With the Twins set to play 20 games in a 19-day span heading into the All-Star break, including four games against the Royals this weekend, they’ll dip into the minors and call on prospect Felix Jorge to make his MLB debut tomorrow, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The 23-year-old Jorge currently sits eighth among Minnesota farmhands, per Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, and also ranked eighth among Twins prospects entering the season, per Baseball America. The right-hander doesn’t overpower opponents but has walked just 1.7 hitters per nine innings dating back to 2015. He currently has a 3.26 ERA with 6.4 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 and a 50.4 percent ground-ball rate through 85 2/3 Double-A frames. Both scouting reports peg Jorge as a fourth or fifth starter, noting that he’s added some bulk to his slender frame and sits in the low 90s with a bit of sink on his heater while also offering an above-average changeup. Jorge is already on the 40-man roster, so there won’t be a DFA or 60-day DL move required to add him.
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- Aledmys Diaz was caught off-guard by the Cardinals’ decision to option him to Triple-A, writes Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. However, the 26-year-old offered a professional attitude to the media following the move’s announcement, telling reporters that he’s happy to do whatever is best for the Cardinals in the long run. General manager John Mozeliak also weighed in on what he labeled a difficult decision, telling the media: “What we really want to see is that he’s able to take a deep breath and go down and work on some things offensively, as well as his whole game. … (Diaz) hasn’t been picking the ball up (at the plate) and he’s been chasing a lot of balls outside the zone.” Mozeliak also noted that injured second baseman Kolten Wong won’t be back with the team until after the All-Star break.
- Cubs manager Joe Maddon spoke candidly about the organization’s decision to designate Miguel Montero for assignment following the catcher’s blasting of Jake Arrieta and the Cubs’ pitching staff, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune writes. “(There are) too many young guys in (the clubhouse) who are impressionable,” said Maddon. “…With this young impressionable group, to me, and a really good group that’s going to be together for a long time, you don’t want to foster, nurture, condone (Montero’s) kind of message.” President of baseball operations Theo Epstein was alerted to Montero’s comments by GM Jed Hoyer on Tuesday night this week, per Gonzales, and the two reached the decision to move on from Montero after speaking with Maddon late that night. Epstein stresses that Montero shouldn’t be viewed as any kind of scapegoat for the team’s overall struggles, though he said they felt Montero was “not being a good teammate” and demonstrated a lack of accountability in such a public manner that they were forced to act.
- The White Sox announced yesterday that righty Jake Petricka has been placed back on the disabled list due to a right elbow strain. Fellow righty Juan Minaya was summoned back from Triple-A just a day after being sent there. The elbow issue is the latest in a slew of injuries for Petricka, who has missed time due to a forearm strain, hip surgery and a lat strain in recent years. The 29-year-old’s hard sinker has led to a sizable 63 percent ground-ball rate, though Petricka has averaged just 6.5 K/9 against 4.0 BB/9 as a big leaguer. Nonetheless, that huge ground-ball rate has helped him post a 3.70 ERA through 163 innings in the Majors. No timetable was given for a return to the mound.