Ginkel, 25, heads up to the bigs for the first time after an impressive showing in the upper minors this year. In 35 1/3 total frames on the season, he carries a 1.78 ERA with an eye-popping 16.0 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. Ginkel has allowed only 19 base hits.
The Diamondbacks have acquired left-hander Robby Scott from the Reds for cash, according to an announcement from Cincinnati. The Reds designated Scott for assignment on Dec. 21, ending a brief run with the club that began when it claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox on Dec. 10.
The 29-year-old Scott racked up a solid chunk of innings in Boston in 2017, when he totaled 35 2/3 frames and put up a respectable 3.79 ERA with 7.82 K/9, 3.28 BB/9 and a 42.6 percent groundball rate. Scott only managed a 5.32 FIP that year, though, and was barely a factor last season for the Red Sox’s World Series-winning team, with whom he threw a mere 6 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs on 10 hits and five walks (with eight strikeouts).
While Scott hasn’t been that successful in the majors, he has recorded a 3.21 ERA with 9.1 K/9 against 2.7 BB/9 in 165 1/3 innings at the Triple-A level. Now a member of the Arizona organization, Scott will reunite with general manager Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo, who are both familiar with the hurler from their days with the Boston franchise.
The 29-year-old Scott was recently nabbed through a waiver claim, but he was obviously seen as a marginal 40-man candidate by the Reds as well as his former team, the Red Sox. He was mostly limited to pitching at the Triple-A level last year, but worked to a 1.86 ERA in 48 1/3 innings there and had contributed 35 2/3 frames of 3.79 ERA ball in the majors in the season prior.
Scott, 29, was a useful contributor in Boston in 2017, when he worked to a 3.79 ERA in 35 2/3 innings. He carried 7.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in that stretch, managing a healthy 11.0% swinging-strike rate despite only possessing an upper-eighties fastball.
Clearly, though, the Boston organization didn’t have much of a need for Scott last year and desired to make better use of his 40-man spot this winter. Scott struggled through nine MLB appearances in 2018 but did turn in a nice season at Triple-A, where he spun 48 1/3 innings of 1.86 ERA ball with 11.7 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9.
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.
Although the Rays have picked up a pair of right-handed hitters in Carlos Gomez and C.J. Cron since last weekend, they could add another outfield-capable righty-swinger, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. One free agent who might draw their attention is Jose Bautista, who’s “keenly interested in playing for the Rays, presumably knowing it would be for a low salary,” Topkin writes. The 37-year-old Tampa Bay resident has long been a rival of the Rays, having played with the Blue Jays from 2009-17. While Bautista was a terror for opposing pitchers for the majority of that run, he’s now coming off his worst year in nearly a decade, which helps explain why he remains on the market. Bautista took 686 trips to the plate in 2017 and batted a subpar .203/.308/.366, albeit with 23 home runs.
More on Tampa Bay and two of its AL East rivals:
- The Rays have recently parted with several notable veterans, including Evan Longoria, Steven Souza Jr., Corey Dickerson and Jake Odorizzi, but their front office insists they’re not tanking and never have, as Topkin details in a separate piece. Rather, according to general manager Erik Neander: “This is a season, as things stand now, where on paper we’re somewhere in that middle territory yet again. But what’s been building underneath is getting awfully close to colliding with what’s a middle-of-the-pack team. And when those things come together, you’ve got a chance for something special.” And even though the Rays finished under .500 in each season from 2014-17, Neander believes there was serious progress behind the scenes. “As our teams have been kind of treading water, there’s been that wave that’s really building, really coming together, probably even better than I think we expect it,” Neander said. “It’s about there.”
- In-house issues prevented the Orioles from signing free agent infielders Ryan Flaherty and Ryan Goins during the offseason, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports. Flaherty was with the Orioles from 2012-17 and wanted to re-sign with the club, even showing a willingness to take less money than he did to join the Phillies. Philadelphia made Flaherty an offer with a three-week deadline to accept it, but he wanted to hear from the Orioles before taking it. The O’s then submitted a counteroffer, though it “didn’t get club-wide approval in time to meet the Phillies’ deadline,” Encina writes. As a result, he said yes to the Phillies’ minor league proposal. Given that Flaherty has a late-March opt-out in his deal, it’s possible he’ll hit the market again and rejoin the Orioles before the season, Encina notes. Like Flaherty, Goins also settled for a minor league pact (with the Royals). However, he actually was set to sign a major league contract with the Orioles beforehand, according to Encina. Orioles ownership didn’t approve it in time, though, leading the former Toronto utilityman to head to Kansas City.
- Red Sox reliever Robby Scott has changed representation and is now a client of Meister Sports Management, Rob Bradford of WEEI tweets. The 28-year-old, who’s currently vying to open the season as Boston’s top left-handed bullpen option, tossed 35 innings of 3.79 ERA ball and notched 7.82 K/9, 3.28 BB/9 and a 42.6 percent groundball rate in 2017. He won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 campaign.
