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Benintendi, Moreland power Red Sox past Braves

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- A new-look lineup, which now has Mitch Moreland playing most days and Dustin Pedroia back from the disabled list, will be even more dangerous if Andrew Benintendi continues to belt the ball around Fenway Park like he did while leading the charge for the Red Sox in Saturday's 8-6 victory over the Braves.

Benintendi ripped a solo homer to center in the fourth to draw his team within a run and later cranked a triple into the corner in right to give the Red Sox some insurance. The outfielder was a double shy of the cycle, while going 3-for-4 and scoring twice.

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BOSTON -- A new-look lineup, which now has Mitch Moreland playing most days and Dustin Pedroia back from the disabled list, will be even more dangerous if Andrew Benintendi continues to belt the ball around Fenway Park like he did while leading the charge for the Red Sox in Saturday's 8-6 victory over the Braves.

Benintendi ripped a solo homer to center in the fourth to draw his team within a run and later cranked a triple into the corner in right to give the Red Sox some insurance. The outfielder was a double shy of the cycle, while going 3-for-4 and scoring twice.

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For the second day in a row, Moreland justified the faith the Red Sox showed in him after they designated Hanley Ramirez for assignment. Moreland smashed a triple and two-run double.

Video: ATL@BOS: Moreland lines 2-run double to give Sox lead

The strong performances by Benintendi and Moreland helped Boston prevail despite another rough outing from Drew Pomeranz, who lasted just 3 1/3 innings while throwing 89 pitches. Pomeranz allowed six hits and five runs while walking three and striking out three.

It was the lefty's third consecutive start of four innings or fewer, as his ERA rose to 6.75.

Steven Wright, a candidate to replace Pomeranz in the rotation if the Red Sox decide to make a switch, pitched three scoreless innings to earn the win.

In his 2018 debut, Pedroia went 0-for-4 with a walk but scored a run during a three-run rally by diving head-first into home. The veteran second baseman got a loud standing ovation as he stepped in for his first at-bat in the bottom of the first.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Dustin Pedroia, Drew Pomeranz

BREAKING: Andrew Miller to disabled list

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- The Indians' beleaguered bullpen took another hit on Saturday, when manager Terry Francona revealed that relief ace Andrew Miller was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season. There is no established timetable for return for the left-hander right now.

In a pair of transactions related too Cleveland's struggling relief corps, the Indians put Miller on the 10-day DL due to right knee inflammation -- the same knee that resulted in two DL stints for the lefty last year -- and designated righty Oliver Drake for assignment. The Tribe recalled right-handers Evan Marshall and Ben Taylor from Triple-A Columbus to assume those spots in the bullpen.

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CLEVELAND -- The Indians' beleaguered bullpen took another hit on Saturday, when manager Terry Francona revealed that relief ace Andrew Miller was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season. There is no established timetable for return for the left-hander right now.

In a pair of transactions related too Cleveland's struggling relief corps, the Indians put Miller on the 10-day DL due to right knee inflammation -- the same knee that resulted in two DL stints for the lefty last year -- and designated righty Oliver Drake for assignment. The Tribe recalled right-handers Evan Marshall and Ben Taylor from Triple-A Columbus to assume those spots in the bullpen.

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Francona noted that the right knee, which sidelined Miller for more than a month between August and September last season, has been an underlying issue "the entire time" this year for the lefty. That may have played a role in the left hamstring injury that flared for Miller in April, leading to a roughly two-week stint on the 10-day DL for that problem.

In 17 appearances this season, Miller has turned in a 4.40 ERA with 23 strikeouts against 10 walks in 14 1/3 innings. Since his return from the DL on May 11, though, the Tribe's primary leverage weapon allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings (six outings), in which he allowed a 1.362 opponents' OPS. That includes three runs surrendered in the eighth inning of Friday's 11-2 loss to the Astros.

Miller's struggles have only been a part of the Indians' overall woes in relief.

On April 23, the Indians' bullpen ranked fourth in the Majors with a 2.55 ERA, but things have spiraled out of control since that point. Entering Saturday, Cleveland's bullpen had an 8.92 ERA with a .993 opponents' OPS in 72 2/3 innings going back to that date. Overall, the Tribe's bullpen headed into Saturday ranked last in MLB in ERA (6.23), Fielding Independent Pitching (4.85) and home runs allowed per nine innings (1.65), among other statistics.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Andrew Miller

Martin makes first career start at shortstop

Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Russell Martin made his 1,462nd Major League start on Saturday. For the first time in his career, he was penciled into the lineup as a team's starting shortstop.

The Blue Jays are starting the 35-year-old catcher at shortstop against the Phillies. Martin has made 33 appearances at third base, but he's played shortstop for just one inning. He did so against the Mets on May 15 and did not get any balls hit his way.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Russell Martin made his 1,462nd Major League start on Saturday. For the first time in his career, he was penciled into the lineup as a team's starting shortstop.

The Blue Jays are starting the 35-year-old catcher at shortstop against the Phillies. Martin has made 33 appearances at third base, but he's played shortstop for just one inning. He did so against the Mets on May 15 and did not get any balls hit his way.

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The Blue Jays have had a revolving door at the position this season, and manager John Gibbons wanted to give Martin a longer look in the role.

"Really, we don't have a true shortstop on the team right now," Gibbons said. "Russ has got good range, got a good arm, he has good everything, has good hands. So we'll send him out there."

With Troy Tulowitzki sidelined after foot surgery, Toronto has used seven different players at shortstop this season. Aledmys Diaz was the primary shortstop to start the season, but is on the disabled list after spraining his left ankle on May 6. Gio Urshela was the team's starting shortstop in seven of the last nine games before Saturday.

Along with his experience as a third baseman, including three starts this season, Martin has also played second base in four Major League games. Martin looked comfortable enough in his other infield outings to give Gibbons confidence in him at shortstop.

"He's been perfecto [in the infield]. I don't expect anything any different," Gibbons said." ... If I didn't think he could do it, and do it well, he wouldn't be out there."

Tulowitzki was recently cleared to run on flat ground, but is still "a ways away" from rejoining the Blue Jays. Diaz is closer to returning and will likely start a rehab assignment next week.

In the meantime, Martin -- who is batting .157 with five homers and 13 RBIs this season -- will get at least one start to show what he can do at shortstop.

Pompey sent down; Garcia off DL
Outfielder Dalton Pompey was optioned back to Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday as the Blue Jays activated left-hander Jaime Garcia off the disabled list before his start against the Phillies.

Pompey was with the Blue Jays for just one day on his most recent promotion, and he did not play in Friday night's 6-5 win over the Phillies. Pompey, 25, has appeared in five games for the Blue Jays this season and is 2-for-10 at the plate.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Toronto Blue Jays, Russell Martin

1 high-impact arm will stand out at Trade Deadline

MLB.com @feinsand

Of all the stars that move on every year leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, few have the same impact as a No. 1 starter.

