Crash Course: Round-Up for April 30-May 6

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Welcome to the latest edition of Crash Course. As always, hat tip to both the Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball transaction pages, MLB Trade Rumors, Matt Eddy, Baseball-Reference, and FanGraphs. Here is your chance to get caught up on this week in baseball.

Baltimore Orioles

Transactions

  • After being recalled over the weekend, Joey Rickard was optioned back to the minor leagues to make room for Mark Trumbo who returned from the disabled list.
  • Infielder Luis Sardinas was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a lower back strain. Engelb Vielma (#26) was recalled to take his place and will help Jace Peterson hold down the fort in the O’s tattered infield.

 Performance

  • Offensively, the O’s had another tough week. Only Adam Jones had an OPS over .750 (.759).
  • Pitching, however, was a little better as Kevin Gausman threw a complete game shutout, while Alex Cobb finally showed some signs of life pitching two rather decent starts.

Minor Moves

  • The O’s acquired High-A first baseman Wilson Garcia (#40) from the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday. He was assigned to Class A Advanced. Garcia is a first baseman who lacks power and looks likely to be a depth piece at this juncture. His hit tool, however, is rather solid, and if he can develop another tool, he could have a future in the bigs.

Notes

  • N/A

Boston Red Sox

Transactions

  • Eduardo Rodriguez missed a little bit of time this week, as he was placed on the Family Medical Emergency list. Marcus Walden (#33) took his spot on the active roster and was replaced by Bobby Poyner (#24) on Friday. Rodriguez returned on Saturday and replaced Poyner on the roster.

Performance

  • Another week, another set of strong performances from Chris Sale and Rick PorcelloOver a combined 20 innings, they allowed three earned runs with 26 strikeouts to four walks.
  • Offensively, the Sox performed even better as Mitch Moreland (1.867 OPS, 3 home runs), J.D. Martinez (1.262 OPS, 3 home runs) and Mookie Betts (1.609 OPS, five home runs) all performed unbelievably well. Betts now leads the league in homers with 13.

Minor Moves

  • The Red Sox signed Tony Renda to a minor league contract on Monday. Renda, who is best known as a piece in the first Aroldis Chapman trade, spent the 2017 season in Triple-A, mainly within the Reds organization. The versatile 27-year old will join the Portland Seadogs (Double-A).
  • In Thursday, the Sox purchased infielder Ryan Fitzgerald from the American Association. The 23-year-old shortstop is just depth, as he posted a .695 OPS in his first season in Gary in 2017.

Notes

  • N/A
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New York Yankees

Transactions

  • David Hale returned to the Yankees the day after electing free agency following his removal from the Twins roster. He initially signed a minor league contract, and Cody Asche was released in a corresponding transaction. Asche hit just .169/.258/.237 in his brief time in Scranton.
  • Luckily for Hale, his contract was purchased the day after he signed, to replace Jordan Montgomery who wound up on the disabled list after exiting a start on Tuesday to a left elbow injury. Jacoby Ellsbury was placed on the 60-day disabled list.
  • Clint Frazier was activated from the 7-day disabled list in a procedural move and was optioned to Triple-A, replacing Hale on the Scranton roster.

Performance

  • Gleyber Torres (#1) had a very strong week hitting .348/.350/.652 while Neil Walker finally showed some signs of life with a decent .286/.524/.357 line including a 6:2 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Domingo German (#41) threw ten innings of shutout ball this week with 13 strikeouts with three walks. It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up.
  • Sonny Gray didn’t look too bad over his latest two starts this week, as he allowed four runs over 12 innings, although he did walk five.

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • I would like to see how Dellin Betances would perform if he was traded. He looks to me like a change of scenery candidate and could be included as part of a package to acquire another pitcher.

Tampa Bay Rays

Transactions

  • Yonny Chirinos (#17) was placed on the disabled list with the dreaded “right forearm strain” on Tuesday. Ryan Yarbrough (#16) was recalled to take his spot on the active roster. Hopefully, it’s nothing more than a strain, as Chirinos has been very good this season and could have a bright future.
  • Ryne Stanek (#22) replaced Chih-Wei Hu (#27) on the active roster on Sunday as well.

Performance

  • Blake Snell has continued his breakout season, logging another rather solid start allowing two runs over 6.2 innings.
  • Wilson Ramos continues to look like a rather strong trade candidate, as he hit .400/.429/.400 this week.

