Galloway battled for ten seasons in the minors before finally debuting last year in Miami. The 29-year-old lost his 40-man spot this spring but earned his way back up by popping four long balls in his first forty plate appearances at Triple-A to open the present season.
The Marlins have selected right-handed reliever Drew Rucinski’s contract from Triple-A New Orleans, according to the team. The club optioned lefty Jarlin Garcia to New Orleans in a corresponding move.
Rucinski, whom the Marlins added on a minors deal over the winter, began the season with a 2.52 ERA, 7.6 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 25 innings prior to his promotion. The 29-year-old previously saw major league action with the Angels (2014-15) and Twins (2017), combining for a 7.23 ERA in 18 2/3 frames.
Garcia ranks third among Marlins pitchers in innings (51), but they chose to demote him after he managed a 4.41 ERA, 5.65 K/9 and 3.71 BB/9 in 12 appearances and six starts. That’s not what either party had in mind when the 25-year-old Garcia no-hit the Mets over six innings on April 11 and then held the Yankees’ elite offense to one hit in five frames on April 17.
The Phillies remain interested in adding to their rotation before the season starts, though they’re not going to make any lengthy commitments, Todd Zolecki of MLB.com writes. Both general manager Matt Klentak and president Andy MacPhail (via Matt Breen of Philly.com) have indicated this week that the Phillies aren’t going to splurge on a long-term starter, in large part because they aren’t quite ready to push for a playoff spot, Zolecki notes. The team would be willing to pay more on a shorter contract, Zolecki relays, and Klentak revealed that doing so “is something we talk about frequently.” But if the Phillies aren’t able to land another starter in the coming weeks, Klentak insists they’ll be content to turn to in-house options.
- Reliever Pat Neshek returned to the Phillies in free agency over the winter, agreeing to a two-year, $16.25MM pact. It turns out that the 37-year-old could have made more money elsewhere. “We didn’t really wait for other teams,” Neshek said this week (via Zolecki). “I probably left a little bit more on the table from other teams. Well, I know I did because a team called me after I agreed [with the Phillies]. Their first offer was better, but it was a comfort thing. I was really happy with the offer. I didn’t want to wait and see anything else.” Neshek was only in Philadelphia for a few months last year before the team traded him to the Rockies in July, but it’s clear both he and the Phillies enjoyed their first go-round.
- Although left-hander Jarlin Garcia led Marlins relievers with 68 appearances as a rookie in 2017, the club plans to deploy him as a starter this season, manager Don Mattingly told Joe Frisaro of MLB.com and other reporters. “Jarlin will be a starter this year,” said Mattingly, who believes that moving the 25-year-old to the rotation is “probably the best for his development.” Assuming Miami sticks to that plan, Garcia will be part of a rotation that currently features just two locks (Dan Straily and Jose Urena).
- Straily is one of the best players left on a rebuilding Miami team that has jettisoned several household names (Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon) since last season and could still deal catcher J.T. Realmuto. But unlike Realmuto, who’d prefer to play elsewhere, Straily’s fine with the franchise’s direction. Straily said this week that he’s “glad” certain players who didn’t want to continue as Marlins are gone, likely referring to Stanton and Yelich, per Frisaro. Regarding the Marlins’ high-profile trades, Straily added: “I really, I guess, kind of agree with what happened. All the moves they’ve made. I really feel the pieces they’ve brought in, this might flip around a little quicker.”
“There may be no ownership group in baseball that is more involved in the selection of its manager” than the Nationals, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post writes as part of a look at Dave Martinez’s hiring and owner Ted Lerner’s influence. Martinez’s three-year contract is “normal for the industry, outlandish for the Nats,” which indicates that Lerner (who just turned 92 last month) is more committed than ever to finally capture that elusive World Series championship. It could also hint at an aggressive offseason for Washington as it tries to add the final pieces to an already strong team.
