Roster Roundup: June 18-21

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 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.

Lineup Regulars

Baltimore Orioles
6/20/19: OF Dwight Smith Jr. activated from 10-Day IL.

Smith had been struggling since a strong start, posting a .638 OPS in 111 plate appearances before a concussion knocked him out of action for two weeks. Batting in the cleanup spot on Thursday, the 26-year-old went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts. He should continue to see regular at-bats as the starting left fielder, but he’ll have to get back on track soon. With his next home run, Smith will surpass his father’s career-best total when he hit 11 for the Cubs in 1993.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Cincinnati Reds
6/19/19: SS Jose Iglesias reinstated from Paternity list

Iglesias celebrated the birth of his daughter with three hits, including his fifth home run of the season, in back-to-back wins on Wednesday and Thursday. The 29-year-old is now one homer shy of his career-high, which he set in 2017 with the Tigers.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Colorado Rockies
6/20/19: SS Trevor Story (sprained thumb) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 20.
6/20/19: SS Brendan Rodgers recalled from Triple-A.

The Rockies have had to make do for multiple weeks without Daniel Murphy and Charlie Blackmon earlier in the season, and now they’ll be without Story, who is having another big season at the plate. The 26-year-old was on an MVP-caliber pace with over 30 home runs, 40 doubles, 25 stolen bases, 100 runs batted in and 130 runs. Pat Valaika played shortstop on Thursday and top prospect Brendan Rodgers, who will likely get the bulk of playing time in Story’s absence, is in the lineup on Friday.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Houston Astros
6/19/19: 2B Jose Altuve activated from 10-Day IL.

The Astros won 24 of 35 games with Altuve out of the lineup while his replacement at second base, Tony Kemp, had a .768 OPS with 11 extra-base hits over that span. So they did just fine without the former AL MVP, who was able to take his time while recovering from a strained hamstring and discomfort in his surgically-repaired knee. The 29-year-old currently has a .769 OPS, his lowest since 2013, and a career-high 15% strikeout rate,  although his walk (10.4%) and home run (5.2%) rates would also be the highest of his career.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Kansas City Royals
6/21/19: 3B Hunter Dozier activated from 10-Day IL.
6/20/19: SS Adalberto Mondesi Jr. (strained groin) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 19.

The league leader in triples (8) and stolen bases (27), Mondesi is still a good bet to be ahead of the pack at season’s end as long as his groin injury doesn’t linger for more than a few weeks. Humberto Arteaga, who signed with the Royals out of Venezuela as a 16-year-old back in 2010, made his major league debut in Mondesi’s place on Thursday.

Dozier, who missed three weeks with a chest injury, returns to a .314/.398/.589 slash line. He’s batting third and playing third base on Friday. Cheslor Cuthbert had 20 hits in 71 at-bats with three homers while getting the majority of starts at the hot corner while Dozier was out.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Miami Marlins
6/21/19: C Jorge Alfaro placed on 7-Day IL, retroactive to June 21.

Alfaro joins catcher Chad Wallach, who is also on the injured list with a concussion, while Wilkin Castillo returns to the majors for the first time since 2009. During that span, the 35-year-old has had stints in the Mexican and Atlantic Leagues and has played in the minors for the Braves, Rockies, Pirates, Blue Jays, and Yankees. It might be an understatement to call Castillo a “journeyman.”

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Minnesota Twins
6/19/19: INF/OF Marwin Gonzalez (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 19.
6/18/19: OF Byron Buxton (wrist contusion) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 15.

Buxton, a breakout star on the team with the best record in the American League, could return as early as Tuesday. Gonzalez, who was 19 for his last 60, is eligible to return next weekend. Jake Cave is 0-for-13 in three starts since taking Buxton’s spot in the lineup.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

New York Yankees
6/21/19: OF Aaron Judge activated from 10-Day IL.
6/18/19: OF Giancarlo Stanton activated from 10-Day IL.

