- The O’s added Renato Nunez (#17) off of waivers from the Texas Rangers this week. It’s a good fit for Nunez, as he should get regular playing time. He really needs to work on his defense and will be given every opportunity to do so.
- Jonathan Schoop returned from the disabled list on Tuesday and took Engelb Vielma‘s (#26) roster spot.
- On Wednesday, Darren O’Day landed on the disabled list with a hyper extended left elbow. Tanner Scott (#2) was recalled in his place and will function in middle relief.
- Chris Tillman landed on the disabled list on Friday and Jimmy Yacabonis was recalled to take his spot on the roster. Yacabonis was replaced with Donnie Hart on Sunday.
- David Hess (#22) was recalled from Triple-A on Saturday as the 26th man for the O’s double-header against the Rays.
- Anthony Santander just reached his Rule V requirements and was optioned to Double-A Bowie. Joey Rickard was recalled in his place.
- Jonathan Schoop looked solid in his return hitting .269/.269/.577 with a pair of home runs over his first six games back.
- Dylan Bundy was lit up by the Royals on Tuesday evening serving up seven home runs without recording an out. Luckily, Andrew Cashner came in with a quality start the following day to help snap the O’s skid.
- At least Alex Cobb is starting to come through, as he posted a 3.09 ERA over 11.2 innings pitched this week.
- Infielder Engelb Vielma (#26) will have surgery to repair a fractured patella. While the injury isn’t considered season-ending, he is out indefinitely.
Boston Red Sox
- Chris Sale struck out 27 guys over 16 innings this week while walking just one batter. He allowed four runs in that span too.
- The Sox cut ties with former fourth round pick Conrad Gregor who had been in Double-A. The move comes as something of a surprise, as he is coming off of a season in which he posted a very strong .912 OPS. He has exhibited a strong approach at the plate through his career and should get another shot. Daniel McGrath (#38) took his spot on the roster. McGrath is a depth reliever who has a career 4.08 ERA, and throws from the left side.
- Jay Groome (#2) will miss the remainder of the 2018 season and part of the 2019 season after having to undergo Tommy John surgery.
- The top-100 prospect has only started 17 games since being drafted due to injury. Personally, I believe he should be moved to the bullpen at this point. He has huge stuff, the mentality of a closer and durability questions.
- While he may have been sent back to the minors, Tzu-Wei Lin graduated as a free agent. His final rating was #25th in the Red Sox system. Here is my final scouting report for the utility infielder:
- “Lin is very solid. While he’s probably not going to hit .300, he seems to me to be a .240/.350/.340 line with 25 stolen bases and gold glove level defense around the diamond.”
- Added to the list this week was catcher Roldani Baldwin and he was placed at #22. Here is my initial report:
- “He’s seeing the majority of his time behind the plate, which I believe is a mistake. He has a fantastic arm and a bat that can make him a starting third baseman. If he remains on this trajectory behind the plate, then he’s a very good back-up with some defensive versatility.”
New York Yankees
- Aaron Judge had himself a very nice week hitting three home runs while slashing .364/.517/.818.
- The Yanks made a great move signing 25-year old infielder Nate Coronado out of Indy Ball this week. Coronado is a defensively versatile player with strong contact ability.
- In his only taste of affiliated ball, he posted a 1.522 OPS over six games with the Rockies rookie league team. If you’re going to release him despite that, then why sign him?
- He will start off in rookie ball for the Yanks but should make it to full season ball relatively soon. He could be a bench guy at the major league level.
- In an interesting tidbit from George A. King of the New York Post, C.C. Sabathia said that he seems likely to retire if the Yanks manage to win the World Series this season. While another championship would look great on his resume, I see no reason that the 37-year-old will be left out of Cooperstown.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Anthony Banda (#29) was recalled on Saturday to be the 26th man for the double-header against the Orioles.
- Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Banda. He struggled last season in Triple-A and has shown considerable issues with his control. I see him as a multi-inning reliever.
- Austin Pruitt was recalled to replace Ryne Stanek (#22) in the Rays bullpen on Sunday.
Toronto Blue Jays
- On Tuesday, Roberto Osuna was placed on administrative leave after an allegedly assaulting his girlfriend. While details are scarce, he is scheduled to appear in court on June 18th (per John Lott on Twitter). Jake Petricka was recalled in a corresponding move.
- Marcus Stroman was placed on the disabled list with what is being called “shoulder fatigue”. Sam Gaviglio and Joe Biagini were recalled from Triple-A while Tim Mayza (#35) was sent down.
- Aledmys Diaz landed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a “severe ankle sprain” and is expected to miss about three weeks. Lourdes Gurriel (#25) was initially slated to start in his place while Richard Urena (#29) was recalled in a corresponding move. Unfortunately, Gurriel struggled prompting him to be optioned to the minor leagues.
- Carlos Ramirez was designated for assignment to make room for Deck McGuire on the active roster.
- Gio Urshela was picked up from the Indians in exchange for future considerations, prompting Dalton Pompey to be optioned to the minor leagues.
- Urshela has drawn praise for his glove throughout his career, but never was able to hit enough to earn regular playing time. He will provide the Jays with some depth while Diaz is on the shelf.
- Gift Ngoepe (#40) cleared waivers and was sent outright off of the 40-man roster on Monday. He will head down to Buffalo and continue to serve as infield depth.
- Luke Maile has quietly continued to be a very solid back-up for Russell Martin as he came in with another solid week hitting .313/.353/.813 with a pair of homers.
- The Jays released a trio of decent, albeit, unspectacular minor league depth arms with week in Emmanuel Reyes, Wilfri Aleton and Angel Alicea.
- Alicea, 23, was a 20th round pick out of Alabama State in 2016 and had posted a 2.76 ERA over 32.2 innings pitched with 45 strikeouts and ten walks with a .223 BAA as a reliever. He scuffled in his second season posting a 7.04 ERA over 7.2 innings but maintained his impressive strikeout and walk rates with ten strikeouts and two walks. I expect him to get another deal if he goes looking for one.
- As for Aleton, the 22-year old had been in the Jays organization since 2013, meaning that the Jays would have had to add him to at least their Class A Advanced organization, or he would be counted as one of the two over service time players allowed on their Class A or Class A Short Season rosters. Aleton had posted a rather strong 3.75 ERA over 220.2 innings pitched with 77 walks and 171 strikeouts. I would like to see how he looks coming out of the bullpen full-time, as he split it 31 games as a starter with 30 coming out of the pen, and generally having more success as a reliever. He’s a lefty too, which makes it more likely that somebody else gives him a shot.
