Happy Draft Day and welcome to the newest edition of Crash Course! It was something of a slow week in baseball, but as the calendar switches to June, we should see activity continue to pick up. As always, hat tip to FanGraphs, MLB Trade Rumors, Matt Eddy and Baseball-Reference which were all used for reference throughout this post.
- Danny Valencia‘s wife gave birth on Tuesday, resulting in Valencia being placed on the paternity leave list. Donnie Hart was recalled in his place, but the move was reversed on Friday.
- Andrew Susac was also sent down in favor of Austin Wynns (#26) over the weekend.
- It is interesting how the O’s bypassed Caleb Joseph. It’s beginning to seem as though he has really fallen out of favor in the organization.
Boston Red Sox
- The Red Sox were hit with two huge blows over the weekend, as Mookie Betts was placed on the disabled list, and was followed by Dustin Pedroia. Bobby Poyner (#24) and Sam Travis (#13) were recalled to take their places.
- In other news, the Red Sox picked up first baseman Adam Lind on a minor league deal this week. He was assigned to Triple-A Pawtucket and represents a very serviceable injury replacement if necessary.
- Hanley Ramirez was officially released on Wednesday.
New York Yankees
- A series of minor transactions led to shortstop Nate Coronado being released after just ten games. Ronald Torreyes was optioned to Triple-A and Rey Navarro was assigned to Double-A, Trevor Lane (#32) was assigned to Class A Advanced and Coronado was released from Class A Advanced.
- Coronado is a guy I am high on. He has a career .296/.367/.500 slash line through his minor league career total of 60 plate appearances, and carries a cumulative .304/.344/.464 line including his independent league statistics. He brings with him a nice set of tools and contact ability. Overall, I think he deserves more than a 10 game shot.
Tampa Bay Rays
- After a very long recovery period, Nathan Eovaldi is back and ready to go for the Rays. Jaime Schultz (#42) was sent down to Triple-A in a corresponding move.
- Eovaldi looked very sharp in his 2018 debut, going six scoreless innings while striking out four. Eovaldi will be a name to watch this summer, as he will be a free agent at the end of the season, and will cost just the remainder of a $2,000,000 salary for any contender that wants him.
- Minor league catcher Curt Casali was traded to the Reds for cash on Thursday night.
Toronto Blue Jays
- Aledmys Diaz and Randal Grichuk returned from the disabled list and were joined by Tim Mayza, who was recalled from Triple-A. Unfortunately, Josh Donaldson was placed on the disabled list with calf tightness. The two other roster casualties were Jake Petricka and Dwight Smith Jr.
- Losing Donaldson is a very tough blow. From my vantage point, his trade value isn’t very high at this point. Luckily for the Jays, they have enough leverage in trade talks where they can simply use the compensation pick as a baseline. In the Blue Jays’ case, in order to acquire Donaldson, a package offered should be better than a player who would probably be available at the end of day one on Draft Day.
- A few notable third round picks over the past five years: Keynan Middleton, Tyler O’Neill, Daniel Palka, Ryon Healy, Brian Anderson, Mark Zagunis, Bobby Bradley, Harrison Bader, Dakota Chalmers, Jon Duplantier, Austin Hays and Bryson Brigman.
Chicago White Sox
- The White Sox inked a high upside lefty in Jairo Labourt on Tuesday, and assigned him to Double-A while immediately placing him on the 7-day disabled list.
- The 24-year old is yet to pitch this season, but has been in the rumor mill a lot over the past three months despite posting a very solid 2.17 ERA in his first season moving to the bullpen full-time.
- He was designated for assignment in March to make room for Francisco Liriano, claimed by the Reds, who attempted to sneak him through waivers, picked up by Oakland, but quickly released, as the A’s were exceptionally unimpressed from what they saw in a bullpen session. Detroit picked him back up, but never assigned him to a minor league affiliate, and released him last week.
- In other minor news, the Sox shipped Brad Goldberg to the Arizona Diamondbacks and sent righty Ricardo Pinto outright to Triple-A Charlotte.
