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Dustin McGowan Rumors
Here are the day’s minor moves …
- Phillies righty Dustin McGowan has been added to the Triple-A roster at Lehigh Valley, per Director of Media Relations Matt Provence (via Twitter), meaning that he accepted his outright assignment. The club has also released infielder Jayson Nix. Over 195 plate appearances this year at the Triple-A level with the Phillies and Orioles organizations, Nix has struggled to a .162/.196/.222 slash. He has seen at least some MLB action in each of the past seven seasons, but will need to find another minor league opportunity to work his way back to the big leagues.
- The Tigers have released infielder Josh Prince, James Schmehl of MLive.com reports. Prince, 27, joined the Detroit organization as a minor league free agent after spending his entire prior pro career with the Brewers. He enjoyed a cup of coffee in 2013, but has otherwise played exclusively in the minors. Prince’s primary calling card is his speed — he has 217 professional stolen bases over parts of seven seasons — and his up the middle capabilities on defense. He had scuffled to a .205/.295/.299 slash in his 132 plate appearances at the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate.
Today’s outright assignments…
- The Phillies outrighted Dustin McGowan to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, according to the MLB.com transactions page. The 33-year-old has struggled with his control this season, leading to a 6.94 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. McGowan’s 21 strikeouts in that time are a solid mark, but he’s also walked 20 hitters, and his ground-ball rate is down significantly from its peak — a trend that began last year in Toronto and has continued in 2015.
- Padres left-hander Eury De La Rosa cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A El Paso, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune (via Twitter). De La Rosa, 25, has pitched exclusively at Triple-A this year, working to a 4.03 ERA with 6.9 K/9 against 5.6 BB/9 over 22 1/3 frames. That represents a career-worst K:BB ratio in his professional career.
- As we passed along earlier today, Mets pitcher Dillon Gee was also placed on outright waivers. As the DFA Tracker shows, that leaves six players in DFA limbo: Jhonatan Solano, Phillippe Aumont, Andy Parrino, Hector Noesi, Jeff Bianchi, and Rickie Weeks.
The 33-year-old McGowan has already been outrighted off the 40-man roster once this season but remained with the organization after he cleared waivers. He’ll have the option o elect free agency once again, if he is ultimately exposed to waivers and clears for a second time. The veteran swingman has struggled with his control this season, leading to a 6.94 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. McGowan’s 21 strikeouts in that time are a solid mark, but he’s also walked 20 hitters, and his ground-ball rate is down significantly from its peak — a trend that began last year in Toronto and has continued in 2015.
Diekman, 28, entered the season as one of the more intriguing arms in the Phillies’ bullpen mix but struggled to a 6.75 ERA through 21 1/3 innings before being optioned to Triple-A earlier this month. His brief trip to the minors was as encouraging as Phillies’ decision-makers could possibly have hoped, as he fired seven scoreless innings, allowing just five hits and a walk while punching out seven batters. Diekman whiffed 100 hitters in just 71 innings last year and posted FIP, xFIP and SIERA marks between 2.64 and 2.85, suggesting that he had performed much better than his 3.80 ERA otherwise indicated. He’ll likely rejoin Ken Giles as a setup option for closer Jonathan Papelbon, though he could move into a more prominent role in the Philly bullpen if Papelbon is ultimately traded.
Here are the day’s minor moves:
- Several notable players are en route to the big leagues. The Giants have brought back third baseman Casey McGehee after he hit well in a brief Triple-A stint (having accepted an optional assignment). Fellow veteran Dustin McGowan, a right-hander, has been recalled by the Phillies; he had been outrighted off the 40-man earlier in the year. And the Dodgers have called up outfielder Scott Schebler, the organization’s minor league player of the year in 2013, who will see his first MLB action. He was placed on the club’s 40-man roster last year, though his numbers have fallen off somewhat early this season after two consecutive .900+ OPS campaigns in the high minors.
- Most exciting of all, perhaps, is the news that the Athletics have announced that switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has been added to the big league roster. A nearly-unprecedented hurler, Venditte reverses the very idea of platoons by moving seamlessly between pitching with his right and left arms. He’s been outstanding this year at Triple-A, tossing 33 frames of 1.36 ERA ball with 9.0 K/9 against 3.5 BB/9. The 29-year-old has been particularly stingy when facing lefties, holding them to a remarkable .095/.136/.095 slash.
- First baseman Chris Marrero has reached a minor league deal with the White Sox, Mike Ashmore of MyCentralJersey.com writes. The former Nationals prospect, now 26, had been playing with the indy league Somerset Patriots. He’ll report to Double-A for the Chicago organization.