Minor Moves

  • The Rays cut a pair of injury riddled arm. The first was Ty Hensley, a former first round pick by the Yankees, that hasn’t thrown a pitch since 2014. The other one was Brian Miller, a relief prospect who didn’t pitch in 2017 due to injury, but has a career 1.77 ERA with a 1.6 BB/9.
  • To complete the Steven Souza trade from February, the Arizona Diamondbacks sent the Rays a pair of prospects: Sam McWilliams (#21) and Colin Poche (#28). Both were very good gets for the Rays.
    • Poche is a very good relief prospect who is currently at Double-A. He has posted a career 1.75 ERA over 92.1 innings pitched with 140 strikeouts compared to just 38 walks. He could be a closer.
    • As for McWilliams, I remember how mad I was when the Phillies traded him (for Jeremy Hellicksonironically). The 6’7″ starter looks like a good number four, as he has excellent control and durability. I would peg his estimated time of arrival at late-2020.
  • Lefty Austin Wright was released from Double-A on Thursday after posting a 13.5 ERA over 7.1 innings pitched with nine walks and eight strikeouts. 22-year old reliever Roel Ramirez replaced him on the Montgomery Biscuits’ roster.
    • Ramirez is actually a rather decent relief prospect who has excellent control. He was picked up in the 8th round of the 2013 draft and has excelled since moving to a full time relief role. Over 336.2 innings pitched, he has walked just 80. I could see him being a taxi guy in the long run.

Notes

  • N/A

Toronto Blue Jays

Transactions

  • Randal Grichuk landed on the disabled list with a sprained right knee, and Gift Ngoepe (#40) was recalled from Triple-A. Teoscar Hernandez will see the majority of the playing time in Grichuk’s absence.
  • I’m not going to lie, I don’t think the Jays had any idea what they were doing this week. On Thursday, Josh Donaldson was activated from the disabled list and Steve Pearce was placed on it, while Justin Smoak was placed on the paternity leave list and Dwight Smith Jr. (#10) was recalled to replace him. Furthermore, Joe Biagini was recalled to be the 26th man for their double header. In addition, Tim Mayza (#35) and Luis Santos were recalled to replace Danny Barnes in the bullpen and Ngoepe (#40) who was designated for assignment.
  • While that seems relatively straight forward, the following day, Biagini was sent down, as anticipated, however Dalton Pompey was recalled to replace Dwight Smith, Richard Urena (#29) was recalled to fill a similar role that Ngoepe had initially filled, and took Carlos Ramirez spot on the roster. Furthermore, Santos was designated for assignment to make room for Jake Petrickawho was sent down the next day to make room for Anthony Alford (#3). Santos cleared waivers on Sunday while Smoak replaced Urena.

Performance

  • Aledmys Diaz and Yangervis Solarte had themselves solid weeks. Diaz posted a 1.074 OPS while Solarte posted a 1.034.
  • Tyler Clippard also had a good week as he pitched five times and finished with a line of five innings, one walk, eight strikeouts and no earned runs.

Minor Moves

  • While I had previously noted that Danny Espinosa had been released by the Blue Jays, in actuality, he opted out of his deal after hitting just .232/.271/.286 at Triple-A.
    • It seems like this move is what prompted the Jays to send Devon Travis down to Triple-A, as a spot (for an infielder, nonetheless) was opened.
  • On something of a personal note, John La Prise was activated from the 7-day disabled list at Class A Advanced for the Dunedin Jays. La Prise attended the same high school that I did, and his mom taught my senior psychology class. Very nice family and I wish him well.

Notes

  • N/A

Chicago White Sox

Transactions

  • The big news coming out of Chicago this week was Yoan Moncada being placed on the disabled list with some hamstring tightness. While it’s not considered to be a huge deal, Jose Rondon (#22) took his spot on the roster.
    • Rondon is an infielder with a great glove and a bat that could be good enough to make him a platoon infielder. He has strong contact ability and speed, and while he may never hit a ton of home runs, he has doubles power.
  • Juan Minaya was sent back to the minor leagues to clear a spot for Jace Fry (#34). 

Performance

  • The only standout performer for the White Sox this week was James Shields who allowed four runs over two starts.

Minor Moves

  • The White Sox cut ties with righty Andres Sanchezwho had been in the Arizona League. The 21-year old Cuban had posted a 4.82 ERA over 104.2 innings pitched in the rookie leagues exhibiting control issues (4.56 BB/9). I wouldn’t consider him much of a prospect.

Notes

  • N/A

Cleveland Indians

Transactions

  • The Indians remodeled their bullpen this week. On Wednesday, they decided that they had seen enough of Matt Belislefollowing 10.2 innings of 5.06 ERA ball and called up Ben Taylor to replace him and Taylor was replaced by outfielder Greg Allen (#12) on Sunday.
    • Belisle will almost certainly clear waivers, as he has $1,203,448.37 remaining on his contract. Based on his amount of service time, he will be able to elect free agency in search of a new opportunity.
    • Thursday brought with it some injuries, as Nick Goody wound up on the disabled list with a hyper extended elbow. Evan Marshall was called up to replace him.
    • Adam Plutko was also recalled on Thursday to serve as the 26th man for the double header that day. He was sent down the following day.
    • At the end of the week, the Indians acquired Oliver Drake from the Brewers in exchange for cash, and recalled Alexi Ogando while designating Jeff Beliveau and Gio Urshela for assignment.

Performance

Minor Moves

  • James Karinchak (#25) was promoted to Class A Advanced after posting an absurd 0.79 ERA over 11.1 innings in Class A. Over that time, while he walked seven, he struck out 20.
    • Karinchak was one of my favorite players in the draft last season, and was one of three Indians picks that I was extremely fond of — alongside Elijah Morgan (#23) and Ernie Clement (#11). He was finally moved to a long-term relief role and has excelled to this point. Hopefully he work on his control, but I see him as a potential closer.

