Roster Roundup: August 13-19

Below you’ll find a roundup of notable moves from the past few days, as well as future expected moves and a Minor League Report, which includes a list of recent major league debuts, and top prospect promotions. For this column, any lineup regulars, starting pitchers, or late-inning relievers are considered “notable,” meaning that middle relievers, long relievers, and bench players are excluded. You can always find a full list of updated transactions here.

Lineup Regulars

Atlanta Braves
8/17/19: OF Ender Inciarte (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 17.
8/16/19: SS Adeiny Hechavarria signed to MLB contract.

The return of Inciarte, who missed two months earlier in the season with a back injury, had helped to spark the Braves’ offense as of late (.328/.438/.582 over his last 80 plate appearances) as well as re-establish that he could be a key contributor down the stretch. For now, they’ll have to rely on Adam Duvall, Matt Joyce, Rafael Ortega, and Charlie Culberson in the corner outfield spots and hope that Inciarte is back at full speed by the start of the post-season.

Dansby Swanson’s slow recovery from a foot injury, combined with the struggles of Johan Camargo, prompted the Braves to sign Hechavarria almost immediately after he was released by the Mets. The 30-year-old has four hits in nine at-bats, including a pair of doubles, in three starts since joining the team.

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Cincinnati Reds
8/18/19: 1B Joey Votto (strained lower back) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 15.

Votto, who has been one of the most durable players in baseball since entering the league in 2007, has a career-worst .762 OPS as he nears the end of his age-35 season. There is no timetable for his return, although he could return as soon as this Sunday. The Reds, who are seven games under .500 and 7 1/2 games out of a playoff spot, could decide to shut down the six-time All-Star so he can get a head start on getting ready for the 2020 season.

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Miami Marlins
8/16/19: 1B Neil Walker activated from 10-Day IL.

With no corner infield prospects pushing for playing time in 2019, Walker should continue to get starts at first base and third base for the remainder of the season. The 33-year-old switch-hitter is slashing .260/.342/.386 with five homers 278 plate appearances.

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Minnesota Twins
8/19/19: DH Nelson Cruz activated from 10-Day IL.

Back in the lineup after an 11-day absence due to a ruptured wrist tendon, it will be a “best-case scenario” only if the injury doesn’t slow down Cruz too much. The 39-year-old has been one of most productive hitters in the game, especially over the last several weeks. After hitting 16 homers in 267 plate appearances in the first half, Cruz has 16 homers in 99 second half plate appearances.

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New York Mets
8/14/19: INF/OF Jeff McNeil (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 14.

If the Mets can stick around in the playoff race while McNeil is out—they’re currently two games out of a Wild Card spot—they’ll be in a good position when to make a run if he can return to health by late August or early September. It won’t be easy without the 27-year-old McNeil, who is slashing .331/.394/.508 with 18 homers and 42 doubles over his first 690 plate appearances as a big leaguer, but the Mets have won three of five since his injury.

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Oakland Athletics
8/14/19: INF Corban Joseph has contract purchased from minors.

After Franklin Barreto failed to unseat the struggling Jurickson Profar as the starting second baseman last month, the next logical contender appeared to be Jorge Mateo, a toolsy middle infielder with an .853 OPS, 57 extra-base hits, and 22 stolen bases for Triple-A Las Vegas. Instead, the A’s have turned to Joseph, a 30-year-old journeyman with 26 big league plate appearances under his belt.  Like Mateo, and most hitters in the Pacific Coast League, Joseph’s overall numbers were impressive. But his 10.8% strikeout rate, compared to 26.3% for Mateo, indicates that the A’s are happy with solid and steady over inconsistent and occasionally spectacular as they make a push for the playoffs in August and September.

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San Diego Padres
8/16/19: SS Fernando Tatis Jr. (stress reaction in back) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 14.

One of the most impressive rookie seasons you’ll ever see from a 20-year-old is likely over, but not before Tatis established himself as the face of an up-and-coming franchise. In only 84 games, the five-tool shortstop slashed .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers, 16 stolen bases, and a long list of defensive gems and amazing feats on the base paths. Luis Urias will take over as the starting shortstop while Ty France will get a chance to show what he can do at second base.

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San Francisco Giants
8/24/19: OF Alex Dickerson activated from 10-Day IL.