- The Nationals have released lefty Brett Mooneyham, who was their third-round pick in the 2012 draft, Matt Eddy of Baseball America tweets. Mooneyham, a 25-year-old Stanford product, has struggled badly with control and shifted exclusively to the pen at the A-ball level this year. He owned just a 6.41 ERA over 19 2/3 frames with 16 strikeouts against 13 walks.
- Rangers prospect Travis Demeritte, a first-round pick in 2013, has been hit with an 80-game suspension for using banned substances, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest reports on Twitter. The infielder was repeating the Sally League at age 20. Over 664 plate appearances at the level, he owns a .220/.320/.438 slash with 30 long balls and 16 stolen bases but a whopping 240 strikeouts.
The Phillies announced this afternoon that they’ve outrighted Dustin McGowan to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The move will clear space on the 25-man roster for the promotion of Maikel Franco, and it also, of course, clears a spot on the 40-man roster, reducing the current total to 39.
The 33-year-old McGowan signed with the Phillies late in Spring Training after being cut loose by the Dodgers. He’s struggled to a 5.79 ERA in 14 innings with the Phils, however, with the most troubling part about his performance being an eye-popping 16 walks in those 14 frames. McGowan has battled slight control issues in the past, but never anything of this magnitude.
That McGowan was outrighted means that he’s already cleared waivers. The Phillies, then, opted to immediately place McGowan on waivers as opposed to designate the righty for assignment.
The Mets announced today that closer Jenrry Mejia will be placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 5, due to posterior elbow inflammation. Mejia’s injury adds another to a long list of pitching injuries for the Mets early in the season, but his injury does appear to be of the short-term variety. Jeurys Familia will step into Mejia’s spot in the closer’s role in the interim. (Fantasy players looking to stay on top of closer situations can follow MLBTR’s fantasy-focused @closernews handle on Twitter.)
Here’s more from the NL East…
- Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg explained to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki the team’s thought process in its final roster decisions at the end of Spring Training. Signing right-hander Dustin McGowan upon his release from the Dodgers was a welcome move for Philadelphia, as they’d had interest in him earlier in the offseason before he signed in L.A. Jeff Francoeur was selected for a roster spot despite others performing better in spring because the team wanted a right-handed bat on the bench and felt that Francoeur’s clubhouse presence would benefit the young players on the roster. Cesar Hernandez was outperformed by Cord Phelps, but the Phillies wanted a shortstop on the bench, and Hernandez was out of Minor League options, paving his way to the Opening Day roster.
- Nationals center fielder Denard Span may be back from core muscle surgery sooner than expected, writes MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Span has already begun performing hard sprint drills and has played defense in a pair of Minor League games. Span tells Ladson that he he thinks he could potentially return to the lineup before the calendar flips to May, potentially putting him about two weeks ahead of schedule.
- Freddie Freeman was among the Braves players to speak to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman about the difficulty of losing Craig Kimbrel as a teammate following Kimbrel’s trade to the Padres. “He got sent down from High A to Low A, and then all of the sudden became Craig Kimbrel,” Freeman reminisced. “It’s the craziest thing. When a guy gets traded, you think about all those stories in the Minor Leagues. … It’s definitely tough seeing him go. But I think everybody’s mentality in this clubhouse is to prove everybody wrong.” Manager Fredi Gonzalez said he felt the players handled the news well, and veteran Jonny Gomes worked to make sure that the trade wasn’t something dwelled upon as the team geared up for Opening Day, Bowman adds.
8:51pm: Philadelphia has confirmed it’s a one-year, major league deal via Twitter. He’ll pitch out of the bullpen.
8:05pm: MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki confirmed the deal and implied McGowan will make the Opening Day bullpen. The club has announced six relievers. They have a seventh – Luis Garcia – in camp. However, Garcia still has options.
7:12pm: The Phillies have agreed to a deal with right-handed pitcher Dustin McGowan, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN (via Twitter). No word yet on whether it’s a major or minor league deal. He was released by the Dodgers on Tuesday.
The oft-injured 33-year-old posted a 6.75 ERA with five strikeouts and one walk in eight spring innings. He appeared for the Blue Jays last year with a 4.17 ERA, 6.70 K/9, and 3.62 BB/9 in 82 innings split between eight starts and 45 relief appearances.
Here’s the latest from the Twins as they head towards their Monday opener in Detroit…
- The Twins aren’t looking for starting pitching help right now as they feel they already have enough internal candidates to replace Ervin Santana, La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (Twitter link). Mike Pelfrey will step into the rotation while Santana serves his 80-game suspension, with Trevor May and Alex Meyer on hand as depth options.