- Reyes posted a career 3.70 ERA over 58.1 innings pitched, however walked 35 guys compared to just 46 strikeouts, and struggled mightily upon promotion to the GCL from the DSL. While he’s a lefty, I don’t think he gets another contract.
Chicago White Sox
- Daniel Palka (#19) has continued to be a very solid piece for the Sox since his call-up late last month. He posted a 1.372 OPS this week.
- The Sox had five guys post ERA’s over ten this week with two more posting ERA’s of nine. At least Reynaldo Lopez has been good.
- Jorge Rondon was released by the Birmingham Barons this week. The hard throwing reliever was once one of my absolute favorite players in baseball, however has struggled since 2015, seeing his control totally fall off. Now 30, he’s running out of time to turn it around.
- Johnny Giavotella joined the White Sox late this week on a minor league deal. He will serve as infield depth in the upper minor leagues.
- Danny Farquhar was released from the hospital on Monday, which is fantastic news! While he has been ruled out for the remainder of the 2018 season, his doctors have indicated that he will be able to return to baseball in the future. We at BaseballEssential continue to send our best wishes through his recovery.
- Jake Burger (#12) will miss the remainder of the 2018 season after re-tearing his Achilles tendon.
- The big news this week was the return of Andrew Miller on Friday. While Tyler Olson was placed on the disabled list to make room, he was reactivated the following day and Tyler Naquin was placed on the 10-day disabled list.
- In order to clear a spot on the 25-man roster for the recently acquired Oliver Drake, Alexi Ogando was optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday.
- Both Jeff Beliveau and Matt Belisle cleared waivers on Monday, as expected. Belisle elected free agency, while Beliveau reported to Triple-A Columbus.
- The Indians acquired future considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for the recently designated infielder Gio Urshela.
- Andrew Miller’s return did not go very well, as he allowed a pair of runs over two-thirds of an inning.
- Francisco Lindor stayed hot hitting four home runs while slashing .500/.545/1.300.
- The Tribe brought back 24-year old second baseman Ordomar Valdez (#45) on a minor league deal (per Matt Eddy).
- The infielder started his career in Cleveland and posted a career .252/.329/.313 line over 336 games while showing some decent speed (90 stolen bases). He had been playing in the Pacific Association and it is not yet clear where he will be assigned.
- Here is my official scouting report on Valdez
- “Valdez is a depth infielder who has some speed and a decent glove. He doesn’t have the versatility to make it as a true utility infielder, and seems likely to remain a depth guy for the time being, barring some improvements to his bat.”
- Michael Hendrickson retired from the AZL Indians this week after being drafted in the 28th round of the draft last season.
- The 22-year old struggled to a 7.97 ERA over 11.1 innings in the minors.
- Following Monday’s game, Jordan Zimmerman and Alex Wilson both landed on the disabled list. The Tigers recalled infielder Pete Kozma and reliever Zac Reininger.
- Leonys Martin wound up on the disabled list the following day with a hamstring injury. Mikie Mahtook was recalled in his place.
- Louis Coleman was added to the 40-man roster on Saturday replacing Johnny Barbato on the active roster and Chad Bell on the 40-man roster.
- Mikie Mahtook hasn’t hit very well since returning to the major leagues, as he has slashed .167/.214/.333.
- Buck Farmer pitched five times this week allowing a single unearned run.
- In something of a strange move, the Tigers cut ties with righty Ken Figueroa from Short Season ball (per Matt Eddy).
- The 21-year old righty had actually found legitimate success throughout four seasons in the minor leagues posting a 3.06 ERA through 51 games (46 of which as a starter). He also exhibited strong control walking just 2.10 per nine innings compared to a solid, albeit unspectacular 6.88 K/9 rate. He should get another contract in short order.
- On Tuesday, former Braves and Cubs reliever James Russell was released from Triple-A Toledo to make room for Caleb Thielbar.
- Russell had struggled mightily in his brief time with the Mud Hens, as he posted a rough 15.00 ERA over three innings.
- The Tigers lost out on a rather solid relief prospect in righty Blake Smith who retired this week. Over his first 23.2 innings after being signed as an undrafted free agent, he posted a 1.90 ERA with 17 strikeouts, eight walks and a .188 BAA. While he didn’t have great stuff, he did a nice job controlling the strike zone to an extent and limiting hard contact.
- Alex Wilson got some bad news this week, as an MRI revealed a 95% tear of the plantar fascia of his left foot (per Anthony French)
Kansas City Royals
- Jakob Junis struck out 15 guys over 12.2 innings pitched with just three walks. He has been something of a bright spot for the Royals this season.
- Salvador Perez returned to his old form this week hitting three home runs to go along with a .902 OPS.
- Kyle Lohse was cut loose by the Royals this week, and it looks like he’s calling it a career. The 39-year old had been in the majors since 2001 finishing his career up with a 4.40 ERA over 2531.2 innings pitched. Congrats on a great career and best of luck on your future endeavors.
- Seth Maness was also cut loose after re-signing with the organization over the offseason. While his post injury numbers were never able to match his past with the Cardinals, I would certainly take a shot on him. He walked one batter over 11.2 innings at Triple-A compared to eight strikeouts.
- Catcher M.J. Sanchez was released from Class A Lexington (per Matt Eddy).
- The 23-year old catcher was selected in the 35th round of the 2016 draft and slashed just .241/.308/.269 over 33 games. He had not played in 2018.
- Right-handed pitcher Jacob Bodner retired from Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He had posted a 17.05 ERA over his first six games this season.
- Byron Buxton was activated from the disabled list and replaced Ryan LaMarre (#41) on the active roster.
- Dietrich Enns (#19) cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A on Monday.
- While it wasn’t terribly surprising, I was a bit disappointed that Enns wasn’t claimed. I have been a fan of his for a while and see him as a four or very good five.
- Fernando Romero (#5) pitched his second career shutout in as many career starts on Monday against the Cardinals. He allowed just three hits over six innings while striking out nine.
- Eddie Rosario hit three more home runs to bring his season total up to nine. His OPS for the season is now up to a rather impressive .895.