In his first 98 plate appearances with the Giants, Dickerson slashed .386/.449/.773 with 19 extra-base hits. It’s obvious that the 29-year-old can hit. The question is whether he can stay healthy after missing the entire 2017-18 seasons due to injuries. Fortunately, his latest ailment (mild oblique strain) only forced him out of action for a couple weeks. As long as he finishes strong, he’ll likely head into the 2020 season as the Giants’ starting left fielder.

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Tampa Bay Rays
8/14/19: OF Avisail Garcia (strained oblique) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 14.

Garcia should be able to return by the end of the month, giving him plenty of time to reach 20 homers for the first time in his career—he currently has 17—and in a good position as a 28-year-old free agent heading into the offseason.

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Future Expected Moves

  • CHW: Yoan Moncada will likely be activated from 10-Day IL on Thursday August 22.

Notable Moves Involving Part-Time Players

Starting Pitching

Arizona Diamondbacks
8/17/19: Taylor Clarke recalled from Triple-A.
8/15/19: Robbie Ray (back spasms) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 15.

Clarke had begun to show progress as a major league pitcher with three consecutive good starts (17 IP, 5 ER, 16 K) prior to his stint on the injured list. But he took a big step backwards in his return, getting knocked out in the second inning after allowing five runs (three earned).

The 27-year-old Ray should be able to return before season’s end to close out another strong season, putting him in position to be one of the top free agents-to-be following the 2020 season.

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Boston Red Sox
8/17/19: Chris Sale (elbow inflammation) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 14.

If there’s good news, it’s that Sale is not expected to need Tommy John surgery, which would keep him out of action until the 2021 season. He will, however, miss the remainder of the 2019 season and the Red Sox will now enter the offseason not knowing if their ace will be healthy as he enters the first year of the five-year, $145MM contract extension he signed in March.

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Colorado Rockies
8/13/19: Jeff Hoffman recalled from Triple-A.

Called on as a last-minute replacement for Jon Gray, who was scratched due to a sore ankle, Hoffman was lit up for seven earned runs in just two innings of work. Unsurprisingly, the 26-year-old was optioned back to Triple-A, where he had allowed nine earned runs in his previous start.

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Detroit Tigers
8/17/19: Jordan Zimmermann activated from 10-Day IL.

Zimmermann has battled multiple ailments on the season, but he looked healthy on Saturday when he fired one-hit ball over five scoreless innings versus the Rays. The 33-year-old has one year left on what has been a disastrous five-year, $110MM contract.

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Houston Astros
8/17/19: Rogelio Armenteros recalled from Triple-A.

The 25-year-old had allowed just three earned runs over his first 16 big league innings, but he allowed five earned runs on six singles and a walk before an out was recorded in the third inning of Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the A’s. He was optioned back to Triple-A on Sunday.

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Los Angeles Dodgers
8/18/19: Tony Gonsolin recalled from Triple-A.

The Dodgers want to find out if top pitching prospect Dustin May can help them out in the post-season as a reliever. Part of that equation involved scratching him from his scheduled start on Sunday and replacing him with Gonsolin, who did his job with four strong innings (ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 2 K) against the Braves. May failed his first test out of the ‘pen, however, as he allowed four earned runs in the sixth inning to erase a 3-1 lead.

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Milwaukee Brewers
8/19/19: Zach Davies activated from 10-Day IL.

Davies had a 2.79 ERA after his 20th start, a 5-1 win over the Diamondbacks on July 18. The Brewers had won 65% of those starts. But the 26-year-old appeared to be running out of steam in his last three starts, all losses, as he allowed 17 earned runs and 20 hits in 13 innings. He’ll try to bounce back tonight at home against the Rockies.

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Minnesota Twins
8/15/19: Michael Pineda activated from 10-Day IL.

Pineda was good enough in his return to action on Thursday, allowing three earned runs over five innings during a 13-6 win over the Rangers. The 30-year-old right-hander has now allowed three earned runs or less in 18 of 22 starts.

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New York Yankees
8/18/19: CC Sabathia activated from 10-Day IL.

After allowing four earned runs in three innings during Sunday’s loss to the Indians, Sabathia’s ERA is over 5.00 for the first time since early in the 2017 season. He’ll make his next start in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Saturday.

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Philadelphia Phillies
8/14/19: Jake Arrieta (bone spur in elbow) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 12.

Since it was discovered that Arrieta had been pitching with a bone spur in his throwing elbow in early July, the 33-year-old had failed to complete six innings in any of his seven starts. It was still a valiant effort from the former Cy Young winner as he allowed two earned runs or less in four of those starts, but it was becoming apparent that he needed to shut it down for 2019. Zach Eflin, who was removed from the rotation in late July, started in place of Arrieta on Saturday.

