Josh Rupe Rumors
Ten years ago today, Marlins starter A.J. Burnett pitched a no-hitter against the Padres despite walking nine batters. Now a member of the Yankees' rotation, Burnett is off to a strong start after a disappointing 2010 season. Here's the latest on the Yankees' division rivals...
- Josh Rupe cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Orioles designated the reliever for assignment on Tuesday.
- John Tomase of the Boston Herald notes that the Red Sox inquired about Jose Bautista during the offseason, only to hear that the Blue Jays weren't interested in moving him. Talks never went anywhere, as the Blue Jays were in the process of trading Vernon Wells and extending Bautista (on a deal that’s looking shrewd in the early going).
- John Lackey is in a major rut and he knows it, as Tomase writes. “Everything went wrong that could go wrong,” Lackey said of his start against the Blue Jays last night. “It’s pretty much the story of the whole damn year.”
- Don Connolly of the Baltimore Sun looks back at the 2008 trade that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman and others and concludes that it was one of the top five deals in Orioles history, but not quite as good as it seemed a year or two ago.
- James Shields has re-emerged as a top pitcher and is pitching with a sense of purpose, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, who spoke to the Rays right-hander about his 2011 success.
- In today's Insider-only blog post, ESPN's Buster Olney notes that Rays ace David Price is relying heavily on his fastball. Price threw 103 fastballs out of 112 pitches yesterday, though he averaged a season-high 95.3 mph with the pitch and threw it to both sides of the plate.
The Orioles designated righty Josh Rupe for assignment to open a 25-man roster spot for shortstop J.J. Hardy, according to the team. Since Hardy was already on the 40-man, the team now has 39 players on that roster.
Rupe, 28, tossed 14 1/3 unimpressive relief innings for the Orioles this year. He signed a minor league deal with Baltimore in December and made the team out of Spring Training. He spent last year relieving for the Royals' Triple-A affiliate, posting a 2.92 ERA, 8.4 K/9, 4.0 BB/9, and 0.9 HR/9 in 52 1/3 innings.
A third-round pick of the White Sox in '02, Rupe was traded to the Rangers in July of '03 along with Frank Francisco and Anthony Webster for Carl Everett. He battled elbow problems in his Rangers career and was designated for assignment in April of '09.
As the Orioles' roster rounds into shape heading into Spring Training, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun has a few items of note ...
- The Orioles still have interest in free-agent pitcher Justin Duchscherer, although the O's were not one of the two teams for which the right-hander recently worked out, as reported by Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Duchscherer will likely hold another open workout for any interested teams to check him out in the next week or so, Zrebiec notes, and he thinks the O's will be there. Duchscherer's son lives in New Jersey, which is relatively close to Baltimore, and the righty is looking to join a team he can start for, which the Orioles can offer.
- The Orioles have not been aggressively pursuing free-agent slugger Vladimir Guerrero, contrary to a report by ESPNDeportes.com earlier on Thursday. If Guerrero's market shrinks enough, the O's may be interested, Zrebiec writes, but otherwise they plan on moving forward with Luke Scott as their designated hitter, and Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie platooning in left field.
- The Orioles have not officially announced their list of non-roster invitees to Spring Training, but Zrebiec reports the following players will be among them: Armando Gabino, Raul Rivero, Josh Rupe, Adam Donachie, Michel Hernandez, Caleb Joseph, Ryan Adams, Brendan Harris and Tyler Henson.
We'll keep track of the day's minor signings, trades and claims right here:
- The Orioles agreed to sign right-handed reliever Josh Rupe to a minor league deal, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The 28-year-old appeared in 11 games for the Royals in 2010, posting a 5.59 ERA with eight strikeouts and seven walks in 9 2/3 innings. The 2002 third-rounder also posted a 2.92 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 52 1/3 Triple-A innings.
- The Mariners signed right-hander Yusmeiro Petit, left-hander Chris Seddon and outfielder Mike Wilson as minor league free agents, according to the team. All three players receive invitations to big league Spring Training. Petit, who turned 26 yesterday, has a 5.57 ERA with 6.9 K/9 and 2.9 BB/9 in 229 1/3 big league innings over the course of four seasons. He last pitched in the majors for the 2009 D'Backs.
- The Dodgers added right-handed reliever Oscar Villarreal as a non-roster invitee, according to Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times. The 29-year-old hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2008, but he has logged 336 innings in the major leagues. He has a respectable 3.86 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 258 appearances.
FRIDAY, 9:48pm: MLB.com's Samuel Zuba reports that Rupe has cleared waivers and accepted his outright assignment to Triple-A.
WEDNESDAY, 4:29pm: The Royals designated Josh Rupe for assignment, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. The Royals had to make room for Blake Wood, a right-hander who got the call from Triple A Omaha. Rupe allowed all four batters he faced to reach base last night and he allowed a homer in his previous outing. In 9.2 innings this season, the 27-year-old righty has rates of 7.4 K/9 and 6.5 BB/9.
Wood, 24, has a fastball that touches 97 mph with a power curveball and an average changeup, according to Baseball America's 2010 handbook. BA suggests the former starter could have a future as a setup man. This year, Wood has pitched 16.2 innings, with 6.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9.
The Kansas City Royals have signed a pair of players, pitcher Josh Rupe and outfielder Buck Coats, to minor league contracts, according to a press release.
Rupe, 27, pitched four times out of the bullpen for the Texas Rangers last season, posting a 15.43 ERA and allowing 17 baserunners in just 4.2 IP. The right-hander was a little more successful for the Rangers in 2008, recording a 5.14 ERA in 89.1 IP of mostly mop-up duty.
Coats spent all of 2009 with Las Vegas, the Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate, where he hit .302/.361/.416. In 62 career big-league plate appearances, the 27-year-old has posted a .193/.242/.333 line.