- Anthony McIver was traded to the Mariners on Wednesday in exchange for cash. McIver is a Double-A relief prospect.
- Mason Melotakis (#35) was released by the Twins on Friday. Overall, while the move probably wasn’t deserved, as the lefty had continued to find success, posting a 3.04 ERA over his first eight innings this season, it didn’t come as much of a shock. Melotakis had fallen out of favor with the organization, as he was removed from the 40-man roster last season. He should catch on elsewhere. He looks to me like a major league LOOGY.
- Last year’s 33rd round pick J.J. Robinson retired after posted a .264/.337.480 line with nine home runs over 40 games in rookie ball. The lefty batter is now 25-years old, which would have made it difficult for him to make it to the majors in time to have a long career, seeing as how he was still in rookie ball.
- David Gerics was released from rookie ball after posting a 14.54 ERA over five games.
- Astros starter stats for the week:
- 38 innings pitched, seven earned runs (1.66 ERA), 45 strikeouts (10.65/9), 14 walks (3.3/9).
- George Springer, Max Stassi, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa all posted OPS’ over 1.000.
- The ‘Stros cut ties with a four 22-year olds in Quad City: Gabriel Bracamonte (catcher), Marcos Almonte (infielder), Randy Vasquez (designated hitter) and Cole Watts (lefty)
- Bracamonte is a career .249/.340/.337 hitter and has reached Class A.
- Marcos Almonte is a career .248/.317/.367 hitter who hasn’t exhibited much in terms of tools. He’s also merely a depth guy.
- Vasquez has the most potential out of all of these guys. He has a career .287/.374/.392 line, and despite little to nothing in terms of tools of defensive output, he has an excellent approach at the plate. He looks like a guy who could be a very decent bottom of the order hitter or platoon player.
- Watts was drafted in the 31st round last season and struggled to a 6.92 ERA over 39 innings pitched.
- The Astros also cleared out their rookie league teams as well releasing outfielder Ronny Rafael (career .576 OPS), first baseman Angel Tejeda and right-handed pitchers Matthew Merrill (career 11.57 ERA) and Chauncey Nunez (career 8.49 ERA)
- Tejeda actually has some promise. The 21-year old lefty bat was a .280/.369/.368 hitter with solid plate discipline. He was released based on the fact that he lacked the needed power to play first base. He has some experience in center field, and I would sign him and try him out there. He’s still young enough, at 21, that he can make it to the majors.
Los Angeles Angels
- Keynan Middleton is back from the disabled list and replaced outfielder Jabari Blash on the active roster.
- Martin Maldonado was activated from the bereavement list on Tuesday and Juan Graterol was sent back to Triple-A.
- Nick Tropeano returned from the disabled list on Saturday and replaced Akeel Morris (#15) on the active roster.
- Justin Upton went off this week hitting four home runs to go along with a 1.313 OPS.
- Jaime Barria (#6) pitched 5.1 scoreless with seven strikeouts to just one walk.
- The Angels made a pair of very nice additions this week, as they purchased righty Matt Cordy (#45) from the Twins while signing Zack Kelly (#29) who had just been released by the A’s.
- Cordy was a 40th round selection who had been working as a reliever in the minors. He has reached Class A Advanced and has logged 134.1 innings of 3.42 ERA ball. While he has some nice stuff, his control is certainly troublesome. At this point, I see him as a depth arm who could make it as a high-octane taxi-squad reliever.
- I am high on Kelly, or at least as high as one can be on an undrafted free agent who had just been released from his original organization’s Arizona League Affiliate. Kelly had posted a career 3.77 ERA over 28.2 innings pitched with a rather solid 1.88 BB/9 with a 7.22 K/9. While he’s too far away to give an honest major league projection, I think that he could legitimately make it to the majors one day.
- Reliever Eduardo Paredes graduated as a prospect this week, with the final rating of #19 in the Angels’ system. This was my final report on him:
- “Paredes has a good fastball and navigated very well through the PCL. Overall, he looks like a low-level setup guy who can take the 7th inning without much drama. He could challenge for an Opening Day roster spot.”
- Hector Yan was added to the list and placed at 39th. Here is my initial report:
- “Yan has a good fastball with live stuff, but like many others has little to no control. I would like to see him moved to the bullpen full-time as I think his stuff would play up. While he’s not a fire baller, per say, he can hit 96.”
- On Wednesday, Dustin Fowler (#3) was recalled by the A’s to replace Trevor Cahill who landed on the disabled list with an elbow impingement. Here is my scouting report on Fowler.
- “The A’s were lucky that Fowler got hurt last season. He was a great gamble to take in the Gray trade and looks to me like a slam dunk leadoff hitter with a plus glove in center. While he may not be a perennial all-star, he should get a few nods here and there.”
- Stephen Piscotty was placed on the bereavement list on Friday following the death of his mother. Kendall Graveman was recalled to take his spot for the time being. Our condolences to his family.
- Dustin Fowler (#3) started his A’s tenure going just 1-9 over three games. I would expect him to pick it up.
- Santiago Casilla, Daniel Coulombe, Blake Treinen and Lou Trivino combined to throw 9.1 scoreless innings this week.
- The A’s cut ties with reliever Tucker Healy earlier this week (per Matt Eddy).
- Healy, now 27, has been a mainstay in the A’s minor league system since he was drafted back in 2012, and posted a very strong career 3.17 ERA exhibiting strong control. I guess the A’s just decided that he didn’t have much of a place in the organization and wanted to give him a shot to find something elsewhere. He signed with Seattle days later.
- Dan Altavilla returned from the disabled list on Saturday and replaced swing man Casey Lawrence on the active roster.
- Ryon Healy hit three home runs over six games, slashing .348/.423/.823.
- James Paxton threw the third no-hitter of the 2018 season on Tuesday night against his home town team, the Blue Jays.
- Paxton walked three while striking out seven in the contest. While his 3.40 ERA may not look like that of a staff ace, he has had two starts that skew the number: His first start (six earned runs over four and two-thirds innings pitched) and April 21st (five earned runs over four innings). His ERA through his other six starts is a very impressive 1.62.
- As I previously mentioned under the A’s section, the Mariners brought in righty reliever Tucker Healy (#21) on a minor league deal this week (per the MLB Transaction page).