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San Francisco Giants
8/17/19: Logan Webb recalled from Triple-A.

At the time that his 80-game PED suspension was announced on May 1, Webb had a total of 11 Double-A starts under his belt. So, despite his standing as one of the organization’s top pitching prospects, it’s a surprise that the 22-year-old made big league debut in mid-August. He was really good, too, allowing just one earned run over five innings with seven strikeouts.

With an upcoming off-day and Johnny Cueto getting closer to a return, there’s no guarantee Webb will make his second start anytime soon. He’s still on the roster two days later, though, so a weekend start against the A’s isn’t out of the question.

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Tampa Bay Rays
8/18/19: Trevor Richards recalled from Triple-A.

Despite giving up eight hits and walking a batter in 3 1/3 innings, Richards escaped with only two runs allowed in his Rays debut. He also struck out six in the 5-4 win over the Tigers. The 26-year-old is lined up to pitch again versus the Orioles this weekend.

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Expected Future Moves

  • LAA: Jaime Barria will be recalled on Tuesday August 20 to start Game 1 of the scheduled double-header.
  • TEX: Brock Burke and Joe Palumbo will be recalled on Tuesday August 20 to start during the scheduled double-header.
  • WSN: Max Scherzer will likely be activated from the 10-Day IL on Thursday August 22.


Late-Inning Relievers

Chicago Cubs
8/18/19: Craig Kimbrel activated from 10-Day IL.

Kimbrel’s return couldn’t come soon enough for a Cubs team fighting a tight NL Central race with a clear bullpen weakness. Prior to his stint on the injury list, the 31-year-old Kimbrel had not allowed a run in 10 of his last 11 appearances. His first appearance in 15 days, however, isn’t likely to inspire much confidence at this point. Pitching with a 7-0 lead in Sunday’s game, Kimbrel allowed a leadoff homer to Starling Marte and was removed with the bases loaded and two outs in the eventual 7-1 win.

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Colorado Rockies
8/18/19: Scott Oberg (blood clot in arm) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 17.

In five appearances since taking over as the team’s closer, Oberg had two saves and a win but also allowed four earned runs on August 9 that pushed his ERA from 1.53 to 2.17. With his season cut short—he’s not expected to return in 2019—it’s unlikely that he was able to establish himself as the clear-cut leading candidate for saves in 2020, although he should definitely be in the mix.

For the remainder of this season, the Rockies will probably turn to hard-throwing Carlos Estevez while Wade Davis, who has a $17MM salary next season, might have had his last chance on Sunday when he coughed up a 3-run 9th inning lead without recording an out.

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Minnesota Twins
8/13/19: Sam Dyson activated from 10-Day IL.

Dyson’s career with the Twins couldn’t have started any worse. He allowed three earned runs in each of his first two appearances before landing on the injured list. The 31-year-old bounced back strong upon returning, though, with holds in three consecutive scoreless outings. He picked up his first win on Sunday, although it came after he allowed a game-tying homer to Shin-Soo Choo to put his team in position to take the lead the next inning.

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Philadelphia Phillies
8/15/19: Jared Hughes claimed off waivers from Reds.

Of the eight Phillies relievers on the injured list, at least six of them were expected to play key roles on the big league team in 2019. As one would expect, they need all the help they can get in the late innings as they chase down a Wild Card spot. Picking up the 34-year-old Hughes, who has eight saves and 19 holds since last season, seems like a worthwhile acquisition.

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Tampa Bay Rays
8/13/19: Jose Alvarado activated from 10-Day IL.

The Rays’ bullpen has been outstanding since Alvarado went on the injured list in early July. Trade deadline acquisition Nick Anderson has been nearly perfect in seven appearances (7 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 17 K) and Emilio Pagan has emerged as the clear choice to close out games for the Rays. Alvarado could still force his way back into the late-inning mix, especially as the primary lefty setup man for Pagan, but he probably has a ways to go before he can be trusted again. The 24-year-old has been a bit erratic since returning, walking three batters in two appearances.

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Washington Nationals
8/18/19: Sean Doolittle (knee tendinitis) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 18.

With Doolittle scuffling over his last 10 appearances (9 IP, 12 ER, 16 H, 2 blown saves), a change was coming one way or another. Now that he’s sidelined for the time being, the Nats will have several options to choose from, including Hunter Strickland, Fernando Rodney, and Daniel Hudson. Roenis Elias will also be in the mix once he returns from the injured list.

