With sidearmer Pat Neshek headed to the injured list, the Phillies have selected the contract of J.D. Hammer to take his place, per Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Breen also points out a fun bit of trivia regarding these two, as this is actually the second time Neshak has cleared out for Hammer in Philly. Hammer first came to the Phillies (along with two others) in a 2017 deadline deal that sent Neshek from the Phillies to the Rockies (Twitter links). Hammer has a 1.61 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A so far this season, though most of his time has been in Reading. In fact, Hammer is now primed to make his major league debut as just one appearance in Triple-A.
- The Nationals continue recent tinkering of their bullpen personnel. Though their relief crew has been an unmitigated disaster, recent moves have been prompted largely by injuries to Anibal Sanchez and Jeremy Hellickson. With both Erick Fedde and Kyle McGowin taking a turn in the rotation, the Nationals are bringing in another fresh arm to help their beleaguered pen. James Bourque gets set to make his major league debut in Washington, while Joe Ross will be sent to Triple-A Fresno, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (via Twitter). Finally healthy, Ross has been unable to adjust to life in the pen, sporting a bad-even-in-Washington 9.22 ERA (5.87 FIP) over 16 appearances. The velocity has been there for Ross (94.1 mph) but the control has not (5.3 BB/9). Austin Voth will be the only pitcher left on the Nationals 40-man roster not to make an appearance with the big league club this season.
- Speaking of bullpen troubles, the Braves actually lead the league in number of pitchers used in relief so far this season with 19, per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian (via Twitter). Chad Sobotka, one of the nineteen, was activated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A, per MLB Roster Moves. Sobotka earned -0.6 rWAR in just 13 appearances before his injury, pitching to an 8.25 ERA while walking 6.8 batters per nine innings.
- In New York, Justin Wilson remains at least a week away from returning from elbow soreness for the Mets, per MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo (via Twitter). Wilson has resumed throwing activities, with the next step being mound work before likely getting a few days on a rehab assignment. Wilson, 31, had made 10 appearances, going 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA before hitting the injured list, but there’s little to glean from such a small sample size.