Notes

  • N/A

Detroit Tigers

Transactions

  • Daniel Norris was placed on the disabled list with a left groin strain, for which he will need to undergo surgery and miss the next eight to twelve weeks. Chad Bell was recalled in his place and was sent back to the minor leagues a few days later after being lit up on Thursday. Grayson Greiner (#28) was recalled to make his major league debut.
  • Blaine Hardy had his contract purchased from Triple-A and Miguel Cabrera was placed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. Hardy was sent outright about six weeks ago, however found success in the minors.

Performance

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • N/A

Kansas City Royals

Transactions

  • In a rather surprising move, reliever Brandon Maurer was sent outright to Triple-A Omaha.
    • Maurer seems likely to remain on the roster,seeing as how he has less than five years of service time, and thus cannot elect free agency without foregoing whats left of his $2,950,000 salary.
    • The Royals now have $4.88 million buried in Triple A between Wily Peralta and MaurerIt remains to be seen whether we will see either this season, even with the Royals being in a rebuilding phase.
  • In a procedural move, Adalberto Mondesi (formerly known as Raul) was activated from the disabled list and optioned to the minor leagues.
  • Scott Barlow (#13) was optioned to the minor leagues on Friday and was replaced by Jason Adams

Performance

  • Ian Kennedy was the standout performer for the Royals this week pitching six innings of shutout ball while walking just one compared to seven strikeouts.
  • Jorge Soler and Alex Gordon each had rather decent weeks as well. Soler has really improved this plate discipline which has paid dividends in his performance. Furthermore, Gordon has looked great since returning from the disabled list. While I’m not sure how sustainable it is based on the fact that he didn’t walk once last week, it’s a good sign at the very least.

Minor Moves

  • Clay Buchholz was released from Triple-A Omaha on May 1st, as he exercised the opt-out in his contract. The veteran pitcher was actually very solid over his three minor league starts with the Royals posting a 1.13 ERA. I would imagine another team will give him a shot.
  • The Royals cut ties with lefty reliever Nolan Becker despite a 2.70 ERA over 13.1 innings pitched with 13 strikeouts and two walks. He was released to make room for outfielder Vance Vizcaino (#40).
    • The big issue with Becker is the fact that he’s 26 years old. Nevertheless, based on the fact that he’s a lefty reliever who has been solid, he should be picked up.
    • As for Vizcaino, he’s a career .277/.348/.362 hitter and brings with him some speed, however he has hit just .192/.311/.327 this season in Class A. He will be getting his first taste of Class A Advanced this season. He looks like a depth player for now, but I could see him become a decent fourth outfielder.

Notes

  • Over the past week or so, I have heard rumblings regarding Jon JayPeople have been upset about his performance, and outlets such as baseball-reference and FanGraphs have been down on his season. I disagree with that sentiment based on the fact that he’s an outfielder who has strong contact ability and plate discipline while costing $3,000,000. I’m not overly concerned with the lack of power. While it’s a luxury, I don’t see it as a necessity for that type of player. He brings value in different areas of the game.

Minnesota Twins

Transactions

  • The Twins continued to shuffle their bullpen this week.
    • On Monday, John Curtiss was recalled from Triple-A to function in long relief. He took the place of Tyler Duffey who really struggled in his time with the big league club.
    • Curtiss only lasted until Wednesday, when Fernando Romero (#6) was recalled to make his major league debut.
  • Miguel Sano wound up on the disabled list on Tuesday with a left hamstring strain. Gregorio Petit was recalled in a corresponding transaction, and Dietrich Enns (#19) was designated for assignment.
  • Jason Castro wound up on the disabled list with a right meniscus tear. Bobby Wilson was recalled to take his spot, while Mitch Garver (#22) should see most of the at bats in his absence.

Performance

  • Eddie Rosario has been great recently. His hot streak continued this week as he hit an astounding .433/.452/.967 with four home runs. Eduardo Escobar had himself a nice week as well hitting .321/.387/.786 with three home runs along with three walks to just a single strikeout.
  • Romero (#6) had a memorable debut going five plus innings without allowing a single earned run. While he walked three, he did a nice job limiting the damage overall.

Minor Moves

  • David Halewho was designated for assignment last weekend, cleared waivers on Monday. He exercised his right to elect free agency.
  • Paco Rodriguez joined the Twins on a minor league deal on Tuesday.
    • The young righty had been pitching in the Atlantic League. Once a very promising relief prospect, his career has been derailed by injuries. He’s still young, though and could still reach his potential.

Notes

  • Dietrich Enns (#19) has long been a favorite of mine. While he has struggled through his first few starts this season, I see him as a very legitimate back-end starter based on his durability and his control. I hope somebody gives him a shot.

Houston Astros

Transactions

  • When your roster is this good, you don’t need to make transactions. They have hardly shuffled their roster all season.

