PhillieBot for Cy Young? It’s unlikely.
But the one-armed, three-wheeled robot, designed by engineers at the University of Pennsylvania, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before today’s game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers as part of Science Day festivities at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The pitching robot has been in the makings for a month and a half as Penn engineers assembled parts and wrote software in their spare time.
They started with a Segway personal transportation vehicle, gave it a robotic arm and added a third wheel. They also gave it a pneumatic cylinder, which delivers a burst of compressed carbon dioxide to power the pitch.
LEAKE WILL START
Reds starter Mike Leake will keep his spot in the rotation while he handles a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.
Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker decided to keep Leake as his starter for the final game of a series against Arizona on Thursday.
Leake was arrested on Monday afternoon at a downtown department store, accused of removing the tags from six T-shirts and trying to steal them.
“Sometimes when you’re in times of trouble, it’s easier to go to work than to not go to work,” Baker said.
Leake has not discussed the arrest, other than to issue an apology “for this distraction.” He declined to be interviewed on Tuesday, saying he would rather wait until after his start on Thursday to talk to the media.
QUITE A STREAK
San Diego Padres reliever Mike Adams is one out away from a virtual perfect game.
The right-hander has retired 26 consecutive batters over a span of nine games. He has retired 27 of 28 on the year.
The St. Louis Cardinals bumped Ryan Franklin out of the closer’s role after four blown saves early in the season. Franklin is 0-2 with an 11.57 ERA in six games and one save in five chances. …Major League Baseball and the players’ association have agreed to increase pensions for older retired players from before 1980 who had less than four years of major league service. … New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a sore left side. … White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy will miss his next minor league rehab start due to muscle tenderness and irritation in his surgically repaired right shoulder.