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ical on Monday before signing a five-year contract

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third baseman hit a home run during Thursday’s rehab game.

Middlebrooks went 1 for 4, his only hit being a solo homer. Through three rehab games, Middlebrooks has four hits and has driven in six runs. 

Manager John Farrell was impressed with Middlebrooks’ performance, according to .com, saying “very encouraging. Some of the things that we’ve highlighted with Will, he showed [Wednesday]. Obviously with the home run to right-center field. And as we stated before, when he’s in the right place, doing what he’s capable of, he’s proven he’s a Major League player.”

Middlebrooks had to prove he was healthy in the minors to be promoted again, and his performance has been encouraging. 

More News Sean and Matty Longstaff.The duo have been in negotiations with managing director Lee Charnley and their representatives for a number of weeks now, with 19-year-old Matty’s contract the more pressing contract of the two deals, says the Evening Chron 01/11ousa Dembele says former Tottenham teammate Gareth Bale will be a big success in China.Real Madrid attacker Bale is set to join Jiangsu Suning.Dembele, who moved to Guangzhou R&F in January this year, insists Bale will comfortably fit in playing /2019 • by RotoWire Staff 03/30/2018 striker Joshua King has tipped Eddie Howe to become England manager.King was full of praise for Howe, who has managed to establish the Cherries as a Premier League club after taking them up from League One.Speaking to Four Four Two, King said: “Eddi • by RotoWire Staff 02/25/2018 • by RotoWire Staff 02/24/2018 • by RotoWire Staff 01/03/2018 • by RotoWire Staff 10/10/2017 • by RotoWire Staff

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rgil van Dijk says they’ll go to Qatar determined

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outfielder is scheduled to , according to 620 AM in Arizona.Eaton was told by Dr. James Andrews earlier this week that he will not require surgery. He has been sidelined all season as he continues to recover from an elbow injury. He has not played a rehab game since suffering a setback on May 22. Eaton may return at some point before the All-Star break.

More News 03/12/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/11/2020 e Basel for £8m.Ajeti, 22, scored 15 goals in 35 games last season and was part of the Switzerland squad that competed in the Nations League tournament in June.”I didn’t have to think twice about signing for such a big, traditional club in the Premi • by RotoWire Staff 03/09/2020 • bd a message for his old teammate Miguel Almiron.Rondon was a fan favorite at the club, but he chose to move on in the summer along with ex-manager Rafa Benitez.Rondon, Almiron and Ayoze Perez were the attacking trio Benitez used in the second half ofy RotoWire Staff town club Independiente before he retires.The Argentine star left Independiente as a teenager in 2006 to join Atletico Madrid before making the switch to the Premier League five years later.”I always try [to get back to Argentina],” said Aguero, whos 03/07/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/03/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/03/2020 • by RotoWire Staff

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Five Years Later: Reviewing the 2008 draft

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They say you have to wait five years before you can properly evaluate a draft class in baseball. Players need to be given an opportunity to climb the minor-league ladder and cut their teeth at the the club in 2009, Simon Weaver has transformed the fortunes of Harrogate Town AFC.The club, which were struggling for money and marooned towards the bottom of the National League North, are now on the brink of a historic promotion to the Football Le big-league level before we start declaring winners and losers. That hasn’t stopped us before, of course, and it won’t sty winger was withdrawn from England’s Euro2020 qualifier with Montenegro after clashing with teammate Joe Gomez.”We have moved on it,” said Hudson-Odoi on Thursday. “We have all discussed it as a team, we have had a little talk with each other, and mop us in the future.

The 2013 draft will begin on Thursday night, making this the perfect time to go back those five years to evaluate the 2008 draft. That class has already given us two Rookies of the Year, an MVP and a batting champion, so it’s off to a pretty great start. With some help from the incomparable , let’s break down the 2008 draft.

