Marrero, who is closing in on his 29th birthday, was brought up recently to fill out the Miami roster. He has seen action in parts of five MLB campaigns but has never shown the spark with the bat that was anticipated when he was chosen in the first round of the 2012 draft.
The Marlins announced Monday that they’ve officially promoted top prospect Isan Diaz for his MLB debut (as had been previously reported), recalled Lewis Brinson from Triple-A New Orleans and selected the contract of right-hander Robert Dugger. Miami also placed infielder Neil Walker (sprained index finger) and outfielder Cesar Puello (left hip flexor strain) on the 10-day injured list, activated righty Ryne Stanek for his team debut and optioned right-hander Kyle Keller to New Orleans.
In Diaz, the Marlins will get their first look at one of the key pieces in the Christian Yelich blockbuster. Diaz currently ranks between 86th and 90th on the midseason top prospect rankings of MLB.com (86), Fangraphs (89) and Baseball America (90). He’s clobbered Triple-A pitching at a .305/.395/.578 clip, belting 26 homers, 21 doubles and two triples along the way. Originally drafted as a shortstop, he profiles better at second base from a defensive standpoint, and the Marlins hope he can be a long-term piece in the infield. Scouting reports generally suggest that his plus raw power and solid plate discipline give him a reasonable chance of being an offensive-minded everyday second baseman.
Brinson, of course, was the headliner in that Yelich swap but has yet to cement himself as a regular in the Miami outfield in parts of two seasons with the club. Since his most recent demotion to Triple-A, though, Brinson has turned in a .270/.361/.510 batting line with 16 home runs and 16 steals. That only translates to nine percent better than the league average in the ridiculous Pacific Coat League hitting environment (109 wRC+), but Brinson’s solid productivity has earned him another look. Strikeouts continue to be an issue (100 in 339 Triple-A plate appearances), but he’s demonstrated the speed and power that have long made him such an intriguing prospect.
Dugger, meanwhile, came to the Marlins in the trade that sent Dee Gordon to the Mariners. He began the season with 70 2/3 innings of 3.31 ERA ball with 9.3 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.76 HR/9 and a 45.6 percent ground-ball rate in Double-A. Like so many pitchers, Dugger has been blown up in Triple-A, with a 9.34 ERA and seven home runs allowed in 35 2/3 innings since a midseason promotion. (Generally speaking, onlookers should take Triple-A stats with more of a grain of salt than ever before, given the bloated offensive numbers throughout the league.) That’s not to say that Dugger is a premium prospect, however. He ranks near the back of Miami’s top 30 prospects (24 at MLB.com, 27 at Fangraphs) and is most optimistically viewed as a back-of-the-rotation starter, though scouting reports on him also point to a possible future in relief.
It’ll also be interesting to see how Miami ultimately opts to utilize Stanek, whom they acquired alongside prospect Jesus Sanchez in a trade sending righties Nick Anderson and Trevor Richards to the Rays last week. Stanek has been the Rays’ most prolific opener since the team adopted that tactic last season and generally enjoyed favorable results. In 122 innings from 2018-19, Stanek has recorded a 3.17 ERA with 10.5 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and 1.1 HR/9.
Stanek has pitched in late-inning situations in addition to his work as an opener, and the general fluidity of the Miami bullpen situation could serve as an avenue for Stanek to receive some save opportunities. The Marlins traded closer Sergio Romo to the Twins, and Anderson (traded for Stanek) was the presumptive heir apparent in the ninth inning. Drew Steckenrider has experience in the role but has been injured much of the season. Stanek, meanwhile, boasts a fastball that averages better than 97 mph and can reach triple-digit velocity readings, so he certainly has prototypical closer’s stuff if Miami chooses to try him at the end of games rather than the beginning.
The Marlins announced infielder Neil Walker’s reinstatement from the injured list Tuesday. Walker missed over three weeks with a right quad strain. The club optioned right-hander Jeff Brigham to Triple-A New Orleans to make room for Walker.
The fact that Walker’s healthy as the July 31 deadline draws nearer is an encouraging development for rebuilding Miami, which isn’t chock-full of potential trade pieces. But the versatile, switch-hitting Walker stands out as a Marlin who could find himself on the move over the next month-plus.
Since joining the Marlins on a $2MM contract last winter, Walker has slashed .295/.375/.443 (122 wRC+) in 168 plate appearances. As a defender, the 33-year-old has seen substantial action at first and second base this season, and has also worked at third and in the corner outfield during his career.
