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Nationals manager Martinez has heart procedure

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Dave Martinez will not manage the Nationals in St. Louis on Monday because he stayed in Washington to undergo a heart procedure.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told the media that Martinez experienced chest pains during the team’s home game against Atlanta on Sunday. The manager left in the sixth inning and was taken to a hospital.

Martinez, 54, underwent a cardiac catheterization and will remain in the hospital undergoing tests. Rizzo said that Martinez was “upbeat” but that there was no timetable for his return.

Bench coach Chip Hale will manage the team Monday. He replaced Martinez on Sunday.

The Nationals currently own the first wild-card spot, 1.5 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs. This is a key three-game series against the NL Central-leading Cardinals.

Martinez is in his second season managing the Nationals. After winning 82 games last season, the Nats have matched that total this season with 14 games to play.

Martinez had a 16-year MLB career with nine teams.

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Astros vs. Yankees – Live Game – October 18, 2019

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CC Sabathia said the reception he got from fans was the main reason he got so emotional as he walked off the field for the final time in his career after suffering a shoulder injury in Game 4 of the ALCS. And despite the pain and the eventual Yankees loss, he says he feels blessed and at peace with how he went out. “I threw until I couldn’t anymore.”

Matt Marrone, ESPN.com4h ago

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Reports — MLB proposes overhaul of minor leagues, elimination of 40 teams

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Major League Baseball is in negotiations with its 160 minor league teams about efforts to “reorganize elements of the system” that could reduce the number of affiliated teams from 160 to 120, according to reports.

The current agreement between MLB and the minor league teams — called the Professional Baseball Agreement — expires at the end of the 2020 season. MLB is looking to make some major changes, according to reports, that would overhaul all levels of the minors, particularly at low Class A and below.

Baseball America was the first to report the proposal and detail the restructuring.

Major League Baseball issued a statement to The New York Times saying that discussions are ongoing.

“We are in discussions with the owners of the Minor League teams to reorganize elements of the system with the goal of improving the working conditions of minor league players,” the MLB statement said, “including upgrading the facilities to Major League standards, increasing player compensation, reducing travel time between affiliates for road games, improving transportation and hotel accommodations, increasing the number of off days, and providing better geographical affiliations between the MLB clubs and affiliates.”

Other major changes would involve overhauling full-season minor leagues and shuffling teams throughout the Triple-A, Double-A, high Class A and low Class A levels into leagues that are more geographically friendly, according to Baseball America.

According to the reports, the 40 teams at the lower levels that are not included in this venture would be reclassified into a “Dream League,” which would be run jointly by MLB and Minor League Baseball and would include players who were not selected in the draft, which under this proposal would be moved from June to August and reduced to 20-25 rounds from the total of up to 40 in its current format.

According to The New York Times, Pat O’Conner, the president of Minor League Baseball, sent a letter warning teams of “significant impending changes” and advised not making any major decisions, including financial commitments, beyond the 2020 season.

Some minor league teams would lose existing affiliations with major league franchises under the proposal, according to the reports.

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Giancarlo Stanton returns from quad injury as Yankees’ DH for Game 5

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NEW YORK — The New York Yankees have Giancarlo Stanton back in the lineup for what could be their final game of the postseason.

Stanton is the team’s starting designated hitter and will hit cleanup in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against the Astros, with Houston holding a commanding 3-1 series lead.

The left fielder suffered a right quadriceps strain in Game 1, a 7-0 win for the Yankees, while legging out a single in his first at-bat. Stanton also had a solo home run in the sixth inning of that game.

Manager Aaron Boone said ahead of Game 4, an 8-3 loss for the Yankees, that Stanton was available as a pinch hitter and that he was considering Stanton as the designated hitter for Friday’s game.

Boone hopes Stanton’s bat will spark a morose Yankees offense that scored a total of six runs in their three consecutive losses against Houston.

Having Stanton at DH meant benching Edwin Encarnacion, who is struggling in the ALCS, hitting .067 (1-for-15) with eight strikeouts.

By sending Encarnacion to the bench, the Yankees were able to keep their best defensive alignment in the infield, with DJ LeMahieu starting at first base and Gio Urshela at third.

Boone said before Game 5 that it would be a tough choice to start Stanton over Encarnacion. “[Encarnacion] is a great hitter that can wreck a game in a hurry,” Boone said. “You’re trying to kind of walk that line, strike that balance. I would want to feel pretty good about it because if [Stanton] goes in there, it’s taking out a good player.”

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