- The Mariners today announced a bevy of roster moves — they selected the contract of righty Dan Altavilla from Double-A Jackson, recalled first baseman Dae-Ho Lee and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte from Triple-A Tacoma, and placed righty Tom Wilhelmsen on the 15-day disabled list with lower back spasms. (They also optioned outfielder Nori Aoki and infielder Michael Freeman to Tacoma, as had previously been reported.) The 23-year-old Altavilla, a fifth-round pick in 2014, has never pitched above the Double-A level, but he’s had success there this season, posting a 1.91 ERA, 8.8 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9 in 56 2/3 innings.
Wade Davis is making progress on his way back to the Royals, as he’s set for an inning of action at Triple-A, as MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan tweets. Kansas City has thrived without their 30-year-old closer, but that doesn’t mean his return doesn’t come with anticipation. The defending World Series champs have clawed their way back into the postseason picture — no surprise for this group — but still sits four games out of Wild Card position and need every advantage that can be found.
Here’s more from the American League:
- The Mariners optioned outfielder Nori Aoki to Triple-A tonight as part of a series of roster moves, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times was among those to tweet. While he has struggled for much of the year, Aoki has actually been quite useful at the plate in August with a .338/.392/.426 batting line for the month. But Seattle needed fresh arms, and so took advantage of the ability to remove the veteran from the active roster for the time being. He’ll surely be back shortly with rosters expanding in a few days.
- Orioles outfielder Adam Jones left tonight’s action with what the team is calling a hamstring strain. That could be a big problem for the O’s, who not only need Jones’s bat in the lineup but don’t have any ready replacements on their depth chart. But skipper Buck Showalter says that he doesn’t believe Jones will require a DL stint, as Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com tweets.
- Earlier today, the Orioles designated righty Logan Ondrusek off of their active roster. Unlike a typical DFA, the move simply puts the player on ice while he is passed through optional assignment waives. The procedural step was taken to enable the team to reinstate lefty T.J. McFarland from the DL.
- The Angels have hired a new amateur scouting, adding former Cardinals cross-checker Matt Swanson, as ESPN.com’s Keith Law reported on Twitter. Los Angeles has continued to experience change in the upper levels of its player intake and development departments, which is no surprise given that GM Billy Eppler only took the helm last October.
- Just like their AL West rivals, the Athletics are engaged in a complicated ballpark situation, though their’s may be trending away from their current digs at the O.Co Coliseum. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier & Ross recently provided a look at the latest on the search for a new site, with quiet majority owner John Fisher said to be looking closely at a spot in Oakland’s Howard Terminal that is the preferred spot of mayor Libby Schaaf.
The Mariners will make a series of roster moves this afternoon, per Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, who reports that lefty James Paxton will be activated from the disabled list with fellow southpaw Wade LeBlanc being designated for assignment in order to clear a spot on the roster. The Mariners will also option right-hander Tony Zych to Triple-A and recall infielder Mike Freeman to give the club another bat as Kyle Seager nurses a sore foot.
LeBlanc, 32, was picked up from the Blue Jays back on June 22 in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations and gave Seattle a series of steady starts to help stabilize the rotation amid injuries. In 44 2/3 innings out of the rotation, LeBlanc turned in a 4.43 ERA with a 34-to-9 K/BB ratio, managing to work his way around an alarming 12 homers in that time. He’s also made three relief appearances, yielding three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Paxton, 27, has been out for most of August after suffering a contusion on his left forearm when he was hit by a comebacker. He’s posted a 3.53 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9 in a career-high 81 2/3 innings for the Mariners this season.
- Mariners righty Drew Storen is headed to the 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, per a club announcement. His active roster spot will go to outfielder Guillermo Heredia. While the Seattle pen has several injured hurlers filtering back to the majors and remains a solid overall unit, it’s another blow for the 29-year-old Storen. Since coming to the M’s a few weeks back after being designated by the Blue Jays, Storen has thrown 10 1/3 innings of 4.35 ERA ball. That’s an improvement in the results department over his poor half-season in Toronto, but Storen has recorded only six strikeouts in Seattle and hasn’t reversed his pronounced velocity decline. He’ll be a free agent after the year, and will surely end up seeking an opportunity to bounce back and return to being the quality late-inning arm he was during most of his six seasons with the Nationals. [Related: Updated Mariners Depth Chart]
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league, each courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted…
- The D-backs have outrighted left-hander Adam Loewen to Triple-A Reno following last week’s DFA. The 32-year-old has spent time as both a pitcher and an outfielder over the life of his pro career but has returned to the mound for the past few seasons. He yielded 10 runs in six big league innings with the D-backs this year but had a 3.43 ERA in 39 1/3 innings with Reno prior to the original purchase of his contract. Loewen has whiffed 44 batters in that time, but he’s also walked 28, demonstrating some significant control problems.