(round/overall pick)

— 14.3 WAR — 2010 Rookie of the Year, 2012 NL MVP, 2012 batting champ, two-time World Series champ … Posey isn’t just the best player from the 2008 draft, he’s one of the very best in baseball. The , , and all passed on him. — 8.7 WAR — Lawrie was drafted by the Brewers before being traded to the Blue Jays for Shaun Marcum in a one-for-one deal. — 8.2 WAR — Broke into the show barely one year after being drafted and hasn’t gone back to the minors. — 7.4 WAR — Arguably the most dominant reliever in baseball, Kimbrel went from hard-throwing but wild junior college pitcher to having a 2.1 BB/9 over the last two years. — 5.6 WAR — Chicago turned Hudson, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery at the moment, into Edwin Jackson at the 2010 trade deadline. — 5.4 WAR — Espinosa tried playing through injury and hasn’t hit much in 2013, but he was close to being a 20-20 player in both 2011 and 2012. — 4.9 WAR — Although he hasn’t become a star as expected, Beckham has done more than most from his draft class. — 4.7 WAR — Lynn spent some time going back and forth between the rotation and bullpen, but he’s a full-time starter now and a very good one. — 4.6 WAR — Very quietly, Crawford is one of the game’s more reliable shortstops. He can really pick it, and his offense is improving. — 4.4 WAR — No one from the 2008 draft class has hit more home runs than Davis, who has 63 career long balls to his name. — 3.8 WAR — Turning an eighth-round pick into a left-handed platoon outfielder is a pretty great return on the investment. — 3.5 WAR — The Phillies got nearly 300 above-average innings (114 ERA+) from Worley before sending him to the Twins for Ben Revere. — 3.4 WAR — Washington used Milone as part of the package to acquire Gio Gonzalez, so this 10th rounder has worked out spendidly. — 3.3 WAR — Miley was the runner-up for last year’s NL Rookie of the Year award. — 3.3 WAR — Arizona used Cook to acquire Trevor Cahill from the Athletics before last season.

Only two other players in the entire draft class have accumulated 3.0+ WAR in the big leagues: reliever (2/57) and catcher (1/10). They’re at 3.3 and 3.0 WAR for their careers, respectively. Now, let’s look at some late-round steals.

— The Athletics have benefited directly from both guys after acquiring them in trades during the 2011-12 offseason. –2.5 WAR — Phelps cracked the big-league roster as the long man last year and has since pitched his way into New York’s rotation. — 2.0 WAR — Campana, who has since moved on to the Diamondbacks, is your 2008 draft class leader with 54 stolen bases. — 1.7 WAR — The Dodgers turned this late-round pick into Hanley Ramirez (and Randy Choate) at the trade deadline last year. — 1.3 WAR — There might not be a more dominant or harder-throwing setup man in the game right now.

Every draft has some busts, and the 2008 class is no different. Obviously, some busts are much more spectacular than others. Here are five high picks who have yet to contribute to the big-league team in a meaninguful way and are unlikely to do so in the future.

— Yes, the top overall pick in the draft. Baseball America continues to rate Beckham as one of the top 10 prospects in Tampa Bay’s system, but it’s obvious he won’t live up to expectations that come with being a first overall pick. — Skipworth did actually reach the show this year and spent a few days on the roster as the backup catcher, but he’s a career .216/.279/.371 hitter in nearly 2,000 minor-league plate appearances. Yikes. — Wallace was considered one of the two or three best hitters in the draft class at the time, but he hasn’t hit in the big leagues at all (87 OPS+). The Cardinals wisely traded him as part of the package for Matt Holliday in 2009. — Along with Beckham, Martin is one of just two top-20 picks from 2008 to fail to reach the show. He has a 4.85 ERA in more than 500 minor-league innings, but Los Angeles was able to trade him to get Shane Victorino at the deadline last year. — Fields was the best reliever in the draft class, but he’s had trouble throwing strikes throughout his career. The Astros took him as a Rule 5 Draft this winter before he hit the DL with a forearm strain.

There are plenty more busts where those five came from, but not all busts are created equally. Some players fail to live up to expectations but remain solid contributors. Are they disappointments? Sure. Are they still useful players? Definitely.

