Rockies face D-backs with taxed bullpen

Rockies face D-backs with taxed bullpen

DENVER -- With first place in the National League West at stake this weekend in Arizona, the Rockies are trying to move forward from a 16-5 loss to the Nationals on Thursday that pushed them to their first three-game losing streak of 2017.

After an 8-4 comeback win Monday, the Rockies surrendered 11 or more runs in each of the final three games against Washington; just the fourth time in franchise history they've done so in any three-game stretch. They ran into a Nationals club that wrapped up a 10-game road trip Thursday with nine wins, a historical win percentage for a trip of such length, during which Washington averaged 7.9 runs per game.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies can't keep up with Nats' hot bats

Rockies can't keep up with Nats' hot bats

DENVER -- The Nationals came through Denver knowing they wouldn't have Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg to quiet the first-place Rockies, but Gio Gonzalez became the latest to halt the Colorado bats while leading Washington to an unprecedented ninth win to cap a 10-game road trip.

The Nats ran away to a 16-5 win Thursday, and established the highest winning percentage in franchise history on a road trip of such length. In a voyage that also included stops in Atlanta and New York, the Nats went 105-for-368 (.285) with 52 walks, 71 strikeouts, 42 extra-base hits, 16 homers and 79 runs scored (7.9 per game). Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Adam Eaton added to the onslaught, hitting home runs in the rout. 

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Thursday.

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

Desmond to play extended spring game Friday

Desmond to play extended spring game Friday

DENVER -- Ian Desmond will return to the scene of the crime, so to speak, in an extended spring training game at Salt River Fields on Friday, where he'll take his first live at-bats since fracturing his left hand there nearly eight weeks ago.

Desmond began taking cuts off a tee last Friday and has progressed to live batting practice at Coors Field this week. With the Rockies playing a three-game series in Arizona, the proximity will allow Desmond to travel with the team and see hand specialist Dr. Donald Sheridan, who performed Desmond's surgery.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castilla puts Statcast technology to the test

Castilla puts Statcast technology to the test

DENVER -- Exit velocity, launch angle and other technology-driven tracking measurements were merely in theory when Vinny Castilla was in the Majors. But in conjunction with Weather & Science Day at Coors Field, and through his own sheer curiosity, the Rockies' special front office assistant put his swing to the Statcast™ test.

Utilizing the Statcast™ technology, Castilla contributed to the interactive presentation at Weather & Science Day with a display elaborating the physics of hitting. In its eighth year and with an emphasis on math and meteorology, the educational event, which sold more than 15,000 tickets, has become an early-season tradition, and it is hosted with Steve Spangler Science, Colorado State University and the 9News weather team.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freeland starts crucial NL West series

Freeland starts crucial NL West series

The top teams in the National League West will meet for the first time in 2017 as the Rockies open a three-game series against the D-backs on Friday at Chase Field. The D-backs won the series, 10-9, in their 19 meetings last year.

The Rockies' Kyle Freeland is coming off the best start of his young career, having thrown seven scoreless innings in a sweep-securing win over the Giants on Sunday. With an effective two-seam/sinker that Freeland has commanded well low in the zone, the left-hander has been consistent in drawing soft contact. The rookie has given up just one homer in 21 2/3 innings, and thrown at least six frames in two starts.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young rotation showing lack of experience

Chatwood struggles to put away hitters with 0-2 count

Young rotation showing lack of experience

DENVER -- A young Rockies rotation that has weathered attrition early showed further signs of vulnerability in an 11-4 loss on Wednesday night to the Nationals.

Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood gave up a season-high five runs and admittedly lacked command on most of his pitches, particularly in the second inning when he issued walks to Jayson Werth and pitcher Tanner Roark after starting the at-bat in an 0-2 count.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies unable to contain hot-hitting Nats

Turner, Zimmerman, Murphy homer; Harper goes 4-for-4

Rockies unable to contain hot-hitting Nats

DENVER -- The Nationals clobbered their way to another win early, defeating the Rockies, 11-4, on a chilly Wednesday night at Coors Field to win their eighth game on their current 10-game road trip, which ends with Thursday's four-game series finale. The Nationals improved to 15-6, which is tied for the best start in franchise history, accomplished in 1979 and '81 when they were the Montreal Expos.

Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper each had huge nights, combining to go 12-for-19 and tally nine of the Nats' RBIs. Harper went 4-for-4 with a walk in what was his fifth career four-hit game and third of 2017. Murphy has 12 RBIs since Sunday, Zimmerman is 15-for-33 (.455) with five homers and 14 RBIs in his last nine games, and Turner is 11-for-24 with 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in six games since coming off the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Wednesday.

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

Rockies place Dunn on DL, activate Qualls

Dahl improving from rib injury, looks to ramp up activity next week

Rockies place Dunn on DL, activate Qualls

DENVER -- A Rockies bullpen that has shown significant improvement from last season will be without one of its key contributors, as the club placed left-hander Mike Dunn on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with back spasms.

Right-hander Chad Qualls, who began the year on the disabled list with forearm tightness in his pitching arm, was activated to replace Dunn on the active roster.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

CarGo unloads a 436-foot blast on chilly night

'He's close to breaking out,' Black says of slumping Rox slugger

CarGo unloads a 436-foot blast on chilly night

DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez entered Tuesday's 15-12 loss to the Nationals batting just .214 with one home run in 19 games. But on a chilly and wet night at Coors Field, where a number of drives by Rockies hitters ended in a Nationals glove at the warning track, Gonzalez blasted a 436-foot homer in the second inning off Washington starter Joe Ross.

Gonzalez also had a deep drive to left-center in the seventh inning for a sacrifice fly. Those swings could signal that he's starting to heat up at the plate.

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

Rox rally behind 4 homers, but fall short

Rox rally behind 4 homers, but fall short

DENVER -- On a damp and frigid Tuesday night at Coors Field, Trea Turner swung the hottest bat, hitting for the cycle and driving in a career-high seven runs in the Nationals' 15-12 victory over the Rockies. Washington has won eight of its last nine games.

Turner singled in the first, doubled in the second, homered in the sixth and tripled in the seventh for the third cycle in Nationals history, and the ninth in the combined history of the Expos and Nationals.

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver, and covered the Nationals on Tuesday.

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

Wolters making presence known with his bat

Wolters making presence known with his bat

DENVER -- Tony Wolters employs a healthy dose of deception when calling pitches as the Rockies' starting backstop, which he said is related to knowing the challenges of batting eighth.

Wolters, who made his 11th start in Monday's 8-4 win over the Nationals, elevated his batting average to .351 after going 3-for-4 with his first RBI of 2017, a significant uptick from his .259 clip of a year ago, even with a small sample size thus far.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marquez tabbed to fill Gray's rotation spot

Marquez tabbed to fill Gray's rotation spot

DENVER -- The anticipation of who would temporarily take Jon Gray's rotation spot ended on Monday, when right-hander German Marquez strolled through the clubhouse. Marquez, the Rockies' No. 4 prospect, will start Tuesday's game against the Nats on a 90-pitch threshold, manager Bud Black said.

Because of that limit, Black indicated that long relievers Jordan Lyles and Chris Rusin could contribute on Tuesday.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies power up for fourth straight win

Rockies power up for fourth straight win

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon extended his hit streak to nine games and hit a go-ahead homer to cap a comeback, and the Rockies powered past the Nationals, 8-4, in the opener of a four-game series on Monday at Coors Field featuring the teams with the National League's best records.

Blackmon's deep fly was his sixth this year, and fourth during his streak, which began on April 14. The Rockies, who have won eight of their last 10, piled on another three runs in the eighth to relieve starting pitcher Tyler Anderson from another outing that began strong but ended abruptly.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Nationals on Friday.

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

With BP, Desmond takes significant step

With BP, Desmond takes significant step

DENVER -- The Nationals watched Ian Desmond reach many milestones dating back to their days as the Montreal Expos (they drafted him in 2004), so it was perhaps fitting that the first-year Rockie took another significant step toward his return from a fractured left hand with his former team in town.

Desmond took roughly 25 cuts in his first batting practice since being hit by a 93-mph fastball in a Cactus League game on March 12 and undergoing surgery. He also ran the bases, shagged fly balls in the outfield and fielded grounders at first, the position the Rockies acquired him to play.