Aside from 2018, when Walker signed with the Yankees in mid-March after not finding a deal to his liking in the offseason, he has consistently performed well in the majors. Also a former Pirate and Met, Walker has hit a lifetime .269/.340/.430 (112 wRC+) with 145 home runs in 4,898 trips to the plate. Walker’s affordable salary, solid career production and 2019 numbers figure to make for an appealing combination leading up to the deadline.
TODAY: As expected, this move was made official. Walker is headed to the IL and Riddle will take his roster spot.
YESTERDAY: Marlins infielder Neil Walker is likely headed to the 10-day injured list after suffering a right quad strain during today’s 3-1 loss to the Giants. As noted by FNTSY Radio’s Craig Mish (Twitter link), the Marlins seem to be preparing for a roster move by removing JT Riddle from tonight’s Triple-A lineup.
Walker suffered the injury while running out a grounder, and is still officially designated as day-to-day. As manager Don Mattingly told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Wells Dusenbury and other reporters, however, “The way he [Walker] pulls up tells you it’s going to be a little bit” of time before Walker is back on the field.
Assuming an IL stint is indeed necessary, the injury interrupts what had been a nice bounce-back performance for Walker in the wake of a rough 2018 campaign. Walker simply never got on track last season, hitting just .219/.309/.354 (all full-season career lows) over 398 plate appearances for the Yankees. The 33-year-old inked a modest one-year, $2MM contract with Miami over the winter and was more than paying off that investment with a .295/.375/.443 slash line and four homers through 168 PA.
Some regression is inevitable given Walker’s .364 BABIP, though overall, the veteran is lining himself up as a candidate to be moved at the trade deadline, provided that his quad injury isn’t a long-term issue. Walker has played almost exclusively as a first baseman this season, though he offered much more versatility in 2018, making at least a dozen starts at first base, second base, third base, and in right field.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado chatted with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post in advance of Spring Training, saying his shoulder is at full health and that he’s eagerly anticipating the 2019 season. That’s good news for a Colorado club that’ll need its best player operating at full strength to make a run in the NL West. Of course, the big question as camp nears is whether there’s any possibility of a long-term deal to keep Arenado around for the long haul. At a minimum, he and the team need to bridge a $6MM arbitration gap. Arenado says the contract matters aren’t a distraction for him; rather, his “agent is taking care of all that.” The Rockies star said that there’s no tension or anger stemming from the arbitration talks. However, there’s yet to be any indication that the two sides will be able to see eye to eye on a long-term agreement with Arenado just months from reaching free agency.
- The Pirates announced earlier tonight that they’ve added outfielder JB Shuck on a minor league contract, and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that they’re still looking for outfield additions on minor league pacts. Among the names Pittsburgh is currently eyeing are Cameron Maybin and Brandon Guyer — a pair of veteran right-handed bats who have considerably longer track records than Shuck. Of course, both Maybin and especially Guyer are coming off underwhelming seasons at the plate. Maybin would bring an element of speed to the Pirates’ bench, while Guyer is typically more of an on-base threat and has handled lefties better in his career. Either could pair with Lonnie Chisenhall in right field — Guyer and Chisenhall have previously platooned together in Cleveland — while the Pirates await Gregory Polanco’s return from shoulder surgery. Polanco is expected to be sidelined for the first couple months of the 2019 campaign.
- New Reds outfielder Yasiel Puig was primarily a right fielder with the Dodgers, but he said Wednesday evening that he’ll be prepared to play center field if his new organization asks him to do so, writes Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. Cincinnati has a clear need in center field and has been rumored to be seeking additions both via free agency and on the trade market. Puig won’t hesitate to play either outfield spot and said his primary focus is on being in the lineup on a daily basis and helping a rebuilt Reds roster push for a postseason berth. Puig also discussed the mixed emotions he felt upon learning he’d been traded and his relationship with hitting coach Turner Ward, among other topics.
- Neil Walker spoke with Marlins reporters about his one-year deal with the team (link via Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald), explaining that this offseason he put an emphasis on being signed before Spring Training began. Walker noted that he had interest from other clubs, but some were playing the waiting game for other free agents (including a few clubs who were first waiting to see what happened with Manny Machado before adding an infielder). Walker candidly called the beginning of his Yankees tenure the “worst month-and-a-half of [his] career” — not in reference to the team but rather referring to his own performance. Walker felt that his lack of a full Spring Training was a significant detriment, and he had no intention of waiting into March to sign once again. Walker hit .247/.346/.442 in the season’s second half after a disastrous start to the 2018 season.