From Randy Johnson's superb stretch with the 1998 Astros to Justin Verlander's remarkable run with Houston last year, a bona fide ace can turn a fringe contender into a championship-caliber team in the blink of an eye.

Of all the stars that move on every year leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline, few have the same impact as a No. 1 starter.

From Randy Johnson's superb stretch with the 1998 Astros to Justin Verlander's remarkable run with Houston last year, a bona fide ace can turn a fringe contender into a championship-caliber team in the blink of an eye.

The Brewers rode CC Sabathia's powerful left arm to a postseason berth in 2008, while Cliff Lee paid dividends for the Phillies in 2009, then again for the Rangers in 2010. Remember David Price's second-half performance for Toronto in 2015? Dominant.

Who could be this year's version of these season-altering acquisitions?

"There aren't that many good names out there," one National League general manager said.

Granted, there are still more than two months before the July 31 deadline, leaving plenty of time for teams to go into sell mode. But a quick scan of rosters around the league indicates that the biggest arms likely to be moved might not be of a race-changing caliber.

"If there are frontline starters out there, they're probably already on good teams," another NL executive said. "There does seem to be a lull in the market when it comes to frontline starters, so teams may pivot away from that."

Of the seven teams that have already lost at least 30 games this season -- a decent proxy for teams that might be "sellers" -- the most interesting names include Texas' Cole Hamels ($22.5 million salary this season; $20 million club option for 2019 with $6 million buyout), Kansas City's Danny Duffy (owed $46 million from 2019-21), San Diego's Clayton Richard ($3 million in 2019) and Tyson Ross (free agent after the season), Miami's Dan Straily and Baltimore's Kevin Gausman (two more arbitration-eligible years each beyond 2018).

Aside from Hamels, it's not the most proven group of arms we've seen heading into trade season.

"The teams that have sold have already sold those assets," an American League GM said. "Chris Sale was moved, [Jose Quintana] was moved, Verlander was moved. Before that, Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake were moved. There are guys off the second tier of teams that could become available, but sitting here in mid-May, I can't say, come hell or high water, that they will be there. Could Chris Archer be on the market? Could one of the Twins or Blue Jays pitchers be on the market? Chances are, somebody that we can't prognosticate right now will be in that group."

Tampa Bay's Archer and Detroit's Michael Fulmer are the two names most often mentioned in potential trade conversations, but neither team appears to have any urgency to move them. Archer is owed $7.5 million next year and has a pair of club-friendly options for 2020 ($9 million) and 2021 ($11 million). Fulmer won't even reach the first of his four arbitration-eligible seasons until the end of this year, meaning the Tigers control him through 2022.

Video: DET@PIT: Fulmer K's nine over six shutout innings

What's more, each comes with some red flags. Fulmer missed most of last season after undergoing elbow surgery, while Archer's ERA currently sits at 4.68, and was above 4.00 in each of the previous two seasons.

"The Rays have been very unrealistic in their expectations to this point," said the second NL executive. "If that doesn't change, they'll probably keep him."

Sonny Gray joined Verlander and Yu Darvish as the big-name starters moved last summer, going from the Athletics to the Yankees in one of the bigger pre-Deadline deals. The consensus within the industry is that the Yankees will try to add another starter this summer, though Brian Cashman's modus operandi in recent years has been to acquire younger, controllable players, which wouldn't fit the description of a pitcher such as Hamels.

"They talked about [Gerrit] Cole in the offseason, they talked about Fulmer in the offseason; that's what they're looking for, not a rental," the NL GM said. "Cash just got a new deal, he has a young team; I don't think there's any pressure on him whatsoever."

For teams seeking a high-impact rental, the most notable starters potentially headed for free agency are Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel, Patrick Corbin and Charlie Morton, none of whom figures to be traded by their respective teams.

Lance Lynn hasn't been able to replicate his years of National League success in the American League, so even if the Twins throw in the towel, it's hard to imagine that Lynn would be the difference-making arm a contender would turn to. Perhaps Ervin Santana, who has missed the entire season thus far following finger surgery, or Jake Odorizzi (one more year of control) could get moved, though neither adds much intimidation factor to a team's rotation.

"Trying to predict who the big starter will be at the deadline will be difficult," a second AL GM said. "It's going to be a lot of bullpen pieces. Teams are going to pluck off a lot of relievers."

The biggest wild card of the summer pitching market might wind up being Matt Harvey, who is working to regain his old form in Cincinnati after being designated for assignment and later traded by the Mets.

Video: PIT@CIN: Harvey punches out 5 in 6 strong innings

No matter how you slice it, the current landscape doesn't appear to include the potential for a race-altering starter to be moved. But that doesn't mean we won't see teams deal for arms with the hope of catching lightning in a bottle.

"The good money is that somebody will be available who has a chance to be at least a mid-rotation starter," the first AL GM said. "I think it will be more in the Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana types -- a nice pitcher that, if you really like him, he's a 2; if you're more realistic, he's a 3 -- than anybody who is going to do what Verlander did last year. The free agent class might offer that up. I'm not sure the Trade Deadline will."

Mark Feinsand is an executive reporter for MLB.com.

Chris Archer, Michael Fulmer, Cole Hamels, Matt Harvey, Justin Verlander

Yankees activate Bird, option Torreyes

MLB.com

The Yankees returned from rehab and reinstated first baseman Greg Bird from the disabled list on Saturday.

Infielder Ronald Torreyes was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Friday night's game, a 2-1 win over the Angels.

The Yankees returned from rehab and reinstated first baseman Greg Bird from the disabled list on Saturday.

Infielder Ronald Torreyes was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after Friday night's game, a 2-1 win over the Angels.

Returning from right ankle surgery performed in late March, the 25-year-old Bird completed his Minor League rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday. He played four games at Triple-A, five at Double-A Trenton and three for Class A Advanced Tampa, batting a combined .205/.367/.436 with three homers and eight RBIs.

Bird had been sidelined since a March 27 procedure to remove a small broken spur from the outside of his right ankle. A right ankle injury also limited him to 48 games during last year's regular season, but he played a major role in the Yankees' postseason run in October.

In Bird's absence, Tyler Austin and Neil Walker have shared duties at first base, and manager Aaron Boone again lauded Austin's contributions prior to Friday's game. The 26-year-old has eight homers, one behind Gleyber Torres for most among American League rookies, and is tied for third with 14 extra-base hits.

