The Guardians are planning to promote Peyton Battenfield on Friday, leading into a weekend series in Toronto, tweets Mandy Bell of MLB.com. He’ll take the roster spot of righty James Karinchak, who’ll go on the restricted list based on his vaccination status. Battenfield is not currently on the 40-man roster, but it’s likely he’ll be designated as a specific virus “substitute” and returned to the minor leagues after the weekend.
Even a brief call-up makes a nice birthday present for Battenfield, who turned 25 today. If he gets into a game, he’ll be making his MLB debut. A ninth-round draftee of the Astros in 2019, the right-hander was dealt to the Rays alongside outfielder Cal Stevenson (who coincidentally was called up for his first big league action by the A’s this afternoon) in exchange for righty Austin Pruitt. Tampa Bay flipped him to Cleveland for Jordan Luplow last summer.
An Oklahoma State product, the 6’4″ hurler has spent the entire 2022 season with Triple-A Columbus. Battenfield owns a 3.19 ERA through 121 1/3 innings, although he’s only striking out 16% of batters faced. Battenfield posted much stronger swing-and-miss numbers up through Double-A, and Baseball America recently slotted him as the organization’s #24 prospect. He’s credited with solid control and a bevy of serviceable offerings, headlined by his cutter and a low-mid 90s fastball.
While this is likely to be a temporary call, Battenfield could be closing in on a more lasting promotion. He’ll be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason if Cleveland doesn’t add him to the 40-man roster at the end of the year.