n will return to City for tests on a persistent kn

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closer will begin the season on the disabled list, as he continues to recover from surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow, .com reported Saturday.

Francisco threw to hitters this week for the first time since the operation, but admew offer for Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes this summer.The Sun says they have been warned that the powerful centre-half will not come cheap after making an inquiry during the January transfer window.Lille president Gerard Lopez has already proved itted earlier in the week that he is still dealing with some soreness in the elbow.

At this point, it is nther top keepers.The Brazilian is rightly seen as one of the best in the world at his position.He helped the Reds to win the Champions League last season.But he knows his game is not perfect, whichelder Philippe Coutinho has been keen on a move to Chelsea, it has been revealed.Chelsea, despite having a transfer ban, are understood to be interested in securing his signature.The Blues are unable to make any signings until the summer of 2020.They is why he mentioned qualities he’d take from the likot clear when Francisco is expected to join the team, as he has not yet thrown in a game. Bobby Parnell will serve as the team’s closer with Francisco out. 

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ubstitution incident in the Carabao Cup final last

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general manager Jon Daniels tolinternational has found himself frozen out in preseason under new coach Maurizio Sarri.Tuttosport says Can could be on the move – and PSG sports chief Leonardo is ready to pounce.Leonardo is eager to add another midfielder to coach Thomas Tuchel’s sqd MLB.com on Tuesday that prospect will concentrate on playing third base at Triple-A Round Rock. Olt batted just .194 with two homers and five RBI in 19 Cactus League games before being optioned last week. The 24-year-olre interested in midfield pair Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.Inter, Juventus and AC Milan are all keen on the duo.Cardoner told Tuttosport: “If they don’t play so much it’s because, as our coach has explained several times, we have a lot of players id ays David De Gea is back to his best after Sunday’s 3-3 draw with Sheffield United.The Spaniard pulled off a fine double save to deny David McGoldrick’s left-footed shot from outside the box.He also stopped a John Lundstram header, and Neville was miplayed a couple of different positions while in camp with Texas.

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g to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo Inda, when sp

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will return to action from an abdominal injury Sunday, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reported with his new deal.He has signed a new contractys the Belgium No1 falls short of the great Real goalkeepers from the past.He said: “I think the feeling in the Bernabéu is that they think that Courtois is perhaps not a player that right now could match all the great goalkeepers who have recently with the club until 2023.The Frenchman arrived in north London begun work at Bodymoor Heath after making the switch from rivals West Brom. The former Stourbridge manager spent 13 years as chief of the Baggies academy, helping establish it as one of the best in the country. He described head coach Dean Smith, spin the summer of 2016 and has developed into a key player under Mauricio Pochettino.Sissoko said: “I’m very proud to sign a new deal witts. The injury has kept him out of action for nearly a month; the righty has appeared in just two games so far this spring for the .

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sit a hurting Valencia team in Saturday afternoon’

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third basemann hit his fourth home run of the spring Wednesday against the Angels.

Chisenhall, who added another hit to finish 2-for-3 on the day, is now batting .410 in 39 spring at-bats while only striking out four times. While spring stats are hit-and-miss as a predictor for breakout performances, Chisenhall’s hot start should cere focusing on three young signings this summer.The Times says City have identified Rodri, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as their first-choice tra Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.The Sunday Post says Sturridge is a potential target for Rangers with the club ready to cash in on Alfredo Morelos.The Colombian bagged 30 goals for Steven Gerrard’s side last season and has made no secret of his dnsfer targets – while a summer clear-out is also expected.With Fernandinho now 34, Atletico Madrid’tainly pique the interest of AL-onlyudetto and broke several records in his first season in Italy last term.But pundit Frederic Hermel told RMC: “For me, the information that comes to me from the entourage is that he knows he made a mistake by going to Juventus. “He would have liked to fantasy competitors.

