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Pirates tab Rabelo as assistant hitting coach

MLB Notes

PITTSBURGH — On Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Mike Rabelo will be joining Manager Derek Shelton’s staff as the assistant hitting coach for the 2020 season.

The announcement was made by General Manager, Ben Cherington.

The 39-year-old Rabelo spent the 2019 season in the Detroit organization as the manager for Double-A Erie, where he led the SeaWolves to a 77-61 overall record, including a 46-26 mark following the Eastern League All-Star break.

Rabelo has recorded a 358-274 record as a manager in six seasons at the minor league level (all in the Detroit organization), posting winning records in all but one season.

During the 2017 campaign, he earned Midwest League Manager-of -the-Year honors after his West Michigan Whitecaps team posted a league-best 91 wins.

Prior to his role as a manager, Rabelo served as a coach for the GCL Tigers in 2011 and with the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League for two seasons (2012-13).

Rabelo played professionally for 10 seasons after being selected by Detroit in the fourth round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.

He also played parts of three seasons in the big leagues as a catcher with Detroit (2006-07) and Florida (2008).

Castro, Nats official

WASHINGTON — Starlin Castro’s deal ($12M for two years) was finalized Tuesday, one of a flurry of recent moves by the World Series champions.

He gives the Nationals someone who can start at second base and also play some at third base, where Anthony Rendon left as a free agent to join the Los Angeles Angels.

Castro originally came up with the Chicago Cubs as a shortstop, then became a second baseman and has added third to his repertoire, too.

Last season, he batted .270 while appearing in all 162 games, making 115 starts at second and 42 at third, along with two at shortstop.

Other agreements for Washington in recent days included free agents Will Harris — a reliever whose three-year deal will pay him $8 million each season — and Eric Thames, a first baseman, as well as returning reliever Daniel Hudson.

Dickerson deal finalized

MIAMI — The Marlins finalized a $17.5 million, two-year contract with left fielder Corey Dickerson that was agreed to last month.

Also, Eric Duncan has been promoted to hitting coach by the Miami Marlins, who also announced five additions to their coaching staff Tuesday.

Newcomers joining manager Don Mattingly will be bench coach James Rowson, first base-outfield coach Billy Hatcher, bullpen coach Wellington Cepeda, catching coach Eddy Rodriguez, and assistant hitting coach Robert Rodriguez.

Duncan was interim assistant hitting coach last season. Also returning from last year’s staff is pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and Trey Hillman, who will be third base coach and infield instructor.

Rowson was hitting coach the past three seasons for the Minnesota Twins, who in 2019 set a major league record for home runs. Hatcher has 22 years of major league coaching experience and spent last season in the Cincinnati Reds’ organization.

Red Sox to be investigated

BOSTON — Major League Baseball says it will investigate allegations the Boston Red Sox illegally used their video replay room to steal signs between opposing pitchers and catchers during their 2018 World Series championship season.

The claims were made Tuesday in a report by The Athletic. The website cited three anonymous sources it said were with the Red Sox during the 2018 season who said some players visited the replay room during games to get information on sign sequences.

Those sources told The Athletic that the Red Sox weren’t able to do it during the postseason because of in-person monitors used by MLB in those games.

“The Commissioner made clear in a September 15, 2017 memorandum to clubs how seriously he would take any future violation of the regulations regarding use of electronic equipment or the inappropriate use of the video replay room. Given these allegations, MLB will commence an investigation into this matter,” the league said in a statement.

The Red Sox said they will cooperate as MLB looks into the allegations.

“We were recently made aware of allegations suggesting the inappropriate use of our video replay room,” the team said in a statement. “We take these allegations seriously and will fully cooperate with MLB as they investigate the matter.”

Attorney: Injury permanent

HOUSTON — A 2-year-old girl struck by a foul ball during a Houston Astros game at Minute Maid Park continues to receive anti-seizure medication seven months after suffering a brain injury that could leave her at risk of seizures for life, an attorney for her family said.

In a report posted Tuesday, Richard Mithoff told the Houston Chronicle that the child’s brain injury is permanent. “She remains subject to seizures and is on medication and will be, perhaps, for the rest of her life. That may or may not be resolved,” he said.

Mithoff said doctors have described the effects of the injury to her central nervous system as similar to those of a stroke. The areas of the brain affected include those in which injuries can lead to seizures, loss of sensation and loss of spatial awareness, he said. Other potential effects include periods of unresponsiveness and staring spells, frequent headaches and night terrors, he said.

Doctors so far have not been able to determine if the child has cognitive deficits because of the skull fracture and brain injury resulting from the May 29 line drive to the back of her head off the bat of Chicago Cubs outfielder Albert Almora Jr. “She is able to continue with much of her routine as a girl her age would do, but her parents have to particularly vigilant — as they are,” Mithoff said.

No legal action has been started, and Mithoff declined to comment on any conversations he may have had with Astros officials. However, he has advised them that he represents the family of the child, whose identity has not been released. The Astros have declined comment, citing concerns for the family’s privacy.

Major League Baseball has announced that for the 2020 season all 30 teams will extend the netting that protects infield grandstands.

Chicago helps bullpen

CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their bullpen, agreeing to a $6 million, one-year contract with reliever Steve Cishek.

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