Phelps hoping for healthy season in Mariners’ bullpen

When Seattle traded for reliever David Phelps last July, Mariners manager Scott Servais believed his team was adding a player that could help the team reach the postseason.

In deeper formats where it might be tougher to secure saves during the season, then I will likely bypass the top-100 closers — I always do — and take four or five lesser relief pitchers with the hope a few perform well and secure roles.

That appears likely to change in 2017-18, with Xavier currently leading the league by a game and a half and staring down a very manageable slate to end the regular season. Saturday’s tussle between the two league front-runners has monster ramifications not just for which team is going to win the league, but for which is more likely to hear its name called as a No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday.

If Xavier takes down Nova on Saturday (something it hasn’t had a whole lot of success doing since joining the league), then the race should be about over. If the Wildcats continue their dominance over X, then we’ll all go back to wondering if any other team is capable of winning a title in the new Big East.

Alex Presley and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a minor league contract, and the outfielder will report of major league spring training.

The 32-year-old has a .263 average in eight seasons with Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Milwaukee and Detroit. He hit .314 with 3 home runs and 20 RBI in 71 games for the Tigers in 2017.

Sure enough, the Mountaineers’ FBS residence began as feared. In their first FBS contest, a symbolic meeting with Michigan (whom they famously upset in 2007), they lost by 38. And Michigan wasn’t even that good. Appalachian State lost to Southern Miss and fellow FBS newbies Georgia Southern and South Alabama, then got upset by Liberty for good measure. The team was 1-5, and both Satterfield’s tenure (he was 5-14 to that point) and the FBS jump were looking like really bad ideas.

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