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National League

Phillies’ Gabe Kapler Calls For Reliever Who Didn’t Warm Up

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It’s new territory for Gabe Kapler, the new manager for the Philadelphia Phillies who is working his first major league managerial gig.

With the Phillies down 5-2 in the 3rd inning against the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, Kapler walked to the mound to replace Phillies’ starter Vince Velasquez with lefty Hoby Milner.

The only issue was that Milner wasn’t ready to enter the game.

Kapler stayed on the mound as Milner took his warmup throws in the bullpen, which prompted Braves’ manager Brian Snitker to argue with officials about the delay, which led to his ejection.

Jerry Layne, the crew chief for Saturday’s game, said he was trying to protect Milner’s health.

“For whatever reason the pitcher wasn’t even getting ready,” Layne told a pool reporter. “Who got crossed up, I’m not placing blame on anybody because I don’t know. He just wasn’t ready. Hadn’t thrown a pitch. … The last thing I want to do is get somebody hurt. It’s already a messed-up situation.”

Layne said a report would be sent to Major League Baseball.

“Whoever’s at fault on the Phillies’ side should have to answer to Major League Baseball,” Layne said.

Kapler, who has used 21 pitchers in the first 3 games of the season, commented on the mishap, saying that Milner warmed up earlier in the game.

“Anytime we have a miscommunication, that miscommunication is my responsibility so I take full responsibility for it,” Kapler said.

Milner, who recorded one out while pitching in his 3rd straight game, said he was fine.

“I was healthy going into the game. I’m healthy now. I feel fine,” Milner said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I wasn’t sore going into today. I told him I was ready to go. It was just a miscommunication that I didn’t get as many warm-up pitches that would be ideal. … Fortunately enough I’m the kind of guy that can throw eight pitches and be fine.”

It was Snitker’s second ejection of the series.

“It was the first time I’ve ever been part of anything like that,” Snitker said.

“I think the time had expired and just felt like we should have been playing ball.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks Sign Merrill Kelly To Two-Year Deal

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The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed right hander Merrill Kelly to a two-year, $5.5 million contract, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan.

Kelly’s new deal will pay him $2 million in 2019 and $3 million in 2020 and includes a pair of club options. The 30-year old has never pitched in the major leagues but had an impressive four-year stint in the Korea Baseball Organization.

Kelly was a former prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.

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National League

Nationals Sign Patrick Corbin

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The Washington Nationals surprisingly won the courtship of free agent pitcher Patrick Corbin, who chose the team over the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies, and will ink a six-year deal with $140 million in guaranteed money, according to FanCred’s Jon Heyman.

Washington agreed to terms with Corbin on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes.

Corbin will now join a rotation that features Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

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National League

Braves to Hire Rick Kranitz As Pitching Coach

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The Atlanta Braves are finalizing a contract with Rick Kranitz that will officially make him the team’s new pitching coach, according to The Athletic’s David O’Brien.

While no timetable for a completed deal has been reported at the time of this writing, the reports indicated that it’s now “expected” that Kranitz, who spent last season with the Philadelphia Phillies, will join the Braves organization.

Kranitz was out in Philly following the team’s decision to promote assistant pitching coach Chris Young to Kranitz’s position.

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