The Red Sox announced on Thursday that southpaw reliever Robby Scott underwent a “left elbow arthroscopy and debridement” procedure but is expected to be back to full strength by Spring Training 2018. As several have pointed out (including CSN New England’s Evan Drellich, on Twitter), it’s rather confounding that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told the media just yesterday that he wasn’t aware of any Sox players that required offseason surgery on the very day on which Scott was undergoing this procedure.
The 28-year-old Scott has emerged as a viable lefty option in the bullpen in the past two seasons with Boston, pitching to a combined 3.24 ERA with a 36-to-15 K/BB ratio across 41 2/3 innings of work. Right-handed batters haven’t had much trouble with Scott (.254/.338/.463), but he’s held lefties to a paltry .141/.227/.295 slash in the big leagues.
A bit more on the Red Sox…
- Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (via Twitter) that former Twins skipper and current Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire is among the three favorites to succeed John Farrell as the next manager of the Red Sox. Indeed, Walters calls Gardenhire one of the “final three” for the post — a surprising development just over 24 hours after Farrell was dismissed. Yesterday alone, there were six external candidates linked to the Red Sox’ job, for instance (Gardenhire included), though it’s possible that Dombrowski has been crafting his list of top options for awhile now.
- Meanwhile, Peter Gammons of MLB Network and GammonsDaily.com has penned a lengthy and must-read look at Boston’s managerial opening as well as a number of offseason questions they’re facing. Per Gammons, one executive who was on hand for the last time that Brad Ausmus interviewed for Boston’s managerial spot (the 2012-13 offseason) called Ausmus’ interview the best he’d ever seen. Gammons writes that had the Sox not been able to pry Farrell away from the Blue Jays, Ausmus would’ve been the team’s manager years ago. Further in Ausmus’ favor, per Gammons, is that David Price feels that Ausmus is the best manager for whom he’s ever played. Gammons also notes that Alex Cora will be in consideration and that Sandy Alomar Jr. will likely receive an interview as well. Like Ausmus, Alomar has previously interviewed for the Red Sox’ managerial post.
- Within that same column, Gammons reports that Blake Swihart’s surgically repaired ankle bothered him as late into the season as Labor Day, which would in part explain a disappointing .190/.246/.292 batting line in 53 games at the Triple-A level this year. Swihart, who received just seven MLB plate appearances in 2017, was once one of baseball’s most untouchable prospects but has seen his star fade in the wake of repeated injuries and defensive concerns behind the dish. Nonetheless, one Red Sox exec tells Gammons that with his ability to play catcher, first base, third base and the corner outfield, “Swihart can be a huge part of this team.”
Red Sox skipper John Farrell announced to reporters today that left-hander Robby Scott will be on the team’s Opening Day roster in place of the injured Tyler Thornburg (Twitter link via the Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham). Scott, 27, made his Major League debut with Boston last season and tossed six shutout innings after a standout season in the minors. In 78 innings with Triple-A Pawtucket logged a 2.54 ERA with a pristine 73-to-14 K/BB ratio.
A few more notes out of the AL East…
- Rays right-hander Shawn Tolleson is likely to open the season on the 10-day disabled list due to a back issue, reports Roger Mooney of the Tampa Bay Times. More concerning, Topkin notes that it “could potentially be a lengthy stay.” Mooney’s colleague, Marc Topkin, notes in a separate piece that right-handers Jumbo Diaz, Chase Whitley, Jaime Schultz and Austin Pruitt are candidates to step into the bullpen in the wake of the injuries that will sideline Tolleson and former closer Brad Boxberger to begin the season. The Rays inked Tolleson, the former Rangers closer, to a one-year deal with a modest $1MM base salary this offseason. This is hardly Tolleson’s first brush with back troubles; the righty missed much of the 2013 season with a back sprain and hit the DL late last August with a back injury that proved to end his season and his Rangers tenure.
- Recently acquired Peter Bourjos made a strong impression in his debut with the Rays and fits “the profile that we’re looking for,” manager Kevin Cash tells Mooney. Tampa Bay has been on the hunt for a right-handed-hitting outfielder that can man center field, and Bourjos’ three-hit debut (which included a homer and a jumping catch at the wall) can only have helped his cause. The Rays picked up Bourjos in a trade that’ll send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox recently, despite an excellent spring showing for Bourjos with the South Siders (.313/.340/.521 prior to Wednesday’s strong performance).