- In Healy, the M’s are getting an experienced depth reliever who seems like a capable fill-in bullpen arm. He had posted a 3.86 ERA over his first seven innings pitched at Double-A while walking just 1.29 batters per nine with an 11.57 K/9 rate.
- Don’t get too caught up on the #21 rating. The Mariners have a very weak system, and the reason that I have him ranked ahead of Max Povse (#25) and Rob Whalen (#27) is simply based on the fact that I see Healy as a mainstay middle reliever, while Povse and Whalen strike me as taxi-squad swing men.
- He is also the second player that the Mariners have acquired from the Athletics that has the last name Healy (See Ryon Healy).
- Anthony McIver (#23) is also joining the Mariners organization, after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins in a trade on Wednesday. Here is my scouting report on the relief prospect:
- “McIver is a solid lefty reliever with decent control, and has never done anything to suggest that he can’t be a decent middle reliever at the major league level. He’s 26-years old and could be an option for the M’s at any point down the line this season.”
- The M’s also cut ties with infielder Jhombeyker Morales (per Matt Eddy).
- The 23-year old infielder had been in Class A Advanced hitting .145/.203/.164. Overall he just strikes me as a depth piece.
- Bad news in Seattle, as Robinson Cano has fractured his hand after being hit by a pitch from Blaine Hardy of the Tigers. There is no timetable for his return.
- Drew Robinson landed on the disabled list on Monday with hip soreness. While Eliezer Alvarez (#22) was recalled in the immediate aftermath, he was sent back down the following day to make a spot for Adrian Beltre who returned from the disabled list.
- Yohander Mendez (#1) was optioned back down to the minor leagues to make room for lefty Brandon Mann in the bullpen.
- Juan Centeno cleared waivers on Monday and was sent outright to Triple-A Round Rock. While he had the option to decline the assignment, he reported to Round Rock and will continue to serve as depth for the Rangers.
- Rougned Odor returned from the disabled list on Friday replacing Renato Nunez on the active roster. Nunez is out of options and was designated for assignment.
- Nunez is a difficult case. He has the potential to be a very solid every day player, however he’s not ready yet. Developmentally, the best thing for him would be to be removed from the 40-man roster, spend a few extra months at Triple-A Round Rock and then return in a few months after the Rangers have sold a few players off. He needs to work on his defense.
- Cole Hamels pitched six innings of one hit ball this week.
- Nomar Mazara went off this week hitting three home runs with a .333/.440/.810 slashline.
- The Rangers picked up righty Emmanuel Clase (#39) from the Padres to complete the Brett Nicholas trade from back in March.
- Clase is really just a depth arm for the time being. He has a career 3.74 ERA over 118 innings pitched. While he has some decent stuff, his control is a bit suspect.
- Righty Grant Zawadzki and Dario Beltre were both released from Class A Hickory to make room for Tyler Ferguson (#44), who was activated from the disabled list, and Derek Heffel (#45) who was called up from the Arizona League team.
- Zawadzki, 26, had posted a 7.00 ERA over his first nine innings pitched in Class A this season, and had posted a 5.14 ERA over his entire career.
- While Beltre struggled over his first nine plus innings in Class A (6.75 ERA), he had posted a considerably more serviceable 3.75 ERA throughout his career. At 25-years old, he’s probably nothing more than a depth piece with good stuff and no control, but I would certainly give him a shot based on past success and an undeniable ability to limit home runs and induce ground balls. (six home runs allowed over 163 innings pitched with consistent >50% ground ball rates).
- The two replacements weren’t much better. Ferguson, a 24-year old who was a sixth round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2015, has posted a career 5.72 ERA with 63 walks and 118 strikeouts over 96 innings pitched, and the 22-year old Heffel posted a career 5.11 ERA with 77 strikeouts and 30 walks over 81 innings pitched. Neither should be considered anything more than depth, and were only assigned ratings based on the fact that I am attempting to make the lists cumulative.
- Luiz Gohara (#3) was recalled from Triple-A on Tuesday to replace Luke Jackson in the bullpen.
- While Gohara had struggled in limited action in Triple-A, it is understandable seeing as how he really didn’t even have a spring training.
- Jackson cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Gwinnett.
- Gohara (#3) had a three inning save in which he allowed a single run.
- Ronald Acuna (#1) came back down to Earth a bit this week slashing just .200/.259/.320 while striking out ten times. Nobody should be worried, though, as he is just figuring this level out at this point.
- As for Jose Bautista, he has been horrible and hit just .118/.250/.294 this week. It remains to be seen how long this experiment continues.
- Freddie Freeman went off this week hitting .455/.500/.864 with three home runs.
- Mike Soroka (#4) had two starts this weeks, and pitched rather poorly allowing five earned runs over 8.2 innings. He did manage to strike ten guys out, but walked four.
- In a genuinely shocking move, the Braves released Anfernee Seymour earlier in the week. I had Seymour ranked #13 in their system. He was released to make room for Taylor Murphy (#33) who had recently been released by the Indians. This is what I had to say about him when he was released:
- “The 25-year old was an 18th round pick back in 2014, and slashed a career .257/.359/.391, while showing very little in terms of tools. He should catch on elsewhere as a depth option, however I don’t know if he ever makes it to the majors.”
- The Braves released right-handed pitcher Bladimir Matos last week (per Matt Eddy of Baseball America).
- The move shouldn’t come as a surprise, as the 24-year old reliever has a career 4.59 ERA throughout 143 minor league innings. While he has good stuff, the control is lacking.
- Also released by the Braves was former first round pick and World Series hero Christian Colon.
- The nearly 29-year old infielder hit just .204/.278/.204 over his first 16 games in Triple-A.
- Justin Morhardt was also shown the door after posting a .182/.286/.208 line over his first 26 games in the organization. The 24-year old was drafted in the 22nd round last season.
- A.J. Minter graduated as a prospect last week, with his final ranking at 16th. Here is my final scouting report on the young reliever:
- “With Minter, what you see if what you get. He’s a very strong left-handed reliever who seems likely to make the Braves’ bullpen coming out of spring training and could find himself in a set-up role sooner rather than later. He has very strong velocity.”
- Josh Graham was added to the list this week and was placed at #31. Here is my initial report on the young righty:
- “Graham really isn’t anything special. He has great stuff, but like so many other hard throwers has absolutely no control. He’s a high octane taxi guy at best.”