- Though the Twins were recently “kicking the tires” on righty Dustin McGowan, 1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson reports that the former Blue Jay isn’t going to end up in Minnesota (Twitter link). The Twins are known to be seeking bullpen help, so they may yet strike a deal with a different player or pick someone up on waivers before Opening Day.
- Santana’s suspension is the latest blow to Minnesota’s recent history of free agent pitching signings, CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa writes. While the Phil Hughes signing was a big success, Pelfrey and Ricky Nolasco underachieved last season after signing multi-year deals and now Santana will miss the first half-season of his four-year, $54MM contract. While there’s still lots of time for Santana, Nolasco and Pelfrey to make good on their deals, Axisa notes that the mid-market Twins can’t afford to make expensive mistakes in free agency.
- Unsurprisingly, Twins GM Terry Ryan tells Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the club bases its decision to call up prospects not on service time, but on the player’s readiness for the majors. The service time debate could soon arise in Minnesota when star prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are close to the bigs. The Twins didn’t delay Joe Mauer‘s service clock in 2004, yet Miller observes that doing so would’ve gained the team an extra year of control over Mauer and possibly saved them some money off the $184MM extension he eventually signed.
Condolences go out to the family and friends of Twins Minor League instructor/manager Riccardo Ingram, who as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes, lost a battle with brain cancer yesterday at the age of 48. Ingram spent 17 seasons in the Twins organization as a manager, coach and roving hitting instructor. “It’s very sad news,” said GM Terry Ryan. “…He’s one of those guys where it would be very difficult for me to find somebody who had a bad thing to say about Riccardo Ingram.” Originally diagnosed in 2009, Ingram overcame his first bout with the disease and returned to his post with the Twins through the 2014 season. Said manager Paul Molitor: “I think we were all blessed we were able to get those five or six years with him after the original diagnosis. But it’s not easy.”
Here are a few more items from around the AL Central…
- There’s been “some progress” between the Indians and ace Corey Kluber on an extension, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link), but it remains unclear whether or not the team will strike a deal by the reported Opening Day deadline. Kluber is not yet arbitration-eligible, but a repeat of anything close to his 2014 Cy Young season would make his first price tag in arb enormous, so there’s some benefit for Cleveland to seek cost certainty at this juncture despite the fact that Kluber is a late bloomer and thus older than most extension candidates.
- Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander will open the season on the disabled list due a right triceps strain, writes MLive.com’s Chris Iott. Incredibly, this will mark the first DL stint of Verlander’s exceptional career. Though the injury is not considered serious, it’s an ominous start for the former ace after he led the AL in earned runs allowed in 2014 and struggled to a 5.63 ERA (10 runs in 16 innings) this spring. He’s tentatively slated to come off the DL on April 12.
- Also opening the season on the DL will be flamethrowing righty Bruce Rondon, who is experiencing biceps tendinitis. The injury appears to be unrelated to last year’s Tommy John surgery, but Rondon didn’t throw back-to-back days all spring and won’t be activated until he is able to do so. Manager Brad Ausmus said he doesn’t know when Rondon will throw again, via Iott. The Tigers already have a precariously thin bullpen, and the loss of Rondon for any significant chunk of time would further cloud the outlook.
- The Twins are “kicking the tires” on right-hander Dustin McGowan, who was recently released by the Dodgers, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). Via Wolfson, the Twins had interest in McGowan back in November, but their interest faded later in the offseason as he remained unsigned. Perhaps disappointing Spring Training efforts from some internal bullpen candidates have rekindled some of that interest. McGowan recorded an uninspiring 4.17 ERA in 82 innings (eight starts, 45 relief appearances) with Toronto last season, but he was much better out of the ‘pen than in the rotation, as he has been throughout his career. McGowan’s 3.79 ERA as a reliever is nearly a full run lower than his 4.78 mark as a starter, though xFIP feels he’s about the same pitcher in either role (4.30 vs. 4.32).
The Dodgers have released righty Dustin McGowan, Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweets. Additionally, the Dodgers will pay Mike Adams a $100K roster bonus by starting him off in Triple-A, as MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports on Twitter.
McGowan had been in camp on a big league deal that guaranteed him a league minimum salary and came with a $1MM Opening Day roster bonus. The 33-year-old had strong results last year when working from the pen for the Blue Jays. Though he struggled as a starter, he held opposing hitters to a .215/.284/.405 line and posting a 3.35 ERA in 43 relief innings. But McGowan was not sharp this spring, allowing six earned runs in eight frames.
Adams, of course, has an excellent performance record but comes with shoulder questions. The veteran was knocked around somewhat this spring, but proved late last year that he can still miss bats and get outs at the big league level.