- The Sox have been reaping the benefits of the buy low acquisitions this season, as Daniel Palka (#19), Jose Rondon (#22) and Bruce Rondon have all been rather decent, while Dylan Covey (who cleared waivers right before Spring Training) has also been very good early on.
- Shane Bieber’s highly anticipated call-up happened on Thursday evening when he started for the Tribe against the Twins. Ben Taylor was optioned to Triple-A to clear a spot for him.
- Beiber struggled a bit in his debut allowing four earned runs over five and two-thirds innings. On the bright side, he did carry a six to one strikeout to walk ratio, which was encouraging.
- Beiber looks like a three based on generally solid control and a well-rounded arsenal.
- Following his start, he was optioned back to Triple-A to make room for Bradley Zimmer.
- Lefty Jeff Beliveau returned to the Indians to take the place of Adam Plutko, who will head back to Triple-A after struggling against the White Sox on Sunday. Beliveau only lasted a few days, though, as the Tribe brought in Oliver Perez over the weekend. George Kontos was also signed, but received a minor league deal.
- While Perez isn’t the answer to all of the Indians’ problems, he should be a very nice bullpen stabilizer and Kontos represents another very nice buy-low option.
- As for Plutko, he should be back soon enough, as he pitched well enough in his first two starts.
- The Indians picked up Triple-A right-handed pitcher Myles Jaye from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for cash considerations.
- Jaye had posted a 4.25 ERA for the Rochester Red Wings over eight starts. The 26-year old has decent control and the ability to limit the damage as a starter based on a wide arsenal including a fantastic slider as well as a change and a curve that are works in progress. He typically sits in the low-90’s and could serve as a capable spot starter if need be.
- Jaye will take the roster spot of Stephen Fife who was placed on the disabled list in Triple-A.
- Oliver Drake was lost on waivers to the Angels on Thursday.
- Overall, I like how the Indians are being proactive regarding their bullpen situation. While I would anticipate them making a bigger move this summer, one of these low risks moves could very well pay off.
- Infield prospect Ronny Rodriguez (#22) was called up and replaced catcher Grayson Greiner (#28) on the active roster.
- Rodriguez looks like Freddy Galvis 2.0, as he brings with him solid power, and strong defense and versatility. His biggest weakness is his lack of plate discipline, and I believe he’ll struggle to make contact out of the gate, but overall would consider him a future .240/.280/.420 hitter in a semi-regular role.
- The Tigers made a series of important transactions that could have been handled considerably better. Francisco Liriano(right shoulder irritation) and Daniel Stumpf (hamstring strain) were both placed on the disabled list and replaced by relievers Ryan Carpenter and Johnny Barbato. This is perfectly reasonable, but they proceeded to release Gerson Moreno (#40).
- According to Al Avila, they did so to ensure that he would not be claimed off of waivers, but if you really wanted to ensure his place in the organization, there are so many better methods.
- Had I been the one making the move, I would have placed Moreno on the 60-Day disabled list for the remainder of the season, and activate him following the conclusion of the season. The Tigers have so many quad-A players that will not be retained following the season, while Victor Martinez, Leonys Martin, Jose Iglesias and Liriano are all slated to become free agents, which gives the Tigers plenty of flexibility on the 40-man roster, if they really saw keeping him as a priority. I would send him through waivers on November 20th (Rule V protection day), as 40-man spots are at a premium that day, and teams would be considerably less likely to claim a relief prospect who will not be able to pitch until around mid-season, and hasn’t even mastered Class A Advanced.
- Later in the week, Barbato was sent back down to Triple-A to make room for Drew VerHagen.
- Miguel Cabrera re-joined the team on Friday along with Zac Reininger who was recalled from Triple-A. Ryan Carpenter landed on the disabled list and Pete Kozma got the boot from the 40-man roster.
Kansas City Royals
- The Royals made a nice move on Saturday bringing in Rosell Herrera (#13) off of waivers from the Reds.
- I’ve praised Herrera a lot over the past few months and I believe he found a very nice landing spot in Kansas City. His versatility will surely come in handy assuming he remains with the organization beyond the deadline.
- Blaine Boyer was placed on the disabled list with a back strain and replaced by Trevor Oaks (#16).