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Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodgers singles in 1st at-bat of season

Rodgers singles in 1st at-bat of season

Posting zeroes has become the norm for Class A Kane County's Jon Duplantier in the first month of the Minor League season. On Monday, the D-backs' No. 8 prospect fired five dominant frames to extend his scoreless innings streak to 20 1/3 to begin the season.

Duplantier, 22, allowed three hits and struck out eight batters en route to his first professional win. He generated six ground-ball outs and did not record a flyout in the outing, throwing 45 of his 69 pitches for strikes in his third start (and fourth appearance) for the Cougars.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Strong start no fluke for talented Rockies

Strong start no fluke for talented Rockies

The Rockies had just put the finishing touches on their first three-game sweep of the Giants at home in 15 years. They had matched the second-best start in franchise history, a 13-6 record that is one win shy of that early-season surge in 1997 and in line with what they did to open the 2011 and '13 campaigns.

And early in the postgame media session, manager Bud Black, in his first year with the Rockies, was asked why this year would be any different than those previous years -- when Colorado faded following that April elation.

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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.

Rox roll to first home sweep of Giants since '02

Rox roll to first home sweep of Giants since '02

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies rewrote club history Sunday while adding another chapter to a season brimming with potential by defeating the San Francisco Giants, 8-0.

Gerardo Parra homered and drove in three runs to lead a balanced Rockies offense that complemented rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland's seven-inning effort. The combined shutout completed Colorado's first three-game home sweep of the Giants since May 24-26, 2002, and kept the Rockies (13-6) atop the National League West standings.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.

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

Freeland shuts down Giants in best start yet

Freeland shuts down Giants in best start yet

DENVER -- In the Rockies' home opener two weeks ago, Kyle Freeland made his Major League debut in his hometown and threw six innings of one-run ball at Coors Field for the win. It didn't seem like it could get any better.

Until Sunday. In his fourth start, Freeland put up seven goose eggs at Coors Field, shutting out the Giants and securing a series sweep with an 8-0 victory, scattering six hits and just one walk while striking out three. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, nine of them on groundouts.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Could Desmond return in the outfield?

Could Desmond return in the outfield?

DENVER -- He hasn't played in a game since a Cactus League appearance nearly six weeks ago, but Ian Desmond continues to make headlines as the Rockies await his debut in purple pinstripes and his first regular-season appearance at first base.

Desmond has earned two All-Star selections, one as a shortstop, where he started for six full seasons with the Nationals, and a second last year after converting to the outfield with the Rangers. The Rockies signed him to start at first base, but after Desmond fractured his left hand in a March 12 Spring Training game, backup first baseman Mark Reynolds has excelled, leading the team with a .339 (21-for-62) average, five homers and 16 RBIs.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Senzatela cruises as Rockies romp past Giants

Senzatela cruises as Rockies romp past Giants

DENVER -- For Rockies rookie right-hander Antonio Senzatela, facing the Giants spurs growth. On Saturday night -- for the second time in a week -- Senzatela threw seven stellar innings while shutting down the Giants, this time in a 12-3 victory at Coors Field.

After being fastball-dominant early in Sunday's 4-3 victory at AT&T Park, Senzatela said he worked on the "chop," or the downward break, of his slider. This time he mixed his best slider of the season early, plus he threw a small number of effective changeups.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

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

Blackmon enlists Black for batting practice

Blackmon enlists Black for batting practice

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon said Giants lefty pitcher Matt Moore "mixes it up pretty well and throws a lot of strikes." To prepare for Saturday's clash with Moore, Blackmon took swings in the batting cage from a lefty who could mix pitches with control.

That pitcher is Rockies manager Bud Black.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies manager Bud Black helped sell tickets

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Rockies manager Bud Black helped sell tickets

Bud Black is new to the city of Denver. In his first year of managing the Rockies, he is still getting to know the place -- the players, his staff, the shower with the best water pressure in the clubhouse. But, he's not letting all those adjustments distract him from getting to know the fans.

Prior to Saturday evening's game against the Giants, Black took over one of the Coors Field ticket windows for a surprise face-to-face with Rockies fans.

