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.
On the heels of a Seattle Times report that hinted the Mariners and starter Mike Leake were “ready to be done with” each other, the veteran righty gave some insight on his professional priorities vis-a-vis the trade deadline in an appearance on today’s broadcast of MLB Network Radio’s “Home Plate” radio show (link).
“I want to win,” said Leake, before adding, “I’m not at liberty to sit around and wait on a non-winning team.” True to that earlier Times report, which characterized league-wide interest in the pitcher as “minimal,” Leake admitted that he hasn’t to this point been presented with any trade proposals from the Mariners front office. Leake, who possesses a no-trade clause as part of the five-year, $80MM deal he signed with the Cardinals prior to the 2016 campaign, would need to approve any move to an acquiring club, but it remains to be seen whether anyone wants a stake in the well-compensated righty. Leake is still owed approximately $25.5MM before his contract terminates at the conclusion of the 2020 season, with the Cardinals still responsible for nearly $6.5MM of that total. He has a 4.27 ERA across 2o starts on the year (4.80 FIP).
More doings from around the West…
- In a piece for AZCentral.com, Nick Piecoro paints a picture of two young Diamondbacks hurlers heading in opposite directions (link). While rookie Alex Young has begun to earn the trust of manager Torey Lovullo in a starting role, fellow big league neophyte Taylor Clarke has begun to produce some organizational hand-wringing after a string of shoddy appearances. After being called up in late June to fill the club’s “fifth starter” role, Young has responded by throwing 18.2 nearly untarnished innings (0.96 ERA). Though never a widely lauded prospect, the 25-year-old is turning heads with this introductory performance. “I think every year there’s going to be certain surprises and Alex Young has definitely fit in that criteria right now,” Lovullo said. Clarke, meanwhile, owns an 8.20 ERA over his last eight starts, and Lovullo conceded to Piecoro that his performance is an “obvious concern” for the club.
- In other news concerning a concerned manager, the Rangers are troubled by the recent slump of Nomar Mazara–and skipper Chris Woodward has been cutting his playing time, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News points out (link). Though Woodward largely maintained that Mazara will still be a starter for the team moving forward, Saturday marked Mazara’s third time on the bench in eight post-break Texas games. Never an elite defender, Mazara holds a career-worst 83 wRC+ on the year and is walking at a 6.0% rate that also represents a personal low point. With just eight hits in his last 57 at-bats, it is unclear how Woodward will continue to divide outfield playing time between Mazara and a rejuvenated Danny Santana. Of Mazara’s performance, Woodward allowed only that, “We want to see the results be a little bit higher.”
Trade speculation has swirled around Madison Bumgarner for months, and such buzz figures to grow even louder as we approach the trade deadline due to Bumgarner’s solid results. After a pair of injury-marred seasons, Bumgarner has been healthy and effective this year, with a 3.92 ERA, 8.9 K/9, and a 6.14 K/BB rate that projects as the best of his career. As ESPN’s Buster Olney notes in a subscriber-only column, Bumgarner is throwing his fastball more often than in recent years, and with better velocity. While “the front offices of 2019 don’t necessarily believe in intangibles and mostly won’t pay for them,” Olney wonders if a proven postseason performer like Bumgarner might also benefit from a move to a contending team, similar to how Cole Hamels was reinvigorated after being dealt from the Rangers to the Cubs last summer. With the Giants in last place in the NL West and looking like a deadline seller, it will be interesting to see what San Francisco can acquire for its longtime ace in July, assuming the team indeed does want to move Bumgarner.
Some more from around the NL West…
- The Padres placed right-hander Trey Wingenter on the 10-day IL today (retroactive to Saturday) due to inflammation in his throwing shoulder, as per a team announcement. Phil Maton was recalled from Triple-A to Wingenter’s place in the bullpen. After making his Major League debut in 2018, Wingenter was off to a strong start this season, with a 2.93 ERA and 12.3 K/9 over 15 1/3 innings, albeit with some issues with his control (4.7 BB/9) and home run rate (1.2 HR/9).
- With Zack Godley now pitching out of the bullpen, the Diamondbacks will give rookie Taylor Clarke a shot at the starting rotation, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic writes. Clarke is scheduled to start Tuesday’s game against the Rays, and there certainly seems to be opportunity for Clarke to stick if he pitches well, as manager Torey Lovullo said “we haven’t looked past Tuesday” in terms of a long-term rotation plan. A third-round pick for the D’Backs in the 2015 draft, Clarke is ranked by MLB.com as Arizona’s 10th-best prospect. The 25-year-old righty has a 3.55 ERA, 7.8 K/9, and 3.06 K/BB rate over 492 1/3 career minor league frames, and he made his MLB debut earlier this season, a three-inning relief outing on April 20.
- In another piece from Piecoro, he talks to Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen about the team’s good start, and how Hazen’s reluctance to fully rebuild (even while parting ways with the likes of Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and Patrick Corbin) kept the D’Backs in position to potentially contend in 2019. While the losses of those big-name players drew the most headlines, Arizona has gotten some excellent early results from somewhat unheralded offseason pickups, i.e. Adam Jones, Greg Holland, Merrill Kelly, Luke Weaver. As to whether the D’Backs could be buyers or sellers at the deadline, “we are hoping this team tells us what to do – directs us what to do – as we move through the season. To this point, we’ve played good baseball,” Hazen said.
Locastro got a start at each outfield position this season while appearing as a pinch-hitter five times and once as a pinch-runner. For what it’s worth, he had a good run, if short-lived, as he knocked four singles in eleven at-bats, stealing a pair of bases and scoring four runs. Locastro’s utility role will presumably be assumed by new arrival Blake Swihart.
Clarke was the Diamondbacks 10th ranked prospect per MLB.com, and though he’s not as heralded as fellow right-handers like Jon Duplantier and Taylor Widener, Clarke is nonetheless an intriguing arm with stellar control and a hopeful future in Arizona’s rotation. He has struggled to kick off the season for Triple-A Reno, going 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA, but he put in a solid campaign in 2018 with an overall 13-8 record and 4.03 ERA over a full season in Reno.
Clarke provides the bullpen with an extra arm while they await Swihart’s arrival from Boston. Swihart will likely join the team on Monday in Pittsburgh, per MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert (via Twitter). The former catcher will shed his shinguards in Arizona, who already have three catchers on the roster.