The latest minor moves from around baseball…
- The Rangers have outrighted left-hander Hyeon-Jong Yang to Triple-A, the team announced. Yang was designated for assignment earlier this week, on the heels of posting a 5.59 ERA over his first 29 Major League innings. A veteran of 14 KBO seasons, Yang made the jump to North American baseball this past offseason, signing a minor league deal with Texas that guaranteed him a $1.3MM salary for reaching the active roster.
- Astros right-hander Francis Martes has returned from the restricted list and been optioned to Triple-A, according Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Martes was issued a 162-game PED suspension in February 2020, so it will still a while before he is eligible to pitch in the majors. Between two suspensions and a Tommy John surgery, the former top prospect hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since the 2017 season. Astros manager Dusty Baker told Mark Berman of Fox 26 (Twitter link) and other reporters that the team plans to use Martes out of the bullpen.
- Earlier this week, the Giants purchased the contract of right-hander Akeel Morris from the independent Long Island Ducks, as announced via the Ducks’ Twitter feed. Morris pitched in parts of three MLB seasons from 2015-18, posting a 6.14 ERA over 22 total innings for the Mets, Braves, and Angels. He has since pitched in Australia and in the indy leagues before catching on with the Giants, who have assigned him to their Double-A affiliate.
Francis Martes has become even less important to Houston than Forrest Whitley. Martes was decent a few years ago when the Astros were in need of starting pitching. Since then they have improved dramatically in that department despite the loss of Gerrit Cole and the injury to Verlander thanks to guys like Valdez, Garcia, & Urquidy.
Whitley is only 22. Martes is 25 and already been suspended for the juice. Forrest still has time to grow..
Right, I’m not entirely sure why soo many people have already just written off Whitley. He’s still extremely young, and is a very good pitcher, when he’s healthy.
Maybe it is just prospect fatigue, due to his injuries right when he was supposed to be ML ready and called up already.
Either way though, they still have an excellent pitcher in their system, ajdnI certainly wouldn’t write him off yet!!
Sure it’s too early to write him off completely, but given the Astros current starting pitching they’re in no hurry to have him pitching in the majors. If he ever gets his act together at age 23 (24 in September) that’s great for Houston. In his prime years he will be under team control (or in arbitration) until he’s in his 30’s.
Meanwhile they’re in great shape with Framber, Garcia, Urquidy, McCullers, and Javier who can start for the next few years.