Endless possibilities as Statcast era arrives

Live data tracking on display as Cardinals visit Nationals on MLB Network

Endless possibilities as Statcast era arrives

The fact that the Washington Nationals and St. Louis Cardinals opened a series tonight in the nation's capital and offering a possible preview of an intense postseason matchup makes tuning in a given.

The fact that it marks the live television debut of Statcast makes it simply historic.

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

Travis needs another day of rest; Reyes returns

Blue Jays' rookie second baseman hit by pitch on rib cage Sunday

Travis needs another day of rest; Reyes returns

TORONTO -- Devon Travis was held out of Tuesday night's game against the Orioles because of a contusion on his left rib cage but remains optimistic he won't need a lot of time off.

Travis expressed optimism about returning to Toronto's lineup for Wednesday's game. He was considered questionable for the series opener against Baltimore but was ruled out after going through a series of pregame drills.

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

Ortiz gets 1 game for contact with ump, will appeal suspension

Ortiz gets 1 game for contact with ump, will appeal suspension

ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz decided to appeal a one-game suspension and undisclosed fine from Major League Baseball, enabling him to start Tuesday night's game against Rays right-hander Chris Archer.

Ortiz received the discipline for making contact with umpire John Tumpane during the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Orioles at Fenway Park.

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

Cubs calling up prospect Russell

Cubs calling up prospect Russell

PITTSBURGH -- First it was Kris Bryant. Now Addison Russell, the Cubs' No. 2 prospect, is joining the big league team.

Russell, called up before Chicago's Tuesday night game in Pittsburgh, will play second base and hit ninth against the Pirates in his big league debut. The 21-year-old moved from shortstop to second base at Triple-A Iowa, which put the infielder on the fast track to the big leagues.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

What to expect: Russell gets callup to Cubs

Shortstop prospect joins Chicago just days after fellow stud Bryant

What to expect: Russell gets callup to Cubs

Another day, another elite prospect called up in Chicago.

The Cubs promoted third baseman Kris Bryant on Friday, and the White Sox followed by summoning left-hander Carlos Rodon on Monday. Now it's Addison Russell's turn, as he'll join the Cubs on Tuesday and is expected to start at second base against the Pirates.

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

Today's starting lineups: April 21

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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Nathan scheduled for rehab appearance

Tigers reliever to pitch for Triple-A Toledo, could return to Majors by end of week

Nathan scheduled for rehab appearance

DETROIT -- Joe Nathan could be ready to return from the disabled list by the end of the week. And the Tigers, in turn, could soon be forced to make a decision on their closer.

Nathan, who has spent the last couple weeks on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain, is scheduled to make a rehab appearance Wednesday for Triple-A Toledo. The Mud Hens have a 10:30 a.m. ET game scheduled as part of a School Celebration Day promotion, meaning much of the crowd at Fifth Third Field will be school kids on field trips.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Price incident exemplifies tricky manager-media relationship

Outburst by Reds manager shows how constant access can cause tensions to elevate

Price incident exemplifies tricky manager-media relationship

We shuffle in quietly, heads down and form a loose semi-circle around the desk. On this night, there will be no awkward waiting around for someone to ask the first question.

"Just line us up and shoot us!"

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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.

Rendon to start Minor League rehab assignment Friday

Rendon to start Minor League rehab assignment Friday

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, who hasn't played a regular-season game this season because of a sprained left MCL, will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Friday, said manager Matt Williams.

In an extended spring training game on Tuesday, Rendon played three innings and had a couple of at-bats. On Wednesday, Rendon is expected to play five innings and then will be off Thursday.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

5 debates we can't wait for Statcast to settle

All aspects of the game under microscope as technology debuts tonight

5 debates we can't wait for Statcast to settle

Statcast makes its 2015 debut on tonight's MLB Network Showcase game between the Cardinals and Nationals, and the technology is going to arm fans, scouts, executives and coaches alike with a deluge of data that helps them better understand and evaluate what is taking place on the field.

It's even going to help settle some arguments.

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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.

Foot injury sends Lamb to disabled list

D-backs promote infielder Dorn from Minors; catcher Laird transferred to 60-day DL

Foot injury sends Lamb to disabled list

The D-backs placed Jake Lamb on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, the result of a stress reaction in the third baseman's left foot.

The club promoted infielder Danny Dorn from Triple-A Reno and transferred veteran catcher Gerald Laird to the 60-day DL in corresponding roster moves.

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

Sore McGee still expects early May return

Colome, Smyly, Cobb also among group of Rays' rehabbing arms

Sore McGee still expects early May return

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jake McGee cut loose a little too much on Thursday, leaving him with some soreness. Nevertheless, all is well for the left-hander and for the rest of the corps of rehabbing Rays pitchers.

McGee, who had "loose bodies" removed from his left elbow in December, said his elbow "feels great," but reported that the rest of his body was a little stiff after pitching in an extended Spring Training game. However, McGee remained optimistic he will be back pitching for the Rays by the first part of May.