7:12pm: Walker will receive a $2MM salary on the contract, tweets Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Walker’s primary role will be platooning with Peter O’Brien at first base, president of baseball ops Mike Hill told reporters (Twitter link via Wells Dusenbery of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, but he’ll also see action at second base and third base from time to time.
5:02pm: The Marlins announced Tuesday that they’ve signed free-agent infielder Neil Walker to a one-year contract. Miami has reportedly been seeking a left-handed bat, and the switch-hitting Walker can offer additional flexibility both at the plate and in the field. It stands to reason that Walker, 33, could be slotted in at multiple infield positions or even in the corner outfield after seeing time all over the diamond in a utility role with the Yankees in 2018. He’s represented by Excel Sports Management.
Walker’s overall .219/.309/.354 slash from last season certainly doesn’t look appealing, though the veteran posted a more palatable .235/.335/.403 slash from May 1 through season’s and enjoyed a generally solid second half (.247/.346/.442). Much of his 2018 struggles were confined to a disastrous showing through the end of April (.402 OPS), and while there’s no direct evidence of causation, it’s worth noting that Walker didn’t sign with the Yankees until March 12 last year.
Walker was one of many free agents to sign after Spring Training was well underway, and it’s perhaps telling that a number of those players struggled through awful starts to the 2018 season. Lance Lynn, Logan Morrison, Alex Cobb, Greg Holland and Jonathan Lucroy were among the March signees who had underwhelming 2018 seasons — particularly early in the year.
This time around, Walker will look to rebound with the benefit of a full spring workload to ramp up for what will be his 11th Major League season. Last year’s struggles aside, Walker was one of the game’s more consistent hitters from 2010-17, as I outlined in depth at the time. If he’s able to get back to those previous levels, the Marlins will find themselves with a bargain on their hands and, quite likely, a summer trade chip.
While adding Walker makes plenty of sense for Miami, it’s nevertheless confounding that the organization elected to move on from Derek Dietrich only to sign a 33-year-old player with a similar skill set. Granted, Walker is a switch-hitter, but he’s not a massive defensive upgrade over Dietrich and for all his past success, is still four years older. The financial savings figure to be minimal, as well, as Dietrich had been projected to earn a rather modest $4.8MM salary. It’s likely that Walker’s salary will check in lower than that, of course, but going from Dietrich to Walker still seems like somewhat of a lateral move.
The Dodgers reached out to free agent backstop Wilson Ramos with interest, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times (via Twitter). It seems, though, that the Dodgers are angling for a one-year pact, while Ramos is still seeking a multi-year contract. A single-year deal for Ramos appears unrealistic, given that he’s one of the two best catchers on the market – along with Dodgers free agent Yasmani Grandal – and is coming off an excellent offensive season. MLBTR predicts Ramos, 31, will receive a three-year, $36MM guarantee, which should put him out of the Dodgers’ reported range. Either way, with Austin Barnes as the only catcher who has significant major league experience on its roster, LA seems likely to add a backstop sometime this offseason. The club is reportedly among those still in the hunt for Marlins star J.T. Realmuto.
More on a few other NL West teams…
- The Rockies have at least given internal consideration to pursuing Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (Twitter link). It seems the Rox could also consider some free agent bats, with MLB.com’s Thomas Harding writing that Daniel Murphy, Neil Walker, and Logan Morrison are all on the club’s radar. Colorado received National League-worst production at first base last season, putting it in the market for help there. Smoak, meanwhile, put together his second straight solid offensive campaign. He’s due an affordable $8MM in 2019, and MLBTR’s Mark Polishuk noted in October that he’d make sense for the Rockies. Murphy, Walker and Morrison were less successful than Smoak in 2018, but they’ve experienced varying degrees of success and should come at affordable prices this winter. Further, both Murphy and Walker are versatile enough to line up at multiple positions.
- More on the Rockies from Harding, who reports that right-hander Jon Gray and utiliyman Ian Desmond drew trade interest at the Winter Meetings. It’s no surprise teams inquired about Gray, a potential front-end starter with three years of control left, but there’s no word no whether the Rockies would consider dealing the 27-year-old. Desmond isn’t nearly as appealing, on the other hand, but “teams were receptive to discussing” him, Harding writes. Not only has the 33-year-old Desmond combined for minus-1.5 fWAR since 2017, but he’s still owed $40MM through 2021 (including a $2MM buyout of his $15MM club option for 2022).