Performance

  • Same old same old in Houston, as Gerrit Cole struck out 16 with a single walk allowed over a one hit complete game shutout this week.
  • Justin Verlander and Charlie Morton also looked great this week posting a combined 26.2 innings with five earned runs allowed and 35 strikeouts compared to nine walks.

Minor Move

  • Infielder Arturo Michelena was released on Tuesday to make room for Josh Rojas (#13) who was promoted from Class A Advanced. Michelena had hit just .217/.280/.271 in his minor league career and could be finished in pro ball.
    • As for Rojas, he is certainly a name to keep an eye on. A day three selection last season, the 23-year old has hit .281/.353/.498 through his first calendar year in the pros. He brings with him a very solid mix of power, speed and plate discipline, and should shoot up most prospect lists in the mid-season updates. You heard it here first.

Notes

  • Don’t worry about Ken Giles. Despite his struggles, his peripheral numbers suggest that he has been a victim of bad luck. He has not walked a single batter all season.

Los Angeles Angels

Transactions

  • Keynan Middleton wound up on the disabled list on Tuesday with right elbow inflammation and Eduardo Paredes (#19) was recalled to replace him. Paredes lasted until Sunday, when he was replaced with outfielder Jabari Blash.
  • Nick Tropeano followed Middleton to the DL the next day and was replaced by infielder Ryan Schimpf who was sent back down the following day to make room for Jaime Barria (#6). Tropeano’s inflammation issue isn’t expected to be a long-term injury.
  • Martin Maldonado was placed on the bereavement list on Friday, and Juan Graterol had his contract purchased. J.C. Ramirez was moved to the 60-day disabled list to accommodate the move.

Performance

  • Mike Trout went off this week hitting .545/.667/1.136 (1.803) over six games, which is impressive even for him. He managed to walk eight times compared to four strikeouts with 12 hits, seven of which going for extra bases.
  • Jefry Marte (1.667), Maldonado (1.583), Zack Cozart (1.169), Andrelton Simmons (1.148) and Luis Valbuena (1.063) also had outstanding weeks.
  • Albert Pujols recorded hit number 3,000 against the Mariners this week.

Minor Moves

  • The Angels brought in a pair of minor leaguers this week, signing lefty starter Anfernee Benitez (#35) and righty starter Eduardo Del Rosario (#46) to minor league contracts.
    • Benitez was released by the Diamondbacks last week, and has a career 3.51 ERA with an 8.38 K/9 and a 3.73 BB/9. Based on service time stipulations, it seems likely that he will be assigned to Double-A, however no official assignment has been made. Overall, he looks like a depth option that could make the majors as a lefty taxi-guy, however I wouldn’t count on it yet.
    • Del Rosario was cut loose by the Twins at the end of spring training. The 23-year old reached Class A Advanced last season, but has always struggled with his control. He really looks like a depth option at Class A.

Notes

  • I don’t get why the Angels keep sending Barria up and back from Triple-A. At this point, I would rather have a top prospect like Barria up with the big league club getting to know the coaching staff, catchers and environment rather than have an extra body in Schimpf who has logged a total of five at bats in the majors.

Oakland A’s

Transactions

Performance

  • Jed Lowrie has been on fire this season in every sense of the word. While this type of production (.353/.405/.603) is certainly unsustainable as evident by his .400 BABip, the power has been unbelievable. I also believe the fact that there is more protection in the line-up has helped him out.

Minor Moves

  • The A’s signed Dean Kiekhefer to a minor league contract and cut ties with righty reliever Simon Castro to make room for him in the minor leagues. Rookie league righty Zack Kelly was also released this week.
    • Kiekhefer was great for the Reds Double-A affiliate, posting a 1.13 ERA over eight innings.
    • Kelly, the undrafted free agent posted a rather solid 3.77 ERA over 28.2 innings pitched with an excellent 1.88 BB/9 compared to a solid 7.22 K/9. I would imagine somebody takes a shot on him.
    • Castro, on the other hand, posted a rough 7.56 ERA over 8.1 innings pitched with six walks to 12 strikeouts. Castro was rather solid for the A’s last season posting a 4.38 ERA over 37 innings pitched and should get another shot.

Notes

  • N/A

Seattle Mariners

Transactions

  • Could we be witnessing the end of Ichiro SuzukiThe 44-year old was removed from the 40-man roster and assigned to the front office to make room for reliever Erik Goeddel. While he has the option to return to baseball next season, I think it’s time for him to take his 3089 hits and wait until his ticket to Cooperstown is punched.
  • Erasmo Ramirez is back on the disabled list with a right teres muscle strain, and was joined by Dan AltavillaOutfielder Guillermo Heredia and righty Casey Lawrence were recalled to take their spots on the roster.

Performance

  • Dee Gordon had himself another great week hitting .500/.500/.583 with four stolen bases. He has certainly been worth the price for the M’s to this point.

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • The Mariners have had some bad luck with pitching injuries over the past few years, however, could it be more than bad luck? I think it’s time for the Mariners to assess their training staff and procedures, especially in regard to their pitchers. It could be time to make a change, whether that be personnel, or methodology.
  • Ichiro had an outstanding career. One thing to note, however, is that he only walked more than 50 times twice in his career and posted a career OPS of .757 (with a 107 OPS+ according to baseball-reference.com). He also had a career BABip of .338, which makes his .311 batting average even more impressive. Congrats on a great career.