Torreyes was the odd man out in the Yankees' infield. The 25-year-old has excelled in his utility role this season, batting .339 with six doubles and six RBIs through 22 games at second, third and short.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

New York Yankees, Greg Bird, Ronald Torreyes

Britton 'definitely' ready to move forward in rehab

Orioles closer pleased after throwing two-inning simulated game
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

ST. PETERSBURG -- All-Star closer Zach Britton took a big step toward his return on Saturday, throwing a two-inning simulated game prior to the O's contest against the Rays. Britton is slated to begin a rehab assignment next week, likely for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, as the lefty has passed all his initial tests in a return from offseason right Achilles surgery.

"I felt, that was probably the best one I've had," Britton said of Saturday's simulated game, which featured a few players from extended spring camp who came over to Tropicana Field. "I think maybe it seemed like more of a game situation with guys behind me that could field the ball and stuff like that. So I'm definitely ready to start a rehab assignment."

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ST. PETERSBURG -- All-Star closer Zach Britton took a big step toward his return on Saturday, throwing a two-inning simulated game prior to the O's contest against the Rays. Britton is slated to begin a rehab assignment next week, likely for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, as the lefty has passed all his initial tests in a return from offseason right Achilles surgery.

"I felt, that was probably the best one I've had," Britton said of Saturday's simulated game, which featured a few players from extended spring camp who came over to Tropicana Field. "I think maybe it seemed like more of a game situation with guys behind me that could field the ball and stuff like that. So I'm definitely ready to start a rehab assignment."

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Britton, who is on the 60-day disabled list, said he's no longer thinking about the injury when he's on the mound. The last few outings have been about getting back into pitching shape and returning to the form that made him one of the best late-inning arms in baseball.

The plan is for Britton, right now, to do most of his rehab with Norfolk, though that timeline is flexible depending on how long he actually needs.

"He's got to have some back-to-back outings. We don't have a multiple-inning [stint] but he is going to potentially pitch an inning and go back out and pitch to one hitter the next inning," manager Buck Showalter said of the bridges Britton still needs to cross.

"It's going to be a whole different level though. … A lot of things are going to be more realistic [than sim games]."

When Britton underwent the surgery in December, early timetables had a June return as the best-case scenario. And the lefty agreed on Saturday that he was pleased with how smoothly things have gone.

"They're not very common [procedures] in baseball, so a lot of credit goes to [head athletic trainer Brian] Ebel really stepping up on that. Different techniques and equipment that we bought to really jump-start the healing," Britton said. "Yeah, I think where we are so far is pretty impressive. Even the doctor that did the surgery said when he saw me in Anaheim, he was blown away at the progress that we've made and a lot of that is because of what Ebel's done."

Trumbo improving
The Orioles have decided to not place designated hitter Mark Trumbo on the disabled list, and they hope he can be an available player as early as Monday.

"We're going to wait on him," Showalter said of Trumbo, who has been sidelined with a right knee injury since Tuesday in Chicago. "Obviously he's worth waiting on, so we're going to wait at least another day. … I was talking to him in the dugout [Friday] and he was feeling better it seemed like every hour that passed."

Showalter had said Friday that the O's were likely to put Trumbo on the disabled list, but now they seem OK playing with a short bench. They have gotten back-to-back quality outings out of their rotation which makes it easier to navigate the roster this weekend.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Zach Britton

Pedroia makes presence felt in 2018 debut

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia was back for the start of his 13th season with the Red Sox on Saturday, and the Fenway faithful gave him a warm welcome with a loud, standing ovation in his first at-bat.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the first, Pedroia flew out to right. The veteran walked during his next at-bat in the third and later scored.

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BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia was back for the start of his 13th season with the Red Sox on Saturday, and the Fenway faithful gave him a warm welcome with a loud, standing ovation in his first at-bat.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the first, Pedroia flew out to right. The veteran walked during his next at-bat in the third and later scored.

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A table-setter for most of his career, Pedroia played his first game of 2018 as the No. 6 hitter.

After missing the first 51 games of the season due to his recovery from left knee surgery, Pedroia wasn't about to be picky about his spot in the lineup.

"I'm very excited," Pedroia said. "It's been a long time. It's going to be fun getting out there and playing. We've played great. I think we've got the best record in baseball. Obviously, it's a long year -- so we've got to keep going and playing great."

Pedroia entered Saturday with 20 plate appearances in the No. 6 spot during his career, compared to 4,115 in the No. 2 spot, 1,290 in the third spot and 944 at leadoff.

Hanley Ramirez had been batting third before getting designated for assignment on Friday, and J.D. Martinez has slotted in there the last couple of days.

For now, manager Alex Cora likes Pedroia in the sixth spot. Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are slotted in at Nos. 1-2 for the remainder of the season, as far as Cora is concerned. There could be some movement in the No. 3 hole, depending on matchups.

"I wanted to have Mitch [Moreland] in between [Martinez and Xander Bogaerts] and, like I said, I don't want to break up the top two," Cora said. "I'm very comfortable with them, the way they're getting on base, obviously, the way Mookie's driving the ball. So, I think that's a good spot for him to have traffic in front of him, put in a quality at-bat, put the ball in play, and drive in some runs."

Pedroia was activated on Friday, but got the night off with Saturday's day game looming.

Cora will be careful about not over-extending Pedroia out of the gate, particularly with two good bench options at second base in Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia

Cubs add Gimenez, send down Caratini

Veteran backstop has history catching Darvish; Navarro designated for assignment
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The Cubs announced on Saturday they had selected catcher Chris Gimenez from Triple-A Iowa and optioned catcher Victor Caratini to Iowa.

In addition, the Cubs designated first baseman Efren Navarro for assignment to make room for Gimenez on their 40-man roster.

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CHICAGO -- The Cubs announced on Saturday they had selected catcher Chris Gimenez from Triple-A Iowa and optioned catcher Victor Caratini to Iowa.

In addition, the Cubs designated first baseman Efren Navarro for assignment to make room for Gimenez on their 40-man roster.

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Gimenez, 35, was hitting .224 with no homers and seven RBIs in 36 games with Iowa. He had an opt-out clause in his contract that would have taken effect on June 1 had the Cubs not selected him to the Major League roster.

Additionally, Gimenez has experience catching Cubs starter Yu Darvish from when the two were members of the Rangers in 2014. Darvish is scheduled to start for the Cubs on Sunday night vs. the Giants at Wrigley Field.

When the Cubs signed Gimenez to a Minor League deal in January, they said at the time they liked the veteran catcher for reasons other than his connection with Darvish. They landed Darvish the following month.

Caratini, 24, is batting .262 with three doubles and four RBIs in 26 games with the Cubs this season. The Cubs have said they would send Caratini to Iowa if he wasn't getting enough playing time in the Majors.

Navarro, 32, is batting .298 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 40 games this year with Iowa. He went 1-for-6 in four games with the Cubs in April.

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com.

