Dan Runzler Rumors

Minor Moves: Mijares, Bowden, Runzler

Here’s a roundup of some recent minor league transactions from around baseball, with the newest moves at the top of the post.  All moves are from Matt Eddy of Baseball America, unless credited otherwise.

  • The Reds have signed southpaw Jose Mijares and right-hander Michael Bowden to minor league deals.  Mijares posted strong numbers (3.23 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.22 K/BB rate) over 259 relief innings with the Twins, Royals and Giants from 2008-13 but didn’t pitch in 2014 after he opted out of his minor league deal with the Red Sox last March.  Bowden was drafted 47th overall by the Red Sox in the 2005 draft and was considered a top prospect during his stint in Boston’s minor league system.  He couldn’t manage that same success in the majors, posting a 4.51 ERA over 133 2/3 innings with the Red Sox and Cubs from 2008-13.  Bowden pitched in Japan in 2014.
  • The Diamondbacks signed left-hander Dan Runzler to a minor league contract.  Runzler posted a 3.86 ERA, 9.7 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 over 72 1/3 IP with San Francisco from 2009-12 and was released by the Giants’ Triple-A team last July so he could pitch in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes.
  • The Marlins inked outfielder Vinny Rottino to a minor league deal.  Rottino, 34, is returning to North American baseball for the first time since 2012 after playing in Korea and Japan over the last two seasons.  This is Rottino’s second stint in Miami, as he played for the Marlins, Mets, Indians and Brewers while collecting 110 career Major League plate appearances.
  • The Rangers signed infielder Tommy Field to a minor league contract.  Field received 81 plate appearances with the Rockies and Angels from 2011-13 and he spent last season at the Triple-A level in the Angels and Pirates organizations.
  • The Royals outrighted outfielder Moises Sierra and right-hander Casey Coleman to Triple-A, the team announced via Twitter.  The two players were both designated for assignment last week to create roster spots for the recently-signed Kendrys Morales and Yohan Pino, respectively.
  • The Blue Jays announced the signing of left-hander Andrew Albers to a minor league deal that includes a Spring Training invite.  Albers posted a 5.89 ERA over 28 starts for Hanwha of the (very hitter-friendly) Korean Baseball Organization in 2014.  His Major League experience consists of a 4.05 ERA, 3.8 K/9 and 3.57 K/BB rate over 60 innings with the Twins in 2013.

Dan Runzler Released To Pursue Opportunity In Japan

Here are the day’s minor moves:

  • The Giants have released lefty Dan Runzler to allow him to sign with Japan’s Orix Buffaloes, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports on Twitter. He’ll be signed through the end of the year, with a 2015 option, per a tweet from Alex Pavlovic of the Mercury News. Runzler, 29, has 72 1/3 MLB innings and a 3.86 career ERA on his resume, but has pitched exclusively at the Triple-A level over the past two years. In 2014, he owns a 3.30 ERA over 46 1/3 frames.

Minor Moves: Runzler, Bowden, Gillespie, Tanaka

Here are today's minor moves from around the league…

  • After being designated for assignment by the Giants on Tuesday, lefty Dan Runzler has been outrighted to Triple-A, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Having failed to regain his 2009-10 form, when he was effective out of the San Francisco pen, Runzler will become a minor league free agent after the season.
  • The Cubs announced that Michael Bowden and Cole Gillespie have both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Iowa after being designated for assignment earlier in the week. The 26-year-old Bowden pitched to a 4.30 ERA with 5.5 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings for the Cubs this season. Gillespie, 29, batted .240/.328/.280 for Chicago in 59 plate appearances after hitting .277/.361/.455 in 269 plate appearances for the Giants' Triple-A affiliate in Fresno.
  • The Giants have released second baseman/left fielder Kensuke Tanaka, according to Chris Cotillo of MLBDailyDish.com (on Twitter). The Giants designated Tanaka for assignment on Tuesday along with Runzler in order to clear 40-man roster spots for right-hander Heath Hembree and catcher Johnny Monell. Tanaka, 32, saw limited time with the Giants this season but excelled in 400 plate appearances at Triple-A Fresno, batting .329/.400/.397 with three homers and 22 steals (though they came in 32 attempts). Tanaka played 55 games at second base and 30 in left field, and he is a career .286/.356/.384 hitter in 4,278 plate appearances in Japan (all of which came with the Nippon Ham Fighters).
  • Following these moves, seven players are in DFA limbo, as can be seen in MLBTR's DFA TrackerAlex LiddiHector AmbrizEdinson Rincon, Hideki Okajima, Juan Diaz, Tim Fedroff and Justin Freeman.


