As expected, the Indians have activated righty Corey Kluber. He’s back on the hill today for Cleveland after missing a few weeks resting his lower back. The 31-year-old will be looking to improve upon a tepid start to the season. Over his first 37 1/3 innings, he has managed only a 5.06 ERA with 9.9 K/9 but an uncharacteristically high 3.1 BB/9. Righty Shawn Armstrong was optioned to create roster space.
Here’s the latest from the American League:
- Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey discussed the club’s first overall selection in the upcoming amateur draft, as Phil Miller of the Star Tribune reports. The team is taking a closer look at “a group of five to six [players], probably,” according to the club’s top baseball decisionmaker. With several candidates slated to visit with the organization just days before the draft, there’s still time for new information to shape the picture. Falvey says the Twins intend to “ask some difficult questions” of the candidates when they sit down with them, in addition to taking another look at their skills. As Miller well explains, the club’s management of its overall bonus pool will also factor in. Falvey acknowledged the possibility of reallocating some of the top slot’s cash to sign other players — though he also said he’s “not yet ready to say it’s something we’d do in the first round” — and acknowledged the need “to add as many upside assets” as possible.
- With the Athletics still lagging in the standings, eyes are beginning to turn to their deadline plans. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes, the organization will likely increasingly turn to more youthful options as it deals away veteran assets. In particular, she says, second baseman Jed Lowrie “almost certainly will be dealt” — helping clear the way for top prospect Franklin Barreto. The A’s will surely also entertain a move involving surprising slugger Yonder Alonso, and Slusser notes that the club could also part with a few lesser-performing veterans as well.
- The struggles have continued for former Rangers closer Sam Dyson. As Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes, Dyson surrendered two home runs as the club went down in extra innings. While he is still generating grounders at a healthy clip, everything else has gone wrong for Dyson, who now owns a 10.80 ERA with a dozen walks and just seven strikeouts through 16 2/3 innings. It’s not clear what the organization will do with the out-of-options righty, but manager Jeff Banister did not exactly deliver a strong vote of confidence after the game. “It’s an extreme challenge right now,” Banister said. “He’s on our staff. He’s one of our pitchers right now, and we have to find a way to continue to work.”
- The Royals had hoped that Jorge Soler would blossom upon arriving over the winter, but another young outfielder by the same first name is currently keeping him out of the lineup, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports. Jorge Bonifacio, who’ll turn 24 in a few days, is off to a .273/.325/.500 batting line with seven home runs in 120 plate appearances. That may not be quite sustainable, of course, but for now he’s producing and the Royals are giving him a chance to show it’s real. That’s not to say that K.C. is giving up on Soler, who has only seen 18 games of action due to injury and the limited opportunities he has found upon his return.