Chicago Cubs, Victor Caratini, Chris Gimenez, Efren Navarro

Cole-Bauer duel has history, recent and deep

Former UCLA teammates rivals then and now
MLB.com @castrovince

CLEVELAND -- For the past few weeks, you could see something special Bruin.

When Trevor Bauer used his Twitter account to insinuate -- purposely or otherwise -- that his former UCLA teammate Gerrit Cole and other Astros pitchers were using pine tar to improve their spin rates, you didn't have to look too deep into the schedule to see the potential for a Bauer vs. Houston or even a Bauer vs. Cole matchup. And because it wasn't exactly a state secret that Bauer and Cole, who have never faced each other, weren't exactly buddy-buddy in their Bruins days, that was a tantalizing proposition.

CLEVELAND -- For the past few weeks, you could see something special Bruin.

When Trevor Bauer used his Twitter account to insinuate -- purposely or otherwise -- that his former UCLA teammate Gerrit Cole and other Astros pitchers were using pine tar to improve their spin rates, you didn't have to look too deep into the schedule to see the potential for a Bauer vs. Houston or even a Bauer vs. Cole matchup. And because it wasn't exactly a state secret that Bauer and Cole, who have never faced each other, weren't exactly buddy-buddy in their Bruins days, that was a tantalizing proposition.

On Sunday, it arrives: Bauer vs. Cole at 1:10 p.m. ET in the finale of a four-game set at Progressive Field. It is more than just a pairing of pitchers rising to the ranks of the elite on clubs that might be bound for an October affair (although that would be enticing enough). It is a matchup that places national attention on the strained relationship between these former collegiate co-aces and the UCLA program that they once elevated.

Bauer praises Cole, looks forward to matchup

"They were program changers, both of them," UCLA coach John Savage said. "I know UCLA is very proud of them and excited not only for now, but for their bright future."

Video: SF@HOU: Cole strikes out 8 in 6 strong innings

Ah, but what of the past? It's all anybody has seemed to want to talk about from the day earlier this week that it became certain that the probables had properly aligned. Specifically, there was a USA Today story that exaggeratedly claimed the two won't speak about or even look at each other.

Let's not go that far.

"I talked to him at the [UCLA] alumni game this year and had a pleasant conversation about arbitration and what he was thinking for his number and my number, and stuff like that," Bauer said. "It was pleasant. I didn't sense any animosity on either end. So, yeah, it's a storyline. I get it. It's fun to write about, because you can play up the controversy and you can get a headline to click on, or whatever."

Cole wasn't as direct in speaking about the relationship between the two, but he noted that this is consecutive starts for him that have a bit of a personal touch, for better or worse.

"I had enough to worry about [last start] against the Giants with my brother-in-law [Brandon Crawford] in that game," Cole said. "But obviously, playing the Indians, I'll treat it like any other start or opponent. I'm fortunate to lock up against a fantastic pitcher, so you know you're going to have to be on your game."

Video: CLE@CHC: Bauer fans 6 over 6 scoreless frames

Cole and Bauer have both been on top of their games this season. They've both had some career ups and downs, even some moments in which they've struggled to live up to the pedigree of being the No. 1 (Cole) and No. 3 (Bauer) overall picks in the 2011 Draft. But in the early going of 2018, they're both on track to assert themselves into the American League Cy Young Award conversation. Cole is second in the AL only to teammate Justin Verlander in ERA with a 1.86 mark, and Bauer is seventh at 2.35.

Just a week ahead of the Draft, Cole and Bauer are reminders that the pitching path, in particular, is not always linear, but elite arms who put in the work, stay healthy and adapt along the way can do big things in the game. Bauer and Cole, who were the first teammate tandem to go at Nos. 1 and 3 overall in the Draft since Arizona State's Bob Horner and Hubie Brooks in 1978, publicly express respect toward each other for putting it all together in '18.

That doesn't mean they've become pals. Hardly. After the Twitter flap, the Astros, in general, aren't big fans of Bauer, though Cole addressed that issue as diplomatically as he could.

"It would be irresponsible for me to comment on somebody else's opinions," Cole said.

Video: HOU@OAK: Cole fans 9 over 6 frames of one-run ball

Even when explaining he has "nothing against Gerrit," Bauer brought up an old wound.

"We had a rocky relationship in college, because he told me I have no future in baseball, and he insulted my work ethic," Bauer said. "Those are two things I don't take kindly to."

One reason this issue draws so much attention is that the game is relatively short on genuine strife between rival players. MLB might have a rule against fraternization between opposing players in uniform, but co-mingling is commonplace during pregame batting practice.

So, yeah, there's something kind of fun about a little healthy discord.

But how rocky was it, anyway?

"Hate is a strong word, and I don't think it's the right word in this scenario," Savage said. "At the end of the day, they were both Bruins. They respected each other, and the program. They wanted to get to [the College World Series in] Omaha, and they knew they needed each other in many ways. I think they both were motivated by each other."

If that's the case, it worked. Bauer skipped his senior year of high school to enroll early at UCLA. Cole passed up the opportunity to sign with the Yankees for around $4 million as a first-round Draft pick to go to school. Together, they pitched for a UCLA program that had struggled to attain traction in the College World Series all the way to the National Championship Series, where they were runners-up in 2010.

"Cole was our Friday guy, Bauer was our Saturday guy, and [Adam] Plutko was our Sunday guy," Savage said, "so it was a pretty good chance we were going to win that series each week."

Plutko, who was a freshman when Bauer and Cole were juniors, is now a rookie in the Tribe rotation. As in his early UCLA days, he'll have one of the best seats in the house watching Bauer and Cole do their thing on Sunday.

"They did it in completely different ways," said Plutko, who was on the 2013 UCLA team that won the school's first national championship. "Gerrit was up to 102 [mph] some games in college, and then Trevor would go out there and punch out 16. And that was the weekend."

Video: CLE@NYY: Bauer strikes out 8 in six innings

Now, the Friday and Saturday guys meet on a Sunday. Whatever their personal history, Bauer and Cole both agree this is an awesome moment for UCLA baseball and a reminder of what they once accomplished together.

"It was a special time," Cole said. "It was historic, and really, we were just really competitive as a team and wanted to take the program to the next level. We were fortunate to do that. [Bauer] was such a special talent that junior year. That curveball, what he did that year, I don't know if it can be replicated. So this is great recognition for the program and for Coach Savage."

Added Bauer: "For the tapestry of our lives, whether we want to be or not, we're intertwined."

That'll certainly be true on Sunday.

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Trevor Bauer, Gerrit Cole

Mock Draft: Callis makes picks for entire 1st round

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

This first-round projection looks an awful lot like my previous one from two weeks ago, with only the fourth and fifth picks flipping among the first nine. And it closely resembles Jonathan Mayo's predictions from last week, with our first seven selections matching.