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verpool for his first game in charge.The Reds won

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pitcher , who threw a simulated game Monday, is scheduled to pitch in a minor-league game Saturday, according to .com. Hughes, who continuresh talk of Bruno Fernandes’ sale.Portugal international Fernandes has long been linked with a move to Old Trafford and Record says Sporting president Frederico Varandas and sporting director Hugo Viana have been discussing the deal with United chiees to work his way back from a bulging disk in his upper back, has been optimistic that he will be ready to go when his first turn comes around in the rotation. But according to the report, there is some concern he’ll miss his fb has the Premier League title sewn up.After the Reds defeated Watford, Cole believes the title is already in the Reds’ hands, even though there are 21 games to go this sea their 1-1 draw at Numancia.The result leaves Almeria well out of the running for the promotion places in the Segunda Division.Afterwards, Guti snapped: “We would have to spend the whole night to explain what we have lacked. We have not had the ball,son. He said: “I think the title’s done. This year it’s coming to Anfield no pirst start.

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ierney to consider any move away carefully.Arsenal

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MLB.com reports Dodgers pitcher , who was reassigned to minor-league camp Monday, had arthroscopic left knee surgery Tuesday and will be sidelined 6-8 weeksubs across Europe are on alert after the agent of Emil Forsberg admitted he’s ready to leave RB Leipzig.The Sweden midfielder has long been interesting Arsenal, Liverpool and AS Roma.”He stayed thanks to Ralf Rangniirement.The midfielder has remained a free agent since leaving Milan last season.He announced today: “I will stop here. I live in Milan with my family, what I will do now I do not know, I have to think about it. “Atalanta-Milan of May 13 2018 will reck last yead Celta Vigo will be safe for another season.Celta’s safety is basically confirmed as Girona would rely on a series of unlikely events in order to remain in the Primera Division.”After [the situation we were in] in the last few months, we would all hr. Then there were many .

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Big idea: The designated hitter compromise

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Personally, I don’t see the problem. Sure, if I could go back in time and scrub the designated hitter rule from history, then I probably would. But the DH doesn’t cause me French-existential angst (i.e., I don’t hate it), and I’m similarly unruffled by the fact that the two leagues have distinct rules regarding the DH. With all that said, I seem to be in the distinct minority. People don’t like the designated hitter rule, or at the very least they want uniformity in its application. As usual, I’m here for those with nowhere left to turn.

First, please accept this premise: Wholesale elimination of the DH isn’t going to happen. Next month, , and that means it’s entrenched. In a related matter, don’t expect the MLBPA to sacrifice a concocted “position” that turns 15-low-paying roster spots into high-paying roster spots. You can talk about making other structural concessions all you want, but none of the bandied-about solutions — expanded active rosters, a raising of the minimum salary — provides to players the high-end material uplift that the DH does. Cries of “get rid of the DH!” should be dismissed as fantasy.

With that out of the way, here’s what I propose: Make the DH rule the prerogative of the home team. Yes, I hereby propose that in advance of each regular-season and postseason game, the home team should be able to declare whether the DH shall be used for the contest in question.

Per rules, batting lineups aren’t exchanged until five minutes before game time, so there’s plenty of time in the course of the standard run-up to the first pitch to make the decision ly Samatta is pinching himself over his Carabao Cup final appearance against Manchester City.On Sunday he will play for his new club against Manchester City at Wembley. “This is huge,” the Tanzania striker told the Daily Mail. “It’s a final. At Wembland allow the visiting manager to react accordingly. Want to force to wield a glove or luxuriate on the pine? The home manager can opt not to DH. Want Stephen Strasburg to hit opposite a pitcher who’s less skilled with the bat? Opt not to DH. Got a right-hander on the mound and an opponent without a quality left-handed bat to slot in at DH? Force the issue by invoking the DH rule for that game. Does your team employ a manager with an orthodox and throbbing-neck-vein hatred of the DH? Take and never allow it on your hallowed traditionalist grounds.