Texas Rangers

Transactions

  • Jose Leclerc rejoined the Rangers on Monday after a brief stay in the minor leagues. He will be replacing Martin Perez who is back on the disabled list with elbow discomfort.
  • Wednesday was something of a busy day for the Rangers, as Nick Gardewine was recalled from Triple-A to replace Chris Martin who landed on the disabled list with right forearm inflammation. Gardewine was sent back down to clear a spot for top prospect Yohander Mendez (#1) who will come out of the pen for the time being.
    • As for Martin, forearm injuries are something to keep an eye on.
    • As for Mendez, he has great secondaries, the ability to control them all and an exceptionally scary change-up. I’m excited to get a look at him.
  • Carlos Perez was also claimed off of waivers from the Braves on Wednesday. Juan Centeno was designated for assignment and, Elvis Andrus was placed on the 60-day disabled list, ruling him out until June 11th.
    • Perez had struggled with the Braves hitting just .143 with a single walk in limited action.

Performance

  • Joey Gallo has propelled himself to second in the American League in home runs with 12 after hitting four this past week.

Minor Moves

  • The Rangers cut ties with Clayton Cook from Double-A Frisco.
    • Cook was essentially just a depth arm, as he’s 27 years old with a career 4.19 ERA in the minor leagues. He was a ninth round pick by the Indians back in 2008.

Notes

  • N/A

Atlanta Braves

Transactions

  • The biggest news coming out of Atlanta this week was Jose Bautista being recalled on Friday. Initially, Preston Tucker was optioned to Triple-A, but the move was rescinded after Dansby Swanson landed on the 10-day disabled list with some wrist inflammation. It’s not considered a serious an injury.
  • Philip Gosselin is back in a Braves uniform after being claimed off of waivers from the Reds on Thursday. He was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett and will provide infield depth.
    • It’s a no-risk claim, and the organization is familiar with him. It could potentially be a solid fit.
  • In minor roster shuffling transactions,  Chase Whitley was optioned back to Triple-A after struggling in his lone appearance in the majors and Lucas Sims was recalled to replace Max Fried (#23) and Luke Jackson replaced Sims the following day.

Performance

  • Sean Newcomb and Julio Teheran each pitched seven shutout innings with two hits allowed this week. Newcomb struck out eight while walking one, while Teheran walked two compared to six strikeouts.
  • Nick Markakis has been very good this season and has continued this week hitting .520/.538/.880. He is setting himself up as a compelling case in free agency this offseason.
  • Jose Bautista hit .300/.417/.400 in his first three games in Atlanta.
  • Preston Tucker has continued to make it more difficult for the Braves to send him down as he has hit .333/.333/.500 this week as a pinch hitter.

Minor Moves

  • The Braves released Class A Advanced outfielder Justin Ellison after he got off to a .188/.235/.354 start. The 23-year old has struggled to a .240/.294/.385 career line over 261 career minor league games.
  • Outfielder Peter Bourjos was re-signed by the Atlanta Braves on a minor league contract, and Jaff Decker was released from Triple-A. Bourjos will function as depth for the time being. Based on his veteran status, I wouldn’t be surprised if his new deal contained some opt-out provisions.
    • As for Decker, the 28-year-old hit .271/.407/.458 over his first 15 games and shouldn’t be on the market for too long.

Notes

  • I see Mike Soroka (#4) as the starter who carries the least risk in the Braves’ system based on his control. While he’s probably going to be a four while he’s in Atlanta, I see his talent as the equivalent of a top-tier three.
  • Can somebody please explain to me why Lane Adams and Preston Tucker fall below Charlie Culberson in regard to priority for the Braves? Tucker was momentarily optioned to the minor leagues despite the fact that he was hitting .282/.313/.487 (.800 OPS) while Culberson was hitting .156/.250/.188.

Miami Marlins

Transactions

  • Dan Straily returned to the Marlins on Monday. To make room, Tyler Cloyd was placed on the paternity leave list, and Dillon Peters was sent down when Cloyd returned.
    • Straily’s performance should be closely monitored, as he could be a very legitimate trade chip come July.
  • JT Riddle is back with the Marlins following his recovery from shoulder surgery. While Miguel Rojas seems likely to continue to see the majority of innings at short, Riddle will allow them to rest Rojas every once in a while.
  • Tomas Telis cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A on Wednesday. The catcher struggled in his brief time with the Marlins hitting just .207/.258/.241. He will continue to serve as minor league depth.

Performance

  • Starlin Castro had himself a very nice week hitting .444/.476/.778 with three doubles.
  • Both Wei-Yin Chen and Dan Straily struggled in their starts this week, showing limited control as they combined for 12 walks compared to five strikeouts.