This first-round projection looks an awful lot like my previous one from two weeks ago, with only the fourth and fifth picks flipping among the first nine. And it closely resembles Jonathan Mayo's predictions from last week, with our first seven selections matching.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

That's not to say the top of the Draft is locking into place. While Auburn right-hander Casey Mize remains the front-runner to go No. 1 overall, the Tigers still are considering four alternatives. It continues to look like college players will monopolize the first six picks, and clubs are busy scurrying from conference tournament to conference tournament this week to evaluate them, and others who will fit later in the first round.

Further complicating matters is the high school pitching. It's plentiful, with at least 11 legitimate first-round candidates, but it's also a demographic that scares a lot of clubs because of the risk involved. All 11 won't go in the first round, several will go lower than where their talent alone will dictate and three of them (Mason Denaburg, Ethan Hankins, Mike Vasil) missed time this spring with physical ailments.

Ten days away from the start of the Draft, here's our best guess as to how the first round plays out:

1. Tigers: Casey Mize, RHP, Auburn

Mize's last two regular-season starts were his worst of the year, but his combination of stuff and precision is still unparalleled in this Draft. Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart appears to be Plan B, and Detroit also is keeping tabs on Wichita State third baseman Alec Bohm, Wisconsin high school outfielder Jarred Kelenic and Florida right-hander Brady Singer.

2. Giants: Joey Bart, C, Georgia Tech

Mize and Bart, easily the best catcher available, likely will go 1-2 or 2-1. If San Francisco decides to take a deep discount to save extra money for later picks, it could cut a deal with California high school right-hander Cole Winn.

Video: Draft Report: Joey Bart, College catcher

3. Phillies: Alec Bohm, 3B, Wichita State

All of the teams in the top four are doing their due diligence on Bohm, the consensus best college position player in terms of hitting for both average and power. Philadelphia almost certainly will take a college performer, with Oregon State second baseman Nick Madrigal and Singer the other leading candidates.

4. White Sox: Brady Singer, RHP, Florida

If the top three picks unfold as expected, Chicago will choose between Kelenic, Madrigal, Singer and South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty. MLB Pipeline's No. 1-rated prospect entering the year, Singer would be the best fit for the White Sox current needs, not that need will drive a choice this high.

5. Reds: Nick Madrigal, 2B, Oregon State

Cincinnati would pounce on Bart or Singer. If that's not an option, the choice will come down to Madigral, Arizona prep left-hander Matthew Liberatore and Jonathan India. Madrigal is the best hitter in the Draft, just like Nick Senzel was when the Reds made him the No. 2 overall pick in 2016.

Video: Draft Report: Nick Madrigal, College 2B/SS

6. Mets: Jonathan India, 3B, Florida

Unless one of the five selections above unexpectedly drops, New York will consider India, Kelenic, Liberatore and Swaggerty. The Mets are leaning college and that probably means India, who had a breakout season as the Southeastern Conference player of the year.

7. Padres: Matthew Liberatore, LHP, Mountain Ridge HS (Glendale, Ariz.)

The run on collegians figures to stop here, though San Diego does like Swaggerty. The Padres are expected to choose from the top tier of high school arms: Liberatore, right-hander Carter Stewart (Florida), left-hander Ryan Weathers (Tennessee) and Winn. Liberatore is the consensus top prep pitching prospect, but all four guys are in play.

8. Braves: Nolan Gorman, 3B, O'Connor HS (Phoenix)

Atlanta is associated with mostly high schoolers. The Braves appear to prefer Gorman -- the best power hitter in the Draft, but also a bit of a polarizing prospect who might slide into the mid-teens if he doesn't go here -- to Kelenic. The prep pitchers also will be in play, starting with Weathers.

Video: Draft Report: Nolan Gorman, High School 3B

9. Athletics: Travis Swaggerty, OF, South Alabama

Oakland looks destined to take a position player, though Liberatore could change that. Swaggerty has some of the best all-around tools in the college ranks and gets the nod over Kelenic and Gorman.

10. Pirates: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Central Heights HS (Nacogdoches, Texas)

Rodriguez has more helium than any first-rounder right now, which could vault him all the way into the top 10 to a club focusing on high school arms. Stewart, Weathers and Winn also are in Pittsburgh's mix.

11. Orioles: Cole Winn, RHP, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS

Baltimore is targeting the same prep pitchers as Pittsburgh. If the Orioles go for a college arm, this could be the high-water mark for Stetson right-hander Logan Gilbert.

12. Blue Jays: Jarred Kelenic, OF, Waukesha (Wis.) West HS

Every Draft has a guy who seems to be considered by several teams, but doesn't quite make it to their top choice, and this year that may be Kelenic. The best high school hitter available, he may not be able to overcome the preference for collegians at the top or for prep arms right ahead of Toronto. If he's gone, the Blue Jays are on more prep bats such as Gorman, outfielder/wide receiver Jordyn Adams (North Carolina) and others who could drop into the 20s if they don't go 12 or 13: shortstop Xavier Edwards (Florida), third baseman Jordan Groshans (Texas) and catcher Noah Naylor (Canada).

Video: Draft Report: Jarred Kelenic, High School outfielder

13. Marlins: Triston Casas, 1B, American Heritage School (Plantation, Fla.)

Miami is pursuing a lot of the same high school bats as Toronto, as well as two more in Casas, who has power to rival Gorman's, and outfielder Connor Scott (Florida).

14. Mariners: Ryan Rolison, LHP, Mississippi

After sliding out of the top 10 and possibly into the 20s, Rolison reversed course with a strong outing Wednesday at the SEC tournament. The best bet is that Seattle takes him or one of the other college arms on the second tier behind Mize and Singer: Gilbert, Florida right-hander Jackson Kowar and South Florida left-hander Shane McClanahan. The Mariners likely would take one of the college hitters projected above here and possibly Oregon State outfielder Trevor Larnach.

15. Rangers: Carter Stewart, RHP, Eau Gallie HS (Melbourne, Fla.)

With a fastball that reaches 98 mph and a super-spin curveball, Stewart shouldn't last 15 picks, but high school right-handers often last longer than they should. If he's gone, Winn or Weathers also would be attractive.

Video: Draft Report: Carter Stewart, High School pitcher

16. Rays: Connor Scott, OF, Plant HS (Tampa)

Tampa Bay is another club in the market for high school bats. The Rays have three first-round choices and the second-largest bonus pool at $12,415,600, so they're in great position to make a run at Adams, who is signed to play football at North Carolina, where his father Deke is a defensive line coach. Or they could take another speedy outfielder in Scott and save their cash for later picks.

17. Angels: Ryan Weathers, LHP, Loretto (Tenn.) HS

College arms such as Gilbert, Kowar and McClanahan would be tempting, but Weathers would be hard to pass up. Los Angeles also has shown interest in Adams and Georgia prep right-hander Ethan Hankins, MLB Pipeline's top-rated high school prospect, until he battled a muscular issue in the area of his pitching shoulder.