- I have trouble understanding how Boyer has remained with the Royals as long as he has. Over 20 games, his ERA remains 11.76 and he has walked almost double the amount of batters that he has struck out. I am shocked that they didn’t try to grab Kyle McGrath from the Padres.
- Byron Buxton was placed on the disabled list with turf toe and Aaron Slegers was recalled in his place until Tyler Duffey replaced him the following day.
- This is simply an aggravation of his latest toe injury.
- Ervin Santana was sent on a rehab assignment with the Fort Myers Miracle, and outfielder Jared Foster was released to make room for him on the roster.
- The Twins need Santana back very badly, as the Indians are within striking distance. Having a healthy Santana gives them a good chance to log an extra win every fifth day.
- As for Foster, the fifth round pick from 2015 was released by the Angels before the season, and picked up by Minnesota soon after. He has hit .167/.202/.204 exhibiting little in terms of tools, and could be forced to go to independent ball
- Brian McCann landed on the disabled list with some right knee soreness on Tuesday, and was replaced with catcher Tim Federowicz. Max Stassi will see most of the starts behind the plate for the time being with Evan Gattis also providing a capable option. Federowicz is no more than an insurance policy for the Astros.
- Speaking of Max Stassi, he has become one of the best stories in the sport this season, as we went from projected roster casualty to a .300/.371/.525 batting line in two months time.
- Derek Fisher was optioned to Triple-A on Sunday and a corresponding move is expected to be announced on Monday.
Los Angeles Angels
- Oliver Drake joined the Angels on a waiver claim from the Indians on Thursday and he will serve as middle relief depth. Ian Krol cleared waives and elected free agency after being sent outright to Triple-A.
- Drake looks to me like the anti–Jared Hughes in that he can’t seem to find success despite very solid peripheral statistics.
- I don’t understand why they didn’t just keep Krol in, as he earned his shot by pitching very well in Triple-A. He had been replaced by Akeel Morris (#15), who was replaced by Drake.
- As always, Jaime Barria (#6) was recalled this week and replaced Michael Hermosillo (#14) . The move was reversed later in the week, announced alongside Kole Calhoun being placed on the disabled list with an oblique strain and Kaleb Cowart receiving a call-up.
- Khris Davis is back, and he replaced Carlos Ramirez on the active roster. Davis was only out for the minimum of ten days with a groin strain.
- Marcus Semien was placed on the paternity leave list on Wednesday and was replaced by reliever Josh Lucas (#22). When he returned on Friday, Franklin Barreto (#1) was sent back down to the minor leagues.
- Surprisingly, Dee Gordon was activated from the disabled list leading to Gordon Beckham heading down to Tacoma.
- I remember reading that Gordon would be out for up to four weeks, which makes this astonishing. He had been out for just over one week. I hope he is fully healed, as there are few players who rely so heavily on their feet more than Gordon.
- Recently recalled catcher Chris Herrmann was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right oblique. David Freitas was recalled to take his spot on the roster.
- Roenis Elias was called up to replace lefty Marc Rzepczynski on Friday. Rzepczynski, the man they call “Scrabble,” still has money owed to him through the season.
- Fun fact: Despite the nickname of “Scrabble”, you actually can not spell his name using the letters provided in the actual game, as there is only one “z”. Theoretically, you could use one of the blank chips, but they don’t give you any points.
- The Mariners pilfered the Atlantic League this week signing Ross Detwiler from the York Revolution, Daniel Schlereth from the Long Island Ducks and Tyler Higgins from the New Britain Bees. While I would doubt we see the latter two guys anytime soon, Detwiler could be up to help in the short term. He was once a very productive major league starter.
- Matt Moore is back from the disabled list and Austin Bibens-Dirkx was sent back down to Triple-A. We should see Dirkx after the trade deadline.
- Adrian Beltre returned the following day and Ryan Rua was sent down to clear a roster spot. Adam Loewen was released from Triple-A to accommodate the move.
- While Loewen had a strong 1.80 ERA over 5 innings, he had four walks compared to just four strikeouts and doesn’t have a track record to suggest it was getting any better.
