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MLB notebook: Japanese star plans to join major leagues in 2018

(TSX / STATS) -- Japanese sensation Shohei Otani, a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher and left-handed hitter, is expected to be posted by his team and play in the major leagues in 2018, according to multiple reports.

Otani has put up MVP pitching and hitting numbers for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Otani, commonly referred to as the Japanese Babe Ruth, hit .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 104 games and had a 1.86 ERA and 174 strikeouts in 140 innings last season.

Injuries to his ankle and thigh sidelined Otani for two months early this season and kept him off the mound for a stretch in July and August. He has still managed to hit .346 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 51 games this season.

Otani signed a one-year, $2.37 million contract with the Fighters in December and said he wanted to move to the major leagues after the 2017 season.

--The Marlins agreed to move this weekend's scheduled home series against the Brewers to Milwaukee as Miami attempts to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, it was announced.

"Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Miami Marlins, agreed that it is in the best interest of our community to relocate this weekend's Marlins games," Marlins president David Samson said in a statement. "Marlins Park stood ready to host the games, but we all agreed that burdening public service resources was not the proper course of action.

"Following Hurricane Irma, the Miami Marlins realize that all of our employees, as well as our entire community, have other needs that must take a priority at this time."

Marlins Park sustained minor roof damage in the hurricane, which ravaged the state of Florida.

--The Rays will return home to play at Tropicana Field on Friday following the relocation of the three-game series against the New York Yankees to Citi Field due to Hurricane Irma.

Players met Tuesday before a designated home game at Citi Field in New York and voted to travel back to the Tampa area after Wednesday afternoon's game against the Yankees to check on the status of their houses and belongings in the Irma aftermath.

The Rays host the Boston Red Sox in a three-game series starting Friday and the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday and Wednesday in the five-game homestand.

--Ten-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion David Ortiz is returning to the Boston Red Sox ... in a front-office role.

The Red Sox announced they have a "long-term agreement" with Ortiz that "should link him with the organization forever."

Ortiz will act as a mentor for current players, participate in recruitment efforts, make a variety of special appearances and work in a business development capacity for Fenway Sports Management and its partners, the team announced.

--The Cincinnati Reds placed right-hander Drew Storen on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain, the team announced Wednesday.

The move is retroactive to Sept. 10, although the 30-year-old Storen last pitched against Pittsburgh on Sept. 1. Storen posted a 4-2 mark with one save, a 4.45 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 54 2/3 innings of relief this season.

Updated September 13, 2017

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