All within the span of five days, the Yankees lineup has added Edwin Encarnacion and reinstated Stanton and Judge from the injured list. All three are in the lineup against Brad Peacock and the Astros on Friday with Judge in the leadoff spot. The team’s regular 1-2-3 hitters in recent weeks (DJ LeMahieu, Luke Voit, and Aaron Hicks) are all out of the lineup, so it’s unclear if the Yankees plan on using Judge there on a regular basis. He batted second in every he game he started prior to his injury.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

San Francisco Giants
6/21/19: OF Steven Duggar (strained lower back) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 19.
6/21/19: OF Alex Dickerson recalled from Triple-A.

With Kevin Pillar expected to move over to center field in Duggar’s absence, it’s Dickerson who could benefit with regular at-bats as the starting left fielder. Acquired from the Padres earlier this month, the 29-year-old has been plagued by multiple injuries since posting a .788 OPS with 10 homers in 285 plate appearances back in 2016. He might not get a long look if Duggar isn’t out long, but he’ll have a decent chance to make a strong impression over the next week or two.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Tampa Bay Rays
6/19/19: 3B/1B Yandy Diaz (strained hamstring) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 17.

Diaz had been on fire since returning from his last injured list stint, slashing .361/.426/.508 in 68 plate appearances, and now he’ll miss at least another 10 days with a hamstring injury. His injury does free up some playing time for Joey Wendle, who will platoon at third base with Daniel Robertson in his absence.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Toronto Blue Jays
6/18/19: 1B Justin Smoak (strained quad) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 15.

A 7-for-40 slump and a stint on the injured list won’t help Smoak’s trade value. He has a solid reputation, however, and there should be interest from contending teams as long as he’s healthy prior to the July 31 deadline. Rowdy Tellez will get more time at first base and less as the designated hitter with Smoak out, while Billy McKinney could also see time there.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Starting Pitching

Atlanta Braves
6/21/19: Dallas Keuchel recalled from Triple-A.

It’s almost three months later than Keuchel would’ve expected to make his 2019 debut, but he’s on a first place team, facing off against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on Friday night, and he’s set to earn $13MM for just over half a season’s work. Things could be worse, I guess, but the former Cy Young award winner deserved a better outcome during his first crack at free agency.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Baltimore Orioles
6/20/19: John Means (strained shoulder) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 17.

One of the few bright spots for the Orioles in 2019, Means (2.67 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, 7.5 K/9 in 70.2 IP) is hoping he can return without missing more than one or two starts. Sean Gilmartin is making a spot start in his place on Friday, after which the O’s won’t need a fifth starter until July 2.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Chicago Cubs
6/20/19: Adbert Alzolay recalled from Triple-A.

Alzolay, the organization’s No. 4 prospect and top pitching prospect, didn’t start in his major league debut, but he followed Tyler Chatwood with four strong innings (ER, H, 5 K, W) and now has the Cubs discussing a possible six-man rotation until Kyle Hendricks returns from the injured list.

Since allowing five earned runs in each of his first two Triple-A starts, the 24-year-old Alzolay had a 1.93 ERA with three walks and 40 strikeouts in 28 innings over his last five starts. Even before his impressive outing with the Cubs on Thursday, it was becoming clear that he was working his way into the team’s plans for 2019.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Cleveland Indians
6/17/19: Mike Clevinger (sprained ankle) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 18.

The Indians have had one of the most talented starting rotations in baseball over the past few seasons. That talented group has also been one of the most durable, an almost-certain recipe for success. In 2019, however, the Indians have already been forced to use nine starting pitchers (10 if you include Tyler Clippard, who made one appearance as an “opener”) and will call on rookie Aaron Civale to take Clevinger’s spot in the rotation on Saturday.

While the results haven’t been terrible—they’re 12th in baseball in ERA, fifth in WHIP, and 3rd in K/9—they’re not quite good enough to carry a team with a mediocre offense.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Detroit Tigers
6/19/19: Jordan Zimmermann activated from 10-Day IL.