- The Rangers were forced to make a decision on right-handed pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez, whose 30-day rehab window ended. While we all knew that he would be optioned to Triple-A, the Rangers needed to make a 40-man roster move. Eliezer Alvarez (#22) was the casualty after hitting just .189/.279/.283 with seven stolen bases at Double-A Frisco.
- Alvarez is something of an interesting case. While he struggled to make contact in Double-A, if you look at his career numbers, he typically starts off levels poorly, but rebounds. For example, during his first two seasons in the foreign rookie league, he hit .205/.264/.373 and .209/.264/.373, but then exploded to a .353/.413/.632, which wasn’t much lower than his .383 BABip, suggesting that he was actually doing a nice job. He continued the trend until being promoted to Double-A, where he is in his second season. At this point, if I’m a non-contender with a roster spot to spare, I would pick him up, but him on the bench in the majors so that he could get the adjustment period out-of-the-way. It wouldn’t be a completely wasted spot either, as he brings with him very solid defense with the ability to play second, short, left field and center field as well as strong plate discipline and speed. I would put his ceiling as something comparable to Cesar Hernandez with his likely outcome as a slightly better version of Daniel Descalso.
- Carlos Tocci (#14) returned from the disabled list and replaced Hanser Alberto on the active roster.
- Peter Bourjos earned another call-up by the Braves on Thursday, replacing Dustin Peterson (#13) on the active roster, and Aaron Blair on the 40-man roster.
- With Bourjos, what you see is what you get: a very strong defensive outfielder with decent speed and something of a tepid bat.
- As for Blair, the release strikes me as something of a surprise, seeing as he has seen moderate minor league success and would remain under team control through next season if sent outright. I would have to imagine that there is more behind the story, whether it be an agreement that he would sign another minor league contract with the Braves, an injury or the pursuit of opportunities overseas.
- The Braves activated Anibal Sanchez from the disabled list to start against the Mets on Tuesday. Lucas Sims was sent down in a corresponding transaction.
- Sanchez wasn’t great in his return allowing four runs over four innings. He also walked two and hit a batter while recording two strikeouts.
- Max Fried (#22) was sent down in the same announcement, as he had been serving as the 26th man for the Memorial Day double-header.
- Matt Wisler was replaced by Miguel Socolovich on Wednesday, and will serve in a middle to long relief capacity, as he had during his first two brief stints with the Braves. Socolovich was cut loose later in the week when Luiz Gohara (#3) returned.
- The Marlins made a pair of minor bullpen moves, as Jarlin Garcia was sent to Triple-A and Nick Wittgren was placed on the disabled list with a minor finger contusion. Tyler Cloyd and Drew Rucinski were both recalled.
- Garcia is a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, as he excelled out of the rotation, but was moved to a bullpen role and floundered. He’s a very promising arm, he just needs to be handled correctly.
- The Marlins acquired Peter O’Brien from the Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations.
- His power had drawn rave reviews from prospect evaluators in the past, but he has struggled over the past two seasons. He’s probably depth for now.
- B.J. Lopez drew a promotion from Class A Greensboro to Class A Advanced Jupiter despite slashing .205/.284/.256, on par with a career .222/.308/.259. The 23-year old took the spot of Chris Hoo, who was released after hitting .205/.272/.315 this season. The 26-year old is really just a depth guy, as he has hit just six home runs with one stolen base over his career, which began when he was drafted in the 27th round of the 2014 draft. He did go to California Polytechnic School, so he has that to fall back on.
New York Mets
- Noah Syndergaard landed on the disabled list on Tuesday with a strained ligament in his right index finger. It isn’t considered to be a very serious injury.
- P.J. Conlon was optioned to the minor leagues on Monday following the Memorial Day double-header with the Braves, and was booted from the 40-man roster in a series of moves that saw the Mets select the contracts of Scott Copeland and Tim Peterson while recalling Buddy Baumann from Triple-A. Phillip Evans and Jacob Rhame (#32) were each optioned to the minors. Copeland was cut loose one day later to make room for Jose Lobaton. Conlon was claimed by the Dodgers and Copeland was sent outright.