- Elieser Henandez (#25) was activated from the disabled list and replaced Merandy Gonzalez (#5).
- Hernandez was selected in the Rule V Draft in December and will need to remain on the active roster through the season for the Marlins to retain his rights. As for Gonzalez, he posted a 4.85 ERA over his first 13 innings pitched. He worked in relief, however I think he still could be an option out of the rotation in the near future.
- Wei-Yin Chen was lit up once again on Wednesday night against the Cubs.
- I would imagine the Marlins keep wheeling out there despite his unsightly 10.22 ERA based on the fact that he’s still under contract for a few more seasons, and the Marlins aren’t playing for anything right now. Jeter and co. seem likely to hope and pray that he somehow turns it around.
- Brad Ziegler notched his 100th career save this week, as he closed out two games successfully while logging another appearance.
- While Justin Bour‘s numbers for the week weren’t very good as a whole, he walked 11 times compared to just four strikeouts.
- The Marlins profited from what could be a mistake by the division rival Braves, as they inked infielder Anfernee Seymour (#16). Here’s a scouting report on him. I’m not even going to lie, I did not see that he was released until the Marlins signed him.
- He has solid speed, however, lacks power and could struggle with his plate discipline as he faces more advanced pitching. His ceiling is a second or borderline first division starter at short, however a utility role looks more likely. “Seymour looks like a poor man’s Dee Gordon. He has solid speed, however, lacks power and could struggle with his plate discipline as he faces more advanced pitching. His ceiling is a second or borderline first division starter at short, however a utility role looks more likely.”
- To clear a spot on the Class A Advanced roster, Boo Vazquez was released. The 25-year old struck out 20 times in 20 games while carrying a .224/.325/.418 line.
- James Buckelew was cut loose from the Double-A Jacksonville team on Sunday. While he’s nearly 27-years old, the lefty has the ability to induce ground balls at impressive 60-70% rates with decent control. He should get another shot.
- Lewis Brinson graduated as a prospect this week, and was rated as the #1 prospect in Miami’s system. Here is my final, concise, report on the high ceiling outfielder:
- “Brinson is special. He has all of the tools and he uses them well. He is a future all-star.”
- The Marlins have done a nice job picking up good minor leaguers on the scrapheap. Seymour is the latest of rather shrewd signings by the Marlins. Cade Gotta (#24) and Josh Hart (#32) are two guys that the Marlins took flyers on over the past few weeks with former prospect pedigree and solid tools. There’s no risk involved, and a decent ceiling.
New York Mets
- The Mets actually managed to find a taker for Matt Harvey. Furthermore, they were able to fulfill their need behind the plate as they acquired Devin Mesoraco. In a corresponding move, Todd Frazier was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain while Anthony Swarzak was placed on the 60-day disabled list. The news of the trade was broken by Joel Sherman.
- Mesoraco hasn’t been the same since 2014 due to injuries, however he provides a serviceable stop-gap for the Mets for the time being.
- P.J. Conlon (#34) was optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday in favor of Corey Oswalt (#20).
- Conlon allowed three runs in three plus innings during his major league debut. While he should see him again in the near future, Oswalt should get the next crack at deGrom’s rotation spot for the time being.
- Following the trade and the injury to Todd Frazier, infield prospect Luis Guillorme (#7) was recalled to replace Tomas Nido (#12) on the active roster. Here is my scouting report on the young infielder:
- “Guillorme is a weird case. The guy has Ben Revere power and below average speed, however he has an elite glove and can hit .300 with a .420 on base percentage. He looks to me like the type of guy who is going to his sixth, but will be known more for his glove.”
- Jay Bruce was placed on the paternity leave list this week, and Dom Smith was recalled to replace him on the active roster. I doubt Smith is up for very long. In the same announcement, Hansel Robles was placed on the disabled list and replaced with Buddy Baumann. Baumann was sent down when Jacob deGrom returned.
- Adrian Gonzalez had himself a very nice week hitting .375/.412/.750 with a pair of home runs.
- Devin Mesoraco struggled in his first week as a Met. While he did manage to hit his second home run of the season, his line was .111/.111/.444.
- Patrick Kivlehan joined the Mets on a minor league deal on Wednesday to replace Bryce Brentz who will miss the next four to six weeks after fouling a ball off of his foot in Triple-A.
- While it seems unlikely that we see him in Queens based on the logjam of corner outfielders and first base types already making it difficult, he will serve as depth for the time being.
- Seranthony Dominguez (#19) was recalled to make his major league debut on Monday after Adam Morgan was placed on the disabled list with a back strain.
- My scouting report on Dominguez: “Seranthony Dominguez isn’t an ace by any means, but as an acceptable innings eater, you could do a lot worse. His control is at least average and he looks durable enough to remain in the rotation.”
- Ben Lively and Zac Curtis (#33) were both optioned back down to the minor leagues to clear space for Jake Thompson. It’s a simple arm shuffle. We will see both Lively and Curtis again in the near future.
- Phillies starters went 38 innings allowing five runs (1.18 ERA), while striking out 47 (11.1/9) and walking eight (1.9/9).
- Seranthony Dominguez (#19) pitched three times this week without allowing a single hit.
- Odubel Herrera continued to kill it this week hitting .571/.654/1.143 with three home runs, five walks and just three strikeouts.
- And he was left out of the Opening Day line-up, why?
- The Phillies lost a rather decent relief prospect to retirement as Sutter McLoughlin hung up his spikes the other day after posting 74 innings of 2.43 ERA ball with 75 strikeouts and 15 walks.
- J.P. Crawford has graduated as a prospect. While his stock fell a bit, over time, his final ranking from me was third in the Phillies system. Here is what I had to say:
- “Crawford was heralded as a top 3 prospect just a year or so ago, and once he was taken off, he took off. Crawford looks like a 2-hitter to me who can post a .270/.380/.380 line with plus defense. While there isn’t a ton of power, the plate discipline is there as is the glove, and after a brief adjustment period, the hit tool should come around as well. He’s not going to be the MVP candidate that everyone originally thought, but he could still be an all-star.”
- Added to the list for the Phillies was righty Connor Seabold who was placed at 19.
- “Seabold looks to me like a very strong four or five. The 22-year old has been a fast riser since being drafted last season and could reach the majors by next season. His control is excellent.”
