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.
8/12/19: INF Freddy Galvis claimed off waivers from Blue Jays.
The acquisition of Galvis, which might or might not be related to Jose Iglesias being out of the lineup for three consecutive games over the weekend due to biceps soreness, gives them another reliable option at shortstop and, at the least, a timeshare with Jose Peraza and Josh VanMeter at second base. The 29-year-old has a $5.5MM club option in 2020, making it very possible that he enters next season as the starting shortstop.
Jones’ season is over after only 333 plate appearances, although the slight improvements should ensure that center field is not a major area of concern for the Tigers as they head into the offseason. The 27-year-old lowered his strikeout percentage for the second consecutive year (28.2% in ’19; 30.4% in ’18; 42.2% in ’17), while boosting his walk percentage from 5.1% to 8.1%.
Any chance of Candelario erasing what has been a disappointing season have been diminished with his latest injury, although there really isn’t anyone standing in his way from regular at-bats at first base or third base once he’s healthy. He’s running out of time, however, to prove to the Tigers that he can be the answer at one of the corner spots before they have to plan out their offseason.
Los Angeles Dodgers
8/6/19: OF Alex Verdugo (strained oblique) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 5.
Another injury means another chance for the Dodgers to show off their impressive depth, which never appears to be an issue. And even if Matt Beaty and Kristopher Negron, the current left field platoon, don’t give the offense much, they Dodgers should still lock down the No. 1 seed in the National League playoffs while the 23-year-old Verdugo rests up for what will be his first playoff appearance in October.
8/7/19: SS Miguel Rojas (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 7.
The left side of the Marlins’ infield is now manned by Starlin Castro at third base and 29-year-old rookie Jon Berti, who has 16 hits in 44 at-bats with five doubles since returning from the injured list on July 31. Former Red Sox prospect Deven Marrero, who made his Marlins debut on Saturday, will serve as Berti’s backup.
8/9/19: DH Nelson Cruz (strained wrist) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 9.
The 39-year-old slugger will not require surgery and could return to the Twins’ lineup later this month, although it’s yet to be seen how productive he will be if the pain in his wrist lingers. Prior to his injury, Cruz had been one of the hottest hitters in baseball with a 1.467 OPS and 15 homers over his last 87 plate appearances.
New York Mets
8/9/19: 2B Joe Panik signed to MLB contract.
Robinson Cano’s latest injury opened the door for Panik to jump right into what should be at least a semi-regular role shortly after the Giants’ acquisition of Scooter Gennett and his subsequent release. In two starts with the Mets, the 28-year-old has a pair of singles and a walk.
New York Yankees
8/10/19: C Gary Sanchez activated from 10-Day IL.
Sanchez hit his 25th homer of the season in his second at-bat on Saturday, but it’s his lone hit in 11 at-bats since his return. He’s struck out five times.
8/9/19: OF Jay Bruce (strained flexor) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 9.
8/9/19: OF Adam Haseley recalled from Triple-A.
8/8/19: OF Jay Bruce activated from 10-Day IL.
8/8/19: OF Adam Haseley optioned to Triple-A.
For one game, Bruce was back on the Phillies’ roster and it appeared as though Corey Dickerson would be the primary center fielder moving forward. Whether that was going to be the case or whether it would hurt the Phillies defensively is a question for another day, though, with the 32-year-old Bruce back on the injured list. A platoon of Haseley and Roman Quinn in center field remains in place for now.
San Francisco Giants
8/8/19: OF Steven Duggar (sprained shoulder) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 8.
In a season in which Duggar was expected to establish himself as the Giants’ center fielder, he will now enter the offseason without a clear role on this roster. Kevin Pillar is under contract for 2020 while Alex Dickerson, Austin Slater, and Mike Yastrzemski have each passed Duggar on the depth chart.
Beckham had begun to carve out a valuable role as a versatile defender—he had been playing mostly left field as of late after making starts at every infield spot earlier in the season—who hits for power (15 HR, 21 2B in 328 plate appearances). While the timing isn’t terrible for a Mariners team that is no longer in playoff contention, the 29-year-old Beckham will also miss the first 32 games of the 2020 season. If the Mariners don’t tender him a contract—he’s entering his final year of arbitration eligibility—he could have a tough time in free agency during the upcoming offseason.