First and foremost, the “home team chooses” system would, a) reduce significantly the number of games in which the DH rule would be in force; and b) add another layer of managerial strategizing (and fan kvetching) to a sport that’s typically a bit light on managerial strategizing (but not fan kvetching). I also envision a handful of other consequences that can be viewed as generally positive …

Such a system would make home-field advantage in the postseason that much more meaningful. By extension, that would make the regular-season race for seeding that much more important. It would also lessen the perceived disadvantages/advantages afforded by the World Series setup, which entails use of the DH in AL parks and no DH in NL parks. After all, AL and NL teams would be constructing their rosters according to same rules for the entirety of the regular season.Such a system would create an incentive for teams to roster DHs with at least some baseline defensive ability. If the DH who couldn’t dream of manning a position offends your aesthetics, then this system would make such a creature even more of an imposition on the 25-man.Such a system would create “soft” pressure for teams to carry more position players on the roster. Teams wouiverpool was confirmed this morning.The Japanese star completed his £7.25million move to Liverpool on Thursday morning.The 24-year-old will officially become part of Liverpool’s squad on January 1, and could make his debut in the FA Cup third round ld need to be prepared to trot out an adequate DH (i.e., a player who can put at least something like a .758 OPS, which is what AL DHs hit last season — only AL first basemen were more productive) or have an adequate arsenal of platoon-advantaged pinch-hitters for those occasions when the DH rule is not in force. In some instances, the primary DH will fill all those roles, but in others it will require a deeper bench. The point is that some teams would be reluctant to carry 13 or maybe even 12 pitchers. Fewer middle- and late-inning pitching changes and fewer appearances are good things for observers invested in things like pacing.

This new structure would of course require the consent of the players union, and they’d likely want give-backs elsewhere, since this would likely result in a downward market correction insofar as primary DHs are conceed. The defender made 214 appearances for the Hammers across two spells before joining Ipswich Town.He said: “I had the time of my life [at West Ham]. “I arrived in 2005 and then I left for Villa in 2009 and as people know, I didn’t really want to lerned. But this effort embodies, I think, the sensible middle ground between getting rid of the DH altogether (again, not a plausible aim) and allowing the status to remain quo.

So, in summary, the home team gets to decide whether the DH rule applies. Given the breadth of my opinion-shaping powers, I expect implementation posthaste. Or not.

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Tim Lincecum scratched from Saturday’s start due to blister

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right-hander has been scratched from Saturday’s start due to a blister along the nail of his right middle finger. notes this is an annual issue for the two-time Cy You Aguero is desperate to help Lionel Messi win his first international trophy with Argentina.Barcelona star Messi is yet to win a major trophy with his country.Ahead of this summve Bull has backed Raul Jimenez to become the club’s all-time Premier League record goalscorer.The Mexican has 15 to his name, seven behind Steven Fletcher’s record of 22.Bull told the Express & Star: “Easy. He should do that with absolute ease.”er’s Copa America, Aguero told FOX Sports: “I’m more anxious to be a chamng award winner and not a huge concern.

“It’s not too terrible,” said Lincecum to . “It’s just hot and sensitive like it gets here. I’ll just play it day by day and see how it feels. I don’t want to complicate the issue and make it worse. I don’t want it to be anything that will keep me from the season.”

Lincecum, 28, skipped his usual between-starts bullpen session and instead played catch, which he’ll do again on Saturday. The righty got hit pretty hard by the Dodgers in his first Cactus League outing on Tuesday, but by the way the ball was coming out of his hand.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and ped by Manchester United.United released McNeil at 14 because his set pieces were deemed not good enough.He said, “It was quite an upsetting time for me. It was my boyhood club of my dreams. I’m still a United fan now despite what happened.”Going to .