Minor Moves

  • The Marlins cut ties with Double-A first baseman Colby Lusignan last week. The former 22nd round pick had a career .258/.337/.413 line, and seems like the type of guy whose skill set would play in the Independent Leagues.
  • I would imagine the move was made to accommodate the signing of former Rays prospect Cade Gotta (#24). I’m a fan of the pick up by the fish.
    • My quote on Gotta from when he was released by the Rays:
      • Cade Gotta was released recently after slashing .278/.349/.381 with 40 stolen bases between Double and Triple-A.  Still 26, he should get scooped up. He is a rather solid prospect and probably shouldn’t have been released.
  • Brandon Barkerwho was selected by the Marlins in the minor league portion of the Rule V Draft, retired last weekend.
    • While he had posted a rather solid career 3.98 ERA, this season hadn’t gone very well as he started off with a 10.45 ERA.
  • The Marlins got Tyler Kinley (#42) back from the Minnesota Twins after he cleared waivers. The 27-year old will continue to serve as bullpen depth in the minors.
  • Johnny Giavotella was released from Triple-A on Wednesday to clear a spot on the roster for Sean Burnett who was activated from the disabled list. Giavotella hit .214/.389/.250 over ten games with eight walks compared to six strikeouts. The 30-year old should be able to find a new position relatively quickly.

Notes

  • N/a

New York Mets

Transactions

  • The dark knight has fallen in Gotham, as Matt Harvey was designated for assignment on Friday. Hansel Robles was recalled to replace him on the active roster.
    • He has struggled again in 2018, and will now look for a new deal once he clears waivers. Based on the fact that he has accumulated over five years of service time, he can opt out while retaining his salary.
  • Jacob deGrom was placed on the disabled list on Sunday and was replaced with P.J. Conlon (#34).
    • Conlon is a control oriented starter. I believe he’s going to get hit rather hard in the bigs based on a lack of stuff, but time will tell.

Performance

  • Jason Vargas has been just horrible since coming off of the disabled list. While he has only made a few starts, nothing about his performance has been promising. If he continues like this, he may not even get to August in Queens despite the contract.

Minor Moves

  • The Mets brought in Cody Asche who had recently been released by the New York Yankees. He was assigned to Triple-A and will function as depth for the Mets.

Notes

  • N/A

Philadelphia Phillies

Transactions

  • The Phillies made a few moves on Monday, as reliever Victor Arano (#22) went down with a right rotator cuff strain, and Jake Thompson was optioned back to the minor leagues. Zach Eflin and Zac Curtis were both recalled from the minor leagues in corresponding moves.
    • Arano has been absolutely fantastic this season, sporting a 0.75 ERA over 12 innings pitched. Hopefully, for the Phillies, he will be back in short order.
    • As for Eflin, he should hold down a rotation spot until either Ben Lively or Jerad Eickhoff are ready to return.

Performance

  • Maikel Franco has really looked better this season hitting .283/.321/.535 with six home runs. The best part about the success is the fact that it seems sustainable, as his BABip is .272.
  • Odubel Herrera has also looked phenomenal this season hitting .333/.391/.483, and while his production is less sustainable (.381 BABip), Herrera has been something of a statistical anomaly throughout his career maintaining high batting averages despite seemingly unsustainable BABip’s. He has also seen his strikeout rate drop from 22.4% to 15.8%.

Minor Moves

  • The Phillies brought in an 18-year old center fielder from the Netherlands on Wednesday in Mani Boekhoundt. While I don’t know enough about him to accurately assess him, he’s at least a name to keep an eye on.
  • They also signed a 17-year old righty from Venezuela Jhostyn Marin. Again, he’s an amateur free agent, therefore I don’t know anything about him. I will keep an eye on him for the time being.

Notes

  • N/A

Washington Nationals

Transactions

  • Anthony Rendon was activated from the disabled list on Saturday and replaced Adrian Sanchez on the active roster. His returned should really help a struggling Nationals team.
  • Austin Voth (#11) was optioned back to Triple-A by the Nats on Monday after just one day in the majors. Wander Suero (#13) took his spot and provided some relief depth.

Performance

  • The Nats have seen something of a turnaround this week fueled by Bryce Harper‘s four home runs and Matt Adams‘ five. Furthermore, Wilmer Difo has hit .524/.630/.905 over the past week with six walks to four strikeouts.
  • Max Scherzer also struck 23 guys out over 12.2 innings with just four walks and three runs allowed. For those keeping track at home, he has posted a 13.94 K/9 this season compared to a 2.26 BB/9.

Minor Moves

  • 24-year old lefty Matt Engelbrekt retired from Class A Hagerstown on Tuesday. He had posted a career 4.21 ERA since being drafted in the 40th round last season.

Notes

  • N/A

Chicago Cubs

Transactions

  • The Cubs brought in Lane Adams on a minor league contract earlier this week. Adams was released by the Braves despite a .793 OPS and could be in line for a call-up assuming Ian Happ continues to struggle.

Performance

  • Jose Quintana looked a little bit better this week, going four innings without allowing any earned runs (three unearned). Yu Darvish continued to struggle allowing five earned runs over four plus. What’s going on with Darvish?

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • N/A

Cincinnati Reds

Transactions

  • Amir Garrett was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday and replaced by Tanner Rainey (#41). The move was reversed on Sunday.