- Pat Neshek was shut down again due to a setback during his recovery. While it’s not considered to be a serious injury, as it’s simply a strain, he seems likely to be out for the next week at least.
- Shawn Kelley returned from the disabled list on Monday and Rafael Bautista (#10) was optioned back to the minor leagues to clear a space for him.
- Mark Reynolds did not have to wait too long to be added to the major league roster, as Ryan Zimmerman was placed on the disabled list on Saturday with a right oblique strain. It is unclear how long he will be out.
- Max Scherzer and Jeremy Hellickson each hit doubles this week, while Matt Adams three home runs with a .250/.357/.667 line.
- While he wasn’t perfect this week, Max Scherzer struck 26 guys out compared to just two walks over 13.1 innings to go along with a 1.35 ERA.
- Jeremy Hellickson pitched six plus shutout innings with eight strikeouts to no walks.
- The Nationals cut ties with infielder Michael Almanzar from Triple-A Syracuse to make room for Rafael Bautista who was optioned on Monday.
- The 27-year old hit just .207/.246/.241 over his first 18 games in the Nationals organization.
- Almanzar is most famous for being selected in the Rule V draft by the Orioles in 2014, was returned around mid-season and reacquired in a deadline deal with Kelly Johnson in exchange for Jemile Weeks and Ivan De Jesus.
- Luke Farrell (#32) was sent back down to Triple-A after giving up walk-off home runs in back-to-back games. Cory Mazzoni (#40) was recalled from Triple-A to replace him. Mazzoni was replaced by Rob Zastryzny (#35) the following day.
- On Tuesday, Jason Heyward and Yu Darvish were each placed on the disabled list. Heyward on the concussion list, with Darvish dealing with the para-influenza virus. Jen-Ho Tseng (#7) and David Bote (#39) were both recalled as replacements.
- Wednesday was another busy day regarding transactions for the Cubbies, as both Tseng and Zastryzny were sent back down to the minor leagues and replaced with reliever Justin Hancock (#39) and outfielder Mark Zagunis (#5).
- Report on Zagunis: “First things first, this kid isn’t going to break out in Chicago. He needs to be traded, as he is currently blocked. There’s a lot to like about Zagunis though. He is only going to hit about .250, but his on base percentage will be about .1-.12 points higher than his average and he has decent power as well. Overall, we’re looking at a .250/.360/.425 line good for a 785 OPS. An expectation of about 12-15 long balls a year is within reason.”
- Report on Hancock: “Hancock is a 27-year old righty swing who seems likely to be a taxi guy who turns into an emergency call-up after he runs out of minor league options. He induces good weak contact, but struggles with control at time.”
- Between Steve Cishek, Brian Duensing, Cory Mazzoni, Brandon Morrow, Pedro Strop, Justin Wilson and Rob Zastryzny (#35), their numbers were 14.2 scoreless innings with just four walks compared to ten strikeouts.
- Kris Bryant hit four home runs while slashing .364/.533/1.000 while Wilson Contreras hit .462/.462/1.077 with three home runs.
- The biggest piece of news this week is the Reds’ acquisition of Matt Harvey from the Mets in exchange for Devin Mesoraco. Brandon Finnegan was optioned to Triple-A to clear a spot on the roster.
- Overall, I love the deal from the Reds’ perspective. I would imagine the way the Reds look at this deal is that Matt Harvey has the potential to be a very decent deadline chip if he can find any level of success, whereas Mesoraco wasn’t going to get them anything more than a Rookie League reliever with a 4.80 ERA.
- Tony Cruz was called up to replace Mesoraco on the the active roster.
- Kevin Shackelford was sent down to the minor leagues on Monday in favor of Jackson Stephens (#42) per Mark Sheldon.
- Shackleford struggled to a 9.00 ERA since being activated from the disabled list earlier this month. Stephens, who made the Opening Day roster, will serve as some depth in middle relief.
- Matt Harvey pitched four innings of one hit ball in his Reds’ debut. Who saw that coming?
- Scooter Gennett hit an outstanding .538/.556/1.115 with four home runs this week.
- It was announced on Monday that the Reds cut ties with outfielder Patrick Kivlehan from Triple-A Louisville.
- While the 28-year old struggled over his first 15 games in Triple-A, he spent the whole 2017 season in the majors while posting a serviceable .208/ .304/.399 batting line (.703 OPS) with nine home runs. I could see Baltimore or Miami taking a shot on him with sell-offs potentially looming. He’s a more than serviceable option to eat at bats for a struggling team.
- Tyler Mahle graduated as a prospect this week and last checked in at 8th in the system. Here is my final report on him:
- “Mahle is an overall solid starter with plus control and an above average fastball. He’s not an overpowering arm, but he has a solid 4-pitch arsenal which will allow him to wind up as a 3rd starter.”
- Ryan Olson was added to this list and given a rather ambitious ranking of 10th. Here is my initial report on the young righty:
- “I really like Olson. While he is something of an injury risk, he has control and the ability to go late into games while mixing in a pair of solid secondaries to a fastball that sits in the mid-90’s. I like him as a safe four with the ceiling of a three.”
- The big news this week was Chase Anderson winding up on the disabled list. It’s just an illness, and he’s not expected to miss much time, but Freddy Peralta (#4) was recalled to make his major league debut. Here is my report on Peralta:
- “People are concerned about his size as a starter, which is ridiculous in my opinion. Peralta hasn’t shown anything that suggests that he can’t be a very serviceable back of the rotation starter. He could be in the Brewers rotation by 2019.”
- In something of a notable move, Eric Sogard was optioned to Triple-A on Tuesday and was replaced by Nick Franklin.
- Sogard had hit just .100/.194/.150 over his first 68 plate appearances in 2018. He was re-signed to a 1-year deal worth $2.4 million back in October.
- Unfortunately for Franklin, he landed on the disabled list with a quad strain with Wade Miley, who strained his oblique on Wednesday. Tyler Saladino was recalled and Corey Knebel was activated from the disabled list.
- Boone Logan is back from the disabled list, as he replaced Jorge Lopez (#14) in the bullpen.
