Keeping track of the latest minor moves from around baseball…
- Royals right-hander Burch Smith cleared waivers and has been outrighted to the minor leagues, per mlb.com’s transaction page. The 28-year-old Smith was a once-promising prospect in the Padres system but has been beset by a string of injuries since. From 2014′-17, the righty made just 13 appearances, all at the minor league level. In 78 IP last season, the low-slot Smith allowed 15 HR and walked over 4.5 men per nine, though his average fastball velocity had increased nearly a mile and a half per hour since his last MLB stint in 2013 with San Diego.
- Righty Mark Leiter of the Blue Jays has also been outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers, per Mike Wilner of SportsNet 590 The Fan. The 27-year-old Leiter is the son of the former 11-year big leaguer of the same name, and bested long odds as a 22nd round pick to reach the majors in 2017 with Philadelphia. In parts of two major league seasons with Philly and Toronto, Leiter has been a veritable gopher-ball machine, allowing nearly two homers per nine in 114 total IP, to go along with shaky command and an average strikeout rate.
- Pirates righty Alex McRae, too, was outrighted to the minors after clearing waivers. McRae, 25, had embarked on a steady ascent through the Pirate farm until last year’s six-inning cameo at the MLB level. The 6’2, 220 lb starter, despite a mediocre strikeout rate, does an excellent job limiting free passes and big fly, and should again find a major league opportunity at some point in the future.