St. Louis Cardinals
8/12/19: C Yadier Molina activated from 10-Day IL.
8/12/19: OF Jose Martinez (sprained shoulder) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 12.
8/12/19: OF Randy Arozarena has contract purchased from minors.
When the Cardinals take the field again on Tuesday, they’ll have their star catcher back in the lineup for the start of a six-game road trip against the Royals and Reds. Arozarena, who had a .942 OPS and 10 homers between Triple-A and Double-A, will make his major league debut at some point, although it’s not certain that he can unseat Tommy Edman for a starting outfield job. The 24-year-old Edman, who had never played right field as a professional until he started there on August 4, is eight for his last 17 while starting three of four games in place of Martinez.
Toronto Blue Jays
8/10/19: OF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (strained quad) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 9.
The sons of Hall-of-Famers Craig Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero and the son of former Rockies star Dante Bichette have arrived in the major leagues and will be an integral part of the Blue Jays’ future. But the son of former Cuban baseball legend Lourdes Gurriel Sr. has proven to be just as important. Gurriel Jr., who played only shortstop and second base as a rookie in 2018, appears to have found a home in left field. Since making his first start there on May 24, the 25-year-old is slashing .295/.344/.591 with 19 homers in 277 plate appearances.
Gurriel’s injury gives new acquisition Derek Fisher a chance to play regularly and show his new team what he can do. He’s 4-for-24 with two homers since the trade that brought him to Toronto for Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini.
Notable Moves Involving Part-Time Players
- ARI: INF/OF Joshua Rojas has contract purchased from minors.
- ATL: OF Austin Riley (sprained knee) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 5.
- BOS: INF/OF Chris Owings has contract purchased from minors; INF Michael Chavis (sprained shoulder) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 12.
- CHC: C Jonathan Lucroy signed to MLB contract.
- CLE: OF Jordan Luplow (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 6.
- KCR: C Nick Dini has contract purchased from minors.
- MIL: INF/OF Hernan Perez has contract purchased from minors; INF Travis Shaw optioned to Triple-A.
- WSN: INF Asdrubal Cabrera signed to MLB contract; INF Howie Kendrick activated from 10-Day IL.
Means struggled in his return, allowing four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings during a 14-2 loss to the Yankees. It was only the third time he’s allowed four or more runs in his 18 starts. Blach, claimed off waivers from the Giants on August 3, is making his Orioles’ debut in Game 2 of Monday’s double-header.
With Price down and Cashner in the bullpen, the Red Sox are running out of reliable starting pitcher options outside of Eduardo Rodriguez. Chris Sale has allowed at least five earned runs in five of his last eight starts, while Rick Porcello has allowed at least five earned runs in seven of his last 13 starts.
Chicago White Sox
8/6/19: Hector Santiago has contract purchased from minors.
Starting game two of Tuesday’s double-header, Santiago allowed four earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He’s still on the roster, although he’s most likely to pitch out of the bullpen for now.
8/9/19: Edwin Jackson has contract purchased from minors.
Making his first start with the Tigers since his lone All-Star season in 2009, Jackson allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings en route to his 106th career victory on Friday. In all likelihood, the 35-year-old has cemented his spot in the Tigers’ rotation for the remainder of the season.
Kansas City Royals
8/6/19: Danny Duffy (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to August 4.
After allowing a season-high eight earned runs in his last start, pushing his ERA near 5.00, Duffy will miss at least one start as he recovers from a strained hamstring. The 30-year-old lefty is in year three of a five-year, $65MM contract.
Los Angeles Angels
8/10/19: Andrew Heaney activated from 10-Day IL.
In his first start in almost a month, Heaney allowed just one run in 3 2/3 innings as the Angels routed the Red Sox 12-4 at Fenway Park. He’s scheduled to make his next start on Thursday against the White Sox.
Los Angeles Dodgers
8/11/19: Hyun-Jin Ryu activated from 10-Day IL.
Ryu continues to be the best pitcher on the best team in baseball. After seven shutout innings on Sunday, the 32-year-old lefty lowered his ERA to 1.45 in 22 starts. Despite his age and extensive injury history, Ryu is probably in line for a hefty payday this offseason.
Keller’s third stint in the majors comes after a 12-strikeout performance during his last Triple-A start on August 2. He’ll be making his fourth big league start against the Angels in Anaheim.
