September 29, 2018 / 12:17 AM / in 18 days

MLB notebook: Ex-wife talks abuse claim against Cubs' Russell

The ex-wife of Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell says she only recently became ready to discuss her abuse allegations against her former husband, according to ESPN.

FILE PHOTO: Sep 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell (27) runs to first base after hitting two RBI single off San Francisco Giants relief pitcher Cory Gearrin (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images/File Photo

MLB placed Russell on leave last Friday after his ex-wife, Melisa Reidy-Russell, alleged in a blog post that he verbally and physically abused her during their marriage. Under the collective bargaining agreement, the league can place players on leave for as long as two weeks. Russell’s leave is currently set to span 10 days, running through the end of the regular season, after the league extended it on Thursday. His status for the postseason remains unclear.

The league had been investigating Russell, 24, since allegations became public in June, but Reidy-Russell had not been cooperating with the inquiry. According to multiple reports, that has changed, and she has provided the league with new information. Russell and Reidy-Russell were divorced in August after 19 months of marriage.

“Last year, when MLB contacted me, I wasn’t ready,” said Reidy-Russell, per an ESPN interview. “I didn’t know what was the right thing to do. I didn’t even believe in myself enough to think I should do that (cooperate). I just left my husband and all this blew up.”

—After missing the last two games with a bruised left wrist, third baseman Kris Bryant was back in the Chicago Cubs’ starting lineup for Friday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The former MVP played left field and batted sixth in his return to the lineup, going 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Chicago’s 8-4 win.

Bryant had been out since being plunked by Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Chris Archer on Tuesday. David Bote, who took over at third in place of Bryant, got the start there again on Friday.

—The New York Yankees welcomed the return of shortstop Didi Gregorius to the lineup for the opening game of their series against the Boston Red Sox.

Gregorius, who suffered torn cartilage in his right wrist almost a week ago, was batting sixth. The 28-year-old infielder was cleared Wednesday to resume baseball activities after it was initially thought he might miss the final regular-season series and some of the team’s postseason play.

Gregorius suffered the injury sliding headfirst into home plate to score the winning run last Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles. Entering Friday, he was batting .268 with 27 home runs and 86 RBIs.

—For the second straight season, Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge has the most popular jersey in Major League Baseball.

Judge outpaced Houston Astros star Jose Altuve for the top spot on the list released by MLB and the players union. Fellow Yankee slugger Giancarlo Stanton also made the top 10 at No. 9.

The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, have three players in the top seven — Javier Baez (third), Anthony Rizzo (sixth) and Kris Bryant (seventh). Rookie Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani was also a popular choice, finishing at No. 8 — three ahead of superstar teammate Mike Trout.

—Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, batting .168 after a 1-for-37 stretch with 20 strikeouts since Sept. 5, likely will not play in the final regular-season series against the Houston Astros, manager Buck Showalter told reporters.

Though he isn’t injured, the Orioles’ 11-year veteran has not appeared in a game since Sept. 22 and has not hit a home run since Aug. 24.

Davis has 16 homers and 49 RBIs on the year. His .168 average is set to be the lowest by a qualified player in major league history, worse than the .179 hit by Rob Deer in 1991 and Dan Uggla in 2013. Davis is just finishing the third season a seven-year, $161 million contract.

—Field Level Media

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