18. Royals: Jordyn Adams, OF, Green Hope HS (Cary, N.C.)

Kansas City can match Tampa Bay's three first-rounders and has the largest bonus pool at $12,781,900. If the Royals want Adams, they probably have to take him here to ensure they get him. The same is true of Groshans, whom they have covered heavily. One of the top-tier high school arms would be hard to pass up if they got to 18.

19. Cardinals: Logan Gilbert, RHP, Stetson

Unless some of the first tier of prep pitchers lasts longer than expected, the second tier of college arms should start to come off the board around here. St. Louis gets mentioned mostly with pitchers ...

20. Twins: Jackson Kowar, RHP, Florida

... as does Minnesota, which wouldn't be adverse to a high school arm, but figures to be mostly looking at collegians. The Twins also are monitoring a number of high school shortstops such as Edwards, Jeremiah Jackson (Alabama) and Osiris Johnson (California) -- but apparently not the more expensive Brice Turang (California).

21. Brewers: Shane McClanahan, LHP, South Florida

A lefty who can hit 100 mph and mix in a plus changeup, McClanahan looked to be solidly in the 6-12 range until he started scuffling with his control and command over his last six starts. Falling this far might be a bit extreme. Milwaukee isn't wed to any particular demographic and is one of several landing spots for Larnach in the 20s.

Video: Draft Report: Shane McClanahan, College pitcher

22. Rockies: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Heritage HS (Ringgold, Ga.)

Wilcox has the potential for three plus pitches and isn't far behind the top group of high school pitchers. Colorado also has been tied to another Georgia prepster, switch-hitting and switch-throwing catcher Anthony Seigler.

23. Yankees: Brice Turang, SS, Santiago HS (Corona, Calif.)

Turang was mentioned as a candidate to go No. 1 overall entering last summer, and while he hasn't lived up to those expectations, he's still a talented shortstop in a Draft thin at that position. A variety of high school position players get mentioned with New York, including Adams, Casas, Edwards and outfielder Mike Siani (Pennsylvania).

24. Cubs: Trevor Larnach, OF, Oregon State

Chicago has had a lot of success taking the best college bat available in the first round, which would make Larnach a fit. The Cubs would love for one of the prime college or high school arms to get to No. 24. They're also the peak for players such as Indiana high school outfielder Nick Schnell or Stanford shortstop Nico Hoerner, though this would be a bit high for both.

25. D-backs: Steele Walker, OF, Oklahoma

A year after taking an accomplished college bat in Pavin Smith at No. 7, Arizona could go the same route with Walker. Other college position player options include Clemson first baseman Seth Beer, Duke outfielder Griffin Conine, Missouri State shortstop Jeremy Eierman, Larnach and Virginia outfielder Jake McCarthy. It's no secret that the D-backs love prep shortstop Matt McLain, but No. 25 is rich for him.

Video: Draft Report: Steele Walker, College outfielder

26. Red Sox: Jordan Groshans, 3B, Magnolia (Texas) HS

Unless someone with a higher ceiling slides, Boston could grab one of the better all-around high school bats in Groshans. The Red Sox probably would consider several of the college position players mentioned with the D-backs above.

27. Nationals: Mason Denaburg, RHP, Merritt Island (Fla.) HS

Washington has had a lot of success buying low on pitchers with physical questions such as Lucas Giolito (first round, 2012), Erick Fedde (first round, 2014) and Jesus Luzardo (third round, 2016). That makes it an obvious target for Denaburg (biceps tendintis), Hankins and Massachusetts high school right-hander Mike Vasil (elbow soreness). Back on the mound Tuesday, Denaburg struck out Casas twice and showed the same upper-first-round form he displayed before getting sidelined.

28. Astros: Alek Thomas, OF, Mount Carmel HS (Chicago)

A run of high school outfielders should start around here. Adams and Scott won't last much longer if they haven't been taken, while Parker Meadows (Georgia), Schnell, Siani and Thomas may not get to pick No. 40. Naylor and Seigler are two non-outfield possibilities.

Video: Draft Report: Alek Thomas, HS outfielder

29. Indians: Noah Naylor, C, St. Joan of Arc Catholic SS (Mississauga, Ont.)

Cleveland has two selections toward the end of the first round and could double up on prep bats unless one of the premium high school arms makes his way to No. 29. Besides Naylor, the Indians also are watching the outfield group mentioned with the Astros, plus Edwards and Georgia high school catchers Will Banfield and Seigler.

30. Dodgers: Jameson Hannah, OF, Dallas Baptist

An outfielder is a good guess for Los Angeles, whether it be sweet-swinging collegians Hannah or Walker or one of the high schoolers.

31. Rays: Ethan Hankins, RHP, Forsyth Central HS (Cumming, Ga.)

Hankins does have a clean MRI and could go much higher than this, though only Kansas City can match Tampa Bay's ability to pay him. If the Rays take a pitcher at 18 and Adams is still on the board, he'd be an obvious choice.

Video: Draft Report: Ethan Hankins, High School pitcher

32. Rays: Seth Beer, 1B, Clemson

Scouts either love Beer's track record of production or hate his all-bat profile and lack of success with wood bats. He'll go in the first round somewhere and there's buzz that he could land in the top 20, but he's a total wild card.

33. Royals: Anthony Seigler, C, Cartersville (Ga.) HS

Groshans would be the guy if he gets this far, which probably won't happen. Seigler has the up-the-middle athleticism Kansas City covets. The Royals also could take a shortstop such as Oregon State's Cadyn Grenier or Jackson.

34. Royals: Mike Vasil, RHP, Boston College HS (Boston)

Kansas City figures to take at least one pitcher with its three first-rounders. Vasil looked healthy while touching 95 mph on Tuesday. The Royals also could grab high school right-handers J.T. Ginn (Mississippi) or Kumar Rocker (Georgia), who have first-round arms and will command those type of bonuses even if they slide into the second round.

35. Indians: Xavier Edwards, SS, North Broward Prep (Coconut Creek, Fla.)

The high demand for shortstops and the relatively short supply makes it increasingly unlikely that Edwards and his all-around skills make it out of the first round.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Cards put Holland on DL; Lyons, Kelly return

Veteran reliever dealing with right hip impingement
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

PITTSBURGH -- For weeks as the Cardinals searched for an underlying cause of Greg Holland's struggles, both Holland and the club publicly insisted his issues weren't physical. But as the poor outings piled up, club officials privately suspected something medical might be behind the former All-Star's perplexingly ineffective start to the season.