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Rockies' 2-homer frame enough to top Giants

Rockies' 2-homer frame enough to top Giants

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies packed their offense into Friday night's fourth inning, as Trevor Story's grand slam preceded Charlie Blackmon's two-run, inside-the-park homer in a 6-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Giants starter Johnny Cueto entered the game with a 7-0 record and a 1.47 ERA in his last eight starts against the Rockies. That didn't matter to Colorado, which defeated San Francisco for the fourth time in five games, as Cueto yielded all six Rockies runs along with eight hits in five innings.

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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

Owen Perkins is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

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

Rockies tally slam, inside-the-parker in 1 inning

Rockies tally slam, inside-the-parker in 1 inning

DENVER -- Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon combined for an inning for the ages in the fourth frame Friday night, running the home run gamut from a grand slam by Story to Blackmon's inside-the-park hustling homer, fueling a six-run outburst to pace the Rockies to a 6-5 win over the Giants.

The Rockies, who are 11-6 atop the National League West, were the first NL team to accomplish the grand slam/inside-the-park tandem in the same inning since the New York Giants accomplished the feat against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, when Don Mueller hit the slam at the Polo Grounds and Hank Thompson legged out the inside-the-park homer. According to Stats, the only other team to do it since was the 2011 Red Sox, with Conor Jackson slamming the Orioles and Jacoby Ellsbury notching the inside-the-park four-bagger in Fenway Park.

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Owen Perkins is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen helping Rockies weather injury flurry

Bullpen helping Rockies weather injury flurry

DENVER -- While the Giants were reeling after the loss of ace Madison Bumgarner to bruised ribs and a shoulder AC sprain following an off-day dirt bike accident in Denver, the Rockies reveled in their strong start despite the number of their own key players on the disabled list.

The Rockies started the season with starting pitcher Chad Bettis (testicular cancer), first baseman Ian Desmond (left hand fracture), outfielder David Dahl (rib stress reaction), bullpen stalwart Chad Qualls (right forearm tightness), potential starting pitcher Chris Rusin (right oblique strain), backup catcher Tom Murphy (right forearm fracture) and reliever Jairo Diaz (Tommy John surgery) all on the DL. A week ago, Opening Day starter Jon Gray (left foot stress fracture) joined the ranks of the wounded.

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Owen Perkins is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Q&A: Bridich dishes on hopes for Rockies

Senior VP, GM discusses career path, direction of club

Q&A: Bridich dishes on hopes for Rockies

Like many college players, Jeff Bridich dreamed of a career as a professional baseball player. That dream was never fulfilled, but Bridich found an outlet for his love of the game, first working for Major League Baseball before joining the Colorado Rockies.

Bridich was named the Rockies' senior vice president and general manager in October 2014, a decade after joining the organization.

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Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anderson sees progress in uneven outing

'It was a step in the right direction,' Rockies lefty says after 4-2 loss

Anderson sees progress in uneven outing

LOS ANGELES -- It was a good night, it was a bad night and it was even a slightly controversial night for Rockies starter Tyler Anderson.

Overall, however, the left-hander and Rockies manager Bud Black decided progress had been made in his young starting pitcher's fourth start of the season.

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Steve Dilbeck is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies come up short vs. Kershaw, Dodgers

Rockies come up short vs. Kershaw, Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- A lineup filled with reserves provided enough support for Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers to beat the Rockies and left-handed starter Tyler Anderson, 4-2, Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw (3-1) struck out a season-high 10 and is 10-0 in his last 11 starts at home after allowing two runs over seven innings, with Kenley Jansen picking up his second four-out save in five days.

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Steve Dilbeck is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzalez bruises finger on HBP

Gonzalez bruises finger on HBP

LOS ANGELES -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was relieved Wednesday night when forced to leave a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers after being hit on the right hand by a Clayton Kershaw pitch.

X-rays were negative and he was left with only a bruised pinkie.

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Steve Dilbeck is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Instead of making excuses, Rockies winning

Instead of making excuses, Rockies winning

If the Rockies were having a sluggish April, they'd have plenty of ways to rationalize it.

Ian Desmond, their $70 million free-agent signee, and promising outfielder David Dahl have yet to play in the regular season because of injuries.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a reporter for MLB.com and MLB Network. He also has covered baseball for FOX Sports, the Detroit Free Press and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.