Performance

  • It’s official, Joey Votto is back. He continued to find success this week hitting .364/.462/.636 while Billy Hamilton also thrived hitting .400/.526/.533.

Minor Moves

  • Sebastian Elizalde was loaned to the Mexican League on Thursday. The 26-year old catcher had yet to play for the Louisville Bats this season.

Notes

  • N/A

Milwaukee Brewers

Transactions

  • Wade Miley joined the Brewers and started on Wednesday. Oliver Drake was the roster casualty.
    • Drake really struggled for the Brewers this season allowing nine earned runs over 12.2 innings pitched. I would imagine he clears waivers.
  • Brett Phillips (#2) was recalled on Tuesday to replace Brandon Woodruff (#11) on the active roster.
  • On Thursday, Zach Davies was placed on the disabled list, however is only expected to miss one start. The move was made as retroactive to April 30th. Jorge Lopez (#14) replaced him.

Performance

  • Wade Miley had himself a nice Brewers’ debut going six innings allowing a single run.
  • Domingo Santana hit well this week slashing .444/.474/.722.

Minor Moves

  • Second Baseman Franly Mallen and outfielder Johnny Davis were both released from the Brewers’ system this week.
    • Mallen, 21 in May, had reached Class A Wisconsin for the first time this season and struggled to a .176/.243/.294 line over his first 11 games. He’s never been much of an offensive threat to begin with, as he has posted a career .251/.324/.350 line without showing much in terms of tools.
    • Davis, 28, struggled in his first showing at Triple-A this season hitting .118/.167/.118. I would imagine somebody gives him a shot based on his passable career .265/.326/.320 career line and his 80 grade speed (he stole 52 stolen bases in Double-A last season).

Notes

Pittsburgh Pirates

Transactions

  • N/A

Performance

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • Corey Dickerson has done exactly what I suggested earlier in the season. He is now up to eight walks compared to just 13 strikeouts. While it’s not Kevin Youkilis level, it’s great for him. His success has been perfectly sustainable (.315 BABip) and he should make the all-star game barring injury. Furthermore, if the Pirates continue to slip in the standings, he could turn out to be an outstanding trade chip.

St. Louis Cardinals

Transactions

  • The Cardinals got some good news this week, as Ryan Sherriff and Sam Tuivailala were activated from the disabled list. Austin Gomber (#6) and Luke Voit were optioned to the minors to make room. Voit had been recalled earlier in the week replacing Mike Mayers (#32).
  • That good news, however, came before some horrible news, as Yadier Molina will be out until the second half with a pelvic injury, while Dominic Leone is dealing with some nerve irritation. Carson Kelly (#2) was recalled from the minor leagues and should see regular at bats.

Performance

  • Miles Mikolas had himself a nice start going seven innings without walking one. He didn’t allow a single earned run. Carlos Martinez also continued his solid season pitching seven plus allowing a single run.
  • Offensively, Jedd Gyorko was the standout star in St. Louis this week hitting .400/.500/.800 over ten at bats.

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • N/A

Arizona Diamondbacks

Transactions

  • As expected, Robbie Ray was placed on the disabled list on Monday with a strained right oblique. Silvino Bracho was recalled from Triple-A immediately following the move, but was optioned on Friday to make room for Kris Medlen who had his contract purchased to replace Ray in the rotation. Unfortunately for Medlen, however, his first outing went poorly and he was replaced by Braden Shipley the following day.
    • Oblique strains are tricky, as it’s typically difficult to gauge how long a player will be sidelined. While this may be the worse case scenario, Tyler Skaggs was out from May through the end of August last season with a similar injury.
  • Good news Snakes fans, Steven Souza Jr. is back. He made his Diamondbacks debut on Thursday. To make room for him, first baseman Christian Walker (#25) was sent down to the minor leagues after hitting just .133 over 15 games. He should be back at some point.

Performance

  • The Diamondbacks are so good that they have been experimenting with role reversal with legitimate success. Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin combined to go 4-6 offensively, while Greinke hit two doubles. Their performances on the mound were equally as solid as they each pitched six innings of one run ball. Meanwhile, Daniel Descalso managed to pitch two-thirds of an inning of shutout ball with a strikeout.
  • A.J. Pollock had himself yet another great week with four home runs and a .423/.488/1.00. His home run total on the season is now ten.

Minor Moves

  • Clay Buchholz signed with the Snakes on Friday after being granted his release from the Royals earlier in the week. For the time being, Buchholz will take Medlen’s spot in the Triple-A rotation.
  • As I previously noted, the Diamondbacks traded Sam McWilliams and Colin Poche to the Rays to complete the Steven Souza trade from February. You can find my assessment of both pitchers under the Rays’ section toward the top of the article.
  • Outfielder Manny Jefferson and righty Keegan Long were both released on Friday to make room for Kevin McCanna (#36) and Wei-Chieh Huang (#27) who were activated from the disabled list.
    • Jefferson was a 13th round selection back in 2016, but hit just .214/.288/.301 over his 193 career games in the minors. He didn’t offer much in terms of power and may be done.
    • Long was a 29th rounder back in 2015 who had struggled to a 5.11 ERA over his first 12.1 innings this season between Class A and Class A Advanced. His career numbers, however, are very strong, as he posted a 2.65 ERA over 173.1 innings with 150 strikeouts and 48 walks. He should be picked up.
    • Huang looks like a middle reliever to me, while McCanna strikes me as a taxi guy.