The results weren’t great in Zimmermann’s first start since late April—he allowed three earned runs in four innings—but the fact that he’s back on the mound less than two months after being diagnosed with a sprained elbow is quite a feat. In most cases, a pitcher would be in the early stages of recovery from Tommy John surgery at this point.

For now, the 33-year-old Zimmermann will continue to take the ball every five-to-six days as long as his elbow holds up or as long as the Tigers allow him. Since dominating in his first two starts of the season (13.2 IP, ER, 7 H, BB, 10 K), he’s allowed 22 earned runs in his last 20 2/3 innings.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Los Angeles Dodgers
6/20/19: Rich Hill (strained flexor tendon) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 20.

Hill has missed a lot of time over the past few seasons due to an assortment of injuries, but this is the first one that is throwing arm-related. He’s not expected to begin a throwing program for at least 3-4 weeks, so it will be a while before the 39-year-old is back on the mound. Julio Urias, who pitched three scoreless innings in a spot start on Thursday, is the leading candidate to take Hill’s rotation spot.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Miami Marlins
6/20/19: Zac Gallen has contract purchased from minors.
6/19/19: Pablo Lopez (shoulder discomfort) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 16.

It took injuries to Lopez, Caleb Smith and Jose Urena to finally open the door for Gallen and he didn’t disappoint in his major league debut. Facing the Cardinals, the team that drafted him in 2016 and later traded him to Miami in the deal for Marcell Ozuna, the 23-year-old Gallen allowed just one earned run in five innings and picked up a no-decision in an eventual 7-6 win. Including his 14 Triple-A starts, this was the tenth time that Gallen has allowed one earned run or less.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

New York Mets
6/20/19: Walker Lockett recalled from Triple-A.

Lockett struggled in three starts with the Padres in 2018 and his first start for the Mets, as promising as it began, was every bit as ugly. After retiring the first six Cubs batters in order, the 25-year-old Lockett couldn’t get out of the third inning. By the time it was all said and done, he had allowed six earned runs on five hits.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Oakland Athletics
6/21/19: Frankie Montas (80-game suspension) placed on Restricted List.

A near-lock to become an AL All-Star selection after posting a 2.70 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, and 9.7 K/9 through his first 15 starts, the 26-year-old Montas is now unlikely to pitch in 2019. He’ll be eligible to return with only six games remaining in the regular season and, even if the A’s qualify, he won’t be eligible to pitch in the post-season.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Pittsburgh Pirates
6/19/19: Trevor Williams activated from 10-Day IL.
6/19/19: Mitch Keller optioned to Triple-A.

Williams returned from a month-long absence to allow seven earned runs, the most he’s allowed since August 18, 2017. The 27-year-old was picked up by his offense and his bullpen, however, as the Pirates held on for an 8-7 win over the Tigers. He’ll pitch again next week at Houston.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

San Diego Padres
6/18/19: Logan Allen has contract purchased from minors.

Just six days after another rookie, Jordan Yamamoto, pitched seven shutout innings to win his major league debut, the 22-year-old Allen one-upped him by matching the seven scoreless frames, picking up his first career hit, and winning a $1 bet with his friend, John Cena.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

St. Louis Cardinals
6/20/19: Adam Wainwright activated from 10-Day IL.

After missing 11 days with a strained hamstring, the 37-year-old Wainwright returned to throw 5 1/3 innings (3 ER, 6 H, BB, 6 K) in a 7-6 loss to the Marlins on Thursday. Pretty uneventful, considering he walked seven batters while pitching eight shutout innings on June 2 and had a 10-strikeout game with no walks on May 28.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Texas Rangers
6/20/19: Drew Smyly designated for assignment.
6/19/19: Joe Palumbo recalled from Triple-A.

