Roster Roundup: June 1-3

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 a few players who are “knocking down the door” to the majors. 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

Arizona Diamondbacks
6/3/19: OF David Peralta activated from 10-Day IL.

Peralta isn’t close to his 30-homer pace from last season, but he’s still been very good with a .309/.357/.524 slash line, seven homers and 16 doubles in 207 plate appearances. He’s right back in the middle of the Diamondbacks lineup on Monday, batting third and playing left field after missing the last 11 games with a shoulder injury.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Kansas City Royals
6/3/19: 3B/1B Hunter Dozier (thorax tightness) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to May 31.

Dozier’s breakout season (.987 OPS, 11 HR in 216 plate appearances) is temporarily on hold as he recovers from his latest ailment, which is being described as “thorax tightness.” Cheslor Cuthbert, who has started the past three games at third base (5-for-12, HR), is the leading candidate for playing time with Kelvin Gutierrez also a possibility if he’s recalled as the corresponding move on Tuesday.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource</a

Minnesota Twins
6/3/19: DH Nelson Cruz activated from 10-Day IL.

With Cruz out of the lineup, the Twins won 15 of 19 games, slashed .298/.361/.537 with 38 homers as a team, and put another 7 1/2 games of distance between themselves and the Indians. So we can assume the Twins didn’t rush the 38-year-old veteran back. But I wouldn’t rule out that Cruz, who has seven homers and an .862 OPS in 144 plate appearances, talked himself back on the roster so he could join in on the fun.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Oakland Athletics
6/1/19: DH Khris Davis activated from 10-Day IL.

Davis’ assignment couldn’t have been much more difficult after returning from a 10-game stint on the injured list. Facing off against two of the best pitchers in baseball, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, Davis was 0-for-5 with a walk against that duo. He did manage a single on Sunday against reliever Ryan Pressly.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Tampa Bay Rays
6/2/19: 3B/1B Yandy Diaz activated from 10-Day IL.

Batting second as the designated hitter on Sunday, Diaz went 0-for-3 with a pair of walks in his return to the lineup. The offense performed well in his absence (.832 OPS, 17 HR, 29 2B in 12 games), but the 27-year-old had been a steady force in the middle of their lineup and the Rays were undoubtedly happy to have him back, especially with Avisail Garcia and Tommy Pham both having missed the last three games due to injury.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Texas Rangers
6/2/19: OF Joey Gallo (strained oblique) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 1.

Only an injury could slow Gallo from a third consecutive 40-homer season, although he could be back on track if he can return within 2-3 weeks. More importantly, he has gone from one of the biggest home run threats in the game to one of the best all-around hitters. The Rangers will try to overcome his absence with the likes of Shin-Soo Choo (.924 OPS, 10 HR) and a rejuvenated Hunter Pence (.948 OPS, 11 HR) leading the way. Replacing him in center field will likely be some combination of journeyman Danny Santana, who has an .810 OPS, four homers, and seven stolen bases, and Delino DeShields Jr.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Notable Moves Involving Part-Time Players

    • Baltimore Orioles: C Chance Sisco recalled from Triple-A.
      • With Pedro Severino having a terrific season behind the plate, the O’s can afford to pick and choose the right spots for Sisco, who has struggled in his past big league stints.
    • Chicago Cubs: OF Carlos Gonzalez has contract purchased from minors.
      • CarGo, batting fifth and playing right field in his Cubs debut, was 1-for-3 with a walk.
    • Philadelphia Phillies: OF/1B Jay Bruce acquired from Mariners.
      • Bruce gives the Phillies another left-handed bat to use on occasion, balancing out a right-handed heavy lineup. His first start could come on Tuesday against Padres rookie Chris Paddack.

Expected Future Moves

    • Milwaukee Brewers: INF Travis Shaw is expected back from the 10-Day IL on Tuesday. A corresponding move has already been made as Keston Hiura was optioned to Triple-A on Monday. Given that the rookie Hiura was off to a strong start (.865 OPS, 5 HR) and Shaw has struggled this season, he’s fortunate to jump back into a regular role.
    • New York Yankees: SS Didi Gregorius, currently on a rehab assignment which began on May 25, is expected back during the upcoming weekend series at Cleveland.


Starting Pitching

Los Angeles Angels
6/2/19: Jose Suarez recalled from Triple-A.

The Angels scored seven runs in the second inning of Suarez’s debut, which certainly eased some of the pressure on the 21-year-old lefty. He allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the second and then nothing else until a Kyle Seager solo home run knocked him out of the game with two outs in the sixth. Not a bad way to start his big league career, although he was optioned back to Triple-A for now.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Milwaukee Brewers
6/2/19: Jhoulys Chacin (strained lower back) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 1.
6/1/19: Gio Gonzalez (arm fatigue) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to May 29.

Down two starters, the Brewers will go with Jimmy Nelson on Wednesday and, in all likelihood, Freddy Peralta on Thursday. Nelson will be making his first start since September 8, 2017, a game in which he tossed five scoreless innings to pick up his 12th win and lower his ERA to 3.49. He fell one strikeout short of the 200 mark before his season ended due to a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

New York Yankees
6/2/19: CC Sabathia activated from 10-Day IL.