- Looking at these guys, I wouldn’t expect much out of Copeland, who was just signed out of Indy Ball earlier this season, while Peterson is a low ceiling relief prospect who has done very well throughout his time in the minors. He has decent control and averages about 90 on his fastball.
- Prior to his DFA, Conlon replaced Andrew Church in Triple-A, as the former second round pick announced his retirement after posting a 4.73 ERA over 430 career innings in the Mets’ system. He signed for $850,000 back in 2013.
- The Mets dropped a pair of rookie leaguers in outfielder Kenneth Bautista and second baseman Pedro Ventura.
- Both guys broke three seasons of experience barrier, which means that they cannot be in that league any longer without counting against the Mets’ limit, which is typically exercised for prospects with high ceilings who need some extra seasoning. Neither of these guys showed enough to earn a promotion.
- Bad news Philly, Rhys Hoskins has a fractured jaw. He was placed on the disabled list and replaced by Dylan Cozens (#11). In the same announcement, Drew Hutchison was cut loose in favor of Mark Leiter.
- I wouldn’t expect the Hoskins injury to sideline him for a very long time, seeing as how he played the rest of the game with it and proceeded to hit a double.
- Cozens has no doubt power, but has stalled out in the upper minors due to a very high strikeout rate. The good news is, he walks enough to maintain a respectable On Base Percentage, but the bad news is that I don’t believe he will able to hit major league pitching just yet. That’s not to say never, but he’s hitting just .226/.325/.440 in Lehigh.
- Leiter replacing Hutchison was the right move. They are very similar players, and Leiter has more team control and the flexibility of minor league options.
- Mitch Walding (#24) saw his contract purchased on Wednesday to replace Pedro Florimon who broke his foot.
- Walding is a power prospect who strikes out a lot and has trouble with breaking stuff. The power is exceptional, and he has the ability to take a walk here and there. I see him as a long-term power bench bat.
- In some somewhat surprising news, outfielder Andrew Pullin retired from Triple-A.
- Pullin had struggled in 2018, hitting .171/.224/.291, but has a considerably more respectable .273/.323/.428 batting line, and could have been a decent bench guy, as he hits from the left side and brings with him some very nice power.
- Right-handed pitcher Harold Arauz was promoted to Double-A on Tuesday, and lefty Joey DeNato was released in a corresponding move.
- Arauz, who was picked up in the Ken Giles deal, pitched a seven inning no-hitter last season and has very good strikeout numbers to go along with decent control and good ground ball numbers. Based on his age, he looks like a possible back-end guy to me, but could well be a swing. It all depends if his stuff would play up in the pen.
- As for DeNato, the 26-year old is actually a rather solid relief prospect. He pitched six innings of shutout ball for the Phillies’ organization this season, and has a career 2.69 ERA while displaying decent enough control and the ability to go multiple innings. The big knock on him is his fastball that only touches the high-80’s and a fringy arsenal. Furthermore, while he can get lefties out with the best of them, he struggles against righties. He’s the very definition of a good major league LOOGY.
- Outfielder Yahir Gurrola was also released and replaced by Jesus Alastre at Class A Lakewood.
- Alastre hasn’t played yet this season, but is coming off of a season in which he hit .301/.351/.391 over 50 games between Class A Short Season and Class A. He’s a contact oriented outfielder who has some speed, but no power whatsoever. He could well make it to the majors as a fourth outfielder. He’s still just 21.
- Gurrola, 22, was drafted in the 27th round last season and has hit .242/.304/.313 while showing slight speed but no power.
- Brian Goodwin rejoined the team on Friday and Andrew Stevenson was optioned to the minor leagues to make room for him.
- The following day, Jefry Rodriguez replaced Tim Collins on the active roster, as he was placed on the paternity leave list.
- Ryan Madson is back after a brief absence, and replaced Trevor Gott in the bullpen. To accommodate Gott in Triple-A, Cody Saterwhite was released after posting a 4.91 ERA over his first 3.2 innings pitched.
