Red Sox third base prospect Rafael Devers is making a case for a promotion in Double-A, but the team still isn’t ready to summon the 20-year-old to the majors, writes Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. Devers, Baseball America’s 14th-ranked prospect, has slashed .289/.346/.550 with 14 home runs in 272 plate appearances this year and impressed Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crockett along the way. “It’s been a really positive year,” Crockett said of Devers. “He’s learned a lot. Playing with older teammates, more experienced guys, it’s a different life experience. I think it’s been great for him. The staff, with manager Carlos Febles, has done a great job being consistent with him. He’s a great worker. He’s passionate and cares about what he’s doing.” Crockett’s glowing review aside, the Red Sox are hesitant to call up a prospect unless they know he’ll play every day, notes Mastrodonato, who suggests they’ll look to acquire a veteran third baseman by the trade deadline. Whether help comes in the form of a veteran or Devers, Boston is in serious need of aid at the hot corner. The club’s third basemen rank last in the majors in wRC+ (a pitiful 44) and fWAR (minus-1.3).
More from the American League:
- The Mariners have battled through a spate of injuries to post a 39-38 record and plant themselves firmly in the playoff hunt, and now a significant reinforcement is on the way. Left-hander Drew Smyly, out all season with an elbow injury, is targeting a return for the Mariners’ July 17-19 series against AL West rival Houston, relays Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune. Smyly threw a two-inning sim game Saturday, and the plan is for him to do the same on June 28 and then embark on a three-start rehab assignment in early July. The 28-year-old hasn’t yet pitched for the Mariners, who acquired him in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay.
- Just over a month after his mid-May demotion to Triple-A, Rays southpaw Blake Snell will return to the team’s rotation Wednesday, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). He’ll take over for Erasmo Ramirez, who will return to the bullpen amid a rough June in which he has posted a 7.65 ERA in 20 innings. Snell, who logged a 4.71 ERA, 7.29 K/9 and 5.36 BB/9 in 42 innings before heading to the minors, earned his way back with a 2.66 ERA, 12.48 K/9 and a 3.07 BB/9 in 44 Triple-A frames.
- Meanwhile, the White Sox will also get back a notable lefty in Carlos Rodon, who will make his 2017 debut during the upcoming week, tweets Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com. Rodon, who just completed a four-start rehab assignment, hasn’t pitched in the majors this year on account of shoulder bursitis. The 24-year-old combined to rack up strong numbers from 2015-16, when he notched a 3.90 ERA, 9.08 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 and a 45.3 percent ground-ball rate over 304 1/3 innings.
- Earlier this month, there was some positive news on Tyler Skaggs’ recovery from an oblique strain, but the Angels left-hander has suffered a setback, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register (Twitter links). Skaggs didn’t make his scheduled rehab start on Saturday because of “general soreness” in his oblique. Angels manager Mike Scioscia called the latest update on Skaggs “disturbing” and “frustrating.” Skaggs’ most recent start for the Halos was on April 28.