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MLB roundup: Former pitcher Welch dies

The SportsXchange

Former Cy Young Award winner Bob Welch died Monday night in Seal Beach, Calif. at age 57, the Oakland Athletics announced.

The A's said Tuesday in a statement that the cause of death was unavailable.

Welch won the American League Cy Young Award in 1990 when he went 27-6 and helped the A's claim the American League championship. The 27 wins remain tied for the most in the major leagues since Philadelphia's Steve Carlton won the same number in 1972.

---Major League Baseball suspended Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado for five games and fined him an undisclosed amount for intentionally flinging his bat on the field during Sunday's game against the Oakland Athletics in Baltimore.

Joe Garagiola Jr., MLB's senior vice president of standards and operations, also announced that A's pitcher Fernando Abad received an undisclosed fine for intentionally throwing at Machado during the eighth inning.

Machado was part of two benches-clearing incidents during the weekend series with the A's On Friday, he took exception with what he considered a hard tag by Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson and confronted him, resulting in the two needing to be separated.

---Pittsburgh ended the wait for top prospect Gregory Polanco, who joined the Pirates as second baseman Neil Walker heads to the disabled list.

Polanco arrives with plenty of hype surrounding his debut. The No. 1-rated prospect in the organization, the 22-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic is one of the top 10 prospects in all of baseball according to Baseball Prospectus. Polanco was hitting .347 with seven home runs in 62 games for Triple-A Indianapolis.

Walker experienced abdominal pain shortly before Pittsburgh's 6-2 win over the Chicago Cubs and underwent an emergency appendectomy.

---The Cincinnati Reds activated first baseman Joey Votto from the disabled list before Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Votto was out nearly a month with a distal strained left quadriceps. The Reds used backup Brayan Pena and also Todd Frazier and Donald Lutz at first base during Votto's absence. To make room on the roster, Lutz was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

Reds right-hander Mat Latos also is expected to soon join Votto on the active roster this weekend. Latos has yet to pitch in the big leagues this year because of knee and elbow injuries.

---Right-hander Aaron Nola, the No. 7 overall pick in the baseball draft last week, reached a contract agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

Contract details were not made available, but a player drafted in that position typically receives around $3.4 million. Nola recently completed his junior season at LSU with an 11-1 record and a 1.47 ERA with 27 walks and 134 strikeouts in 116 innings. As a sophomore in 2012, he posted 12-1 record and a 1.57 ERA with 18 walks and 122 strikeouts in 126 innings.

"We believe that he's a guy that has a chance to pitch pretty quickly here in Philadelphia, but that will be based on his performance and how he grows," said Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., who added that Nola will "likely" start at Class A Clearwater.

---The Chicago Cubs released reliever Jose Veras on Tuesday after he passed through waivers unclaimed.

The Cubs had designated the right-hander for assignment last week. The 33-year-old Veras signed as a free agent during the offseason and was expected to become Chicago's closer. Instead, Veras managed no saves and posted an 0-1 record with an 8.10 ERA in 13 innings before the Cubs let him go.

---Outfielder Monte Harrison reached a contract agreement with the Milwaukee Brewers and will forgo an opportunity to play college football at Nebraska.

Harrison, a highly recruited wide receiver from Lee's Summit, Mo., was selected No. 50 overall the baseball draft last week. According to MLB.com, he agreed to a contract with the Brewers' organization that includes a $1.8 million signing bonus. Harrison had planned to play football and baseball at Nebraska.

---New York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey, who was scheduled to throw off a mound this week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last Oct. 22, had the session pushed back to at least next week.

The delay all but ends Harvey's hopes of pitching this season. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said Harvey would not pitch before the 11-month anniversary of his surgery.

---The Tampa Bay Rays signed first baseman Casey Gillaspie, who was drafted in the first round and 20th overall on Thursday.

The 21-year-old switch hitter batted .389, tied for fifth nationally with 15 home runs and led the nation with 58 walks in 59 games in his just-completed junior season at Wichita State.
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