- The 31-year old was a second round bust in 2008 who had signed for $600,000. Ever since he was released by the Tigers following the 2011 season, he has been a journeyman going from the Mets, to the Orioles to the Nationals. He also spent some time overseas.
- In a tough blow to the Cubs’ pen, Carl Edwards Jr. was placed on the disabled list with some right shoulder inflammation. While it is unclear how long he will be sidelined, Cory Mazzoni (#40) was recalled in his place.
- Efren Navarro, who was designated for assignment to make room for Chris Gimenez last week, cleared waivers on Tuesday and was sent outright to Triple-A Iowa. He has the option to elect free agency.
- It was a rough week for Homer Bailey.
- The Reds picked up Curt Casaliin a cash trade from the Rays on Thursday. He was placed on the active roster replacing Tony Cruz, but, the 40-man roster casualty was Rosell Herrera.
- I don’t see the value in keeping Tony Cruz on the 40-man roster. The 31-year old currently carries a .170/.268/.255 line at Triple-A.
- The Reds made a taxi-move on Tuesday swapping righty Tanner Rainey (#40) for Jesus Reyes. Reyes was sent back down the following day to make room for closer Rasiel Iglesias, butshould be back in short order.
- Jesus Reyes had never played in a major league game prior to the call-up, and while he had been unimpressive at Double-A Pensacola, posting a 5.97 ERA over 37.2 innings, his peripherals suggest that he’s been closer to a 3.93 ERA.
- Reyes is a high-octane reliever, who has a four-seam that can hit 98, and an impressive sinker that typically works in the mid-90’s. He’s known for being very good at inducing weak contact, and has a slider, which is a work in progress, but has a lot of potential. I like his chances of sticking in a major league bullpen in a set-up role more than most taxi-relievers, but I wouldn’t expect much more than a part-time reliever who is up and back for the time being.
- Zach Davies landed on the disabled list on Friday and was replaced by Ji-Man Choi on the active roster. It remains to be seen how long he will be sidelined.
- Tyler Saladino landed on the disabled list on Wednesday with a sprained left ankle. Orlando Arcia is back after a brief stop off in the minors. Personally, I believe the Brewers used that as a wake up call more than a legitimate demotion. Hopefully, it can light a fire under him.
- The Brewers promoted minor league reliever Josh Uhen to Double-A Biloxi and released righty Angel Ventura to make room.
- Neither pitchers are very good. Uhen has walked 17 guys while hitting four over nine innings this season, and has an underwhelming 4.32 ERA for his career, mainly in relief. He has a fifth round pick in 2013.
- As for Ventura, the 25-year old typically works in the low-90’s and has decent average to slightly above average control. He has a promising fastball/slider combo, but has difficulty repeating his mechanics, which causes difficulty.
- The Brewers signed Danny Reynolds off of the Sugar Land Skeeters earlier in the week. He was once a frequent waiver claim, as he went from the Angels to the Dodgers to the Astros back to the Angels and then to the Braves within about a year.
- The Pirates released right-handed pitcher Brett McKinney from Triple-A Indianapolis. There was no corresponding move announced.
- McKinney, 27, is a relief prospect with a career 3.91 ERA. Overall, he’s never really been very spectacular, and seeing as how minor league righty relievers are a dime a dozen, I wouldn’t be shocked to see McKinney sign in independent ball.
St. Louis Cardinals
- In what became one of the most disappointing events of the season, Alex Reyes (#2) left his first start of the 2018 season with a lat strain. This triggered a series of transactions including Mike Mayers (#31), who was sent down to replace Reyes, Austin Gomber (#4) and Luke Voit being recalled to replace Reyes, Tyler O’Neill (#8) and John Gant.
- Reyes has one of, if not the, highest ceilings in the game. I am, however, shocked that he being placed on the active roster right out of the gate, after missing the better part of the last two seasons with the injury and the suspension. He’s definitely a case to monitor very closely, as he could push the Cardinals over the top.
- In some minor news, the Cardinals released rookie league outfielder Carlos Talavera based on the fact that he has exceeded the service time limit for rookie ball and has a career line of .203/.304/.260.
- Jorge De La Rosa was placed on the disabled list and was replaced by Jake Barrett.