— The 4.9 WAR has a lot to do with playing time — Beckham leads 2 Brann.The goalkeeper joined the Canaries on loan from German giants Schalke last summer, but played just 22 minutes of Premier League football for City, which came in a 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace in September.Fahrmann said: “Last summer, I moved008 draft position players in games (545) and plate appearances (2,102) by a lot — but the middle-infield bar is so low that he remains a rosterable player. — 2.0 WAR — Matusz tried and failed as a starter, then tried and failed again. And one more time after that. He has settled in as a very good lefty reliever. — 1.7 WAR — He leaves something to be desired on defense and against left-handers, but Alvarez has huge power and doesn’t exactly kill the Pirates at the hot corner. — 1.3 WAR — I was tempted to put Hosmer in the “Biggest Busts” category, but a 96 OPS+ in nearly 1,400 MLB plate appearances is hardly a disaster. — 0.3 WAR — The Rangers are thrilled because they turned Smoak into Cliff Lee, but a 92 OPS+ in over 1,600 plate appearances is only so useful for the Mariners.

Finally, let’s look at the players who got away. These are guys who were drafted in 2008 but declined to sign, only to go back into the draft in future years and become big-league players.

— 6.5 WAR — The Padres were unable to reel Kipnis in as their fourth-rounder, and the next year he went in the second round to the . — 2.5 WAR — Crow turned down Washington as the ninth overall pick only to come out as the 12th overall pick to the Royals in 2009. — 1.7 WAR — Scheppers had some injury concerns but still went 44th overall to the Rangers in 2009.

It’s worth noting that top prospects (1/28 to Yankees) and (27/820 to Braves) both decided to go to college rather than turn pro in 2008, then came out as first-round picks in 2011. Cole went first overall to the Pirates, Rendon sixth to the Nationals. They’re the ultimate “ones who got away.”

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Burnley striker Chris Wood has picked up an unwant

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Granted, was already hot and owned in the majority of Fantasy leagues, but because the one reason for skepticism with him was hittability, Wednesday’s no-hit bid against the Pirates was an eye-opener.

Coming into the game, he had allowed 10.0 hits per nine innings while recording just 6.3 strikeouts per nine this season. Not what you’d expect from a hard-throwing phenom. But with just one hit allowed and 11 strikeouts over eight shutout innings Wednesday, he’s now averaging 6.7 hits and 7.4 strikeouts per nine to go along with a 2.11 ERA over his last six starts. That’s much morr the remainder of the year with a broken collarbone.Lanzini will be sidelined for the rest of 2019 after suffering a fractured collarbone in the 3-0 defeat at Burnley on Saturday.The Argentine schemer fell awkwardly after being fouled by Ashley Weste convincing.

I don’t know what the do when Brandon Beachy returns from the DL, but shipping out Julio Teheran no longer seems like a viable option. If you’ve been holding off on him in the 18 percent of leagues where he’s still available, better act now.

More News 03/06/2020 • by RotoWire Staff rom Marcos Alonso settled it at Stamford Bridge after a tight affair in the capital.Bruce said: “We had a few chanca huge challenge at Everton after their 4-0 thrashing by Chelsea.Ancelotti has overseen significant improvements at Everton since succeeding Marco Silva in the role.But the display against Chelsea shows there is still plenty of work to be done.“We es in the first half in particular, but we didn’t pick the right pass or the right cross.”Chelsea have a nice blend of youth and experi 03/03/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/02/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/01/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/26/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/26/2020 • by RotoWire Staff

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Cards vanquish Communist D-backs, retain EOB heavyweight title

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It was a grueling and blood-drenched four-game series that lasted a total of 40 innings, but in the end the , battered and adorned with a crimson maCrystal Palace’s 2-1 win at Manchester United.Ayew says Palace deserved the three points.Speaking to Palace TV post-match, the player who opened the scoring for the Eagles in the first half discussed the performance: “We are happy; I think we put in sk, mustered a split and thus retained the Eye On Baseball Heavyweight Championship.

Wait, the “Eye On Baseball Heavyweight Championship”? What’s that? That’s this:

Since the concept of championship belts is cool in boxing, MMA and sports entertainment (aka pro wrestling), the Eye on Baseball team has decided to create a Heavyweight Championship belt for the 2013 season.