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Expected Future Moves

  • OAK: A.J. Puk will have contract purchased from minors on Tuesday August 20.

Minor League Report

Major League Debuts (August 12-August 18)

  • Hunter Harvey, RP, Baltimore Orioles: IP, 0 R, 0 H, BB, 2 K  8/17/19
  • Logan Webb, SP, San Francisco Giants: 5 IP, ER, H, BB, 7 K, W  8/17/19
  • Joel Kuhnel, RP, Cincinnati Reds: IP, ER, 2 H, 0 BB, K  8/16/19
  • Randy Arozarena, CF, St. Louis Cardinals: 2-for-4, RBI, K  8/14/19
  • Chandler Shepherd, RP, Baltimore Orioles: 4 IP, ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K  8/13/19
  • Dom Nunez, C, Colorado Rockies: 1-for-4, HR, RBI  8/13/19
  • Adonis Rosa, RP, New York Yankees: 2 IP, ER, H, 0 BB, 2 K  8/13/19
  • Brady Lail, RP, New York Yankees: 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K, Hold  8/12/19
  • Josh Rojas, LF, Arizona Diamondbacks: 2-for-4, RBI  8/12/19

Promotions (July 21-August 20): Top 130 Prospects (pre-season rank)

  • Nate Pearson, SP, Toronto Blue Jays #63  Triple-A Buffalo 8/19/19
  • A.J. Puk, RP, Oakland Athletics #40  MLB 8/20/19
  • Bryse Wilson, RP, Atlanta Braves #72  MLB 8/16/19
  • Cole Tucker, INF, Pittsburgh Pirates #83  MLB 8/16/19
  • Jon Duplantier, RP, Arizona Diamondbacks #87  MLB 8/15/19
  • Logan Allen, RP, Cleveland Indians #93  MLB 8/14/19
  • Mitch Keller, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates #37  MLB 8/12/19
  • Jarred Kelenic, CF, Seattle Mariners #84  Double-A Arkansas 8/10/19
  • Luis Patino, SP, San Diego Padres #42  Double-A Amarillo 8/8/19
  • Joey Bart, C, San Francisco Giants #41  Double-A Richmond 8/8/19
  • Kristian Robinson, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks #109  Low-A Kane County 8/4/19
  • Cristian Pache, OF, Atlanta Braves #19  Triple-A Gwinnett 8/5/19
  • Drew Waters, OF, Atlanta Braves #49  Triple-A Gwinnett 8/5/19
  • Ian Anderson, SP, Atlanta Braves #38  Triple-A Gwinnett 8/5/19
  • Isan Diaz, 2B, Miami Marlins #104  MLB 8/5/19
  • Jo Adell, OF, Los Angeles Angels #11  Triple-A Salt Lake 8/1/19
  • Dustin May, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers #21  MLB 8/2/19
  • Nick Madrigal, 2B, Chicago White Sox #32  Triple-A Charlotte 8/1/19
  • Oneil Cruz, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates #62  Double-A Altoona 7/30/19
  • Josh Naylor, OF, San Diego Padres #124  MLB 7/29/19
  • Bo Bichette, SS, Toronto Blue Jays #9  MLB 7/29/19
  • Royce Lewis, SS, Minnesota Twins #6  Double-A Pensacola 7/28/19
  • Will Smith, C, Los Angeles Dodgers #80  MLB 7/26/19
  • Spencer Howard, SP, Philadelphia Phillies #67  Double-A Reading 7/26/19
  • Jose Suarez, SP, Los Angeles Angels #79  MLB 7/25/19
  • A.J. Puk, SP, Oakland Athletics #40  Triple-A Las Vegas 7/23/19
  • Jonathan India, 3B, Cincinnati Reds #75  Double-A Chattanooga 7/22/19
  • Keibert Ruiz, C, Los Angeles Dodgers #15  Triple-A Oklahoma City 7/21/19
  • Michel Baez, RP, San Diego Padres #129  MLB 7/21/19
  • Adrian Morejon, RP, San Diego Padres #86  MLB 7/21/19

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4 years ago

I’m not a doctor, but I’m very skeptical about Chris Sale’s value next year. It seems like Tanaka is the only one who successfully used PRP injection instead of Tommy John. For a lot of pitchers, it seems to just postpone the inevitable.

If he had Tommy John now, he would probably be ready for spring 2021. But if he goes with the injections and then eventually gets surgery anyway, it could easily mean missing a big chunk of 2021.