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ager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained allowing A

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Cubs shortstop left thred PSG striker Edinson Cavani this month.The Telegraph says United are weighing up the possibility of signing Cavani – but are wary of repeating the mistakes made with Alexis Sanchez.Cavani is out of contract at Paris-Saint Germain this summer and le game in the bottom of the fourth inning Tuesday against the Dodgers after pulling up lame running to first base. .com reports Castro has been diagnosed with left hamstring tightness. He is day to day. The Chicago Tribune reports Castro was trying to beat out an infield single when he grabbed his leg halfway down the line and began limping toward first base. Castro was removed from the game after being evaluated by the trainer. Castro was 1 for 3 with one run as the team’s DH. He is 3 for 7 (.429) with one double through three spring games. “I Southampton past Fulham in the Carabao Cup second-round.The 19-year-old tapped home the second senior goal of his career from Nathan Redmond’s low cross.Speaking after the game, Saint boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said:”I think in the first half we were a lt was a little bit tidfielder Claudio Marchisio has hit out at those whom burgled his home at gunpoint. Marchisio’s family home was targeted by armed robbers at their villa in Turin last night.He posted to social media:“If you enter a person’s home to rob them, you’re ght but not too bad,” Castro said. “I felt it when I touched the base. It scared me. I don’t want to be hurt. I feel too good this year.”

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om Arsenal over a Bosman move across London this s

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The Boston Globe reports Red Sox manager John Farrell said is making progress as he begins to tweak his delivery. “The delivery you see now is like he was before,” Farrell said. “The lead leg was like a swinging gate, collapse on the backside, lost that downward plane. He’s made some tangible adjustments in camp. They started late last season.” Lester has seen a drop in velocity the last two seasod by England.The winger, who has been a revelation for United since arriving from Swansea this summer, made his full Wales debut last year.Despite being born in Hull, James has represented Wales from U17 to U21 level.”[My father] took me to a camp inns, but Farrell isn’t overly concerned. “It could be he’s logged 1,000 innings the last five years and there’s going to be a natural effect,” Farfor CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov is heating up ahead of the winter market.Chalov, 21, remains a target for Crystal Palace, which failed with an offer for the Russia international last summer.However, Chelsea have also made enquiries in the past wrell said. Lester madenjury.He insists the Chelsea midfielder was pulled out of the France line-up to face Iceland as a precaution.Kante handed Chelsea boss Frank Lampard a fresh injury worry by limping off with a groin problem in the warm-up ahead of France’s Euro 2020 q his Grapefruit debut Sunday against the Cardinals. He pitched two perfect innings and struck out one batter.

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aul Barber has warned Liverpool about their expect

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ESPN reponts’ 2-1 defeat against Burnley was their eighth loss in 13 Premier League home games this season – more than any other believes that new manager Mikel Arteta may have to sell his two star strikers.The Gunners are not short of firepower up front with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.But Nicholas believes the two veteran strikers may be sold in the suside. “Sometimes it is a little difficult to play at home,” he admitted.“Against Burnley everyone expects that we are 3-0 uprts free agent pitcher is having right knee surgery Wednesday to have his meniscus repaired. He is expected to be throwing ad United boss Chris Wilder is eager to strengthen his defensive options this month.The Mirrorsays Wilder is targeting Belgium international Elias Cobbaut and Ipswich’s Luke Woolfenden to bolster Sheffield United’s defence.Wilder feels he lacks cover t 100 percent in 2-3 weeks.

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s one of the most impressive performers during the

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MLB.com’s Greg Johns reported on Thursday that the Mariners have singed to a minor league deal and invited him to sper United and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan has been named new coach of Penarol.Forlan will replace head coach Diego Lopez, whose contract ends at the end of this month.The Montevideo-based club announced the move on Twitter. The 40-year-old Fring tship inside the current squad.While manager Ole f buying a portion of the pay-TV network’s Uefa Champions League rights, according to a report by the Sunday Times newspaper, reports, /.Last November, BT Sport retained its exclusive rights contract for European soccer’s premier club competition untGunnar Solskjaer’s side are under arguably even more strain ahead of Sunday’s game against leaders Liverpool, ex-England star Anderson is struggling to see where the spark will come from.He told The Sunraining. Jacobs played in 13 games with Arizona last season, hitting .211 and driving in two runs. His best season came in 2008, when he hit 32 home runs for the Marlins.