- The Padres are discussing a contract with shortstop Freddy Galvis, but it appears “unlikely” the two sides will reach an agreement, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports. Now a free agent, Galvis spent last season in San Diego after the team acquired him from Philadelphia last December for young right-hander Enyel De Los Santos, who’s now the Phillies’ ninth-ranked prospect at MLB.com. The 29-year-old Galvis posted below-average offensive numbers (.248/.299/.380, good for an 85 wRC+, in 656 plate appearances) and earned mixed reviews at short (seven DRS, minus-4.4 UZR).
- Continuing with the Padres, they’ve reached out to the Rangers regarding infielder Jurickson Profar, but the chances of a deal happening are “faint,” Dennis Lin of The Athletic relays (subscription required). Padres general manager A.J. Preller is a fan of Profar from his days as an executive with the Rangers. However, he’s not having much luck prying the 25-year-old Profar and his two remaining seasons of team control from Texas.
A few call-ups were announced yesterday, but we’re likely to see far more prospect promotions and even contract selections take place today as rosters expand. We’ll use this post to keep track of those moves…
- The Marlins selected the contract of righty starter Jeff Brigham today; he’ll be among those playing in the majors for the first time ever. Brigham’s solid 3.44 ERA in Triple-A this season is muddied a bit by his 4.45 FIP, but he’s maintained solid ratios. Brigham’s 8.25 K/9 and brilliant 2.24 BB/9 give him a solid 3.69 K/BB ratio that probably looks quite nice to a Marlins club that’s hurting for serviceable major league starters. Miami has also recalled right-handers Sandy Alcantara and Nick Wittgren along with catcher Chad Wallach.
- The Athletics selected several contracts today, including that of catching prospect Beau Taylor. The lefty-hitting backstop has never played in the majors, but he’s done well for himself at the Triple-A level this season by drawing walks in 14% of his plate appearances while hitting .248. He’s even chipped in a pair of stolen bases. The biggest knock on Taylor is his lack of power; the 28-year-old owns a sub-.100 ISO and has never hit more than eight homers in a given season. Other contracts selected by the Astros today include those of lefty Dean Kiekhefer and righties Chris Hatcher and Liam Hendriks. The A’s recalled lefty Daniel Coulombe and shortstop Franklin Barreto as well.
- The Indians selected the contract of right-hander Jon Edwards today, who hasn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2015. The 30-year-old Edwards has done well for himself in the Tribe’s minor league system in 2018, though, racking up 56 strikeouts in just 39 1/3 innings while pitching to a 3.64 ERA. Though he’s exhibited extreme control issues in the past, his 2.70 BB/9 in 30 innings with Triple-A Columbus suggests there’s a possibility he’s put those problems behind him. The Tribe promoted catcher Eric Haase to the majors alongside him.
- The Mariners have selected the contract of Justin Grimm among their September moves, whom they signed to a minor league contract on July 25th. Grimm’s been plagued by shoulder and back issues all season and struggled to a cataclysmic 13.50 ERA in 12 2/3 innings for the Royals earlier this season, which led to his release early on in the summer. With the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, though, he’s put up a pristine 1.64 ERA and an even more impressive 13.91 K/9 mark. In addition to Grimm, Seattle also selected the contract of Kristopher Negron, and recalled right-handers Chasen Bradford and Ryan Cook, lefty James Pazos, catcher David Freitas.
- The Nationals have selected the contract of right-hander Austen Williams, who’ll be getting his first MLB cup of coffee this September. He’s been quite impressive in the upper minors this season, including a 0.55 ERA in 16 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. That’s backed up by excellent peripherals, including 20 strikeouts against just four walks. Williams had pitched exclusively as a starter until this season, and it appears a transition to a relief role has catapulted him to a status as an incredibly intriguing talent. The Nats also recalled catcher Pedro Severino to fill in while Wieters is dealing with a hip/groin injury (per Jamal Collier of MLB.com).
- The White Sox promoted Caleb Frare to get his first taste of the bigs; as James Fegan of The Athletic points out, he needed to be added to the 40-man roster in order to be protected from the coming winter’s Rule 5 Draft. They’ve good reason to do so, as the lefty reliever has thrived with the organization ever since being acquired from the Yankees a month ago in exchange for $1.5MM in international bonus pool funds. He’s put up fantastic numbers in 12 2/3 innings at Triple-A Charlotte, including a 0.71 ERA and 13.50 K/9. Aaron Bummer will join him as the other White Sox player to receive a September promotion so far.
