Edgmer Escalona Rumors
The Orioles have announced via a press release they have designated left-hander Mike Belfiore for assignment. The move, along with placing right-hander Edgmer Escalona on the 60-day disabled list, clears roster space for the addition of outfielder Delmon Young and right-hander Evan Meek to the 40-man roster.
Belfiore made his MLB debut last September for the Orioles throwing 1 1/3 innings against the Red Sox allowing three hits, including a pair of home runs. At Triple-A, the 25-year-old made 37 relief outings posting a 3.18 ERA, 9.7 K/9, and 3.4 BB/9. The Diamondbacks made Belfiore the 45th overall pick in the 2009 amateur draft, but shipped him to Baltimore in 2012 as the player to be named later when they acquired Josh Bell.
The 27-year-old Escalona pitched to a 5.67 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9 and a 39.9 percent ground-ball rate in 46 innings for the Rockies in 2013. The Venezuelan hurler hasn't had much big league success but has averaged 94.2 mph on his heater over the past two seasons.
It's worth pointing out that Escalona had pitched to a 3.38 ERA with a strong 27-to-7 K/BB ratio through his first 32 innings. On June 9, he allowed three runs in one-third of an inning and hit the disabled list with elbow inflammation. That injury likely contributed to the sky-high 10.93 ERA he posted over his next 14 frames before being designated for assignment.
Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette explained to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that Escalona has been starting in the Venezuelan Winter League and has added a third pitch -- a split-fingered changeup -- that scouts have raved about. Kubatko quotes Duquette: "We feel like he's developing pitches that he needs to be successful in the big leagues. He's got a weapon for left-handed hitters now," (Twitter links).
Escalona has a 2.10 ERA with a 25-to-11 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings in Venezuela this winter. He is the second bullpen piece that Duquette has signed to a Major League deal this week, as the team also picked up lefty Kelvin De La Cruz on Monday despite the fact that he has no Major League experience. With the Escalona signing, the O's now have 33 players on their 40-man roster.
We'll keep tabs on today's minor moves right here ...
- The Rockies have outrighted 26-year-old righty Edgmer Escalona to Triple-A Colorado Springs, the club announced on Twitter. Escalona, who was designated for assignment last Friday, struggled to a 5.67 ERA with Colorado this year.
- The Yankees have released first baseman Dan Johnson, according to the International League transactions page. Sweeny Murti of WFAN was first to report the move (on Twitter). After signing a minor league deal over the off-season, Johnson has posted a strong .253/.379/.447 line in 559 plate appearances at Triple-A this year. The 34-year-old last saw big league action in a short stint with the White Sox last year, and has a career .237/.338/.412 triple-slash over 1,551 MLB plate appearances.
- Three players remain in DFA limbo: Jason Kubel of the Diamondbacks, Russ Canzler of the Pirates, and Aaron Harang of the Mariners. You can keep tabs on designated players via MLBTR's DFA Tracker.
The Rockies tweet that they have designated pitcher Edgmer Escalona for assignment. In related moves, the team also activated Jhoulys Chacin from the bereavement list and promoted pitcher Rob Scahill.
Escalona threw 46 innings in relief for the Rockies this season, posting a 5.67 ERA with 6.7 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. He has appeared in parts of four seasons with the Rockies. Escalona had a 1.54 ERA in mid-May, but his numbers suffered immensely thereafter, culminating when he gave up five runs in a blowout loss to the Braves on August 1.