Phillies ace Zack Wheeler, who’d been on the COVID IL since Sunday, has been cleared to rejoin the team and will start tonight’s game against the Dodgers, reports Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Enquirer. To make room for Wheeler on the active roster, the Phillies optioned left-hander Bailey Falter to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. It’s a timely return for the Phillies, who’ll avoid a crunch in rotation following a pair of rainouts and a Sunday doubleheader against the Mets last weekend. Even with Wheeler’s return, the rotation is still down a man with Zach Eflin still on the COVID list. However, the club has an off-day on Monday, meaning they can survive with four starters for a couple of turns through the rotation. After five starts this year, Wheeler’s ERA is sitting at 4.10, with a 22.5% strikeout rate and 8.1% walk rate.
Rounding up the latest virus-related transactions…
- The Red Sox announced that they have reinstated Jonathan Arauz from the COVID-related IL. To make room on the 40-man roster, left-hander Josh Taylor has been transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL. Taylor has somewhat quietly become an important part of the Red Sox bullpen. Over the previous three seasons, he’s thrown 102 1/3 innings with a 3.69 ERA, 29.4% strikeout rate and 10% walk rate. He’s gradually earned himself some higher-leverage outings, notching 15 holds and a save last year. However, he began this year on the injured list due to back soreness. He began a rehab assignment last month, though that was paused after the issue lingered. The Red Sox evidently don’t think he’s close to a return, based on today’s transaction. Taylor will be eligible to return 60 days from his original placement on the IL, meaning he could be back in early June, though the club hasn’t provided any timetable for his next steps.
- The Cardinals announced that Edmundo Sosa was activated from the COVID IL today. Kramer Robertson was optioned in a corresponding move. With the recent demotion of Paul DeJong, there’s an opening for Sosa to take over as the everyday shortstop in St. Louis. Last year, he broke out with a .271/.346/.389 showing for a 104 wRC+. However, he got off to a slow start this year, hitting just .160/.250/.160 in a small ten-game sample before landing on the injured list. He’ll be jockeying with Brendan Donovan, who is off to a hot start to his MLB career. Over his first 12 games in the big leagues, Donovan is hitting .278/.381/.556, 169 wRC+. Another path the team could eventually take would be to slide Tommy Edman over to shortstop and call up second base prospect Nolan Gorman, who is hitting .287/.350/.658 in Triple-A this year for a wRC+ of 157.
- There’s one Cardinal that is still on the COVID IL, right-hander Adam Wainwright. It seems that he is back with the club and could be taking the ball for Sunday’s game, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Packy Naughton recently made a spot start to cover for Wainwright and would likely be bumped to the bullpen or optioned to the minors if Waino can indeed return this weekend. The 40-man roster currently has a vacancy, meaning a corresponding move won’t be necessary in that regard. Through six starts this year, Wainwright has a 3.18 ERA, 20% strikeout rate, 9.3% walk rate and 57.6% ground ball rate.
Great to hear Wheeler and others defeated covid.
Naughton should stay in the bullpen for St. Louis. I think he could become a great set-up man.
For the second time Mr. Hicks: the name of the major newspaper in Philadelphia is the INQUIRER, not Enquirer.
Too much time spent in the cashier line at the grocery store.
maybe it was darragh
Packy Naughton, now there’s a baseball name. He sounds like a member of the Gashouse Gang!
Cal Naughton Jr.’s broheim
sosa never got the chance this year
Sosa has posted a very impressive 3.1 WAR in his 323 career at bats despite middling .260 6hr. He doesn’t really stand out defensively in the eye test. WAR must be loving the freakishly high hbp count boosting his obp. His career minor league numbers just don”t suggest anything more than spot starter but who knows? He has shown hustle and a fiery attitude on the basepaths.
SS is just one of a few positions that need to pick it up with the Cardinals. I hope someone will take over SS. I like Donovan so far even though they say the defense is not there.
The very fact that he plays SS at all inflates his WAR… plus, a 97 OPS+ middle infielder is actually pretty good.
Besides, even if it doesn’t look like it to you, Sosa is indeed a very strong defender, arguably even better than DeJong.
Concerning the Cardinals—- Consistent hitting has been a problem, it seems, over the past 3-4 years. I’m not talking about players such as Arenaldo, Edman and Goldschmidt.
Has anyone else noticed??? Players in the dugout are going straight to Pujols for advise. I’ve seen Harrison Bader questioning Goldschmidt one hitting tips. You just rarely sees struggling Cardinal hitter seeking advise from Dave Alberts their head hitting coach.
Is it the fact that Alberts is so hung up on his own hitting philosophy—- he either can’t or won’t —- look at a players films when he was on a hot streak—- compare it to their current slump swing and stance?? Just to get them comfortably back on tract with their natural swing.
I’m not down on Alberts in particular. However, I don’t agree on his hitting philosophy. His philosophy just hasn’t worked out for the Cardinals. Which might be more and more evident by as many hitters seeking Pujols, Arenaldo and Edman’s advice instead of their head hitting coach.
How do you know they’re talking about hitting?
JPG – Have you noticed how much better the hitting looks with JD in the 3 hole? Huge mistake Cora makes all the time leaving him out of the 3 hole where he led baseball in RBIs for a couple of years. The talent level is still too low to be more than a .500 team but at least they won’t embarrass themselves as badly with JD hitting 3rd!!
It’s the time to trade Devers and hold onto Bogey, JD and Eovaldi. Devers needs to bring the team a stud outfielder and a closer. Lots of teams need a DH and a young talented hitter like Devers he should bring back a young promising outfield and a closer. I say trade with Cleveland and ask for Naylor and Clase or maybe Ward and Iglesias from the Angels or Yelich and Devin Williams, or Vaughn and Graveman from Chicago.
A trade like this fixes the three biggest holes on the team!!! Story goes to 3B, a new potential all-star right fielder is added and the closer role is filled with a stud. Boston loses the butcher’s bat and improves immediately by a minimum of 10 slots in the defensive rankings!
The longer they keep Devers the less they will get for him. We are right back where we were with Mookie in 2019.