- The Royals have selected the contract of catcher Meibrys Viloria to account for the hole left by Drew Butera, who was traded to the Rockies yesterday. Fascinatingly, Kansas City decided to promote the 21-year-old Columbia native even though he’s never played above the High-A level. He’s done just fine there, though, batting .260/.342/.360 in 407 plate appearances over the course of 2018. Viriola is expected to maje his MLB debut as early as this week while mainstay catcher Salvador Perez deals with a sprained thumb.
- After a short stay in the minors, righty reliever Ray Black is back up with the Giants. He’s had a poor showing in the majors so far, allowing ten earned runs in 15 1/3 innings. He did manage to strike out 22 batters in that span, though, and owns a 2.11 FIP in 25 2/3 innings at Triple-A this season. His blistering 16.13 K/9 at that level perhaps speaks to his potential even more.
- The Cardinals recalled catcher Carson Kelly today, who’s widely considered to be the club’s catcher of the future once Yadier Molina’s contract is complete. However, he’s yet to prove his worth at the major-league level, as evidenced by his .150/.216/.187 batting line across 118 MLB plate appearances. The Redbirds have also called up lefty Tyler Webb and righty Daniel Poncedeleon.
- The Phillies have opted to recall outfielder Aaron Altherr, who’d largely been a fixture in the club’s major-league outfield for the past two seasons prior to a late-July demotion. While his 13.3% walk rate so far this season was downright fantastic, that was about the only aspect of Altherr’s performance to be happy about; he was striking out at a 32.7% clip while hitting just .171 and slugging just .305. Philadelphia also added outfielder Dylan Cozens and righty reliever Yacksel Rios to their active roster.
- The Yankees are set to give right-hander Stephen Tarpley his first taste of major-league action after selecting his contract earlier today. Tarpley is quite an interesting arm-he’s been utilized as a multi-inning reliever at two levels of the minors this year, and to great effect. Most recently, he’s pitched to a 2.65 ERA and 10.06 K/9 across 17 appearances spanning 34 innings at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. Infielder Tyler Wade and right-hander Luis Cessa will also join the MLB club as rosters expand.
- The Mets will give righty Eric Hanhold his first taste of major-league action, MLBTR has learned. Acquired in the 2017 trade that sent Neil Walker to the Brewers, Hanhold has apparently been quite unlucky to own his 7.11 ERA at Triple-A this season. Rather, his 3.43 FIP in 19 innings at that level produces some level of optimism that he can serve as a quality reliever in the majors. A .429 BABIP and 2.86 K/BB ratio further strengthen that case.
- The Reds are set to give shortstop prospect Blake Trahan a September call-up, as C. Trent Rosencrans of The Athletic was among those to tweet. Trahan came to the Reds by way of the club’s third-round draft pick back in 2015. He did not rank amongst MLB Pipeline’s top 30 Reds prospects in the publication’s most recent rankings, though Fangraphs ranks him 24th in that regard thanks to a 55 speed tool and a 60-grade arm. He’s also likely to be a league-average shortstop. That’s about all there is to like about Trahan at present, as he’s only hit .245/.327/.302 at the minors’ highest level.
- The Reds have also recalled Lucas Sims, who arrived in Cincinnati just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline as part of the package in exchange for sending Adam Duvall to Atlanta. Sims owns a 5.96 ERA and 7.15 K/9 in a Braves uniform, but his minors track record indicates he might have better days yet to come; the righty has managed to strike out at least ten batters per nine innings at every level of the minors post-Rookie ball, and has a sub-4.00 MiLB ERA in each of the past two seasons.
- The Twins will promote right-hander Zach Littell, according to Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Littell has but 3 1/3 innings of MLB experience, during which time he allowed seven earned runs with one strikeout en route to a demotion. His 3.57 ERA at Triple-A this season is far more palatable, albeit unspectacular.
- The Twins also announced that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander Andrew Vasquez, who’ll be receiving his first cup of coffee after pitching to a sub-1.50 ERA out of minor-league bullpens across the past three seasons combined. They’ve also selected catcher Chris Gimenez in addition to recalling outfielder Johnny Field and right-hander Tyler Duffey.
- The Red Sox have officially recalled five players, including first base/outfield type Sam Travis. After serving as a somewhat serviceable piece in 2017 (.263/.325/.342 batting line), Travis has struggled in limited major-league action this year to the tune of a 45 wRC+ and -0.1 fWAR. Boston has also promoted left-handers Bobby Poyner and Robby Scott, as well as right-hander William Cuevas and infielder Tzu-Wei Lin.
