Here are the day’s minor moves, each coming courtesy of Baseball America’s Matt Eddy unless otherwise noted…
- The Rays have outrighted Tyler Sturdevant to Triple-A Durham. The right-handed reliever was designated for assignment last week despite a solid 3.93 earned run average and a 14-to-6 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. That small sample represented the first Major League work of the 30-year-old Sturdevant’s career. The former Indians farmhand signed a minors pact with the Rays last offseason and had a nice run with Tampa Bay’s Triple-A affiliate, posting a 3.66 ERA with 11.2 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 in 39 1/3 frames. Set to turn 31 this December, Sturdevant can again opt for minor league free agency this winter.
- Lefty reliever Jack Leathersich will forgo minor league free agency and re-up with the Cubs on a minors pact for the 2017 season. The former Mets reliever had a successful debut in 2015 when he posted a 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 innings, but Tommy John surgery derailed his rookie campaign. The Cubs picked him up on waivers this past November, but he wound up being removed from the 40-man roster and re-signing a minors deal with Chicago. The 26-year-old Leathersich made it back to a minor league mound this year and tossed 23 1/3 innings of 1.93 ERA ball with a hefty 34 strikeouts, though he also issued 13 walks and hit a batter as well. Control has never been a strong point for Leathersich, but he’ll work on reining in the walks as he hopes to bring his career 15.0 K/9 rate back to the Majors at some point next season.
- Eddy’s post contains several players from teams all throughout the league that elected to skip minor league free agency and sign 2017 deals with their 2016 organizations, though Leathersich is the only one of the bunch with MLB experience under his belt.
You can blame the awful managing of Backman for Leathersich’s TJS. For some odd reason he let him throw 57 pitches the day after coming back from the Mets…very happy to see Backman go.
As I remember, the weather was less than ideal. And he had pitched a somewhat lengthy outing before being sent out.
As a Cubs MiLB guy, I consider this a mild, though definite, coup.