Here’s more from around the NL East…
- The Braves have a need at third base, but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution considers it unlikely that the team will look for a major upgrade at the hot corner this winter thanks to the presence of prospect Austin Riley. The 41st overall pick in the 2015 draft, Riley has shown solid power potential in his young career, including a .900 OPS in 203 Double-A plate appearances last season. With Riley perhaps on pace to crack the big leagues as a September call-up this year and then be in the mix for regular duty at third base in 2019, Atlanta doesn’t want to block his progress by adding a veteran on a long-term contract. MLBTR, for the record, predicted Mike Moustakas as a Braves signing this winter in our list of the top 50 free agents.
- The Braves’ front office situation is still up in the air, though potential GM candidates could include such names as Alex Anthopoulos, Dan O’Dowd and Josh Byrnes, as per O’Brien (Twitter link) and MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. One interesting aspect of Atlanta’s search is that many of the names connected (this trio plus Jim Hendry, Dan Jennings, Ben Cherington, and rumored top choice Dayton Moore) are all former or current Major League general managers. This could indicate that the Braves want an experienced baseball operations leader who would be better equipped to operate despite whatever punishments or restrictions the organization could face once MLB concludes its investigation.
- The Marlins are considering stretching out left-hander Jarlin Garcia in Spring Training to give him a shot at a starting job, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro writes. Garcia made his MLB debut last year, posting a 4.73 ERA, 7.1 K/9 and 2.47 K/BB rate over 53 1/3 innings out of Miami’s bullpen. His numbers worsened as the season went on, however, which add to durability concerns about Garcia’s potential as a starter; Frisaro notes that the southpaw was converted to a relief role due to past concerns about his ability to stay healthy and effective as a starter. Assuming Garcia doesn’t run into any injury issues, the Marlins have little to lose by at least kicking the tires on his rotation potential, given how the club is sorely in need of starting pitching help.
The discomfort from the neck spasms that forced Nationals ace Max Scherzer from his last start have largely subsided, the right-hander told reporters today (Twtiter link via MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman). Scherzer tells reporters that he played catch today and will throw a bullpen session tomorrow. He’s expected to make his next start for the Nats on Monday of this week.
A few more notes from around the NL East…
- Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that Marlins lefty Wei-Yin Chen is not yet giving up hope on being able to return to the mound in 2017. Chen has missed most of the season, owing to a reported partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, but he’s thrown six bullpen sessions over the past few weeks. “We’re still talking a little ways,” manager Don Mattingly said of Chen’s possible return. “But I think we’re also getting to the point where we can say he’s progressing to the point where at least it’s on the radar.”
- Also from Healey, while rookie southpaw Jarlin Garcia has emerged as a valuable setup piece, the Marlins organization isn’t entirely closed off to the idea of him returning to a starting role in the future. “I think it’s something that you at least think about,” said Mattingly. “But I don’t know if anyone has necessarily talked to Jarlin or the organization has really gotten that far.” The 24-year-old Garcia has appeared in 46 games for the Fish this season and has turned in a 3.53 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9. He’s limited opposing lefties to an awful .167/.229/.328 batting line while holding righties to a .212/.278/.415 clip.
- Phillies outfield prospect Carlos Tocci has forced his way into consideration for a 40-man roster spot this offseason, writes Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The 21-year-old could “play center field in the big leagues tomorrow” from a defensive standpoint, per Phillies international scouting director Sal Agostinelli. But, as Breen explains, his improved play at the dish in Double-A would make him extremely likely to be selected in this year’s Rule 5 Draft after being left unprotected last winter. Tocci is hitting .313/.370/.410 in Double-A this season and has improved as the season wears on. Phillies fans — and those who follow the Rule 5 Draft in general — will want to take a full look at Breen’s piece, as he runs through a number of locks and borderline candidates to land on Philadelphia’s 40-man this winter. (Breen also shares an interesting anecdote about the Rangers actually outbidding the Phillies for Tocci at the last minute while Agostinelli was with Tocci’s family in Venezuela, though Tocci nonethless signed with the Phillies.)
