Here are Monday’s minor moves from around the league…
- The Padres announced over the weekend that righty Michael Mariot was released from their Triple-A club. The former Royals and Phillies reliever has 49 2/3 innings of work under his belt in the Majors, all coming from 2014-16, though he’s struggled to an ERA just south of 6.00 in that time. The 29-year-old has never had much trouble missing bats in the minors since moving from a starting role to the ’pen, but he’s off to a dismal start in 2018 with a 12.15 ERA in 13 1/3 innings of work. Mariot did punch out 14 hitters with Triple-A El Paso, but he also walked seven, hit a batter and surrendered a whopping five homers in his 13 1/3 innings. Overall, he owns a 3.80 ERA with 9.5 K/9 against 3.3 BB/9 in 253 1/3 Triple-A innings.
- Right-handed reliever Ben Rowen was released from the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy.The 29-year-old Rowen has just 11 2/3 MLB innings under his belt (none since 2016), but the sidearmer has a lengthy track record of success in Triple-A. He allowed 11 runs in 10 2/3 innings to open the 2018 season, however, and his ground-ball rate, which has previously been well north of 60 percent, was just 41.9 percent so far this season. Rowen entered 2018 with a career 2.81 ERA with 6.9 K/9 against 1.8 BB/9 in parts of five Triple-A campaigns, so perhaps he’ll garner interest elsewhere.
- The Athletics signed left-handed reliever Dean Kiekhefer, per Eddy. He’d recently been released by Cincinnati. The 28-year-old tossed 22 innings at the big league level with the Cardinals in 2016, working to a 5.32 ERA with 14 strikeouts against seven walks (four intentional) and two hit batters in that brief time. Kiekhefer landed with the Mariners via waivers in the 2016-17 offseason but was outrighted off their 40-man roster shortly thereafter. Last year, he logged a 4.47 ERA with 8.5 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 0.61 HR/9 and a 46 percent grounder rate in Triple-A. He opened the season with eight innings of one-run ball in the Cincinnati organization, albeit at the Double-A level.
- Southpaw James Russell was released by the Tigers, Eddy reports. The 32-year-old Russell, a fixture in the Cubs’ bullpen for six seasons, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since an unsuccessful 2016 stint with the Phillies. He spent the 2017 season pitching in the Mexican League, where he performed quite well, but tossed just three innings and allowed five runs with the Tigers’ top affiliate in 2018 before his release.