Notes

  • N/A

Colorado Rockies

Transactions

  • Carlos Gonzalez was activated from the disabled list on Monday. In a corresponding move, second baseman DJ LaMahieu was placed on the disabled list.
    • It’s unclear how long LaMahieu will be sidelined for, however Pat Valaika will take his spot for the time being.
  • Infielder Daniel Castro was recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday, and top prospect Ryan McMahon (#1) was optioned back to the minor leagues to make room. Zac Rosscup was also placed on the 60-day disabled list.
  • Antonio Senzatela was optioned to Triple-A after struggling mightily through the first month of the season. Over 17.1 innings pitched, he posted a 6.23 ERA. He should be back at some point this season. Chris Rusin was activated from the disabled list in a corresponding move.

Performance

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • N/A

Los Angeles Dodgers

Transactions

Performance

  • In case you haven’t heard, Walker Buehler (#3) started a multi-pitcher no-hitter against the Padres this week, thus forcing himself into the rotation full-time. He managed to strike out eight guys.

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • Be sure to take a look at my take on the Dodgers’ infield situation that was published on Tuesday.
  • After the Ryu injury, I think the Dodgers should think about calling it this season. I would assess the roster, look at players who are not a part of the team’s plans beyond 2018 and try to get something for them. It’s an unfortunate situation, but there’s really nothing you can do when you lose so many legitimate players to injuries at once. The Dodgers are still well within their competitive window, and should be good to go beyond this season.

San Diego Padres

Transactions

  • Austin Hedges went down on Tuesday with some tendonitis in his elbow, and Raffy Lopez was recalled to take his place on the roster. For the time being, A.J. Ellis should see the majority of the playing time.
  • Javy Guerra was recalled from Triple-A on Friday to provide infield depth.

Performance

  • Eric Hosmer continued his solid season hitting .364/.462/.955 with three home runs.
  • While Joey Lucchesi (#3) struggled a bit this week allowing three runs over five innings, Eric Lauer (#6) had himself a nice week going 11 innings with three runs allowed.

Minor Moves

  • N/A

Notes

  • N/A

San Francisco Giants

Transactions

  • The lord giveth and the lord taketh away. Johnny Cueto landed back on the disabled list on Tuesday with elbow inflammation. Andrew Suarez (#5) was recalled in his place.
  • This week wasn’t a total loss for Giants fans, however, as Will Smith was activated from the disabled list after missing the past year recovering from Tommy John surgery. Outfielder Austin Slater (#4) was optioned to Triple-A.

Performance

  • Andrew Suarez (#5) threw twice this week and looked great. He went 12.1 innings allowing two earned runs, walking two and striking out 11.
  • Nick Hundley was the MVP this week in San Francisco hitting .636/.667/1.091 which is good for a 1.758 OPS. Andrew McCutchen (1.224), Buster Posey (1.204), Brandon Crawford (1.154) and Alen Hanson (1.028) all had nice weeks too.

Minor Moves

  • The Giants released 25-year old reliever Eduardo Rivera from Class A Augusta on Wednesday. Rivera had spent his entire career in short season ball, however finally saw a full season promotion after finding success converting to a relief role. Unfortunately, all of his success came against players who were considerably younger and less experienced than he was. He has control and velocity, striking out 17 over ten innings with just four walks, but he throws it right down the middle. He could certainly get another shot, but I wouldn’t expect him to make an impact unless we see a change.
  • The Giants also released righty reliever Michael Cederoth this week. While the former top prospect posted a very strong 2.70 ERA over 10 innings, he walked 13 compared to 11. He was a third round pick back by Minnesota in 2014 and posted a career 3.24 ERA. He could be picked up.

Notes

Atlantic League

Transactions

  • The Long Island Ducks signed all-star reliever Francisco Rodriguez to a minor league contract on Monday. He had been in camp with the Phillies this spring

American Association League

Transactions

  • The Sioux Cities Explorers signed reliever James Dykstrawho was released by the Rangers last week.
  • Tom Wilhelmsen signed with the St. Paul Saints on Thursday. Wilhelmsen logged 67 saves for the Mariners from 2012 to 2015, however has fallen off over time. He could resurface at some point.

Can-Am League

Transactions

  • The Rockland Boulders signed former Pirates outfielder Kevin Krause to a minor league contract on Tuesday. Krause was released last week despite a career .273/.377/.453 line in the minor leagues. He’s a guy who I could see resurfacing in the majors one day.
  • The Boulders also re-signed one of my favorite Indy pitchers on Monday, in Matt KostalosKostalos was mentioned in my “Diamonds in the Rough” series last summer. The 24-year old has posted a career 2.81 ERA over 73.2 Indy innings.
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