- Outfielder Daniel Robertson has been outrighted to Triple-A by the Mariners. He, too, was designated for assignment last week but, like Loewen, ultimately cleared waivers. The 30-year-old can handle all three outfield positions and has a solid .289/.361/.394 batting line in parts of five Triple-A seasons to go along with a .277/.322/.325 slash in 298 big league PAs.
- The Angels have outrighted second baseman Sean Coyle to Double-A after he was designated for assignment last weekend. The Halos picked up the former Red Sox prospect on waivers earlier this year, but his .140/.252/.237 slash in 110 plate appearances with the Angels’ Double-A affiliate led to the loss of his 40-man roster spot.
- The Angels also released fleet-footed outfielder Quintin Berry from their Triple-A affiliate. The 31-year-old Berry batted .270/.348/.325 with 35 stolen bases in 45 attempts over the life of 100 games/395 plate appearances this season. Berry’s wheels have landed him a big league job in each of the past three Septembers, and another club could look to add him to the 40-man roster when rosters expand in September in order to give its manager a late-inning weapon on the basepaths.
- Left-hander Josh Outman has been released by the Pirates. The 31-year-old inked a minor league deal with Pittsburgh earlier this summer and wound up posting a 4.95 ERA in 20 innings with the team’s Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis. That number isn’t exactly eye-catching, but Outman did post a solid 15-to-3 K/BB ratio and, in 23 plate appearances, limited left-handed hitters to a miserable .100/.217/.100 batting line with eight punchouts, so perhaps a team in need of a lefty specialist will consider him for the season’s final month.
The Mariners have announced that they’ve outrighted righty Joe Wieland to Triple-A Tacoma, removing him from the 40-man roster. They had optioned Wieland to Tacoma yesterday to create space as Steve Cishek returned from the DL.
This marks the second time the Mariners have outrighted the 26-year-old Wieland this season — they also did so back in May. They returned him to their roster just last week, and he made one start, giving up six runs in five innings. The Mariners acquired Wieland from the Dodgers in a depth move last offseason, and he has spent most of 2016 with Tacoma, posting a 5.38 ERA, 8.1 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in 103 2/3 frames.
The Mariners announced a series of roster moves today, including the activation of reliever Steve Cishek from the 15-day DL. Fellow right-hander Joe Wieland was optioned to create active roster space.
Seattle also made a swap of right-handed power bats, optioning veteran Korean slugger and MLB rookie Dae-Ho Lee. He’ll be replaced by Stefen Romero, at least for the time being, though expanded rosters could spur a return.
[Related: Updated Mariners Depth Chart]
Cishek ended up needing only a brief stint on the disabled list for a hip issue that wasn’t as serious as it initially sounded. His return further bolsters a pen that has some rather compelling arms.
As for Lee, 34, the demotion serves as a chance to get back on track before the stretch run. Though it’s not typical for players of his age to be optionable, Lee only just came over to North America after spending his entire career playing in Korea and Japan.
Lee, who has been used mostly against left-handed pitching, owned an .850+ OPS as recently as July 15th. But he has fallen off since, leaving him with a .246/.308/.440 overall batting line with 13 total home runs over his first 253 MLB plate appearances.
The 27-year-old Romero will now get a shot at carving out his own role for the M’s. Though he has struggled in rather limited major league time over the last three seasons, Romero owns a .314/.371/.551 slash on the year at Triple-A, where he has launched 19 long balls in 418 plate appearances.
Major League Baseball’s owners have voted to approve the recent sale of the Mariners from Nintendo to a group led by new chairman and CEO John Stanton, as Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. That step was largely a formality to finalize the major transaction, which also transfers the team-owned Root Sports network. The sale placed the value of the franchise at $1.4B.
- Mariners lefty James Paxton has been scratched from his next scheduled start, as Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports, and could be headed to the DL. Though Paxton wants to pitch, and the team no doubt wants to give him the ball, manager Scott Servais says that the prudent course is further rest. Forearm soreness is almost always scary, but in this case it resulted not from a throwing injury but a line drive. Regardless, Seattle will hope to get the southpaw back in action as soon as reasonably possible. The 27-year-old appears to be harnessing his talent at an opportune time for a Mariners team that is trying to make a run at a Wild Card, if not the AL West title. Over his 81 2/3 innings on the year, Paxton owns a 3.53 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 2.0 BB/9, and he has been even better of late.
The Mariners announced that they’ve traded infielder Luis Sardinas to the Padres in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Padres have also announced the move, adding that Sardinas has been optioned to Triple-A El Paso, and right-hander Erik Johnson has been moved to the 60-day disabled list in order to create a spot on the 40-man roster.