Saturday, they pinpointed at least a partial explanation, placing Holland on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip impingement a night after his fourth consecutive discouraging outing. The two runs he allowed over an inning Friday put Holland's ERA at 9.45 across 18 appearances, over which he's pitched to career worsts in every statistical category. He revealed Saturday he'd been pitching through discomfort over the course of his short Cardinals tenure, a two-month stretch he called "embarrassing."

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PITTSBURGH -- For weeks as the Cardinals searched for an underlying cause of Greg Holland's struggles, both Holland and the club publicly insisted his issues weren't physical. But as the poor outings piled up, club officials privately suspected something medical might be behind the former All-Star's perplexingly ineffective start to the season.

Saturday, they pinpointed at least a partial explanation, placing Holland on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip impingement a night after his fourth consecutive discouraging outing. The two runs he allowed over an inning Friday put Holland's ERA at 9.45 across 18 appearances, over which he's pitched to career worsts in every statistical category. He revealed Saturday he'd been pitching through discomfort over the course of his short Cardinals tenure, a two-month stretch he called "embarrassing."

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"I wasn't pitching well, and I didn't want to use it as an excuse," the 32-year-old said. "It got to a point where I think it's affecting me on the mound. It's at a point where I'm not giving us the best chance to win."

Holland and manager Mike Matheny discussed the decision in a closed-door meeting in the manager's office on Saturday, not an hour after the club announced a flurry of moves. Left-hander Tyler Lyons was reinstated from the DL in Holland's place, while Carson Kelly also returned from a hamstring injury. Kelly's arrival sent backup catcher Steven Baron back to Triple-A Memphis in a corresponding move.

Video: STL@CIN: Lyons gets Votto to ground into double play

One of the Cardinals' most effective relievers from a year ago, Lyons has been traveling with the team and eligible to return from a sore back since last weekend. Kelly's return had been mapped out since mid-week, before he made two rehab appearances at Memphis. It was the decision to disable Holland that came as a surprise, particularly after the reliever continuously maintained he was healthy. When prompted, Holland consistently pointed to mechanical issues and a lack of "feel" as his struggles continued to compound.

"He was downplaying it for a little while. More than anything I don't think he wants to come across as a guy making excuses," Matheny said. "I think he realized there is something keeping him from throwing the ball like he used to. He just doesn't want to appear like a guy looking for an out."

Late Friday night, Matheny strongly suggested Lyons would likely replace righty John Gant on the roster, after Gant threw 5 1/3 innings in a 8-1 loss to the Pirates. Placing Holland on the DL allows Gant to remain with the club for at least a few more days, and reopens the possibility of Holland discovering his form in the Minors, where he can embark on a rehab assignment at some point. Holland's ability to reject a Minor League option had kept the Cardinals from broaching the subject with him, while his $14 million salary provided an impetus for Matheny to keep using him in an attempt to get him right.

The manager was visibly exasperated late Friday, literally throwing his hands up when asked to explain Holland's fourth straight rough outing. Holland has allowed eight earned runs over his last two total innings pitched, stretched across four appearances. He's walked 10.1 batters per nine, struck out a career-low 6.8 per nine and allowed 20 hits in 13 1/3 innings.

"I don't know," Matheny said, shaking his head. "It's the same, unfortunately."

Holland said he'd see doctors from the Pirates organization on Saturday before leaving the team for St. Louis, where more tests are scheduled for Tuesday. There is currently no timetable for his return.

"It doesn't necessarily hurt on a single pitch, but it's been bothering me for the last couple weeks," Holland said. "It's not necessarily painful when I'm out there on the mound, but I do feel something. I don't know if that's affecting me when I deliver a pitch. It's more day-to-day stuff, trying to get my lifts in and stuff of that nature. It's been a hindrance."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Greg Holland, Carson Kelly, Tyler Lyons

You can't be older than 21 to join this elite group

MLB.com @castrovince

Albies and Acuna: Baseball's newest source of alliterative elegance is enough to inspire rapture (from Atlantans), revulsion (from opponents) and research (from me). Because let there be no mistaking that what the 21-year-old Ozzie Albies and 20-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr. are doing at the top of the Atlanta order is rare.

Oh, sure, there have been some astounding seasons from players who have not yet hit the age (22) once celebrated by Taylor Swift. But when you take Albies and Acuna in tandem, there aren't very many statistical comparables to these Baby Braves.

Albies and Acuna: Baseball's newest source of alliterative elegance is enough to inspire rapture (from Atlantans), revulsion (from opponents) and research (from me). Because let there be no mistaking that what the 21-year-old Ozzie Albies and 20-year-old Ronald Acuna Jr. are doing at the top of the Atlanta order is rare.

Oh, sure, there have been some astounding seasons from players who have not yet hit the age (22) once celebrated by Taylor Swift. But when you take Albies and Acuna in tandem, there aren't very many statistical comparables to these Baby Braves.

Albies, who has probably already banged out another couple extra-base hits just in the time you've been reading this, has already been worth 1.7 Wins Above Replacement (per Baseball Reference), as of this writing. Acuna was on pace to be worth at least 1.0 WAR.

Even if we just set the bar there -- just one win above replacement-level (and Acuna has shown plenty of potential to cruise past that mark) -- how unusual is it for a club to possess two everyday players south of 22 who make that level of contribution in a single season?

Well, does 15 times in 117 completed seasons strike you as unusual?

To be clear, we're focusing this discussion, which is possible thanks to the help of Baseball Reference's Play Index, solely on position-player combos, as that is most comparable to what we're seeing down in Atlanta right now. But a quick shoutout to Mark Prior-Carlos Zambrano (2002 Cubs), Mark Gubicza-Bret Saberhagen (1984 Royals), Don Drysdale-Sandy Koufax ('57 Brooklyn Dodgers) and all the other precocious pitching pairs that have graced our game over the years.

On to the list of position-player pups. And just for fun, let's rank 'em.

15. Braggo Roth (21) and Ray Schalk (21), 1914 White Sox
Schalk, a catcher, finished sixth in the Chalmers Award (read: Most Valuable Player) voting, but, as you might suspect, the guy nicknamed Braggo (because of his boastful nature) is more interesting here. The South Siders purchased his contract from the Kansas City Blues of the American Association in August, and he played well. When his outfield defense slipped the next season, the White Sox dealt him to Cleveland as part of the trade for none other than "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and, well, you know where that led.

14. Gus Bell (21) and Danny O'Connell (21), 1950 Pirates
These two rookies were, fortunately, more distinguished than the team logo at the time. O'Connell was added midseason and wound up finishing third in the Rookie of the Year vote before missing the 1951-52 season while serving in the Korean War. Bell went on to become a four-time All-Star with the Reds.

13. Bob Coluccio (21) and Darrell Porter (21), 1973 Brewers
Though Porter, who finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in '73, had a long career that featured four All-Star appearances and a World Series MVP turn in 1982, his legacy unfortunately includes the battles with substance abuse that ultimately led to his tragic death at age 50. Coluccio's big league success was short-lived. He logged just 246 more games through 1978 after hitting 15 homers, 21 doubles and eight triples in this rookie effort.