In his third big league start, Menez struck out Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins in a perfect first inning. Things went off the rails after that, though, as the 24-year-old lefty walked three batters in the second inning and was knocked out after allowing three earned runs. He was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, meaning that the scheduled starter on Friday is to be determined.
8/9/19: Kolby Allard recalled from Triple-A.
Less than two weeks after he was acquired from the Braves, the 21-year-old Allard made his Rangers’ debut in Milwaukee. He allowed only two runs and three hits while striking out seven in 4 1/3 innings. He’s scheduled to make his next start during the team’s upcoming series in Toronto.
Expected Future Moves
- LAA: Griffin Canning will likely be activated from 10-Day IL on Tuesday August 13.
8/7/19: Greg Holland designated for assignment.
Holland was removed from the closer’s role at the end of July and now he’s been removed from the roster. The 33-year-old, who the Diamondbacks signed to a one-year, $3.25MM contract before the season, is officially a free agent after clearing waivers. In the meantime, Archie Bradley, who had struggles of his own during the first half of the season, appears to have taken a hold of the closer’s role with saves in three of his last four appearances. He’s in the midst of a 16.1 inning scoreless streak that dates back to June 26.
As long as Strop is healthy and Craig Kimbrel remains on the injured list, he’s the leading candidate for save chances. The 34-year-old pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Sunday to pick up his 10th save of the season. Kimbrel could return later this week, but they can play it safe as long as Strop continues to get the job done.
8/9/19: Ryan Pressly activated from 10-Day IL.
With closer Roberto Osuna having blown four of his last 14 save opportunities, including one in a walk-off loss versus the Orioles on Sunday, the Astros might have one weakness on their roster heading into the playoffs. The return of a healthy Pressly, who has been their best relief pitcher in 2019, should ease some worries. The 30-year-old pitched a scoreless inning and picked up his league-leading 24th hold in his first game back on Friday.
Marlins relievers haven’t had a save since Sergio Romo was traded to the Twins in late July. They’re likely going with a closer committee, although Guerrero’s injury and Ryne Stanek’s disastrous second outing since being acquired (0.2 IP, 3 ER, H, 4 BB) could open the door for Austin Brice (2.27 ERA, 6 holds, 9.2 K/9) to get a shot. The 27-year-old, however, allowed a two-run homer to Ronald Acuña Jr. in his first game back from the injured list.
8/7/19: Shawn Kelley activated from 10-Day IL.
Regardless of Kelley’s struggles in his second appearance since his return (0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB), the Rangers seem intent on letting Jose Leclerc re-establish himself as the team’s closer for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. The 25-year-old Leclerc was one of the best relievers in baseball in August and September of last season, but lost the closer’s gig to Kelley earlier this season.
Minor League Report
Major League Debuts (August 5-August 11)
- John Schreiber, RP, Detroit Tigers: 0.2 IP, ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K 8/9/19
- Randy Dobnak, RP, Minnesota Twins: 4 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K 8/9/19
- Brian O’Grady, CF, Cincinnati Reds: 0-for-1 8/8/19
- Nick Dini, C, Kansas City Royals: 1-for-3, BB, K 8/8/19
- Devin Williams, MIL: 1.2 IP, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 H, BB, 3 K 8/7/19
- Kevin Ginkel, Arizona Diamondbacks: 0.2 IP, R, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, K 8/5/19
- Isan Diaz, 2B, Miami Marlins: 1-for-4, HR, RBI, K 8/5/19
- Robert Dugger, SP, Miami Marlins: 5 IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 K, L 8/5/19
Promotions (July 13-August 12): Top 130 Prospects (pre-season rank)
- 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
- 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
- Luis Urias, 2B, San Diego Padres #24 MLB 7/20/19
- Brendan McKay, SP/DH, Tampa Bay Rays #14 MLB 7/19/19
- Kyle Wright, RP, Atlanta Braves #39 MLB 7/18/19
- Bryse Wilson, SP, Atlanta Braves #72 MLB 7/16/19
- Trevor Larnach, OF, Minnesota Twins #99 Double-A Pensacola 7/16/19
- MacKenzie Gore, SP, San Diego Padres #22 Double-A Amarillo 7/13/19