As the defending World Series champions, the Giants entered the season with the strap. From there, here are our rules.

1. A team must win a series from the champion to take the belt. One game isn’t going to cut it, considering it’s a 162-game season and teams all view the season in terms of series.

2. If the belt-holder splits a series (two- or four-game series), it retains. Much like on a draw in boxing or a count-out situation in pro wrestling, you don’t get the belt unless you actually beat the champion. A tie isn’t good enough.

3. If, at the end of the regular season, the belt-holder does not make the playoffs — and due to the dynamics of this thing, that scenario is entirely plausible — said team will be stripped of the title for not qualifying for the postseason. Then the winner of the playoffs — the World Series — takes the belt and the title into the offseason.

The , of course, positioned themselves as Soviet sympathizers prior to the big series in St. Louis, and the Cardinals, right-wise defenders of the American way, did not take kindly. Woade the switch earlier this week.The 29-year-old said the move came about quickly and he did not need think twice about the opportunity.”It’s going to be a new challenge, one I’m very excited to be here for,” Dawson said.”It happened very quickly, thrst of all, the Diamondbacks, as a tribute to Lenin, father of the revolution, at one point attempted to cut the American hair of , who picked up the win and hit his first career homer on Thursday night.

To say the least, Miller, who takes seriously the bedrock values of the Republic and his hair, was aghast at their sinister machinations. After the game, he had some pointed words for the Diamondbacks …

The Diamondbacks also hate Rock and/or Roll.

Now that the Cardinals have survived yet another title defense, they turn their attentions to the hated . Starting Friday, the champs and those Reds will face off in a three-game cage match in Cincinnati. At stake? The Eye On Baseball Heavyweight Championship.

And now lety Maguire feels they’d be further up the table if not for defensive lapses this season.He would much prefer a few ugly wins and a festive charge that puts United bang in the top-four picture.Ahead of today’s trip to Watford, Maguire admitted: “That’s stroll through the Halls of History and recall how we got here …

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er Nacho Monreal admits he’s been quickly won over

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second baseman had his third home run of the season Wednesday against the Orioles. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Altuve took a Steve Johnson changeup to left field for a solo home run. Altuve added a single and scored two runs. He is hitting .297/.335/.397 in 232 at-bats.

More News 03/06/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/05/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/03/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/25/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 10/24/2019 • by RotoWire Staff ports to the club on Alphonso Davies.The 19-year-old signed for Bayern Munich from Vancouver Whitecaps last summer.He has emerged as one of the club’s brightest stars over 27 appearances this season.Alvial told the Manchester Evening News: “It was my 10/16/2019 s after victory over Aston Villa.With league leas he’ll always be available to Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta for advice.Guardiola has revealed his former assistant’s “struggles” since taking over at the Emirates before Christmas, but insists Arteta has been outstanding in just a matter of weeks iders Liverpool in action on Sunday afternoon, City closed the gap atop the Premier League table – if only temporarily – but De Bruyne dismissed suggestions of early advantages in the title race.“T • by RotoWire Staff

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an has signed a new contract extension with City,

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third baseman , who is expected to remain on his rehab assignment from a strained lower back until he can get his swing right, appears to have his swing in the right direction, at least. 

Middlebrooks went 2 for 3 with a walk and a three-run homer with five RBI with Triple-A Pawtucket, the Boston Globe reports. Hlf as a club hero.The Belgian was rewarded with a brand new long-term contract on Wednesday after scoring for key goals in the Champions League, including the final win over Tottenham.Asked if Origi was a club hero, Klopp said: “Oh yeah, absolutely.”e’s now gone 3 for 5 with two walks and five RBI in two games with Pawtucket. 