Giants Designate Tanaka, Runzler For Assignment

The Giants have designated Kensuke Tanaka and Dan Runzler for assignment, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).  Baggarly speculated yesterday that Tanaka and Runzler could be bounced from the 40-man roster to make room for minor leaguers Heath Hembree and Johnny Monell and today the Giants followed through on that.

Tanaka, 32, saw time in 15 big league games for the Giants this season but he's spent the bulk of the year at Triple-A, hitting .329/.400/.397 in 400 plate appearances.  The veteran split time between second base and left field for the team's affiliate in Fresno.

Runzler, 28, owns a 3.86 ERA with 9.7 K/9 and 5.5 BB/9 across parts of four seasons for the Giants.  Those numbers are mostly propped up by strong pitching in 2009 and '10; the lefty reliever pitched a 5.52 ERA in the subsequent two years.  He hasn't been able to get back on track at Triple-A Fresno so far this year, posting a 5.68 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 6.4 BB/9.  

To keep track of the many players currently in DFA limbo, be sure to check out MLBTR's new DFA Tracker


Minor Moves: Giants, Phillies, Marlins

Here are today's minor transactions, with the latest at the top of the page…

  • The Giants will call up eight minor leaguers before Tuesday's game, manager Bruce Bochy announced today (Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com has the details).  Two of those players, Heath Hembree and Johnny Monell, will have to be added to the club's 40-man roster.  Baggarly speculates that Kensuke Tanaka and Dan Runzler could be candidates to be removed from the 40-man since they weren't among the list of callups. 
  • The Phillies announced six September callups, including catcher Cameron Rupp, whose contract was selected from Triple-A.  Rupp, a third-round pick in the 2010 draft, has hit .258/.334/.401 with 33 homers over 1334 minor league plate appearances.
  • The Marlins have called up left-hander Brian Flynn, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald tweets, and Flynn will make his Major League debut in a start against the Cubs on Wednesday.  The Marlins will officially select Flynn's contract from Triple-A New Orleans tomorrow, according to the team's transactions page.  Flynn, 23, has a 2.80 ERA in 23 Triple-A starts this season, with a 3.05 K/BB and 122 strikeouts over 138 innings.

Giants Notes: Ross, Runzler, Rowand, Belt

The defending World Champions are off to a slow 1-3 start and will face the Padres tomorrow after a day off. Here's the latest on the Giants…

  • Chris Haft of MLB.com outlines some ways the Giants could create roster space for Cody Ross and Brian Wilson when they return to action. It appears that the Giants will option Dan Runzler to create space for Wilson, but creating space for Ross won't be as simple. Rookie Brandon Belt may have to return to the minor leagues.
  • Haft adds that there's little to any trade rumors involving Aaron Rowand.
  • Manager Bruce Bochy has earned the Giants' respect because they aren't concerned that his motives go beyond winning, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney. That means Belt's transition from prospect to big leaguer has been relatively smooth.
  • John Klima of the LA Times explains how Belt, a fifth rounder, beat many highly-touted prospects to the majors and has earned a roster spot on the defending World Champions.

Baseball Blogs Weigh In: Jays, Bell, Davis, Dunn

On this date in 2002, the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network launched. Although the regional network barely broke even that year, YES has gone on to generate millions in revenue, much of which goes right into the Yankees' pockets. As recently as 2008, there was talk that the network was worth more than the team itself.

After you wrap your head around that, here are some links to check out from around the baseball blogosphere…

If you have a suggestion for this feature, Mike can be reached here.