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Reynolds wrap — Rockies drop slugger from roster

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NEW YORK — Mark Reynolds was cut by the Colorado Rockies two home runs shy of 300 after hitting .170 with four homers and 20 RBI in limited at-bats.

The 35-year-old infielder returned for his second stint with the Rockies in March, agreeing to a $1 million, one-year deal. He had just 135 at-bats in 78 games and was designated for assignment on Sunday in a flurry of roster moves by Colorado, which had lost 13 of its previous 15 games.

“Kind of a punch in the gut,” Reynolds said. “It’s tough to be consistent when you don’t get consistent at-bats. I knew the role I signed up for; I knew what my role was on this team. It was just one of those things where I could never get going.”

A 13-year veteran, Reynolds said he will return home to assess whether or not he’d attempt to continue his playing career. He was a key member of Colorado’s 2017 wild-card team, hitting 30 homers with 97 RBI to guide the Rockies to the first postseason appearance in eight seasons.

“Mark never really got on track, especially the last couple of months,” manager Bud Black said. “He’s been a great pro. He’s had a great career.”

“We’re going to miss Mark,” Black added. “Change in this game is inevitable, and we had to make these moves for the present.”

Colorado recalled right-hander Jeff Hoffman from Albuquerque, selected the contract of left-hander Sam Howard from the Triple-A farm team and optioned Antonio Senzatela to the Isotopes, a day after the right-hander allowed six runs and lasted just 1 1/3 innings in an 11-5 loss to the New York Yankees. Senzatela allowed 21 earned runs with six walks and six strikeouts in his past three outings.

Hoffman, 26, begins his third stint with the team and has allowed 25 earned runs over seven starts with the Rockies. He was 6-5 with a 7.32 ERA with Albuquerque, and Black said Hoffman will pitch in relief.

Howard was dropped from Colorado’s 40-man roster during the offseason and the 26-year-old was 2-1 with a 3.83 ERA over 36 appearances with the Isotopes.

“We needed some reinforcements for our bullpen,” Black said. “The pitching has been taxed over the last few weeks, and especially late, especially the last couple of days.”

In its first nine games since the All-Star break, Colorado’s bullpen allowed 36 earned runs in 39 1/3 innings for an 8.24 ERA.

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Carrasco throws first BP since leukemia diagnosis

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Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco faced live hitters Friday for the first time since his leukemia diagnosis.

Carrasco, who has been out since June 5, threw pitchers to hitters from the Indians’ Class A affiliate.

“It’s a huge boost to him,” manager Terry Francona told reporters on Friday. “Even if this is all he did the rest of the year, you could see how excited he was to do it, that gives us a lift in itself. If it gets to the point that he comes back and helps us pitching, great. But just the fact that he’s on the mound and you see him smiling, that’s good in itself.”

Carrasco, 32, was 4-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 starts before he made the announcement that he was being treated for leukemia.

Carrasco had to receive medical clearance before he was allowed to throw against batters. There is no timetable for his return.

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Cubs recall Russell, send Almora down to Triple-A

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PITTSBURGH — One day after their replacement shortstop for Javier Baez made a critical ninth-inning error in a late collapse to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs recalled infielder Addison Russell while demoting outfielder Albert Almora Jr. to Triple-A Iowa.

“There was going to be fewer at-bats against left-handed pitching,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Getting at-bats in Iowa, before Sept. 1, is a good thing.”

Though the move looks like a direct reaction to Thursday’s loss in which backup David Bote booted a ball, in reality, the Cubs were thinking of the switch anyway. Russell has thrived at Triple-A since going back down while Almora has struggled at the plate, especially against left-handers — normally his strength. He has a .532 OPS against lefties this year while Russell compiled a 1.060 OPS in his latest stint in the minors.

“I feel like I got back to the original me,” Russell said. “Barreling the ball up. Playing on a consistent basis had a lot to do with it.”

Almora was the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2012 and had been with the big league team for the better part of three seasons before the surprise demotion. Hoyer said the Cubs plan to recall Almora on Sept. 1 when the roster limit expands to 40 from 25.

Russell, who began the season on the suspended list for violating MLB’s domestic abuse policy, was with the Cubs from May 8 to July 24 before being sent down as much for his mental mistakes as anything. He vowed to be better, including not missing signs, an issue for him previously.

The Cubs can’t afford any miscues, especially on the road, where they’re 23-38 on the season after having been swept by the Phillies.

“We’re unbelievably fortunate to be in this position right now,” Hoyer said. “We’re in first place. We don’t deserve to be based on how we’ve played. If we were in any other division we would be seven back, at least. But we’re tied. We should look at that as an incredible opportunity.”

The Cubs are 41-19 at home, having often extended their lead in the division there, only to give it back on the road. They are 2-5 on their current trip, haven’t won a road series since mid-May and are tied for first place in the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We can’t keep having this conversation over and over,” Hoyer said about the home and road splits. “If we continue that cycle, we’re going to end up disappointed.”

The Cubs also activated reliever Brandon Kintzler from the injured list, as he’s fully healed from a pectoral injury, sending down righty James Norwood to open a spot for the veteran.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Cubs recall Russell, option Almora to Triple-A

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PITTSBURGH — One day after their replacement shortstop for Javier Baez made a critical ninth-inning error in a late collapse to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs recalled infielder Addison Russell while demoting outfielder Albert Almora Jr. to Triple-A Iowa.

“There was going to be fewer at-bats against left-handed pitching,” general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Getting at-bats in Iowa, before Sept. 1, is a good thing.”

Though the move looks like a direct reaction to Thursday’s loss in which backup David Bote booted a ball, in reality, the Cubs were thinking of the switch anyway. Russell has thrived at Triple-A since going down while Almora has struggled at the plate, especially against left-handers — normally his strength. He has a .532 OPS against lefties this year while Russell compiled a 1.060 OPS in his latest stint in the minors.

“I feel like I got back to the original me,” Russell said. “Barreling the ball up. Playing on a consistent basis had a lot to do with it.”

Almora was the Cubs’ first-round pick in 2012 and had been with the big league team for the better part of three seasons before the surprise demotion. Russell was sent down last month as much for his mental mistakes as anything. He vowed to be better, including not missing signs, an issue for him previously. The Cubs can’t afford any miscues, especially on the road, where they’re 23-38 on the season after having been swept by the Phillies.

“We’re unbelievably fortunate to be in this position right now,” Hoyer said. “We’re in first place. We don’t deserve to be based on how we’ve played. If we were in any other division we would be seven back, at least. But we’re tied. We should look at that as an incredible opportunity.”

The Cubs are 41-19 at home, having often extended their lead in the division there, only to give it back on the road. They are 2-5 on their current trip, haven’t won a road series since mid-May and are tied for first place in the National League Central with the St. Louis Cardinals.

“We can’t keep having this conversation over and over,” Hoyer said about the home and road splits. “If we continue that cycle we’re going to end up disappointed.”

The Cubs also activated reliever Brandon Kintzler from the injured list, as he’s fully healed from a pectoral injury, sending down righty James Norwood to open a spot for the veteran.

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