- Brandon Woodruff replaced Brett Phillips (#2) on the active roster on Friday, and Alec Asher replaced Jacob Barnes on Saturday. Asher was replaced the following day with Jorge Lopez (#14)
- Paolo Espino is back with the Brewers organization after signing a minor league deal with them earlier this week (per Matt Eddy)
- Espino spent the majority of the 2017 season with the Brewers before heading to Arlington on a waiver claim toward the end of the season. He will head down to Colorado Springs to serve as rotation depth. He has good control, but gets hit around a lot. I wouldn’t expect to see him in Milwaukee any time soon.
- Darren Seferina (#20) has joined the Brewers on a minor league deal after being released by the rival Cardinals earlier this month. Here is my report on the young infielder. Seferina had been ranked #30 in the Cardinals system prior to his release:
- “He has a decent approach at the plate and great speed. Overall, he profiles as a utility guy, but he could be a platoon guy if he can develop more power. The speed is plus, as is his glove.”
- Brandon Woodruff graduated as a prospect this week after checking in at 12th in the Brewers’ organization. Here is my final report on him:
- “Woodruff doesn’t have much in terms of “stuff” and his control, while good, isn’t elite. He will remain a starter through the minors, however, he’ll struggle in the majors and eventually be transitioned into a long relief role.”
- Carlos Herrera was added to the list, as well and was placed at 26th.
- “Herrera has a great change and a solid breaking ball, but he struggles with him control. I think he could find more success in the bullpen, but regardless, he is really far away.”
- On Monday, the Pirates recalled Jose Osuna from Triple-A and sent down Nick Kingham (#12) in a corresponding move.
- This move has nothing to do with performance, as Kingham has posted a 2.92 ERA over his first two starts striking 16 compared to a single walk over his first 12.1 innings pitched. The Pirates have a few days off coming up and it makes sense to have an extra bench bat in that time.
- Corey Dickerson continues to mash, as he hit .444/.444/.556 this week. At this point, he’s well on his way to a second consecutive all-star berth.
- Chad Kuhl pitched 13 innings of three runs ball this week, and while he walked six guy, he struck 14 out.
- Third Baseman Colin Moran graduated as a prospect last week with his final ranking as eighth in the Pirates system:
- “Moran has a very, very solid bat, as a power hitter who doesn’t strikeout too much with a very good hit tool. Overall, he’s probably going to have more home runs, but his average won’t be as high. He looks like a 5-hitter who can hit .250/.340/.450.”
St. Louis Cardinals
- Brett Cecil is back from the disabled list, and replaced Tyler Lyons who is out with a mid-back strain.
- The Cardinals have shuffled their bullpen more than just about any other team this season. On Monday, Mike Mayers (#30) was sent back down to the minors in favor of John Gant and John Brebbia replaced Ryan Sherriff the following day. Mayers returned on Friday after Carlos Martinez went down with a lat strain. It isn’t considered to be a serious injury, however it is rough timing, as the Cards just lost Yadier Molina last week. Brebbia was optioned on Sunday to make room for Adam Wainwright who returned from the disabled list.
- Mike Mayers (#31) has been the definition of a taxi guy this season. After making the Opening Day roster, Mayers was optioned on April 9th, spent three days in the minors before being called up for three days. After being sent down on the 16th, he spent 11 days in the minors and returned for a three-day stint in the majors. He was recalled once again five days later, and sent back down a day later, only to be recalled later that week. That is a four-hour drive each way.
- Carson Kelly (#2) has struggled this week going 0-12.
- Tommy Pham had himself a nice week though, hitting .316/.409/.684.
- Darren Seferina was released by the Cardinals this week. The infielder was ranked 30th in the system, as I believe that he’s a potential utility guy.
- A pair of top five prospects graduated from the Cardinals list this week, as Harrison Bader (#4) and Carson Kelly (#2) exceeded rookie status. Here is what I had to say on each:
- (On Kelly):”There isn’t much doubt that Kelly is going to be a great catcher, however his team is still a question. Obviously, Yadier Molina is locked up through 2020, which makes me believe Kelly could be dangled as a very legitimate trade chip. The glove is his calling card, but he has a great bat, with a fantastic approach.”
- (On Bader): “Bader looks like he’s ready to start in the major leagues. He’s the type of guy who’s going to hit .270/.340/.420 with 15 home runs and 15 stolen bases while playing solid defense. While he’s never going to be the face of a franchise, he will certainly be a core player.”
- Elehuris Montero was added to this list this week and placed at 23rd in the Cardinals’ system.
- “Montero has a great approach at the plate with nice contact ability and a solid walk rate. While he doesn’t have third base power, or much in terms of speed, he’s still just 19 years old and has plenty of room to fill out. He’s far away, but he could shoot up this list over time.”
- Braden Shipley landed on the disabled list before he was even able to make an appearance for the Snakes. Silvino Bracho was recalled to take his place.
- The Snakes called up Troy Scribner (#35) to replace Jake Barrett in the bullpen. Scribner was acquired from the Angels back in April and should function in long relief for the D-Backs for the time being.
- Zack Greinke had a nice start this week allowing a single run over seven innings.
- The D-Backs cut ties with righty Argenis Hiciano from the Arizona League.
- Hiciano was underwhemling throughout his minor league career. Despite a solid 2.67 ERA in his second season, his peripherals suggest that he pitched closer to a 4.45 ERA. He didn’t have great stuff either.
- DJ LaMahieu is back for the Rockies, and Pat Valaika has been optioned to the minors in a corresponding move.
- Jon Gray and Chad Bettis each went seven scoreless this week, and while Bettis only struck two out, Gray struck out eight.
- Trevor Story hit three home runs this week en route to a .350/.440/1.100 line.
- The Rockies released lefty Max Schuh from Double-A. The former seventh round pick struggled in his time in the Rockies system. He struggles with his control despite great stuff.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Breyvic Valera (#29) was optioned back to the minor leagues after serving as the 26th man for the Dodgers double-header over the weekend.
- Rich Hill returned from the disabled list on Tuesday and replaced Brock Stewart who was optioned to Triple-A.
- On Wednesday, Yasiel Puig returned from the disabled list, prompting the Dodgers to send Alex Verdugo (#1) back down to Triple-A. The Dodgers also announced that Scott Alexander and Brock Stewart were both recalled to replace Yimi Garcia who was optioned to Triple-A and Tony Cingrani who was placed on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.
- On Sunday, Brock Stewart was optioned to the minor leagues to make room for the switch pitcher Pat Venditte.
