Oakland reinstated Billy Butler from the 7-day concussion disabled list Monday, the first day he was eligible. Infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara was optioned to Class A Stockton in a corresponding move.
The notion that the strength of a starting rotation typically dictates where a team will end up by the end of the season is a nice theory and all, but one particular team in the National League is making a strong case that starting pitching is way overrated. How else can you explain the Dodgers, with six starting pitchers on the disabled list, firmly holding their grasp onto the top spot in the NL West? They’re without Clayton Kershaw and a whole mess of others, while piecing together a rotation consisting of (today at least) Rich Hill, Bud Norris, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and…well, pick someone.
Welcome to the best time of the year. When the pressure and tension are cranked up. When seven months of hard work could be lost in an instant. These next five weeks are going to have the look and feel of postseason baseball, starting with five critical series between contenders that begin on Monday.
During a 2-1 loss to the Rangers on Sunday, Cleveland walked away encouraged by a solid outing from righty Danny Salazar, whose recent issues compounded some problems for the rotation as a whole. That was the only true positive, along with the fact that the Indians did not lose in blowout fashion like in the previous two losses at Globe Life Park.
The Orioles added a familiar face on Sunday morning, with right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter rejoining his former club on a Major League contract.
The Orioles have signed free agent reliever Tommy Hunter, as Rich Dubroff of CSN Mid-Atlantic tweets that the right-hander now has a locker in their clubhouse. This will be the second stint in Baltimore for the 30-year-old Hunter, whom the Orioles first acquired from the Rangers in the Chris Davis/Koji Uehara deal in 2011 and then traded to the Cubs last summer for Junior Lake. Hunter signed a one-year, $2MM contract with the Indians during the offseason, but they released him Thursday. A non-displaced fracture in Hunter’s back, which he suffered in a fall at his home over the All-Star break, has kept him out since early July. Hunter had embarked on a minor league rehab assignment with the Indians’ Triple-A affiliate in Columbus prior to earning his release, though, and the fact that he’s now on the Orioles seems to signal that he has recovered. Hunter, who recorded a 3.74 ERA, 7.06 K/9, 2.08 BB/9 and 52.3 percent ground-ball rate in 21 2/3 innings with the Indians, could now provide a useful arm to the Orioles’ bullpen. Since making a full-time transition to a relief role in 2013, Hunter has tossed 229 frames and compiled a 3.30 ERA, 6.96 K/9, 1.77 BB/9 and 45 percent grounder rate.
Rafael Montero, who was scratched from his scheduled start for Double-A Binghamton on Saturday, will be recalled to start Monday’s series opener against the Marlins in place of Jacob deGrom, the Mets announced.
Rangers left-hander Derek Holland and Indians right-hander Danny Salazar will square off in the finale of a four-game series between the top teams in the American League on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
Here’s a look at top prospects to watch in Sunday’s Minor League action.