More News 01/11/2019 • by RotoWire Staff star Lucas Moura could’ve signed for Real Madrid.Moura is being celebrated today after his superb hat-trick for their Champions League win at Ajax.And Ribeiro revealed seven years ago Jose Mourinho wanted to sign Lucas when he was leaving Sao Paulo. 03/30/2018 • by RotoWire Staff 02/25/2018 • by RotoWire Staff 02/24/2018 Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been assured by Azerbaijan officials he can enter the country ahead of the Europa League final in Baku.His involvement in the final with Chelsea has been in doubt because of political tension between his native Armenia and the • by RotoWire Staff 01/03/2018 • by RotoWire Staff 10/10/2017 • by RotoWire Staff

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e PSG.Barcelona and Real Madrid are battling to si

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The ‘ game against the Natirded impressive friendly victories over Barcelona, RB Salzburg and Reading over the past few weeks.Despite only taking over as coach at the start of July, Lampard feels as though his players have absorbed his tactics.”I think it has been a good pre-sonals Wednesday was postponed due to rain, meaning the team will have to a bit for the weekend series against Miami.

Thursday’s scheduled starter will be moved back to Saturday, while will have his return to the rotation pushed back a day to Sunday. Matt Harvey remains slotted to start Friday in the series opener. 

More News 07/15/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 06/02/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 04/25/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 04/10/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 03/16/2018 • by RotoWire Staff anager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Fred believes the club legend is doing a good job – even if he talks a lot.”Solskjaer is our teacher and does a good job,” the Brazil international told UOL Esporte.”He is young and gchester United striker struggled with his confidence during Jose Mourinho’s time in charge.The Frenchman wasn’t happy working with the Portuguese coach, and he was suffering on a daily basis at Old Trafford.”During our first two years together in Manrowing every day. He learned a lot and 03/15/2018 • by RotoWire Staff

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their winter break to bed down new signings Bruno

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starting pitcher won for just the second time in 13 starts this season during Wednesday’s 6-1 victory against the Marlins. Hamels arguably had his best start, striking out a season-high 11 batters and allowing one run in seven innings.

Hamels (2-9) gave up four hits and one walk. The only run the Marlins’ scored against the left-hander came on a solned terms to 2024.“I am very happy and very proud,” Masuaku said. “For me it was an easy decision.”The club wanted me to stay and so I didn’t even need to think about it – it was just a matter of time.”Now I am looking forward to the Premier Leo home run in the fourth inning. Hamels has allowed one run three times in 2013. Hamels recorded his 23rd career double-digit strikeout game and second this season. 

Hamels, who put an end to a six-start losing streak Wednesday, will look for consecutive wins for the first time this season when he heads back to the mound Tuesday at Minnesota. Hamels is 7-12 with a 4.67 ERA in 24 career interleague starts, including a 0-2 record and 10.97 ERA in two starts this season.

More News 04/06/2020 • by RotoWire Staff Cup replay against Rochdale.For the winner, there’s the reward of a home tie versus Oxford United.”The FA Cup doesn’t do any harm to have a run in, let’s try and tackle it head on,” said the Magpies boss.”We have an opportunity, two division one team 03/02/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/23/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/18/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/12/2020 • by RotoWire Staffagent Mino Raiola is set for a final push to convince Manchester United to sell him to Real Madrid.Marca says the super agent will meet with Red Devils chiefs in a last gasp attempt to make something happen.Raiola is still hopeful of the Bernabeu swi 02/12/2020 • by RotoWire Staff

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at the end of tomorrow’s clash with Liverpool.Wild

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The released outfielder Monday. Francisco, who hit .114 in 21 an interview, he revealed that he has been aware for some timoss Frank Lampard is adamant the squad is strong enough, despite their transfer ban.Lampard insists he does not need to strengthen his squad before the new Premier League season.The Blues are banned from signing players during the next two transfer we that the former Barcelona man is unsettled.”I knew that he wanted to believes his qualities can fit into manager Jose Mourinho’s system.The France international admits he’s a changed character when on the pitch.He told Foot Mercato: “I am a player who is crazy. “I have a certain carelessness. Maybe it’s due to my age go before the Copa America, but it’s a topic between the club and Neymar,” Tuchel told RMC Sports.”It’s all clear betwgames, was designated for assignment May 26 to clear a roster spot for pitcher David Huff.