We’ll track today’s minor moves from around the league here…
- The Cardinals announced yesterday that right-hander Derian Gonzalez has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Memphis. The 23-year-old pitched to a 3.51 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.1 BB.9 across three levels (Rookie, Double-A, Triple-A) in 33 1/3 innings during an injury-shortened 2018 season. That marked the first action in either Double-A or Triple-A for Gonzalez.
- Left-hander Hoby Milner cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A by the Rays, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). He’ll head to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee in hopes of once again cracking the roster. The 27-year-old Milner (28 in January) owns a 3.03 ERA in 38 2/3 big league innings, but there’s a fair bit of smoke and mirrors at play in that regard. Milner has just 7.0 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9 in the Majors and has stranded an unsustainable 86.2 percent of the runners he’s put on base. Fielding-independent metrics cast a much less favorable picture than his ERA (5.30 FIP, 5.65 xFIP, 5.07 SIERA). To his credit, Milner has held lefties to a laughable .177/.292/.277 slash through 98 plate appearances.
- The Marlins announced that right-hander Ben Meyer and outfielder Braxton Lee have both cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans and Double-A Jacksonville, repsectively. The 25-year-old Meyer made his MLB debut in 2018 but was hammered for 22 runs in 19 innings. The 2017 season was much better for the righty, as he worked to a 2.02 ERA with 10.8 K/9 against 1.9 BB/9 in 111 1/3 innings — albeit against much younger competition between Class-A and Class-A Advanced. Lee, meanwhile won a Double-A batting title in 2017 but hit just .233/.316/.294 across three minor league levels in 2018 in addition to a weak showing in a brief MLB debut of his own (18 plate appearances). Lee received plus grades for his speed and above-average marks for his outfield defense in the past but has never shown any power.
- The Marlins have signed outfielder Harold Ramirez to a minor league contract, per John Dreker of PiratesProspects.com (Twitter link). The 24-year-old Ramirez spent a third consecutive season at the Double-A level in 2018 and put together a strong campaign, hitting .320/.365/.471 with 11 homers, 37 doubles and 16 steals in 505 trips to the plate. Ramirez was once considered to be on the fringes of the game’s top 100 prospects, but his stock has dipped in recent seasons — particularly in 2017 (.678 OPS in his second full season of Double-A ball).
- Australian righty Todd Van Steensel tweeted last night that he’s signed a minor league pact with the Padres. The 27-year-old has spent the past six seasons in the Twins organization, where he’s topped out at the Double-A level. Van Steensel has a career 2.11 ERA with 9.4 K/9 against 4.1 BB/9 in 110 2/3 innings at that level, with all but two of his 66 Double-A appearances coming out of the bullpen.