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

Bucs lineup vs. Cubs missing one-third of regulars

Rodriguez, Hart added to face Cubs' Wood with Mercer recovering

Bucs lineup vs. Cubs missing one-third of regulars

PITTSBURGH -- The Bucs went out Tuesday night to try to even their series with the Cubs by countering something new -- the first left-handed starter to face them this season, Travis Wood -- with something different.

Manager Clint Hurdle's starting lineup lacked one-third of his regulars. One was by necessity -- Jordy Mercer, still on the rebound from Sunday's pitch off his chest, stayed put and was again replaced at short by Jung Ho Kang.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Alcantara optioned as Russell called up

Olt transferred to 60-day DL to make room on 40-man roster

Alcantara optioned as Russell called up

PITTSBURGH -- Infielder Arismendy Alcantara was optioned to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the Cubs' roster for Addison Russell on Tuesday. Manager Joe Maddon was excited about Alcantara when he first saw video of the versatile player this winter, predicting he could be another Ben Zobrist.

Alcantara, 23, who made the Opening Day roster this year for the first time in his young career, was 2-for-26 in 11 games with the Cubs. What does Alcantara need to work on? Confidence, Maddon said.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Loney eyeing weekend return to lineup

Rays first baseman currently on 15-day DL with mild oblique strain

Loney eyeing weekend return to lineup

ST. PETERSBURG -- James Loney took his first full batting practice on Tuesday since going on the disabled list. The veteran first baseman believes he will be playing for the Rays by the weekend.

Loney went on the 15-day disabled list with a mild oblique strain on April 8 retroactive to April 7.

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

Mets call up top catching prospect Plawecki

Prospect will be No. 1 catcher with d'Arnaud out; Robles recalled to join 'pen

Mets call up top catching prospect Plawecki

NEW YORK -- Kevin Plawecki got a dinner from Travis d'Arnaud, a welcome hug from Tuesday's starter Jon Niese and now he gets a chance, even if he didn't see it coming this way.

"Given Travis' injury, it's not an ideal situation, not the way I expected to come up," said Plawecki, who makes his Major League debut tonight catching and batting seventh as the Mets host the Braves at Citi Field. "Now that I'm here I'm happy to be here and I'm happy to be part of this team."

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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.

Statcast hits home run replays out of the park

Statcast hits home run replays out of the park

Broadcasters and fans alike often marvel at how quickly a home run ball jumps off the bat or exits the stadium, but they've never been able to precisely quantify such aspects -- until now, that is.

Thanks to Statcast, a revolutionary player- and ball-tracking technology, it's now possible to evaluate exactly how fast and at what angle a ball comes off a player's bat on any given swing. So now, instead of simply relying on phrases such as, "He smoked that one" or "That ball got out of here in a hurry," broadcasters will have the capability of sharing exactly how hard a player hit a ball or how long it took the ball to travel to its ultimate landing spot.

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

Billingsley skips rehab start; Brown continues stint

Billingsley skips rehab start; Brown continues stint

PHILADELPHIA -- Chad Billingsley did not make his scheduled rehab start Monday because of a stomach illness. He could make that start this week.

Billingsley, 30, has a 3.24 ERA in two rehab starts with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has allowed six hits, three runs, three walks, two home runs and has struck out seven in 8 1/3 innings. He said last week he planned to make five rehab starts before joining the Phillies' rotation early next month.

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Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Saunders' rehab stint almost over, set to join Blue Jays

Outfielder could be back for team's weekend series at Rays

Saunders' rehab stint almost over, set to join Blue Jays

TORONTO -- Michael Saunders is nearing a return and it's possible that he'll join the Blue Jays in St. Petersburg on Friday night.

Saunders, who underwent left knee surgery earlier this spring, has been on a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Dunedin. He played left field on Sunday and will continue working in the field through the middle of this week.

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

Hamilton to begin extended spring shortly

Halos outfielder to start rehab program in 'not-too-distant future,' per Dipoto

Hamilton to begin extended spring shortly

ANAHEIM -- Josh Hamilton was recently cleared for baseball activities, and the Angels are putting together a plan that would involve him working out in their Arizona-based extended spring program "in the not-too-distant future," general manager Jerry Dipoto said.

The team is still sorting through details and has yet to communicate them to Hamilton, who has been rehabbing from shoulder surgery in Houston since early February. An announcement is expected by the end of the week.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

9 things we wish Statcast would illustrate

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9 things we wish Statcast would illustrate

Get ready technophiles and everyone who has ever enjoyed the movie "Tron." Because Major League Baseball, already at the forefront of streaming technology with MLB.TV and the leading purveyor of the game of baseball (#humblebrag) has unveiled the greatest of technological marvels to ever reach the field: Statcast.

Though Statcast was slowly rolled out last season, making major appearances during the All-Star Game and the postseason, it is now featured in all 30 Major League parks and will make its 2015 debut during Tuesday night's MLB Network Showcase game, between the Cardinals and Nationals at 7 pm ET.

