began to do on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot.

Of course, that doesn't mean the fans are infallible. And now that we've seen the first American League and National League voting updates, we can see several names notable in their absence from the top five at their position (top 15 for outfielders).

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soft-tossing Astros finding unique success

Statcast: Two Houston pitchers among top five in limiting exit velocity

Soft-tossing Astros finding unique success

When Astros rookie Lance McCullers made his Major League debut on May 18, it took him all of two pitches to do something no other Houston starter has done all season long, before or since: throw a pitch harder than 94 mph. More than 14,000 pitches across baseball have come to the plate that fast so far this season; eight pitchers have done it more than 300 times by themselves. Other than a few particularly hard heaters from reliever Josh Fields, no Astro -- and certainly no one in the rotation -- had crossed the threshold.

In a sport that's always trying to find the next flame-throwing big thing -- average fastball velocity has increased slightly each year since 2008 -- the Astros have taken a completely different approach. They throw their fastballs softer than any team in baseball, with a Statcast™ perceived velocity of just 90.12 mph through Memorial Day. You might assume it's a just a lack of talent on a team coming off six consecutive losing seasons. However, it might actually be a concerted effort to look for something a little different than the traditional big heat -- and it's working.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

5 questions Bucs have answered on hot streak

Pittsburgh soaring into NL Central contention brings clarity to preseason wonders

5 questions Bucs have answered on hot streak

The Pirates have won seven straight games to join a three-team party in the National League Central, a division in which three clubs -- the Cardinals, Cubs and Bucs -- are separated by 1 1/2 games.

All three teams began this season with important questions. All had high expectations, too. After winning back-to-back NL Wild Card spots, the Pirates said they were focused on "the next step." In other words, winning the NL Central.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. 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 like those happening around the Majors.

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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.

Brewers open doors to 'Selig Experience'

Miller Park multimedia exhibit honors feats of former owner, Commissioner

Brewers open doors to 'Selig Experience'

MILWAUKEE -- Part history lesson, part homage to the man who brought Major League Baseball back to Milwaukee, the "Selig Experience" opened at Miller Park on Thursday with a pair of Allan H. "Bud" Seligs in attendance -- one in the flesh, another in hologram.

And while he's no expert on the technology that makes the latter work, Hall of Famer Robin Yount offered a glowing review.

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Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodriguez baffles Rangers in sparkling MLB debut

Rodriguez baffles Rangers in sparkling MLB debut

ARLINGTON -- Red Sox rookie left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez made a terrific Major League debut, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 5-1 victory over the Rangers on Thursday night at Globe Life Park.

Rodriguez beat Rangers starter Nick Martinez, who suffered his first loss of the season. Martinez, who entered the game third in the league with a 1.96 ERA, allowed two runs in seven innings and is now 4-1 with a 2.03 ERA in 10 starts.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

ASG debate: Rizzo or A-Gone at first in NL?

ASG debate: Rizzo or A-Gone at first in NL?

*** 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! ***

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was asked the other day if he'd ever seen a hitter with as effective of a two-strike approach as Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

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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.

What to watch for in today's games

Veterans Shields, Liriano duel in SD; Harvey aims to rebound; playoff preview in St. Louis?

What to watch for in today's games

Sometimes, marquee free agents live up to their advanced billing.

The Padres signed James Shields in the winter in the hopes of adding a frontline starter to their rotation, and the veteran right-hander has been every bit as good as advertised. Shields is 6-0 with a 3.75 ERA through his first 10 starts, and he'll try to add another positive start against the Pirates tonight.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

DraftKings picks: Howard, Fielder, Choo

DraftKings picks: Howard, Fielder, Choo

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

The players listed below could provide difference-making stats for DraftKings participants on Friday.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Relive chaos of Velarde's unassisted triple play

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Relive chaos of Velarde's unassisted triple play

Life is randomness and chaos, with our simple animal brains trying to make some sense of order in it. It's probably why sports exist -- take the weirdness of existence, add a ball and a handful of rules, and boom, you've got something that resembles sense, of humans being in control. 

The unassisted triple play is the best example of that. For it is the purest expression of randomness -- the ball has to be hit just right to a fielder positioned just so with the runners in just the right spot, unable to avoid the tag or get back to the bag.