- The Tigers have recalled right-hander Sandy Baez from Double-A Erie, per a club announcement. Baez made his major-league debut back on June 4th, entering the game in relief during a double-header. He didn’t allow any runs in 4 1/3 innings, though he did walk three batters in that appearance. Aside from that, Baez has never pitched above Double-A, and owns a troublesome 5.64 ERA there on the 2018 season, in part due to command issues.
Here are the latest notes from the game’s eastern divisions:
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times checks in on Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, writing that the veteran seems likely to be playing elsewhere within the next few weeks. The burly receiver acknowledges that change is likely coming, though he says his focus is on putting his head down and “trying to do my job.” Topkin notes that there’s at least an argument to be made for the Rays to consider an early deal for Ramos, as there are a few other catchers that could potentially change hands this summer. A deal seems possible at any time, though we haven’t really heard all that much to this point regarding interest in Ramos, who’s slashing a robust .291/.340/.468 with a dozen home runs through 285 plate appearances.
- There are a pair of interesting subscription pieces in The Athletic regarding the rising Phillies. Matt Gelb examines the team’s approach to the deadline, explaining how the changing state of affairs in the NL East — particularly, the recent fall-off of the Nationals — will impact things in Philadelphia. With the Nats now needing to climb out of a significant hole, the opportunity for the Phils to take a division title could certainly increase the appeal of buy-side moves. As the article covers, third base and right field stand out as potential areas for improvement. The club could certainly always look into pitching improvements as well. Meanwhile, Meghan Montemurro documents the Phillies’ efforts to unearth talent in non-traditional countries. It’s all about maximizing limited available resources in the international realm, where the focus has long been on a few Latin American and Asian nations.
- The Yankees will bring up Tyler Wade to take the roster spot created when Gleyber Torres hit the DL, Jack Curry of the YES Network tweets. Wade, 23, has struggled mightily in limited MLB action over the past two seasons. And he has not exactly knocked the cover off of the ball at Triple-A despite carrying good numbers there last year. As Curry notes (via Twitter), however, Wade has been much better in recent weeks. That said, the infielder likely won’t get much of a shot in his return to the majors, as Neil Walker figures to remain ahead of him on the depth chart at second base. Brandon Drury is also a potential option at second, though he has yet to play there in New York.
Rays outfielder Carlos Gomez has been activated from the 10-day disabled list; he’d been sidelined since May 16th with a strained groin. The injury was thought to be minor at the time, and the fact that Gomez missed only the ten-day minimum leaves little room to doubt his health at this time. That doesn’t mean his performance comes without questions, though, as the veteran is slashing just .200/.252/.345 on the season. No corresponding move was required for Tampa Bay, as their roster was two men short following yesterday’s surprising trade with Seattle.
And now a flurry of other injury-related items from around the league…
- David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests that Anibal Sanchez could be the Braves’ starter on Tuesday following a successful rehab start on Friday. Mark Bowman of MLB.com takes it a step further by quoting manager Brian Snitker, who reportedly said that Sanchez is indeed penciled in to start Tuesday’s game. Sanchez has a 1.29 ERA in three appearances (two starts) on the season.
- Adam Berry of MLB.com writes that Starling Marte will be activated from the DL by the Pirates today if he reports to the ballpark feeling ready to play. It’d be a remarkably quick return for the 29-year-old outfielder, who has been sidelined with an oblique injury. Injuries of that type have a reputation for lingering and causing players to miss extended time. One has to wonder what Marte’s potential activation would mean for the red-hot Austin Meadows, who’s managed more homers in the big leagues thus far (3) than strikeouts (2).
- The Yankees have reinstated first baseman Greg Bird from the disabled list, optioning infielder Ronald Torreyes to Triple-A in a corresponding move. Marc Carig of The Athletic notes that the move makes plenty of sense considering the versatility of Gleyber Torres and the fact that a removal of Neil Walker from the roster isn’t reversible. Bird entered the season with plenty of hype surrounding him, but has yet to make his 2018 debut thanks to right foot surgery.
- In a move that was widely expected, the Marlins placed Martin Prado (hamstring) on the 10-day DL today, recalling J.T. Riddle from Triple-A to take his place on the roster. It’s the latest in an unfortunate series of injuries for the formerly-durable Prado, who made only 147 trips to the plate last year following eight straight seasons with at least 500 PA.