The 38-year-old lefty pitched well in his return to the rotation, allowing just three earned runs in six innings with no walks and eight strikeouts against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. But he was out-dueled by David Price and picked up his second loss on the season in a 3-2 defeat.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

San Diego Padres
6/1/19: Nick Margevicius recalled from Double-A.

After Margevicius allowed just three earned runs in 16 innings over his first three starts, teams began to figure out the crafty left-hander. In his next five starts, he allowed 16 earned runs in 25.1 innings before being sent to Double-A Amarillo. While bringing him back to face a bad Marlins’ lineup gave him a good chance to rebound, manager Padres Andy Green probably pushed his luck by leaving him longer than necessary. After three scoreless innings, Margevicius allowed five hits and a walk without recording an out in the fourth before his night ended.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Expected Future Moves

    • Colorado Rockies: Peter Lambert, the team’s second round pick in 2015, will likely make his major league debut on Thursday or Saturday. The 22-year-old has a 5.07 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 7.6 K/9 in 11 Triple-A starts.
    • Milwaukee Brewers: Jimmy Nelson will be recalled from Triple-A, where he has a 3.75 ERA, 4.5 BB/9, and 10.9 K/9 in 24 innings.

Late-Inning Relievers

Tampa Bay Rays
6/2/19: Jose Alvarado was placed on the Family Medical Emergency List.

Diego Castillo (six saves) and Emilio Pagan (three saves) will take on a bigger load in the closer committee while Alvarado is out. While Castillo and Alvarado each had multiple saves in May, Pagan’s last save came on April 27. He does, however, have a 0.00 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 17.2 innings over his last 16 appearances.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Expected Future Moves

    • Chicago Cubs: Pedro Strop could return from the injured list as early as Tuesday. He’s currently on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, where he has pitched three scoreless innings in three appearances.


Minor League Report

Major League Debuts (May 31-June 2)

  • Jesus Tinoco, RP, Colorado Rockies: IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 2 K  5/31/19
  • Jose Suarez, SP, Los Angeles Angles: 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 K, W  6/2/19
  • Andrew Knizner, C, St. Louis Cardinals: 0-for-3  6/2/19

Knocking Down the Door

Ryan Mountcastle, 1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles (Triple-A Norfolk) 

Chris Davis could return from the injured list as early as Tuesday and Mark Trumbo, currently on a rehab assignment, should also be back soon. Probably not great news for Mountcastle, who is mashing at Triple-A (.930 OPS, 11 HR, 13 2B in 202 plate appearances) but has played primarily at first base in 2019. The right-handed hitter can also play third base, possibly making him a candidate to share time with lefty Rio Ruiz, who had an impressive spring but hasn’t done much during the regular season.

In any case, the rebuilding Orioles don’t have much reason to play Davis or Trumbo aside from the almost non-existent possibility that they can draw trade interest with a four-to-six week hot streak. Mountcastle strikes out a lot and doesn’t walk much, but he’s 15 for his last 40 with six home runs, including a three-homer game on Sunday. Hard to ignore that.

Willi Castro, SS, Detroit Tigers (Triple-A Toledo)

With Jordy Mercer on board in 2019, all signs pointed to Castro, their young shortstop prospect, taking the reins in 2020. But Mercer, who is on the injured list for the second time this season with a strained quad, recently had a rehab assignment shut down after a setback and has no timetable for return. In the meantime, the 22-year-old Castro hasn’t stopped hitting since the Tigers acquired him from the Indians last July for Leonys Martin.

Through 216 plate appearances, the switch-hitter is slashing .337/.411/.497 with three homers, nine doubles, six triples, and eight stolen bases in the International League. His BB% is also trending in the right direction. He’s currently at 8.3%, an increase of more than 2% over his 2018 numbers.

Yordan Alvarez, OF, Houston Astros (Triple-A Round Rock)

Alvarez is on one of his coldest streaks of the season, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Triple-A pitchers just aren’t willing to throw the ball anywhere near the hitting zone against him. Through May 19, the 21-year-old was slashing .413/.494/.893 with 19 homers and 23 walks. Since, he’s 8-for-51 with two homers and 11 walks, including seven over his last four games. While he’s not striking out a ton, Alvarez could just be expanding his zone and getting himself out. Considering the numbers he’s already put up and how careful teams are likely being with him, I wouldn’t blame him if he’s just bored and waiting for a much-deserved call to the big leagues.

Sure, the Astros probably don’t need him right now and they’re more than happy to get Michael Brantley some time off of his feet as the designated hitter while some of their other older prospects finally get playing time, it’s clear that they have a left-handed power-hitting weapon who is waiting in the wings.

Alex Faedo, SP, Detroit Tigers (Double-A Erie)

He’s not the best, or even the second best, prospect on his own team, but it’s possible that Faedo will beat Matt Manning and Casey Mize to the major leagues. And it might be sooner than later, with the injury-plagued Tigers rotation in need of help.

While Mize, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft, is proving to be the real deal, and Manning, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft, is rising up prospect ranking lists with his early-season dominance, Faedo is the oldest of the group—he’ll be 24 in November—and he logged 121 innings in his first pro season in 2018. He also has a 1.6 BB/9 and 11.0 K/9 in his 10 starts, including seven no-hit innings on April 24 and a 12-strikeout performance in his last outing.

We hoped you liked reading Roster Roundup: June 1-3 by Jason Martinez!

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