MLB notes: Brewers sign Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco Rodriguez signed a minor-league contract with the Milwaykee Brewers. (DAVE KAUP/Reuters)

Francisco Rodriguez signed a minor-league contract with the Milwaykee Brewers. (DAVE KAUP/Reuters)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:06 PM ET

Pitcher Francisco Rodriguez has officially found work.

The right-hander agreed to a minor-league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday. He will begin a stint at extended spring training, with a 30-day window to determine where he will be assigned.

Rodriguez, 31, had a 4.38 earned-run average and 72 strikeouts with the Brewers in 2012. He was primarily a setup reliever for Brewers closer John Axford.

Axford was “given a break” from closing by manager Ron Roenicke last week, turning instead to Jim Henderson for the time being.

Rodriguez has 295 career saves and has served as closer for the Angels, Mets and Brewers.

MLB CHILLY TO CRAWFORD

Major League Baseball made like Joan Rivers and reprimanded Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford for his fashion faux pas on the field.

Crawford was called out by MLB for not wearing matching shoes during the Dodgers game against the San Diego Padres Monday, Jackie Robinson Day.

Several major leaguers were given two pairs of Nike cleats — one in white, the other in blue — to wear during the 66th anniversary of Robinson breaking the colour barrier in pro baseball.

Crawford told ESPN his agent received a call from league officials instructing him not to wear either the blue or white special edition Nike Jordan PEs in a game again.

Crawford had switched his shoes up after he saw Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies change his shoes mid-game on the clubhouse television.

“I was like, ‘OK, he had a little fun with it, so let me have fun with it’,” Crawford said. “The league doesn’t want us to have any fun, I guess.”

LEAGUE SUSPENDS TWO

Two minor league pitchers in the Boston Red Sox system were suspended Wednesday for violating the league’s drug policy.

Righty Gerson Bautista and southpaw Miguel Pena both received 50-game suspensions.

Bautista tested positive for Stanozolol. He plays for the Dominican Summer League Red Sox and will serve his suspension at the start of this season.

Pena, who's playing for single-A Salem, tested positive for a “drug of abuse” for a second time. His suspension will be served immediately.

VOTTO GETTING AWARD

Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto will be presented with the 2012 James (Tip) O’Neill award Friday during a pre-game ceremony at the Great American Ballpark.

The award is given to the player judged to have excelled in individual achievement and team contribution while adhering to baseball’s highest ideals by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

This isn’t the first time Votto has won the award. The first baseman won the award in 2010 and shared it with Milwaukee Brewers pitcher John Axford in 2011.

JETER’S WORKING TOO HARD

Another day, another Derek Jeter update.

The New York Yankees shortstop has had his return date pushed back from May 1, but his manager, Joe Girardi, said he did not have a setback.

Talking to reporters Tuesday night, Girardi said it’s not uncommon for a player to take too many ground balls during rehab.

“They talked about lessoning that load a little bit just because he was taking so many,” Girardi said. “Derek is such a creature of habit, to get him to break a cycle sometimes is difficult.

“He’s going to want to do as much as he can as soon as he can, so we’re just trying to make sure he doesn’t go too fast.”

MCCANN CUTS REHAB

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann has another injury to add to his list of physical ailments.

The 29-year-old has been rehabilitating his shoulder in Florida, but cut it short when he travelled to Atlanta to have his right wrist examined by doctors.

Now McCann's return, initially set for May 1, has been pushed back.

PLAYERS, FAN ALMOST GET IN SCRAP

Next time you go to a baseball game, there might be a sign saying, “Please do not feed the animals”.

Indianapolis third baseman Brandon Inge, a long-time Detroit Tiger attempting to earn a big-league job with the Pittsburgh Pirates, had peanuts thrown at him during a triple-A game against the Toledo Mud Hens, according to the Toledo Blade.

The fan continued to taunt Inge from the railing hanging over the Indianapolis dugout prompting several of Inge’s teammates to go after him, even attempting to jump into the stands.

Security eventually escorted the abusive fan from the ballpark.

BRIEFLY

The Atlanta Braves have lost one of their key set-up pitchers to a hamstring injury. Luis Avilan was hurt Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals … Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chris Capuano also went down with a lower-body injury after straining his left calf muscle … Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham underwent surgery Tuesday to remove the fracture hamate bone from his left hand. The surgery went off without a hitch, and he’s expected back in 6-8 weeks … Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Bourn has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a lacerated finger on his right hand. The 30-year-old hurt his finger when it was stepped on during a game against the White Sox.


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