The Rangers activated center fielder Delino DeShields from the DL prior to their game Sunday and sent fellow center fielder Carlos Tocci to the DL with a bruised left hip. This represents a quick return for DeShields, who suffered a broken left hamate bone March 31 and was expected to miss four to six weeks. Neither Tocci, a Rule 5 pick, nor Drew Robinson effectively grabbed the reins in center during DeShields’ absence. Rangers center fielders have hit a league-worst .148/.242/.193 in 100 trips to the plate, 92 of which have come from Robinson and Tocci.
- The Royals have promoted right-hander Clay Buchholz from Double-A to Triple-A, per Tony Boone of the Omaha World-Herald. Buchholz will make a rehab start Sunday, his second of the year, and could debut with the Royals as early as next Saturday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com suggests (Twitter link). The 33-year-old Buchholz, who missed nearly all of last season with the Phillies after undergoing surgery to repair a flexor tear in his right forearm, joined the Royals last month on a minor league contract. That deal includes a May 1 opt-out, perhaps making it all the more likely the Royals will promote him – especially considering how poorly fifth starter Eric Skoglund has fared in the early going.
- Meanwhile, injured Royals cornerstones Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon are “very close” to returning, manager Ned Yost told Rustin Dodd of The Athletic and other reporters on Sunday. Yost added that both players could come back from their rehab assignments during Kansas City’s next series, which begins Tuesday. Perez suffered a Grade 2 MCL tear in his left knee on March 28, while Gordon has been out since April 10 with a labral tear in his left hip. Gordon got off to a woeful start (.174/.208/.217 in 24 PAs), as has his team, which entered Sunday with the worst record in the AL (4-15).
- The Mariners reinstated righty Erasmo Ramirez from the DL on Sunday and somewhat surprisingly optioned outfielder Guillermo Heredia to Triple-A. In doing so, they bought more time for franchise icon and fellow outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, whom Heredia has easily outplayed thus far. Ichiro, the game’s oldest position player at 44, has opened with an unusual .212/.212/.212 line in 33 trips to the plate. The 27-year-old Heredia, on the other hand, has slashed .310/.417/.552 with a pair of homers in 37 PAs. Ramirez, who had been down with a lat strain since spring training, slotted back into Seattle’s rotation Sunday.
- Orioles designated hitter Mark Trumbo hasn’t played this season because of a quad strain he suffered in mid-March. Trumbo previously opened a rehab assignment earlier this month, only to halt it after feeling discomfort. He’ll take another crack at it beginning Monday, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report. The plan is for Trumbo to play three games apiece at the Double-A and Triple-A levels, per manager Buck Showalter.