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 (Mondays edition only). 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.
Duda and O’Hearn, both left-handed hitting first basemen, didn’t make much sense on the roster together. Duda’s back injury, however, gave the 25-year-old O’Hearn a significant amount of time to show the Royals that he was the better man for this particular job. He did not.
In 135 plate appearances while Duda was on the injury list, O’Hearn slashed .190/.267/.306 with three homers and 35 strikeouts. Duda is batting 5th and playing first base on Friday, while O’Hearn is likely en route to meet up with his Triple-A Omaha teammates.
Los Angeles Dodgers
6/13/19: SS Corey Seager (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 12.
Seager has been one of the best hitters in baseball over the past month (.354/.415/.625 since May 14th), but the Dodgers, who are tied for the best record in baseball and have a 9.5 game cushion in the NL West, should be able to manage without him for at least 10 days.
Chris Taylor, who has an .810 OPS with 14 extra-base hits over his last 113 plate appearances, will get the bulk of starts at shortstop in Seager’s absence.
6/14/19: 1B/3B Martin Prado (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 13.
The Marlins have given Prado 36 starts and 163 plate appearances this season in the hope that he could boost his trade value prior to July 31. All he’s given them, though, is a .567 OPS, making it almost possible to trade him for anything of value and without eating his entire salary ($15MM in 2019). His days with the team could be numbered by the time he’s healthy enough to return.
New York Yankees
6/13/19: 1B Kendrys Morales (strained calf) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 12.
Morales lands on the injured list as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, both currently on rehab assignments, are closing in on a return. Therefore, the 35-year-old switch-hitter will probably be looking to join his fourth team of the season once he’s healthy. While he was only 11-for-62 as a Yankee, Morales did have one glorious home run and a bunch of walks (16% BB rate).
San Francisco Giants
6/12/19: C Buster Posey activated from 10-Day IL.
Batting cleanup and catching, Posey had a single in four plate appearances in his return to the lineup on Wednesday. The former MVP will have to pick up the pace if he wants to avoid what would currently be career-lows in batting average (.256), on-base percentage (.320), and OPS (.724). He is slashing .288/.388/.471 in his last 115 plate appearances, which is a good sign that the 32-year-old might not have hit the steep decline phase just yet.
With the return of Crawford on Friday, the Mariners will have their double-play combination in the lineup together for the first time since May 20. Gordon is 3-for-13 with a pair of doubles since returning to the roster on Tuesday. Shed Long and Dylan Moore were their primary replacements up the middle. Long was optioned to Triple-A, while Moore is back in a super-utility role.
St. Louis Cardinals
6/12/19: C Yadier Molina activated from 10-Day IL.
Back in the lineup two weeks after being diagnosed with a right thumb tendon strain, Molina had a single and double in Tuesday’s 7-1 win over the Marlins. While he was out, Matt Wieters was only 5-for-34, although four of the hits went for extra bases (2 HR, 2 2B), while rookie Andrew Knizner was 0-for-7 in his first two major league starts.
Tampa Bay Rays
6/14/19: INF/OF Joey Wendle activated from 10-Day IL.
After an impressive 2018 (.789 OPS, 33 2B, 16 SB), Wendle was penciled into a regular lineup spot this season. But a pair of injured list stints has cost the 29-year-old all but eight games, which has allowed several other Rays players, most notably Brandon Lowe, to establish that they should be playing ahead of him. Fortunately, Lowe and Wendle are both versatile enough that manager Kevin Cash shouldn’t have too much trouble keeping them both in the lineup on at least a semi-regular basis. Wendle is playing second base and batting 7th on Friday.
Notable Moves Involving Part-Time Players
Expected Future Moves
- Los Angeles Angels: OF Justin Upton is nearing a return from the injured list. He’s played in five rehab games for High-A Inland Empire and could make his 2019 debut with the Angels as early as Monday at Toronto.
6/12/19: Jon Duplantier (shoulder inflammation) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 12.
The Diamondbacks have been cautious with their best pitching prospect, giving him five relief appearances in the majors before he made his first start on May 31, and then limiting his pitch count in each of his three starts to no more than 77 pitches. Still, the 24-year-old is battling shoulder inflammation and is expected to miss at least two starts. Zack Godley is the leading candidate to take his rotation spot on Sunday.
6/11/19: Kevin Gausman (plantar fascitis) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 11.
Gausman’s spot in the Braves’ rotation was already on shaky ground with the signing of Dallas Keuchel, who could join the team as early as next weekend at Washington. It’s not known how much the injury affected his performance, which has been dreadful as of late (8.1 IP, 17 ER in last three starts), but the 28-year-old won’t be guaranteed a spot in the Braves’ rotation once he’s ready to return. Sean Newcomb will start in his place on Saturday.
6/14/19: Luis Ortiz recalled from Triple-A.