- In a separate column, Breen speaks to Agostinelli about his excitement over the additional international bonus money that GM Matt Klentak acquired in trades that sent Howie Kendrick to the Nationals and Jeremy Hellickson to the Orioles. “During a period of the year, sometimes you have to give more money than you wanted to a particular guy. A lot of teams don’t have any money left,” Agostinelli explains. He goes on to recall the story of how the Phillies came to sign right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who was throwing 86-87 mph when most scouts saw him leading up to the international signing period but saw that velocity build up to the low 90s later that summer. “We had the extra money and we signed him for 300 grand. It’s kind of the same ideology,” says Agostinelli.
Following the loss of Adam Eaton for what could be the remainder of the season, Yahoo’s Jeff Passan touched on the possibility of a Royals/Nationals trade in his latest Ten Degrees column. The Nationals, according to Passan, expressed interest in Lorenzo Cain this offseason before they acquired Eaton in the first place. While the two sides obviously didn’t line up on a deal at the time, Passan notes that the combination of Cain and closer Kelvin Herrera, whom FOX’s Ken Rosenthal tied to the Nationals over the weekend, could present the Nats with the ability to fill two needs with one trade. While multiple reports have suggested that the Royals aren’t yet ready to sell, Passan notes that Kansas City’s 7-15 record and -37 run differential are both the worst marks in baseball, which means that even a strong performance in May might not be enough to turn their season around entirely.
A bit more from the NL East…
- Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News spoke to a pair of sports orthopedists about the partial tear of Noah Syndergaard’s right lat muscle, discussing the ways in which it can be treated and the potential absence Syndergaard could face. While all of those factors are dependent on the severity of the tear, neither medical expert suggested that surgery was likely. Ackert offers quotes from both Dr. Anthony Maddalo and Dr. Kenneth Mautner (the latter of whom is a team physician with the Braves), with each going into detail on the nature of lat injuries. While a platelet-rich plasma injection isn’t a standard treatment for a torn lat muscle, both said it could theoretically help accelerate the healing process. Rest, rehab and stretching were also suggested as possibilities, with a program along those lines taking potentially up to six weeks, Ackert notes. There’s still no official word on a timeline from the Mets, though Sandy Alderson will address reporters at 4pm ET.
- Syndergaard’s injury is obviously a severe problem for the Mets, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports opines that the injury is symbolic of a greater problem for baseball as a whole. The increased emphasis on velocity continues to put pitchers at risk, Rosenthal suggests, as young arms focus more on overpowering hitters than prioritizing durability. Rosenthal spoke extensively with Hall of Famer and current broadcaster John Smoltz on the matter. “(In the past), each pitcher was given the opportunity to learn what kind of pitcher they were going to be,” said Smoltz. “Now they’re all robots. … We’re getting dangerously close to every pitcher red-lining when he doesn’t really have to. They’re not preparing to learn how to pitch like it’s a six-gear car. They’re always in sixth gear. Never in fourth or fifth.”
- Marlins skipper Don Mattingly spoke to Tim Healey of the South Florida Sun Sentinel about the importance of right-hander Jose Urena and lefty Jarlin Garcia to his bullpen. Mattingly suggested that even after Urena was roughed up in his most recent appearance on Friday, the righty has been vital in terms of keeping other relievers fresh (a point that righty David Phelps also emphasized to Healey). Asked if Urena could be a starting pitcher in the long run, as he was in the minors, Mattingly wouldn’t commit to a role for a long-term role for the 25-year-old. As for Garcia, Mattingly offered plenty of praise on the 24-year-old rookie, who made his MLB debut last month. “I think he thinks he’s ready to be here,” said Mattingly, “and that’s always really important for the younger guys. They believe that they can pitch here. Sometimes that takes a little while, gut Jarlin seems to think he belongs here.” Mattingly noted that having multiple southpaws would be preferable, though as Healey notes, the front office emphasized overall effectiveness over handedness this winter.