12. Dave Cash (21) and Richie Hebner (21), 1969 Pirates
Hebner was handed the third-base job as a rookie after Maury Wills was taken by the Expos in the expansion draft. He responded with a .301 average and .801 OPS and would go on to play in the bigs into the 1985 season. Cash, a second baseman, was a late-season callup who showed the flashes of the solid singles hitter and reliable defender he'd become.

11. Milt May (20) and Rennie Stennett (20), 1971 Pirates
Just a couple kids helping out a World Series winner. No biggie.

May made the most of his limited role as a backup catcher and pinch-hitter (.750 OPS in 49 games) and then had a pinch-hit RBI single to drive in the winning run in Game 4 of the Fall Classic. (May went on to briefly replace Roberto Clemente in the outfield after Clemente's death prior to the 1973 season.) Stennett had an .834 OPS in 50 games and was the leadoff hitter for the Majors' first all-black and Latino lineup on Sept. 1 of that year.

10. Rocco Baldelli (21) and Carl Crawford (21), 2003 Devil Rays
We'll always be left to wonder what kind of career Baldelli could have had if a cell condition that caused muscle fatigue hadn't begun hampering him in 2005. But in '03, he and Crawford made for an electric rookie pairing in the then-still-bedeviled Rays' outfield. They combined for 169 runs scored, with Crawford stealing 55 bags and Baldelli 27 while providing terrific defense, as well.

Video: Under-22 duos: Baldelli, Crawford from the 2003 Rays

9. Tommy Davis (21) and Willie Davis (20), 1960 Dodgers
Willie Davis was a late-season callup who needed just 22 games to compile his 1.0 WAR, and he officially supplanted Duke Snider in center field the following season. Tommy Davis (no relation) was in the rookie year of a long career that would see him win consecutive batting titles in 1962 and '63.

8. Luis Castillo (20) and Edgar Renteria (19), 1996 Marlins
Installed as the Marlins' starting shortstop in May, Renteria was the runner-up to the Dodgers' Todd Hollandsworth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting, with a .309 batting average and .358 OBP. The following year, he came through with the World Series-winning hit -- and not for the last time. Castillo spent most of the year in Double-A and didn't join the big club until August. But in just 41 games, he made a major defensive impact at second base and stole 17 bags.

Video: Under-22 duos: Castillo, Renteria of the '96 Marlins

7. Freddie Freeman (21) and Jason Heyward (21), 2011 Braves
Yes, the Braves have been here before.

Actually, the '11 season marked a pretty severe statistical regression for Heyward from his NL Rookie of the Year runner-up performance a year earlier. His OPS dipped from .849 to .708, but his defense helped his overall WAR score (ask the Cubs about that). Freeman, with a .282/.346/.448 slash, was the rookie runner-up this time around. Teammate Craig Kimbrel edged him for that honor. But at 23, Kimbrel was an old man, by comparison.

Video: Under-22 duos: Freeman, Heyward for the 2011 Braves

6. Eric Hosmer (21) and Salvador Perez (21), 2011 Royals
Clearly, 2011 was a good year to be 21 (although in truth, is there really a bad year to be 21?). The 2011 Royals, meanwhile, weren't very good, but the seeds of their eventual back-to-back American League titles and '15 World Series championship were sewn right here (Mike Moustakas and Greg Holland were also rookies on the 2011 team). Hosmer closed with a sizzling September (.349/.360/.557 slash), and Perez joined the club in August and churned out a .331/.361/.473 with excellent defense behind the dish.

Video: Under-22 duos: Hosmer and Perez for the 2011 Royals

5. Gary Carter (21) and Larry Parrish (21), 1975 Expos
The Giants' John "The Count" Montefusco was the NL Rookie of the Year in '75, but Carter (.270 average, 17 homers, 68 RBIs) finished second and Parrish (.274, 10, 65) finished in a tie for third. Carter was named to the first of his 11 All-Star teams. But while the Hall of Famer will be remembered as one of the greatest catchers of all-time, he actually logged more innings in right field in '75.

4. Joe Morgan (21) and Rusty Staub (21), 1965 Astros
Though they were both just 21, Staub had the better part of two big league seasons under his belt by the time the 1965 season -- Houston's first after the transition to the name Astros from Colt .45s -- dawned. Staub took a major step forward as a hitter, with a .256/.339/.412 slash while serving as the primary right fielder. But the future Hall of Famer Morgan was the real revelation, drawing a Major League-high 97 walks while hitting a respectable .271. He finished second to Jim Lefebvre in the NL Rookie of the Year vote.

3. Alan Trammell (20) and Lou Whitaker (21), 1978 Tigers
Trammell is finally headed to Cooperstown this summer. And if there's any justice, Whitaker, his longtime double-play partner, will join him in 2020 (after the next modern era committee ballot). Though they both came up late in the '77 season, this was their first full year of making magic in the middle of the diamond together. The Tigers, not coincidentally, had their first winning season in five years.

Video: Under-22 duos: Trammell, Whitaker of the '78 Tigers

2. Bobby Doerr (21) and Ted Williams (20), 1939 Red Sox
This was Teddy Ballgame's rookie year, and his .327 average, 31 homers, 44 doubles and 11 triples were a reasonable sign of things to come. Doerr was in his second season as a Red Sox regular and, with a .318 average and .813 OPS, was just beginning to flash the bat that would eventually make him a nine-time All-Star. They had polar-opposite personalities -- Williams bombastic, Doerr genteel -- but these two teammates helped restore the Red Sox, turning them into a serious threat to the Yankees' supremacy in the AL.

1. Orlando Cepeda (21) and Willie McCovey (21), 1959 Giants
Albies and Acuna can only hope to be on the same overall career track as these two Hall of Famers. But there was awkwardness to the Cepeda-McCovey arrangement because they both played first base.

McCovey followed in Cepeda's '58 footsteps with a unanimous win in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, needing just 52 games to sway the voters with his .354 average, 13 homers, nine doubles and five triples in 192 at-bats. When McCovey arrived, Cepeda shifted to third base to accommodate McCovey at first. That lasted all of a few games before Cepeda was moved to the outfield, and a few years later, the Giants moved McCovey to the outfield to appease an unhappy Cepeda.

It finally ended with the Giants making a regrettable trade of Cepeda to the Cardinals for Ray Sadecki in 1966 -- a deal that may have cost them the pennant. (You paying attention, Atlanta? Don't trade Albies or Acuna!)

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Ozzie Albies, Freddie Freeman, Jason Heyward, Eric Hosmer, Ronald Acuna Jr., Salvador Perez