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Statcast primer: Baseball will never be the same

MLB Network to debut revolutionary real-time tracking tonight

Statcast primer: Baseball will never be the same

Baseball fans have an opportunity to view a live game like never before with Statcast making its television debut during tonight's MLB Network Showcase game between the Cardinals and Nationals. If you've ever wondered how fast the ball comes off of Bryce Harper's bat, or just how much ground Jason Heyward can cover in the outfield, your chance to get definitive answers is finally here.

Statcast is already being utilized by Major League front offices, while fans have had the chance to see its groundbreaking abilities in breakdowns of last year's All-Star Game and postseason, as well as on a few highlight clips this season. Beginning with tonight's Cards-Nats clash, the technology will be incorporated into every MLB Network Showcase game, and is expected to be available through additional broadcasts this season.

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

Breaking Barriers essay winners a courageous duo

Fourth grader, high school freshman to be recognized at ASG, World Series

Breaking Barriers essay winners a courageous duo

An essay about overcoming school bullying due to stuttering and a courageous account of growing up in a difficult home environment were selected as the two Grand Prize winners from more than 16,000 entries in the 2015 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life Essay Contest, announced Tuesday by Major League Baseball and Scholastic.

Malcolm Venable, a fourth-grader from New Orleans and member of the New Orleans MLB Urban Youth Academy, was selected for his essay about bullying. Kayla Savory, a ninth-grade student from Riverbank, Calif., won the other top prize for an essay describing her courage, determination and commitment to overcome domestic turmoil.

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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.

Fan OK after being struck by foul into net

Fan OK after being struck by foul into net

PITTSBURGH -- A fan injured on a foul ball into the protective net behind home plate during the second inning of Monday night's 5-2 Cubs win over the Pirates was alert and gave a "thumbs up" to nearby fans as she was taken for medical care.

Play was halted for about 20 minutes after Chicago's Starlin Castro fouled back a pitch from A.J. Burnett into the netting during the second inning while the fan was being escorted to her seat. The net flexed with the impact of the ball, which then struck the fan in the head area as she stood with her back to the field. She fell and immediately was tended to by ballpark and medical crews.

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Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Navy grad Harris gets first callup to bigs with Cardinals

Reliever would be first Naval Academy grad in 94 years to appear in MLB game

Navy grad Harris gets first callup to bigs with Cardinals

ST. LOUIS -- When the Cardinals open a three-game series in Washington on Tuesday, they'll do so with a Lieutenant in the bullpen. How fitting a setting for Mitch Harris' first big league callup.

Nearly seven years after graduating from the United States Naval Academy and a little more than two years removed from wrapping up five years of service in the U.S. Navy, Harris received a new summons. This one was to the Majors.

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Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yankees recall Shreve, send down Pinder

Yankees recall Shreve, send down Pinder

DETROIT -- Left-hander Chasen Shreve paid the price for the Yankees' 19-inning loss to the Red Sox 10 days ago, getting sent down to the Minors as New York sought fresh bullpen arms.

But Shreve was back in the big leagues Tuesday afternoon. The Yankees called up Shreve from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned reliever Branden Pinder to their top Minor League affiliate before Tuesday night's game against the Tigers at Comerica Park.

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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.

Brewers send Lucroy to DL with fractured toe

Maldonado expected to fill in at catcher; Centeno recalled from Triple-A

Brewers send Lucroy to DL with fractured toe

MILWAUKEE -- A bad day got much worse for the Brewers when a club spokesperson delivered word moments after Monday's 6-1 loss to the Reds that catcher Jonathan Lucroy was bound for the disabled list with a broken left big toe. He suffered the injury on a foul tip, something neither Lucroy nor backup catcher Martin Maldonado had ever seen before.

"I've been hit a million times on my feet," Lucroy said. "I was just talking to 'Maldy' about it and he said the same thing: That's the first time I've ever seen a catcher break their toe. It had to be me. It's about par for the course right now."

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

MLB.com Columnist

Lindsay Berra

'Fastball' searches for the game's all-time top speed

Documentary uses physics to help calculate which heater stands alone as No. 1

'Fastball' searches for the game's all-time top speed

NEW YORK -- It's a question every baseball fan has asked, an argument every baseball fan has had: Who threw the hardest ever?

Thomas Tull, head of Legendary Pictures and producer of "42," and Johnathan Hock, eight-time Emmy Award-winning producer, director, writer and editor, are no different than any other baseball fans.

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

Price apologizes for language used in media session

Reds manager acknowledges 'inappropriate' choice of words but stands by message

Price apologizes for language used in media session

Reds manager Bryan Price issued an apology on Tuesday morning for his language in a pregame session with media that made the rounds late Monday night.

"In my pregame conversation with reporters yesterday, I used wholly inappropriate language to describe the media coverage of our team," Price said via Twitter. "While I stand by the content of my message, I am sorry for the choice of words."

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