- Right-hander Vance Worley and the Orioles have mutual interest in a reunion, reports Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun. Worley certainly makes sense as a depth piece for the O’s following his recent release from the nearby Nationals. The 29-year-old Worley logged 86 2/3 innings with Baltimore last season and posted a solid 3.53 ERA, though his secondary stats were less impressive in nature; Worley averaged 5.8 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9 with a fastball that averaged just over 89 mph and the worst hard-contact rate of his career (31.6 percent). Manager Buck Showalter sounded intrigued about the possibility of bringing Worley back to Baltimore, telling Encina: “It’s different with a guy like Worley because you have a prior [history] with him. It’s like he’s been through camp with us. In fact, he’s been through the fire of the season.”
- The Blue Jays announced today that they’ve optioned right-hander Dominic Leone and catcher Juan Graterol to Triple-A Buffalo. Graterol has long appeared to be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Jays’ backup catcher role, which will go to veteran Jarrod Saltlamacchia, but today’s move effectively makes that outcome official. As for Leone, his demotion reduces the competition for the final couple of ’pen spots in Toronto to a three-horse race, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet points out (Twitter link). Left-hander Aaron Loup and righties Mike Bolsinger and Ryan Tepera are all still in the picture. Bolsinger is out of minor league options and has experience as a starte and multi-inning reliever, all of which could work in his favor (though that’s merely my own speculation).
So far during their brief major league careers, Jurickson Profar and Joey Gallo have not lived up to the hype they received as prospects, and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels doesn’t believe the organization has put either player in proper position to succeed. “Don’t hold it against these players,” Daniels told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. “That’s on us. We promoted them aggressively because they were advanced in a lot of ways, and when you get to Triple-A at age 19 or 20 years old and reach the big leagues at 20 or 21, that’s unusual. The guys that hit and perform immediately are on the fast track to the Hall of Fame discussion.” Considering they’re only entering their age-24 seasons, there’s certainly still time for Profar and Gallo to establish themselves in the infield or outfield. Texas, for its part, remain bullish on the pair. “The talent and the instincts haven’t gone anywhere,” Daniels noted. With their farm system having thinned out recently and several of their top players on the wrong side of 30, the Rangers have a lot riding on the development of Profar and Gallo, posits Crasnick.
More from the AL:
- The Astros’ success this year figures to largely hinge on the bounce-back abilities of their top starters, 2015 Cy Young-winning southpaw Dallas Keuchel and right-hander Lance McCullers Jr., who endured injury-shortened campaigns last season. Keuchel, who hasn’t started since Aug. 27 on account of shoulder inflammation, could be ready for game action during the upcoming week, reports Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. Thanks to elbow problems, McCullers’ latest start came Aug. 2, though he’s also on the right track now. The 23-year-old threw 43 pitches in live batting practice Saturday and will make his Grapefruit League debut Thursday.
- Red Sox skipper John Farrell indicated Sunday that reliever Fernando Abad will put himself in a less-than-ideal position by leaving the team to pitch for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, per Jen McCaffrey of MassLive.com. “You love the fact that his country looks upon him as a guy to contribute for the WBC,” said Farrell. “He’s pitched four times; there’s been early-camp mixed results, which are not uncommon. But in those positions of competing for a spot, you’d like to think that a guy’s going to be here to make that mark here. He’s aware of his status on the roster competing for a spot. When he returns, it’s constant evaluating that’s going on.” Abad’s battling for a spot on the team with fellow left-hander Robby Scott, whom Farrell complimented Sunday, and his shaky spring has come on the heels of a disappointing showing with Boston in 2016. After the Red Sox acquired Abad from the Twins at the trade deadline, he allowed nine earned runs on 13 hits and eight walks in 12 2/3 innings. It’s worth noting that Abad’s $2MM salary for 2017 won’t become fully guaranteed until Opening Day, so his place in the organization could be in jeopardy.
- Another Red Sox reliever, offseason acquisition Tyler Thornburg, also hasn’t enjoyed a great spring thus far, as John Tomase of WEEI writes. Having yielded nine earned runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 frames, the righty will stay away from game action for the next few days as he attempts to fix his mechanics. “It’s been more timing in his delivery,” Farrell observed. “He’s out of sync right now. His body is drifting to the plate too quick, you see a number of pitches left up of the strike zone up to his arm-side. To see him hit a guy the other day with a changeup, that just says his timing right now needs a lot of work.” Boston sent three players to Milwaukee for Thornburg, who was among the game’s premier relievers last year.
- The elbow MRI that Tigers reliever Adam Ravenelle underwent after leaving the team’s game Saturday didn’t show any structural damage, according to manager Brad Ausmus (via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). “He’ll get a second opinion to be safe, but they don’t think it’s anything major. I’m sure he feels better about it, more than anyone else, having been through surgery already,” said Ausmus, referring to the ulnar nerve procedure Ravenelle underwent in 2012. Baseball America ranks the 24-year-old as Detroit’s No. 8 prospect.