The Braves have designated right-hander Alexi Ogando for assignment and recalled right-hander Mauricio Cabrera from Double-A Mississippi, the team announced this afternoon. Ogando, 32, currently has a respectable 3.94 ERA through 32 innings of work out of the Atlanta bullpen, but he’s registered that mark in spite of averaging a whopping 6.5 walks per nine innings. The 8.2 K/9 rate he’s posted is his best since 2012, and he’s still averaging 94 mph on his fastball, but ERA estimators such as FIP (4.38), xFIP (5.45) and SIERA (5.13) all feel that there’s some significant regression in store for the former Rangers and Red Sox hurler. Ogando has been the subject of some trade chatter over the past month, so perhaps Atlanta will be able to find a taker for him. However, if the team ultimately outrights him, Ogando has enough service time to reject the assignment in favor of free agency without forfeiting the remainder of his $2MM salary. He’s still owed about $1.06MM of that sum through season’s end, and the Braves will be on the hook for the majority of that unless they can find a trade partner. If he does become a free agent and latch on with another Major League club, he’ll earn the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for any time spent on a new team’s Major League roster, and that money will be subtracted from the sum still owed to him by Atlanta. In parts of seven big league seasons, Ogando has a career 3.47 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 38.8 percent ground-ball rate across 503 1/3 innings. As for Cabrera, the 22-year-old will be making his Major League debut when he first takes the hill.
The Marlins are in agreement with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie on a minor league contract, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). He’ll head to Triple-A New Orleans for the time being and hope to emerge as an option for the Miami rotation down the line. Guthrie, a client of Excel Sports, had opted out of a minor league contract with the Padres earlier this month. Miami has been on the lookout for rotation help as of late, and while Guthrie is no lock to immediately strengthen the Marlins’ starting staff, he’ll give them an experienced arm to add to the depth chart. Guthrie has never been mistaken for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher, but he was a highly dependable mid-rotation piece from 2007-14 when he pitched to a 4.18 ERA with 5.3 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 in 1579 1/3 innings for the Orioles, Rockies and Royals. While his brief half-season with the Rockies was unsightly, Guthrie was otherwise a durable and useful rotation cog prior to a down season in 2015. While he won a World Series ring with Kansas City last year, he lost his rotation spot partway through the season and ultimately turned in a career-worst 5.95 ERA in 148 1/3 innings
As Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez and Braves first base coach Eddie Perez spend a portion of this upcoming weekend interacting with military personnel at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, they will feel a genuine sense of patriotism that has strengthened since they became United States citizens.
Astros prospect Alex Bregman, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 Draft, will be promoted from Double-A to Triple-A following this week’s Texas League All-Star Game, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart (links to Twitter). Bregman played shortstop at LSU and has played 114 of his 125 career games at short, but he’s seen some work at third base recently (11 games) and is often mentioned as a speculative fit to help the ’Stros at the hot corner. The 22-year-old slashed an outstanding .297/.415/.559 with 14 homers, 16 doubles and a pair of triples in his quick run through Double-A, and it’s certainly reasonable to think he could make an impact on the Major League club in the near future.
The stage is set for Sunday, when the first professional contest of any sport will be played on an active military base. And what a stage it is. The location is Fort Bragg, the United States Army installation in North Carolina, and the sparkling, newly constructed 12,500-seat ballpark that will host the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
In his latest rough outing, Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and five walks Sunday in a 6-2 loss to the Rangers. Afterward, manager John Farrell was noncommittal about Buchholz making his next start, per Scott Lauber of ESPN.com, though he conceded that the team might not have a better option. As their depth chart shows, Triple-A possibilities include Roenis Elias, Henry Owens and Joe Kelly, though each has fared terribly in the majors this year. Buchholz, who has spent some time in the bullpen this season, has logged a 5.90 ERA, 6.13 K/9, 4.24 BB/9 and 41.2 percent ground-ball rate through 76 1/3 innings. Those numbers are all markedly worse than the 31-year-old’s career totals and especially the terrific production he put up in 2015.
The Rangers scored three runs in the first inning, and Prince Fielder added a two-run homer in the sixth to back starter Martin Perez, who allowed one run over six in a 6-2 win over the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park. With their 49th victory, the Rangers are tied with the Giants for the most wins in the Majors and are off to the best 76-game start in team history.
Chris Sale pitched like an ace when the White Sox desperately needed him.
Justin Morneau took 25 swings on the field Saturday during White Sox batting practice, marking the first time he had done so during the ongoing rehab program in relation to offseason surgery to repair the primary flexor in his left elbow.