The Rangers took a low-risk flyer on Smyly in an offseason trade with the Cubs. They took on his $7MM salary while saving almost that amount when the Cubs exercised the club option on Cole Hamels‘ contract—the Rangers were on the hook for his $6MM buyout. Not a bad investment on a pitcher who had yet to turn 30 years old and was considered one of the better young lefty starters in the league prior to Tommy John surgery in July 2017. It didn’t work out, though, as the Rangers have pulled the plug after he posted an 8.42 ERA in 13 appearances and 51 1/3 innings.

While some pitchers can take longer to return to form after Tommy John surgery, the Rangers are five games over .500 and have gotten some surprisingly good pitching performances from Ariel Jurado and Adrian Sampson. Waiting on Smyly was not an option, especially since he’ll be a free agent at season’s end.

Palumbo made his second spot start of the season on Wednesday, allowing seven earned runs in two innings. Jesse Chavez, who has bounced back and forth between starting and relieving throughout his career, has been moved to the rotation. He pitched five strong innings of relief of Palumbo (ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K).

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Toronto Blue Jays
6/18/19: Edwin Jackson (strained lower back) placed on 10-Day IL, retroactive to June 18.

By the time Jackson exited his last start with only two outs in the first inning, he had allowed seven earned runs and six hits, including three homers, and his earned run average had risen to 12.43 with 46 hits allowed in 25 1/3 innings. It’s possible that the 35-year-old, who made his major league debut on his 20th birthday in 2003 and has pitched for 14 major league teams, could return late in the season if the Jays need someone to eat innings. Or it’s possible he’ll never get to pitch for a 15th team.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource


Expected Future Moves

    • Cleveland Indians: Aaron Civale will have his contract purchased from the minors on Saturday June 22.
    • Philadelphia Phillies: Enyel De Los Santos will be recalled from Triple-A on Sunday June 23.
    • San Diego Padres: Chris Paddack will be recalled from High-A on Saturday June 22. He has not made an appearance since being optioned on June 12, making it obvious that he was just getting a breather.

Late-Inning Relievers

Toronto Blue Jays
6/20/19: Ken Giles activated from 10-Day IL.

Back in action 15 days since his last appearance, Giles pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts in a 5-5 tie on Thursday, a game in which the Blue Jays won an inning later on a Billy McKinney walk-off home run. Daniel Hudson had the lone Blue Jays save while Giles was out.

It’s good news that the 28-year-old Giles, who was sidelined because of elbow inflammation, was able to return so quickly, especially since he could be one of the Blue Jays’ top trade chips. He’ll now have more than a month to prove to contending teams that his elbow is fine and he can help in the late innings down the stretch.

Depth Chart | Roster Resource

Minor League Report

Major League Debuts (June 17-20)

  • Adbert Alzolay, RP, Chicago Cubs: 4 IP, ER, H, 2 BB, 5 K, W  6/20/19
  • Zack Collins, PH, Chicago White Sox: 0-for-0, BB 6/19/19
  • Humberto Arteaga, SS, Kansas City Royals: 0-for-2  6/20/19
  • Josh Sborz, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers: IP, 3 ER, 2 H, BB, 0 K 6/20/19
  • Zac Gallen, SP, Miami Marlins: 5 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K  6/20/19
  • Sean Poppen, RP, Minnesota Twins: 4 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 2 K  6/19/19
  • Stephen Nogosek, RP, New York Mets: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K  6/19/19
  • Logan Allen, SP, San Diego Padres: 7 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W 6/18/19
  • Rangel Ravelo, 1B, St. Louis Cardinals: 1-for-4, K  6/17/19

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3 years ago

“Things could be worse [for Dallas Keuchel], I guess, but the former Cy Young award winner deserved a better outcome during his first crack at free agency.”

Not really. This outcome was created by particularly poor work by Keuchel’s agent. Keuchel chose to employ that agent, and chose to proceed down the path that agent recommended.