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It's the anniversary of Doc's perfect game

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It's the anniversary of Doc's perfect game

A Roy Halladay gem was unlike any other. Most of the dominant pitchers of the mid-2000s -- the Lincecums, Verlanders and Sabathias -- came like an avalanche, but Halladay was death by 1,000 impossibly precise cuts: eight innings of called third strikes and weak dribblers and exasperated hitters. The phrase "Maddux 2.0" should not be thrown around lightly, but when he was on, Halladay came closer than anyone. And in Miami on May 29, 2010, Doc wasn't just on -- he was perfect. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

While Kirby sits, Draft prospects in play at Regionals

Southpaw making progress; Bregman, Jay headline NCAA stars in action

While Kirby sits, Draft prospects in play at Regionals

As the First-Year Player Draft rapidly approaches, this weekend's NCAA Regional play is stacking up to be one of the last times for scouts to see college players in action, and against good competition. Figuring out where to go, with 16 Regional locations, can be tricky business.

There were bound to be a lot of scouts headed to the Lake Elsinore Regional, hosted by UC Santa Barbara, to see Dillon Tate, who many think will be one of the top college pitchers to be taken in the Draft, which begins on June 8 (live coverage at 7 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com; preview show at 6 p.m.). The Draft continues with Rounds 3-10 on June 9 (live coverage on MLB.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET) and concludes on June 10 (MLB.com, 12 p.m. ET).

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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.

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.

Kluber racks up 13 K's; Tribe tops Mariners

Kluber racks up 13 K's; Tribe tops Mariners

SEATTLE -- The Indians got another good outing from their rejuvenated Cy Young Award winner and the Mariners were left with concerns about their emerging young starter in a 5-3 Cleveland win that opened a four-game series at Safeco Field on Thursday night.

Tribe right-hander Corey Kluber entered the evening leading the American League in strikeouts with 83 and trailing only Washington's Max Scherzer (85) for the Major League's most so far this season, but Kluber blew past Scherzer with 13 punchouts. He struck out the side in the fifth inning, punched out two more in the sixth, and struck out the side again in his seventh and final inning.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Correa headlines list of top fantasy prospects

Correa headlines list of top fantasy prospects

Every week, the MLBPipeline.com crew will rank the top 10 fantasy baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues. These rankings are based solely on expected 2015 fantasy production in the Major Leagues, in contrast to the MLBPipeline Top 100 Prospects list, which reflects long-term value in all phases of the game.

Looking for young talent to help your fantasy squad out? Particularly for those in American League-only formats, then Boston seems to be the place to look of late.

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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.

A-Rod ties Bonds for 2nd on RBI list

Yanks slugger: It's 'special' to catch friend at 1,996

A-Rod ties Bonds for 2nd on RBI list

OAKLAND -- Alex Rodriguez drove in the 1,996th run of his career on Thursday, tying Barry Bonds for second place on baseball's all-time RBI list, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Rodriguez lifted a fifth-inning sacrifice fly to center field off Athletics starter Kendall Graveman, driving home Brett Gardner with the Yankees' third run of the evening in a 5-4 loss.

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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.

Clutch hitting at center of Twins' emergence

Nearly flawless work from bullpen another key factor in run to AL Central lead

Clutch hitting at center of Twins' emergence

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins have been one of the biggest surprises in the Majors this year, 28-18 and tied for the American League Central lead with the Royals after completing a three-game sweep of the Red Sox on Wednesday.

The Twins have won seven of their past eight series, 19 of their past 25 games and 12 of their past 14 home games. They bounced back from a 1-6 record and have been the hottest team in the Majors over the last month, as their 22-8 record since April 25 is the best in the Majors in that span.

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Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Miggy OK after being plunked on right foot

Tigers' star slugger expects to be ready for Friday night's game

Miggy OK after being plunked on right foot

ANAHEIM -- Miguel Cabrera's 1,402nd career RBI was just his second through a hit-by-pitch. It nearly came at a steep price in Thursday night's 12-2 loss.