With Andrew Cashner scratched from his scheduled start on Friday, Ortiz is being called upon to make a spot start. The 23-year-old, who is already on the 40-man roster and last pitched on June 7, has a 7.01 ERA in 11 Triple-A starts. So it’s more of a “right place at the right time” scenario, although his peripherals have been good over his last three starts with 23 strikeouts and three walks in 19 innings.
Josh Rogers, who has an 8.51 ERA in 11 Triple-A starts, was also recalled to give the bullpen some length in case Ortiz is knocked out early.
Boston Red Sox
6/11/19: Darwinzon Hernandez recalled from Double-A.
Based on his erratic minor league numbers (5.13 ERA, 7.1 BB/9 in 40.1 Double-A innings), Hernandez’s first major league start went about as expected. While he struck out seven in three innings, he also walked five and allowed three earned runs in a 9-5 loss to the Rangers.
The 23-year-old is back with Double-A Portland and probably won’t be called on again for starting duty in 2019, although it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he was in the Red Sox bullpen later in the season. In the meantime, the Red Sox will likely continue to shuffle pitchers into the No. 5 spot in the rotation until Nathan Eovaldi returns from the injured list.
As disappointing as it is to see Zac Gallen passed over for a big league call-up, Hernandez and Yamamoto were already on the 40-man roster and deserving in their own right. The 24-year-old Hernandez, whose Triple-A numbers (1.13 ERA, 48 IP, 35 H, 14 BB, 69 K) might only trail Gallen’s in overall impressiveness, allowed three earned runs (5.2 IP, BB, 7 K) in his first major league start of 2019. Yamamoto followed by pitching three-hit ball over seven shutout innings (2 BB, 5 K) in a 9-0 win over the Cardinals on Wednesday.
Gallen, who appeared to be next in line for a rotation spot, will continue to wait his turn as Hernandez and Yamamoto both earned at least another start.
6/12/19: Mitch Keller recalled from Triple-A.
Keller’s second major league start couldn’t have gone much worse than his first. And, yet, it did. The only difference is that he didn’t follow up a disastrous first inning (6 ER) with three shutout innings. The 23-year-old allowed three runs in the first, another in the second, and two more in the third before being lifted for a pinch-hitter during the following inning. With Trevor Williams close to returning—he made his first rehab start on Thursday—and an off day on Monday, there is no guarantee that Keller will start when his turn comes up again.
Strahm couldn’t have asked for a more difficult assignment after an 11-day break on the injured list. Unsurprisingly, his first appearance ever at Coors Field wasn’t pretty (3.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 4 K) as his ERA has now jumped from 3.21 to 4.66 over his last two starts. His next start will come next week in the pitcher-friendly confines of Petco Park.
Paddack, in the meantime, is getting a breather with High-A Lake Elsinore, where it’s not certain he’ll even pitch one inning. While it’s not considered a performance-related demotion, the 23-year-old Paddack has scuffled over his last three starts (14.1 IP, 12 ER, 20 H, 2 BB, 16 K, 6 HR).
Toronto Blue Jays
6/13/19: Nick Kingham acquired from Pirates for cash considerations.
Kingham is expected to work out of the Blue Jays’ bullpen initially, but it won’t be long before he gets his first start if Edwin Jackson (10.22 ERA in 24.2 IP) and Clayton Richard (7.04 ERA in 15.1 IP) continue to struggle. The 27-year-old has fallen a long way in a short time. Since posting a 4.11 ERA in his first 10 major league starts in 2018 (57 IP, 49 H, 14 BB, 54 K), he’s had a hard time getting major league hitters out. He has a 9.87 ERA and 54 hits allowed in 34.2 innings this season.
Expected Future Moves
- Cleveland Indians: Mike Clevinger will be activated from 10-Day IL on Monday June 17.
- Milwaukee Brewers: Jhoulys Chacin will be activated from 10-Day IL on Monday June 17.
- Philadelphia Phillies: Cole Irvin will likely be recalled from Triple-A on Sunday June 16.
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Dario Agrazal will have his contract purchased from the minors on Saturday June 15. He’ll be making his major league debut at Miami.
6/11/19: A.J. Minter recalled from Triple-A.
Minter returned from a one-month stint in Triple-A to pitch in high-leverage situations during a pair of Braves wins on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team’s co-closer with Arodys Vizcaino to begin the season, Minter’s chances to work his way back into the 9th inning mix aren’t great with the emergence of Luke Jackson (3.18 ERA, 13.0 K/9, 10 saves). He does, however, have a good opportunity to become the team’s primary lefty setup man.
Minor League Report
Major League Debuts (June 10-13)
- Phillip Diehl, RP, Colorado Rockies: IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, K 6/11/19
- Jordan Yamamoto, SP, Miami Marlins: 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W 6/12/19