Ronnie Freeman came close to his first stint on a Major League roster today, as Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle details how the Giants minor leaguer was on hand this weekend in case Buster Posey had to be placed on the seven-day concussion DL. Posey left Friday’s game after taking a foul ball off his catcher’s mask, but passed his tests and returned to the lineup today as a first baseman. This left Freeman watching the Giants play from the comforts of the clubhouse, as he wasn’t officially allowed to the join the team in the dugout since he was never selected for the roster. Freeman, a fifth-rounder in the 2012 draft, had spent his entire pro career in the Diamondbacks’ organization before signing with the Giants last spring, and he’ll have to wait at least a bit longer before he makes his proper big league debut.
Here’s more from around the baseball world…
- The Padres let Tyson Ross and Jordan Lyles respectively go to the Cardinals and Brewers on trade waivers earlier today, moves that San Diego general manager A.J. Preller told reporters (including The Athletic’s Dennis Lin) were made to create more room for up-and-coming pitchers on the Padres’ roster. “From our standpoint, it’s an eye toward next year and turning the page right now to give us a head start at looking at some guys we think could be in the bigs with us next year,” Preller said. Right-hander Trey Wingenter had his contract from Triple-A El Paso today, and rookie Brett Kennedy is slated to make his MLB debut in a start on Wednesday. Lin’s piece names some other Padres minor leaguers that could debut between now and season’s end, with the team also taking future roster organization and 40-man protections into consideration given the glut of young talent in San Diego’s system.
- Robinson Cano has been working out as a third baseman in his preparations to return from his PED suspension, which Mariners manager Scott Servais tells reporters (including the Tacoma News Tribune’s TJ Cotterill) is indicative of how Cano’s “just wants to help any way he can. If that means giving Kyle [Seager] a day off at third, or helping at first base, playing a game at second base, he’s going to play wherever we need him to play.” Cano has only played 16 games at third base in his pro career, and none since 2005 when he was in the Yankees’ minor league system. With Dee Gordon stepping in at second base and Nelson Cruz locked into DH duties, the assumption was that Cano would mostly take time away from first baseman Ryon Healy, who has struggled to consistently hit in his first season in Seattle. Seager, however, is actually going through a rougher season at the plate, hitting only .231/.280/.421 with 18 homers (including two today) over 447 plate appearances.
- More position players than ever are being called on for emergency mop-up work as relief pitchers, with ESPN.com’s Buster Olney calculating that a record 39 players have made 49 appearances out of the pen this year. With the trend showing no signs of slowing down, Olney wonders if the MLBPA should make a point of exploring the issue in the next round of collective bargaining agreement talks, given the additional risks faced by players in the unfamiliar role of pitcher.