Here are Thursday’s minor moves from around baseball…
- The Mariners announced that righty Shawn Armstrong has been outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers. Armstrong, 27, is out of options and obviously was not seen as likely to win a pen job out of camp. Still, he could be a useful depth piece for the M’s. In 43 1/3 MLB frames over three seasons, Armstrong owns a 3.53 ERA with 7.9 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 as well as an 11.3% swinging-strike rate. Armstrong has posted interesting numbers at Triple-A, where he carries a 2.44 ERA with 13.0 K/9 and 4.7 BB/9 in 133 total innings.
- Lefty Hunter Cervenka has been released by the Marlins, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (via Twitter). Cervenka, who recently turned 28, was outrighted off of the 40-man roster over the winter. He has 48 MLB innings under his belt but has not yet shown an ability to stay in the zone, with 6.8 BB/9 in that span. Cervenka spent the bulk of 2017 at Triple-A, where he worked to a 4.58 ERA with 8.9 K/9 and 5.9 BB/9 over 39 1/3 innings.
- In a minor signing that flew a bit below our radar earlier this winter, the D-backs’ Triple-A affiliate announced that they signed former Mets righty Tyler Pill to a minor league pact. Pill, 28 in May, made his MLB debut with the Mets last year and totaled 22 innings of work across seven innings, including three starts. He struggled to a 5.32 ERA with a 16-to-10 K/BB ratio in that time, but Pill posted more encouraging numbers in a very hitter-friendly Triple-A Las Vegas setting. In 80 1/3 frames in the Pacific Coast League, he logged a 3.47 ERA, albeit with a modest 5.6 K/9 mark against 2.5 BB/9. Pill was assigned to Reno, per the announcement, and hasn’t logged an inning with the D-backs this spring, so it seems he was not invited to Major League camp. He’ll presumably be on hand as a depth option in Triple-A this season.
- Jumping further back into Mets history, right-hander Vic Black has signed on with the independent New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian-American Association (h/t: Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, on Twitter). Now 29 years of age, the Mets hoped at one point that Black could be a long-term piece in their bullpen. He turned in a 2.96 ERA in 51 2/3 MLB innings from 2013-14 between the Pirates and Mets, but shoulder issues slowed his career before New York eventually cut him loose. Black struggled between A-ball and Double-A with the Giants organization in 2017 and will hope to use the indy circuit as a platform to get his career back on track.
- Sticking with former big leaguers joining the independent leagues, the Long Island Ducks announced yesterday that they’ve signed former Braves All-Star Jair Jurrjens. Back in 2008, a 22-year-old Jurrjens finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting with the Braves and went on to earn All-Star honors as a 25-year-old in 2011. However, a series of knee injuries torpedoed his promising career, and he hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since totaling 16 2/3 innings for the Orioles and Rockies from 2013-14. Jurrjens did toss 54 1/3 innings with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, and he turned 32 years of age just five weeks ago, so he could still work his way back into affiliated ball with a strong showing in the Atlantic League.