As Cabrera hobbled around home plate, keeping pressure off his surgically repaired right foot after C.J. Wilson had hit it, he seemed to be balancing the fate of the Tigers' offense on it.

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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.

Hamilton gets standing ovation in return to Texas

Rangers slugger rewards crowd with double in first at-bat, adds RBI single

Hamilton gets standing ovation in return to Texas

ARLINGTON -- Josh Hamilton returned to his old ballpark on Thursday night and hit a first-pitch double in his first at-bat. In his final at-bat of the night, he had an RBI single to keep the Rangers from getting shut out.

That was about it for the Rangers' offensive highlights, as they returned to Arlington from a 7-2 road trip and opened a seven-game homestand with a 5-1 loss to the Red Sox.

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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.

Tanaka could start for Yankees next week

Following second rehab outing, righty meeting club in California, might get call in Seattle

Tanaka could start for Yankees next week

OAKLAND -- Masahiro Tanaka's next start could come at the big league level, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said on Thursday.

Tanaka is en route to meet the club following his second Minor League rehabilitation start on Wednesday at Pawtucket for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and the right-hander could be slotted to start on Tuesday or Wednesday against the Mariners in Seattle.

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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.

Bucs roll to seventh straight with rout of Padres

Bucs roll to seventh straight with rout of Padres

SAN DIEGO -- The Pirates continued to ride their starting pitching Thursday night against the Padres at Petco Park as they won their seventh in a row, 11-5, this time behind veteran right-hander A.J. Burnett.

Pirates starters are 7-0 during the streak and Burnett continued a spectacular May. In this month alone, Burnett is 5-0, winning five in a row in his six starts. But it was his worst outing of the month statistically, as he allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. Burnett had allowed five runs (four earned) in his previous six starts.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Jay Paris is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CT scan shows 2 fractures in Werth's wrist

Injured by May 15 HBP, Nationals outfielder unlikely to return before August

CT scan shows 2 fractures in Werth's wrist

NEW YORK -- A CT scan of Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth's left wrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., on Thursday revealed two small fractures, according to a baseball source. The Nats have not confirmed the news.

Dr. Richard Berger, who operated on Werth's wrist in 2012, is convinced that the veteran outfielder will return to full strength. If Werth's rehabilitation goes according to plan, he could return as early as August.

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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.

Angels crush three homers in rout of Tigers

Angels crush three homers in rout of Tigers

ANAHEIM -- Albert Pujols and Matt Joyce hit early home runs, and Chris Iannetta came through with a late grand slam, to lead the Angels to a 12-2 win over the Tigers in Thursday's series opener at Angel Stadium.

Tigers right-hander Buck Farmer, starting in place of an injured Kyle Lobstein, was greeted by Pujols' line-drive two-run homer in the first inning and Joyce's long solo shot to right to open the second. Miguel Cabrera produced the Tigers' first run -- but with his foot, not his bat -- when he was hit by a C.J. Wilson pitch with the bases loaded in the top of the third. Jose Iglesias tacked on the other with a double in the ninth.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Verlander set for first rehab start on Sunday

Verlander set for first rehab start on Sunday

ANAHEIM -- Justin Verlander got his first-ever look at Oracle Arena and NBA playoff basketball Wednesday night, joining teammate Miguel Cabrera to watch the Golden State Warriors advance to the NBA Finals. Come Sunday, he'll get his first taste of Triple-A baseball.

Clearly, he's hoping his start for Toledo on Sunday afternoon at Indianapolis will be a quick pit stop on his way back to the Tigers' rotation. The team, for its part, hasn't committed to one start or more, preferring to wait and see how his arm responds over 80-85 pitches.

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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's rally against CC, edge Yankees

A's rally against CC, edge Yankees

OAKLAND -- Billy Burns and Brett Lawrie homered, and the A's posted a pair of runs in the seventh inning to break ahead and claim a 5-4 series-opening victory over the Yankees at the Coliseum on Thursday evening.

Lawrie wiped away a two-run Yankees lead in the sixth with a two-run home run off left-hander CC Sabathia, who allowed eight hits in six-plus innings and was charged with all five runs, and the A's went ahead in the seventh when Ben Zobrist drew a bases-loaded walk against right-hander David Carpenter.

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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. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.