The Angels announced today that they’ve placed right-hander Keynan Middleton on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 29, with inflammation in his right elbow. It’s not immediately clear how long the team expects Middleton to be sidelined, though the loss comes as a notable hit to the Halos’ bullpen. Middleton, 24, has handled much of the Angels’ closer responsibilities in 2018, saving six games while pitching to a 2.40 ERA with a 15-to-7 K/BB ratio in 15 innings of work. With Middleton on the shelf, Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker and (especially) Jim Johnson have experience closing games out at the big league level, though Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register suggests that rookie Justin Anderson could step into the ninth inning spotlight (Twitter link). Eduardo Paredes has been recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake to take Middleton’s roster spot for now.
Some more injury news from around the league…
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters today that Madison Bumgarner could begin throwing off a bullpen mound in a couple of weeks (Twitter link via Chris Haft of MLB.com). Bumgarner, of course, will need multiple bullpen sessions and some rest days between them before he can build up to the point where he’d be able to go out on a minor league rehab assignment. A mid-May target for bullpen sessions and, presumably, multiple outings in a rehab assignment would figure to put Bumgarner in line for a return at some point in June.
- The Mariners announced today that both Dan Altavilla and Erasmo Ramirez are headed to the 10-day disabled list, with outfielder Guillermo Heredia and right-hander Casey Lawrence coming up from Triple-A Tacoma to take their spots. Altavilla, who has occupied a setup role for the M’s over the past couple of seasons, has inflammation in his right AC joint, whereas Ramirez will return to the DL with a Teres Major strain after only a brief activation period. Seattle didn’t provide timelines for either right-hander’s return, though Ramirez could be facing the longer recovery time of the two. Michael Pineda and Clayton Kershaw have both missed four-plus weeks in the past with similar injuries.
- Catcher Austin Hedges has been placed on the 10-day DL with tendinitis in his right elbow, per a club announcement from the Padres, with Rafael Lopez coming up from Triple-A El Paso to fill his roster spot. The defensively sound Hedges has had another slow start to the season with the bat, hitting at just a .173/.235/.293 pace through 81 trips to the plate thus far. Veteran receiver A.J. Ellis figures to step up as San Diego’s primary backstop in Hedges’ absence. Lopez, 30, hit .222/.306/.463 in a career-high 63 PAs for the Blue Jays last season and is hitting .300/.372/.657 with a whopping seven homers through just 79 Triple-A PAs. He hit 12 homers in Triple-A last year through 223 PAs.
- The Orioles announced that they’ve activated Mark Trumbo from the 10-day DL for his season debut, though they also had to place infielder Luis Sardinas on the DL in his place due to a strained lower back. Sardinas’ DL placement is retroactive to April 29, and defensive specialist Engelb Vielma is up from Triple-A to take over Sardinas’ infield duties for now. Pedro Alvarez’s resurgence at the plate could prompt Trumbo to see some time at the outfield in order to keep Alvarez in the lineup at designated hitter. Jace Peterson figures to get starts at second base until Jonathan Schoop returns.
- Tampa Bay righty Yonny Chirinos has landed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter links). The Rays have brought lefty Ryan Yarbrough back up from Triple-A Durham to take his spot on the roster. It’s not clear yet how long Chirinos will be expected to miss, though Topkin suggests that the organization doesn’t believe the injury to be serious. Chirinos had stepped up as the team’s de facto fourth starter following a series of injuries that initially led the Rays to open the season with three starters and a pair of bullpen days in place of a traditional five-man rotation. Yarbrough has been pitching in multi-inning relief stints with the Rays and could be looked at as a starting option himself in Chirinos’ absence.