- Henry Owens, Brad Goldberg, and Tyler Ladendorf were all acquired by the Diamondbacks to serve as minor league depth.
- David Dahl was placed on the disabled list with a right foot fracture. He was replaced on the active roster DJ LaMahieu, who has been back and forth between the active roster and the disabled list.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Clayton Kershaw is back on the disabled list with a lower back strain. Brock Stewart was recalled from Triple-A.
- This is really bad timing for Kershaw to begin to dealing with injuries as bad. While I still anticipate him to opt-out of his contract, I would not feel very comfortable giving him a very large contract this winter.
- The Dodgers made a nice pick-up of P.J. Conlon (#29) on waivers from the Mets.
- I would completely expect Conlon to be put back through waivers based on the fact that he is under team control through 2021 even if sent through based on the fact that he was drafted in 2015.
- Kenta Maeda and Chase Utley were placed on the disabled list on Wednesday and replaced by switch pitcher Pat Venditte and top prospect Dennis Santana (#13).
- Prospect rankings on Santana typically peg him around tenth in the organization. The 22-year old righty can control a fastball that tops out at 98 reasonably well (probably 45 on a scouting scale) and pairs it with an above average to plus slider. The change, while possibly an option in the future, is fringy. I see him as a sky is the limit reliever if the change never comes in. I would put his 50% as a top of the line situational reliever who is used in a set-up capacity against right-handed batters. If the change develops further and he can keep his control around where it’s at, he could be a three, and if the control can’t keep up, despite the mastery of the change-up, he’s probably a closer.
- In a procedural fringe player move, the Dodgers sent Brock Stewart down to the minor leagues in order to recall Breyvic Valera and have an extra bat on hand. Stewart will be back up when it’s his turn to start again.
- Danny Espinosa has already been released and replaced by Guillermo Moscoco on the active roster at Triple-A after he hit .190/.236/.276 over 32 games. Honestly, this could very well be the end of the line for the utility guy who has now been abysmal for five organizations over the last two years.
San Diego Padres
- The Padres activated recently acquired starter Phil Hughes on Tuesday and optioned Tyler Webb (#38) to the minor leagues.
- Walker Lockett was recalled from Triple-A to replace Kazuhisa Makita.
- Makita has not been a great free agent investment thus far. He has allowed runs in seven of his 19 appearances.
- Right-handed pitcher Will Stillman was released from Class A Fort Wayne after posting a 14.29 ERA over his first four games. He was replaced by 23-year old Korey Anderson.
- Stillman was a sixth round pick in 2016 who signed for a well underslot $50,000 deal. He posted a career 5.93 ERA.
- Anderson hasn’t shown anything special either, as he has a career 5.82 ERA over 17 innings in the majors. While he has struck 19 out, he has also walked six. He was an undrafted free agent last season.
- Also released from Fort Wayne, was right-handed pitcher Jared Carkuff. He was repalced by fellow righty Diomar Lopez.
- Carkuff was one of the pieces acquired in the Yangervis Solarte trade over the offseason. He had a 6.00 ERA over his first 24 innings in the Padres system, most of which coming at Class A. He’ll probably get another shot elsewhere based on his control and his decent track record. He had a 1.69 ERA in 2016 and a 3.86 last season, pitching well in A-ball.
- Lopez is another control pitcher from Nicaragua. While his career numbers are pretty solid (3.65 ERA, 7.86 K/9, 2.26 BB/9), he has struggled mightily this season following a promotion to Class A Advanced. He allowed 11 earned runs over ten innings, hence the reason he’s back in Class A.
San Francisco Giants
- Joe Panik and Mark Melancon were activated from the disabled list on Friday and Kelby Tomlinson and Jose Valdez were the two roster casualties. Valdez was designated for assignment.
- Jeff Samardzija was placed on the disabled list with some right shoulder tightness and was replaced by Tyler Beede. Derek Law was sent down to Triple-A as well.
- Brandon Belt also landed on the disabled list this week, but Hunter Pence and Alen Hanson were activated from the disabled list. Gregor Blanco and Jose Valdez were both sent off of the 40-man roster as well.
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