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Report: Blue Jays interview DeMarlo Hale for bench coach

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The have interviewed third base coach DeMarlo Hale for their bench coach position, to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Hale had been mentioned for the Red Sox manager vacancy earlier in the offseason. The team eventually traded for John Farrell. Hale was a finalist for the the Blue Jays manager position in 2010, eventually losing out to Farrell. Prior has been in contact with boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his loan spell at Roma.Smalling has excelled in the Italian capital after signing for the season late in the transfer windowmore crowded.The Sun says Crystal Palace and Lazio have joined Inter Milan in the battle to sign Young.’The 34-year-old has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this month with Inter offering the 34-year-old an 18-month deal to come to the .He is one of the best defenders in Serie A this season, which mean to being with the Orioles, Hale spent six seasons with the Red Sox. Hed and I’m at number 14 on the fixture list; Blackburn Community Sports Club Women are hosting West Kirby Ladies at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Harrison Playing Field.The season’s of Autumn, Winter and Spring will have passed by the time of the served as the team’s third base coach from 2006 to 2009, and was the bench coach in 2010 and 2011.

Manny Acta could also be a candidate for the position, according to Rosenthal. Acta has previously managed the Nationals and Indians. He was fired with six games left to play in 2012. Prior to managing with those teams, Acta was a third base coach with the Mets and the Expos. 

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow .

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Free-agent rankings: Third basemen

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(Getty Images)

Our jaunt through the largely uninspiring 2012-13 class of free agents continues. Now it’s time to run down the third basemen who are hitting the market. 

Why just eight names ranked below? Because . So consider this crop to be thin both in terms of quality and in terms of population … 

More free agency coverage | | | | |

2012 stats: .235/.336/.409, 19 HR, 46 RBI, 47 RThis sort of sums up the state of the third-base free agent class: the top-ranked guy might not even wind up playing third. Youkilis, after the midseason trade to Chicago, enjoyed a low-grade renaissance, but it’s possible his declining range will force him across the diamond. Throw in his Boston numbers, and Youkilis was essentially a league-average hitter in 2012. Given his defensive limitations, he’ll need to hit more in line with previous norms to be an asset. He’ll turn 34 before opening day. 2012 stats: .218/.275/.383, 12 HR, 54 RBI, 33 RYes, your second-ranked third baseman was released by his first team before the end of April. Inge’s merits are pretty obvious: he’s a plus glove at the hot corner, and he’s still capable of running into a fastball on occasion. The overall offensive numbers, however, figure to be pretty dismal. 2012 stats: .257/.302/.327, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 28 RThe 37-rget for PSG ahead of the summer market and it was mooted he was ready to move to Paris.However, after scoring in victory over SPAL, Allan celebrated by kissing the badge on his shirt and declared “I love you” towards the Azzurri support.Il Mattino syear-old Polanco rather quietly topped 2,000 career hits this past season, but, not surprisingly, his offensive numbers continued a downward trend. His defensive indicators, however, remained strong. If he can overcome the back problems that plagued him laed more staff to his backroom team.Former teammate, Michael Clegg, has returned as the club’s new first-team strength and power coach.Clegg made 16 appearances for United between 1996 and 2001 and played for England Under-21s, before going on to holdst season, he can still be a useful stop-gap for a contender. 2012 stats: .245/.318/.398, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 26 RIt’s entirely possible — likely even — that Rolen will opt for retirement. If he doesn’t, then he’ll probably be able to land a job somewhere. Rolen can’t hit much these days, but the eyes and the numbers suggest he’s still an asset with the glove. Health, of course, is a concern for the 37-year-old. 2012 stats: .281/.348/.496, 16 HR, 37 RBI, 36 R, Chavez enjoyed a nice rebound at the plate, and he’s still a solid-average defender at the position. It’s highly, highly doubtful that Chavez, given his injury history, can hold up to regular duty, but he’ll still make a reasonable spot platoon guy. The question is whether he can hold on to some of the gains he made at the plate last season. Mostly, he succeeded because of a huger window.The Reds have already signed Takumi Minamino from RB Salzburg to bolster their attacking depth.And it could be the only business Liverpool conduct according to Klopp.”I know the transfer window is open! It’s always tricky,” Klopp said. “Bute spike in his HR/fly-ball percentage, which almost certainly isn’t sustainable. Adjust accordingly.2012 stats: .254/.292/.393, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R, 12 2BSutton has positional flexibility (he manned six different spots in his career), and, although the sample-size is lacking, his numbers against left-handed pitching have been strong. He’s certainly a reserve, but Sutton has his uses. 2012 stats: .188/.300/.247, 0 HR, 6 RBI, 13 RThe 37-year-old, 15-year vet saw his production crater last season, but a troublesome abdominal strain was partly to blame. At this point, DeRosa might — might — have some back-of-the-roster value as a utility sort and pinch-hitter-of-last-resort against lefties. In other words, not much value at all. 2012 stats: .187/.212/.280, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 9 RCairo, who will turn 39 next May, probably isn’t as bad as his .492 OPS from last season would suggest, but he’s not a roster-worthy player at this stage of his career. He can occupy multiple positions, but that’s about it.

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Reds’ Johnny Cueto diagnosed with ‘mild oblique strain,’ return for NLDS in question

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(Getty Imgaes)

CINCINNATI — After  starter left Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Saturday, the team called the injury a back spasm. On Tuesday, Reds trainer Paul Lessard said the injury has been diagnosed as a mild oblique strain, which casts further doubt on Cueto’s avquality of summer arrival Giovani Lo Celso.For the draw with Sheffield United on Saturday, Lo Celso completed 90 minutes for the first time since joining on loan from Real Betis.”Gio has come in and been excellent, he’s shown his quality,” said Winksailability not just for the NLDS but the entire postseason.

Cueto threw only eight pitches before exiting Game 1, and the team expressed hope he could return. Lessard said Tuesday the team has yet to decide whether to send Cueto for an MRI — and it’s unsure if or when he can return.

Cueto’s oblique might affect him more because of his extreme twisting motion. The issue is Cueto’s right oblique, which irated Blues boss Frank Lampard saw the winter market shut on Friday without a signing being made.Instead, Chelsea are set for a big spending summer and ESPN says high on their shopping list will be Ziyech.Ziyech is also being tracked by Manchester Uns opposite of most oblique strains. Pitchers and hitters usually have oblique injuries on their front side.

“They said he’s getting better, but we don’t know what ‘better’ is,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said in Tuesday’s pregame news conference. “So it’s a question. I mean, that’s a volatile area. You’ve seen the obliques: Sometimes they hang around for a while, and sometimes they don’t hang around for a while. We don’t know the severity of it. He came in yesterday and got treatment all day long, Mane says they’ve learned from last season’s title collapse.The Reds are 14 points clear at the top of the table going into Sunday’s game with Wolves and seem certain to end a title drought that has lasted since 1990.”We have learned from the mistakeso right now I would just be guessing to let you know how he is exactly right now. In a nutshell, we don’t know.”

When asked about the team’s Game 4 starter, if necessary, Baker said the team wouldn’t make a decision until after Tuesday’s Game 3. The Reds lead the best-of-5 series with the two games to none. Baker said he’d be reluctant to use , who pitched four innings of relief in Game 1. However, if the team doesn’t put Cueto on the DL, he’d be the most rested starter the team has.

“You would rather not because you don’t go through the year with guys pitching on four days’ rest,” Baker said. “Right now, we don’t have any decision on a Game 4 starter. Right now, it depends on what happens today and then we will make that decision after the game. I would like to not even have that decision to make, to tell you the truth. That would be the epitome of a good day, you know, would be for Homer to throw a good day and we can worry about somebody else starting the next series. A lot depends on [Tuesday].”

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