The Giants have selected the contract of infielder Ruben Tejada, as Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area first tweeted. To create roster space, the club placed second baseman Joe Panik on the 7-day concussion DL and put Chris Heston on the 60-day DL. Tejada joined the Giants on a minor league deal after opening the season with the Cardinals. (First, of course, he was cut loose by the Mets just before the season began.) The 26-year-old hasn’t shown much at the plate this year, and is typically a slightly-below-average hitter, but the club is obviously in need of dependable infielders given its injury situation. The loss of Panik comes at an inopportune time, as third baseman Matt Duffy is already on the DL — along with utilitymen Kelby Tomlinson and Ehire Adrianza. Panik had been plunked recently, but the effects of the beaning only took hold a few days later. It still seems that the Giants can expect most of these players back in relatively short order, but the uncertainty could increase the club’s apparent interest in adding another infield piece
Free agent right-hander Mat Latos tells Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago/670 The Score that he’s inked a minor league contract with the Nationals, pending a physical (Twitter link). He’ll report to the minors for now if the physical checks out. Latos, 28, opened the season with the White Sox and posted a pristine 0.74 ERA through his first 24 innings on the South Side of Chicago, but things quickly went awry. That ERA came despite a 13-to-7 K/BB ratio and was largely propped up by a .167 average on balls in play and 97 percent strand rate. Latos seemed like a regression candidate, but the extent of his regression likely included some poor luck — particularly in the home run department. Over his next seven starts, Latos pitched to a 7.25 ERA with a 19-to-18 K/BB ratio in 36 innings. He was tagged for an alarming nine home runs in that time and ultimately carried a 4.64 ERA at the time of his DFA and release from Chicago. Latos has been beset by knee injuries in recent seasons, and the result seems to be greatly diminished velocity. His heater sat near 94 mph when he first came up and settled into the 92.5 mph average range from 2011-13, but he’s averaged just about 90 mph over the past two seasons while working as a starter. That has almost certainly contributed to a vastly diminished marks in terms of swinging-strike rate and strikeout rate.
The Rangers announced today that they’ve claimed left-hander Eric Surkamp off waivers from the division-rival Athletics. To clear room for Surkamp on the 40-man roster, Texas has transferred Drew Stubbs from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. Surkamp has been optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. In Surkamp, the Rangers will acquire some depth for an injury-ravaged rotation. Texas currently has Yu Darvish, Derek Holland and Colby Lewis on the disabled list, with Lewis in particular facing a lengthy absence (two months). The 28-year-old Surkamp made nine starts for Oakland this season but struggled for much of the year and ultimately recorded a 6.98 ERA over 38 2/3 innings. However, he’s posted a strong 3.07 ERA with 10.4 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9 through five Triple-A starts this season and has long shown the ability to succeed at the top minor league level. In 293 1/3 frames in his career at Triple-A, Surkamp has a 3.56 ERA and a strong 274-to-82 K/BB ratio.
Here are the day’s minor moves from around the league… Infielder Danny Muno asked for his release from the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate and had his request granted, tweets SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The 27-year-old made his big league debut with New York last season and hit .148/.258/.185 in a tiny sample of 32 plate appearances. The versatile Muno, who has played mostly second in his minor league career but has quite a bit of experience at shortstop and third base as well, has enjoyed more success in the minors. He’s a career .267/.371/.387 hitter in parts of three seasons at Triple-A and has an overall .795 OPS in parts of six minor league seasons. With Muno seemingly unable to crack the big league roster in spite of injuries throughout the Mets’ infield, perhaps his camp simply felt the best move for his future was to explore other opportunities.
The Rays will designate outfielder Jaff Decker for assignment and activate fellow outfielder Brandon Guyer from the 15-day disabled list, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). Decker, 26, was brought up from Triple-A earlier this season due largely to a deluge of injuries incurred by Rays outfielders — Kevin Kiermaier, Steven Souza and Mikie Mahtook were all on the disabled list alongside Guyer — and received 32 plate appearances with Tampa Bay. The former No. 42 overall pick (Padres, 2008) batted .138/.219/.138 in that brief sample. Decker has been a considerably better performer than that at the Triple-A level, where he owns a .264/.365/.396 batting line in 1321 plate appearances. That production has never carried over to the Majors, though, where Decker is a career .159/.267/.227 batter in 2014 trips to the dish
The Cardinals announced today that they have designated backup catcher Eric Fryer for assignment and activated fellow backstop Brayan Pena off the 15-day disabled list. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said yesterday that the 30-year-old Fryer has been a “pleasant surprise” for his team in 2016, but a DFA has looked increasingly likely as Pena has neared the completion of a minor league rehab assignment for a knee injury. While Fryer worked in a very highly limited role in support of Yadier Molina, he’s been quite solid at the plate, slashing .368/.415/.421 through 41 plate appearances this season. He’s also prevented four of the six stolen bases attempts against him.
The Dodgers have claimed infielder Cole Figueroa off waivers from the Pirates, Los Angeles announced. He has been optioned to Triple-A. Figueroa, who’ll turn 29 on Thursday, has appeared at second, third, and short at the major league level. He hasn’t hit much in limited action at the major league level, but has produced at a .288/.356/.376 clip in nearly 2,000 turns at the plate at Triple-A.
The Brewers have designated outfielder Alex Presley for assignment, per a club announcement. Taking his place on the roster is utilityman Jake Elmore, whose contract was purchased by Milwaukee. [Related: Updated Brewers Depth Chart] Presley, 30, has bounced around quite a bit in recent years. He got a chance with the Brewers, but was only able to post a .198/.271/.293 batting line in 129 plate appearances.
The Padres have claimed righty Paul Clemens, Jon Heyman of todaysknuckleball.com reports on Twitter. The 28-year-old was evidently placed on waivers by the Marlins, for whom he had been pitching. Clemens made two starts for Miami this year, throwing ten innings over which he allowed seven earned earns on 11 hits and eight walks against six strikeouts. He had spent most of the year at Triple-A, pitching to a 4.30 ERA with 7.9 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9 over 75 1/3 frames.
The Nationals have released righty Taylor Jordan, as MLB.com’s Bill Ladson tweets. His 40-man spot will go to top prospect Lucas Giolito, who’ll make his debut tonight.