Here are a few roster moves from around the game:
- The Tigers announced that, after Friday’s game, they optioned righty William Cuevas to Triple-A Toledo and promoted righty Warwick Saupold to take his place. Cuevas made his 2017 big-league debut Friday and didn’t make a good impression, giving up four runs over just a third of an inning. Saupold was off to a good start for Toledo, allowing just two runs and three walks while striking out nine over 10 2/3 innings.
- After a 16-inning ballgame depleted the Marlins bullpen, the club has called up southpaw Jarlin Garcia, as Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel reported. Righty Nick Wittgren was sent back down to Triple-A on optional assignment in a corresponding move.
- Miami’s opponent in that marathon game, the Mets, also dipped into their farm for an arm. New York announced that Sean Gilmartin will take a spot in the pen. Utilityman T.J. Rivera will be optioned for the time being, though he seems likely to return once the pitching staff gets back on its feet.
- Braves outfielder Matt Kemp, meanwhile, is slated to return on Wednesday from a hamstring issue, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets, meaning he’d only miss the ten-day minimum. Meanwhile, Atlanta has called up righty Luke Jackson for his first stint with the club. Fellow right-hander Jason Hursh was optioned to create an opening.
- The Padres have also done some roster tweaking, activating catcher Hector Sanchez from the 7-day concussion DL and also calling back righty Kevin Quackenbush. The club also announced that Jabari Blash and Jake Esch were optioned to make way on the active roster. While Blash has been outrighted off the 40-man in the past, and was only recently re-added when he was recalled, he’ll hold onto his spot for the time being while reporting to Triple-A.
- The Indians have swapped a pair of righties, with the club announcing that Nick Goody will come up and Shawn Armstrong will head down. The move gave the team a fresh arm after Armstrong threw 49 pitches Thursday. Goody pitched two scoreless innings in his 2017 big-league debut last night.
Tonight at 8:00pm ET is the deadline for teams to add players to their 40-man roster and thereby protect them from this year’s Rule 5 Draft. In other words: there will be a significant amount of 40-man roster moves made over the course of the next 13 or so hours. Six clubs already made moves to protect prospects from the Rule 5 yesterday, and each of the remaining 24 clubs should make moves today as well.
In brief: players drafted/signed at 18 years of age or younger must be added to the 40-man roster within five years of signing or be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. Players drafted/signed at 19 or older must be added within four years. Those interested in all of the specifics can refer to articles from MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and J.J. Cooper of Baseball America. Perhaps of greater interest is that Mayo lists all of the prospects from MLB.com’s Top 100 list and from their organizational Top 30 lists that much be protected in advance of tonight’s deadline, while Cooper provides brief write-ups on each player that has been protected (and will continue to do so as additions are made).
Here are today’s additions to the 40-man roster. You can check out Baseball America’s coverage to learn more about the individual players listed below …
- The last team to report is the Giants, who have added a host of names to their 40-man: pitchers Ty Blach, Clayton Blackburn, Kyle Crick, Ian Gardeck, Adalberto Mejia, Steven Okert, Jake Smith, and Chris Stratton. With the roster filled up with that many pre-MLB arms, it’s fair to wonder whether the team anticipates trading from among that group.
- In their second set of 40-man promotions today, the Astros have selected the contracts of outfielder Andrew Aplin and infielder Nolan Fontana.
- Moving onto the Marlins 40-man are lefty Jarlin Garcia and a trio of righties: Jacob Esch, Austin Brice, and Nick Wittgren.
- The Cubs have placed backstop Willson Contreras, righty Pierce Johnson, third baseman Jeimer Candelario, and first baseman Dan Vogelbach onto their 40-man, the team announced.
- The Phillies added outfielder Roman Quinn and righties Jimmy Cordero and Edubray Ramos.
- Joining the Royals’ 40-man are pitchers Matthew Strahm, Alec Mills, and Kyle Zimmer, infielder Ramon Torres, and outfielders Brett Eibner and Bubba Starling, the club announced.
