The Dodgers are experimenting with using outfielder Brett Eibner as a pitcher, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes. Eibner pitched in college and reached 95 MPH with his fastball, and he’s now working on developing secondary pitches; it remains to be seen, of course, how those would play against big-leaguers. The Dodgers’ plan is to continue to treat Eibner primarily as an outfielder, but they envision using him as a pitcher more frequently than the typical position player taking the mound to relieve an exhausted staff. If Eibner were to prove effective as a pitcher, he’d become a useful and interesting tactical piece, reminiscent, perhaps, of a two-way player like Brooks Kieschnick, who first arrived in the big leagues as an outfielder but who also ended up pitching for Milwaukee in 2003 and 2004. The added versatility might also help Eibner from being shipped back and forth to Triple-A so frequently, Shaikin suggests — the Dodgers have already optioned him to Triple-A Oklahoma City four times this season. Here’s more from around the game.
- The Yankees have promoted top prospect Gleyber Torres to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, as MLB.com’s Matt Kardos first tweeted. Torres hit well for Double-A Trenton, batting .277/.363/.504 over 135 plate appearances this season. The move suggests the 20-year-old could make his big-league debut in the not-too-distant future, meaning that the Yankees could perhaps continue to see relatively quick returns on the trade that sent Aroldis Chapman to Chicago for Torres, Adam Warren, Billy McKinney and Rashad Crawford. (Warren, of course, is currently in the midst of a strong season in the Yankees’ bullpen.) Torres ranks second on MLB.com’s list of the game’s top 100 prospects, topped only by another recently traded player, White Sox infielder Yoan Moncada.
- The Padres are doing “exactly what they should be doing,” Shaikin writes. The Padres are losing games (their current .348 winning percentage is worst in the Majors), but they’re also piling up prospects through Latin American signings, the Rule 5 Draft and trades of veterans, and they’re grabbing top draft picks as well, just as the Cubs and Astros did prior to their current runs of success. Interestingly, manager Andy Green says one challenge of leading a rebuilding club is getting his players to focus on getting better while ignoring Internet commentary about their current struggles. “Everybody is on Twitter. Everybody reads everything everybody says,” Green notes. “You’re fighting a cultural battle. You have to create something special inside the house, so guys will guard their minds, guard their focus and show up every day to play. Without a doubt, it’s a challenge, but a challenge I welcome every single day.”
- Rangers infielder Joey Gallo’s wild season thus far is testing the limits of three-true-outcomes baseball, writes ESPN’s David Schoenfield. The “three true outcomes,” of course, are home runs, walks and strikeouts, and Gallo has piled up big numbers in all three categories, particularly the first and last. In 165 plate appearances this year, he has 13 homers, 21 walks and a ridiculous 65 strikeouts. He’s currently on pace to break Mark Reynolds’ record for whiffs in a season (223), and he could also top Reynolds’ record for most homers in a season with a sub-.200 average (32). Of course, Gallo’s immediate future is up in the air, since Adrian Beltre could soon return from a calf injury. (There’s hope Beltre can begin a rehab assignment next weekend, as Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram recently tweeted.) And as Schoenfield notes, Gallo has faded in recent weeks, with a May batting line of just .148/.268/.443.