The past week has seen some MLB movement both on the field and in the office. Teams are looking to optimize their crews as best as possible as the pennant race heats up and more changes are certainly going to follow. Of course, in some instances, teams didn’t have any choice to swap things around, especially when certain players decide to get arrested for illegal activity.
This past Sunday, the Tampa Bay Rays recalled Jose De Leon from the International League’s Durham Bulls. At the same time, Joe Palumbo was recalled by the Texas Rangers from Nashville in the Pacific Coast League. Both pitchers have seen on-again/off-again action and are stepping up to fill voids left by new injuries sustained by their teams.
The San Francisco Giants were forced to put pitcher Tony Watson on its 60-day injured list. He fractured his hand earlier this month and will be out for the season. The San Diego Padres also saw a couple of moves on its IL, mainly Garrett Richards coming off and Adrian Morejon going on.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed infielder Corban Joseph off waivers from San Francisco and the Cincinnati Reds grabbed the contract for infielder Christian Colon. Colon had been playing for Louisville in the International League and is ready to show everyone that he deserves to be in the big leagues.
Behind the dugouts, there has been some juggling, as well. Matt Blood has jumped from the Rangers to the Baltimore Orioles per an announcement on Monday. He was hired as the Director of Player Development for the Texas team in November of last year and then given a lateral move to Director of Baseball Innovation this past August. He is now heading to Maryland, where he will be the Director of Player Development. The Orioles assert that their new executive “will spearhead staff recruitment, technology programs, and player development strategies through the minor leagues.”
Coming up, rosters will continue to see some shifts. The Pittsburgh Pirates, already embarrassed by an underperforming season (they’re currently last in the National League Central with a 65-85 record) had insult added to injury when their pitcher, Felipe Vazquez, was arrested. He is being held on alleged child pornography charges in Allegheny County Jail in Pennsylvania and is facing extradition to Lee County, Florida. He was arrested this morning.
The Chicago White Sox are down a pitcher after Lucas Giolito was diagnosed with a strained lat, one of the largest muscle in the back. Given that it typically takes three to six weeks to heal, Giolito won’t be on the mound for the rest of the season. The Sox are smack in the middle of the American League Central race and the team needs a serious miracle at this point.
Noah Syndergaard, the ace pitcher of the New York Mets, was probably close to trying to find a way out before the team caved. He isn’t impressed with the way Wilson Ramos performs behind the plate and has sought to have a change made. The office has stood its ground and kept Ramos in but, with the team’s playoff chances almost nil, manager Mickey Callaway has given in and Rene Rivera will be the man behind the mask as of this Wednesday.
The Chicago Cubs are hoping that star first baseman Anthony Rizzo can suck it up and get back on the field as quickly as possible. He sprained his right ankle in this past Sunday’s game and is now wearing a boot for a week. If an evaluation reveals that all is well, Victor Caratini will be back in the dugout watching the game from the bench.
There are only two weeks to go in the regular season and the pennant race is all but lined up. There are still some outside chances to make a run on a wildcard spot here and there, and the scrambled rosters are almost all designed to try to secure one of those spots.