- The Rockies have selected the contracts of righties Carlos Estevez and Antonio Senzatela, infielder Trevor Story, and outfielder Raimel Tapia.
- The Rays will add righties Jacob Faria, Taylor Guerrieri, and German Marquez to the 40-man roster along with infielder/outfielder Taylor Motter and rising lefty prospect Blake Snell.
- The Pirates have added top prospects Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell to the club’s 40-man, along with fellow youngsters Harold Ramirez (an outfielder) and Max Moroff (a middle infielder).
- Righty Victor Alcantara has been placed on the Angels’ 40-man, the club announced. As MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez notes on Twitter, Alcantara is probably now the team’s single best prospect.
- Joining the big league side of the roster for the Yankees are righties Johnny Barbato and Rookie Davis along with outfielder Ben Gamel, the team announced.
- The Reds announced the additions of right-handers Robert Stephenson, Sal Romano, and Stephen Johnson to the 40-man roster to keep them from Rule 5 eligibility.
- Going onto the Rangers’ 40-man roster are outfielder Nomar Mazara, lefty Yohander Mendez, and righties Jose Leclerc and Connor Sadzeck.
- The Dodgers brought righties Jharel Cotton and Ross Stripling onto their 40-man, per a team announcement.
- Infielder Marco Hernandez, righty Pat Light, and lefty Williams Jerez are the newest members of the Red Sox 40-man, the club announced.
- The White Sox have protected righties Brandon Brennan and J.B. Wendelken from the Rule 5 by giving them roster spots.
- The Orioles have added a trio of pitchers, per an announcement. Parker Bridwell and Andrew Triggs throw from the right side, while Chris Lee is a southpaw.
- Moving onto the 40-man for the Indians are righties Mike Clevinger, Shawn Morimando and Dylan Baker, as well as outfielders Tyler Naquin and James Ramsey, per the club.
- The Mets announced the additions of outfielder Brandon Nimmo and righties Seth Lugo, Jeff Walters, and Robert Gsellman to the club’s major league roster.
- Second baseman Joey Wendle and left-hander Jose Torres were added to the Athletics 40-man roster, per the club.
- The Mariners announced that they have purchased the contracts of infielder Patrick Kivlehan and outfielder Boog Powell, thereby adding them to the 40-man roster and protecting them from the Rule 5 Draft.
- The Astros announced the additions of catcher Alfredo Gonzalez and right-handers Jandel Gustave, Juan Minaya, Joe Musgrove and David Paulino to the 40-man roster. Notably, Gustave was a Rule 5 pick last year and found himself with both the Padres and Royals before ultimately being returned to Houston.
- The Tigers announced that they’ve added right-handers Michael Fulmer and Montreal Robertson as well as left-hander Jairo Labourt to the 40-man. Fulmer was the main piece picked up in Detroit’s trade of Yoenis Cespedes, while Labourt was one of three lefties acquired from Toronto in the David Price trade.
The Rule 5 draft goes down tomorrow and we’ll keep track of the latest rumblings here..
- The Blue Jays are unlikely to pick anyone in the Rule 5 draft and are worried about losing two or three of their guys, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (on Twitter).
- Some names being talked about in advance of the Rule 5 draft are Jarlin Garcia of the Marlins, Carlos Melo of the Indians, and J.R. Graham of the Braves, according to Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The industry expectation is that the Mets will lose right-hander Logan Verrett in tomorrow’s Rule 5 draft, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Clubs see Verrett working as a back end starter or a seventh-inning reliever.
- There’s talk that the Diamondbacks might select Astros catcher Roberto Pena with the top pick, according to Jim Callis of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- Meanwhile, Callis (Twitter link) says it’s very possible that someone will take a chance on Delino DeShields Jr. and pluck him from the Astros. Yesterday, Houston GM Jeff Luhnow told reporters, including Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, that he did not anticipate a team taking the former No. 8 overall pick.