- The positives are certainly limited for the Dodgers’ this week, however Kenley Jansen has started to look decent again, as he allowed a single hit over three innings.
- Matt Jones was released from Rookie Ball this week after posting a 1.35 ERA over 20 innings last season. While the 6’7″ reliever was originally drafted in 2014 as a first baseman, he converted to the mound last season. Unfortunately, he walked 10 guys compared to just 15 strikeouts and posted an FIP of 4.43
- MLB Trade Rumors shared an article on MLB & Fantasy Baseball Analyzed regarding Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw. The article makes the case for trading the star pitcher. While I’m not going to spoil the article for you, it is well worth a read.
- My opinion on the situation: The Dodgers should 100% consider trading Kershaw this summer. I don’t believe that they have to, however as they have considerably more leverage than most teams do with rental players. The situation reminds me a lot of when the Phillies began to struggle in 2012, and Cole Hamels was a major name on the summer’s trade market. While the Dodgers’ situation certainly has more reason for optimism for the future, the Dodgers are a big market team who are built to contend, but have had bad luck with injuries in a season before their ace becomes a free agent. If they are able to get an offer for him that they like, then by all means take it, but if they aren’t able to, and are comfortable with talking about a possible extension for Kershaw, then begin doing so late in the summer.
San Diego Padres
- Chase Headley‘s return in San Diego didn’t last very long, as he was designated for assignment on Saturday to make room for Cory Spandenberg. He will almost certainly clear waivers and become a free agent.
- Matt Strahm returned from the disabled list on Monday, and sent Kazuhisa Makita (#24) down to Triple-A. Javier Guerra (#39) was also optioned back to Triple-A as he was recalled as the Padres’ 26th man for Sunday’s double-header.
- Makita returned on Sunday when Phil Maton hit the disabled list with a latissimus dorsi strain.
- Matika will be back in short order, however he struggled to a 6.75 ERA over his first 16 innings in the majors. He has had notable control issues.
- Robbie Erlin, Brad Hand, Phil Maton, Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates combined for 17 scoreless innings in relief with six walks and 23 strikeouts.
- The Padres released a trio of minor leaguers this week in first baseman Luis Anguizola and outfielders Cole Gillespie and Angel Santos.
- Anguizola, 24, has a career .268/.374/.354 career line through 59 career games making it as high as Class A. While he hadn’t played yet in 2018, he can be inserted in full season A ball with a prospective new team. His biggest issue is the fact that he doesn’t have the power needed for first base. I would suggest moving him to catcher or right field full-time. He has experience at both positions and the plate discipline and contact ability are certainly there to make him a potentially solid role player.
- Santos, 22, had been in the Arizona League. Over 132 games, he has a career .270/.392/.388 line while going 44 for 52 in stolen bases. He’s a lefty bat who should get another deal. The plate discipline and speed combo is certainly intriguing.
- As for Gillespie, he’s now 33 years old and will turn 34 within the next month and a half. He spent the 2017 season in the Mexican League and while he could get another deal, I wouldn’t expect too much.
- Also released was Jeremy Smith, a 24-year old reliever who was drafted in the 38th round of the 2017 draft.
- Despite the fact that he’s certainly older than his competition in rookie ball, Smith managed a 2.89 ERA over 18.2 innings striking out 26 while walking just eight. If he wants another deal, he should get one.
- Emmanuel Clase was traded to the Rangers to complete the Brett Nicholas trade from March.
San Francisco Giants
- D.J. Snelten was replaced in the bullpen on Tuesday by Derek Law after he was shelled on Monday night against the Phillies. Law was replaced by Jose Valdez on Thursday, while Josh Osich was optioned to the minors as well.
- Alen Hanson has continued to hit very well for the Giants, with a .304/.370/.652 line with two home runs.
- Unfortunately, the pitching was abysmal this week, as just four guys posted ERA’s below four, and all four were relievers. At least Derek Holland pitched a nice game against the Pirates on Sunday.
- Johnny Cueto is expected to miss six weeks with a sprained elbow. While it’s certainly not the best case scenario, it could be a lot worse. Hat tip to Jon Heyman on the news.
- Emilio Bonifacio caught on with the Long Island Ducks on Tuesday. He replaced Tyler Holt who has retired from baseball.
- The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs released a pair of former major leaguers in outfielder Xavier Paul and pitcher Sean O’Sullivan while the Sugarland Skeeters released pitcher Jose Ortega.
- Paul Clemens signed with the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs.
- The New Britain Bees cut ties with former Phillies pitcher Jonathan Pettibone.
- In what sounds like the plot of a Fox sitcom, the Cleburne Railroaders signed Patrick Palmiero and his dad Rafael Palmiero this week. In all seriousness, though, this is certainly something to monitor, as if Rafael is able to get back into the majors, it would reset his clock for the Hall of Fame.
- Personally, I think Palmiero should be in the Hall. Steroid usage was obviously wrong, however even if you forget about his gaudy home run totals, he still has 3,000 hits, and had an excellent approach at the plate, walking more than he struck out over a 20 year career. Performance enhancing drugs are certainly boosters for power, speed, endurance etc. however, a player’s approach is mental. It’s how they approach each at bat, how they have trained themselves to handle the nerves, handle each pitcher differently, and, while I’m not a doctor, I don’t believe that PED’s can have as much of an effect in that area of the game. While Adderall helps with focus, it’s something people have to take for ADD anyway. There are so many players who have prescriptions for it, which make it legal to use. Regardless, his ability to get on base and help facilitate runs goes beyond the power, speed and endurance. I hope he is able to do something, however at 53-years old, I don’t love the chances.
- The Chicago Dogs brought in former Twins’ prospect Joe Benson while the Cleburne Railroaders signed former Reds’ prospect Angelo Gumbs.
- A collection of former major leaguers signed in the Mexican League this week.
- Saraperos de Saltillo: Right-handed pitcher Arnold Leon (Blue Jays, A’s)
- Pericos de Puebla: Catcher Hank Conger (Astros, Angels, Rays)
- Leones de Yucatan: Left-handed pitcher Chad Gaudin (Giants, A’s, Cubs, Nationals, Marlins, Yankees, Padres, Rays)
- Acereros del Norte: Right-handed pitcher Jerome Williams (Angels, Rangers, Phillies, Giants, Astros, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs)