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Valentin's absence leaves Phils' infield thin

Club places 24-year-old on paternity leave, activates Cozens
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Shortly before Sunday's finale with the Nationals, the Phillies announced they placed Jesmuel Valentin on paternity leave, putting them short a solid backup infielder as they try to sweep their three-game series at Nationals Park. Philadelphia also reinstated outfielder Dylan Cozens from the disabled list.

The Phillies bench consists of Cozens, Mitch Walding, Aaron Altherr and Jorge Alfaro. Walding is the only infielder of that group, but the 25-year-old has played third base for the Phillies only once.

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WASHINGTON -- Shortly before Sunday's finale with the Nationals, the Phillies announced they placed Jesmuel Valentin on paternity leave, putting them short a solid backup infielder as they try to sweep their three-game series at Nationals Park. Philadelphia also reinstated outfielder Dylan Cozens from the disabled list.

The Phillies bench consists of Cozens, Mitch Walding, Aaron Altherr and Jorge Alfaro. Walding is the only infielder of that group, but the 25-year-old has played third base for the Phillies only once.

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If the Phillies need to substitute Scott Kingery at shortstop, manager Gabe Kapler said he may switch players around. He said Cesar Hernandez could move from second base to shortstop and Walding and Alfaro could substitute in at third base. Kapler's comfortable moving an array of players to second base.

Valentin has mainly played third base, serving as a replacement for J.P. Crawford, who's expected to miss three to five more weeks with a broken left hand. Maikel Franco replaced Valentin at third on Saturday and went 4-for-4 with two runs scored in the Phillies' 5-3 win.

Valentin is hitting .216 with 12 strikeouts and three walks this season.

Cozens had been on the DL since June 9 with a left quadriceps strain. The 24-year-old is 2-for-9 with a home run in five games with the Phillies. In 50 games with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Cozens is hitting .226 with 10 home runs, 25 RBIs, 75 strikeouts and 25 walks.

Cozens provides the Phillies a left-handed power hitter off the bench. He'll complement Altherr, a righty with power. Altherr hit 19 home runs last season but has only six in 179 at-bats this year.

"We got another really capable defender in Cozens," Kapler said. "He's running the bases really well. He's feeling really healthy, so we feel good about deploying him anyway we need."

Injury update: Neshek
Pat Neshek pitched the seventh inning of Class A Advanced Clearwater's game on Saturday, retiring the side and striking out two batters in his first rehab appearance.

Kapler, who watched Neshek's outing on video, said Neshek will make one more rehab outing before the Phillies decide whether to reactivate him.

"Ball was moving all over the place," Kapler said. "Using a two-seamer up and in to lefties that he feels really good about. He came off the field feeling healthy 100 percent with his arm."

Neshek, who signed a two-year, $16 million contract with Philadelphia in December, hasn't played this season due to shoulder and forearm injuries. The right-hander recorded a 1.59 ERA with 69 strikeouts and six walks in 71 appearances between the Phillies and Rockies last year.

Neshek should help a bullpen that holds the fourth-highest ERA in the National League and has rotated closers.

Kyle Melnick is a contributor to MLB.com based in Washington.

Philadelphia Phillies, Dylan Cozens, Jesmuel Valentin

MLB Buzz: Rays likely to deal Ramos, other veterans

MLB.com

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Rays preparing to trade Ramos, other veterans
June 24: The Rays are expected to trade a number of veterans in the coming weeks to clear a path for their youngsters to earn playing time, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Rays preparing to trade Ramos, other veterans
June 24: The Rays are expected to trade a number of veterans in the coming weeks to clear a path for their youngsters to earn playing time, according to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Catcher Wilson Ramos, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, outfielder Carlos Gomez and reliever Sergio Romo are among those likely to be dealt, and Chris Archer could also be moved if he proves to be healthy.

Archer is currently on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain, but he still has enough time to return and make a few starts before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

• Non-waiver Trade Deadline explained

Other potential trade candidates include starter Nathan Eovaldi, infielder Matt Duffy and reliever Chaz Roe.

Morning Lineup Podcast talks third-base trade market

Padres interested in Franco
June 24: The Padres are interested in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, but a deal could be tough to swing. In order to part with its once-promising prospect, Philadelphia would need to acquire a third baseman externally. Doing so wouldn't necessarily be out of the realm, as the club has been linked to Adrian Beltre, Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado.

With the Phils nearing the All-Star break firmly in the postseason hunt, they could be prompted to make an aggressive move ahead of the Deadline. San Diego boasts a bevy of bullpen arms that have been the club's bright spots -- particularly left-hander Brad Hand, who drew significant interest ahead of last year's Deadline. The Padres are believed to want a significant return in exchange for Hand, perhaps for more everyday talent than just Franco.

The Padres have gotten up-and-down production from Christian Villanueva, who hit .321/.411/.692 in March and April, when he was named the National League Rookie of the Month, though the 27-year-old owns a .176/.229/.382 line in the two months since.

Video: PHI@WSH: Franco posts a solid 4-hit showing

Rangers make Beltre, two relievers available
June 23: The Rangers are shopping Beltre, as well as relievers Jake Diekman and Keone Kela, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Beltre, who collected his 3,000th career hit last season and is 34 home runs shy of 500, is hitting .314/.365/.456 with four home runs in 47 games this season. He's missed time due to hamstring injuries, and injuries limited him to 94 games in 2017.

The 39-year-old is a free agent after this season and can veto any proposed trade given his service-time rights, so he could steer his way to a team with a chance to contend for the postseason. The potential third-base market leans heavily to the supply side, with Machado, Donaldson and the Royals' Mike Moustakas potentially on the move prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Morosi: Hot market for hot corner

Diekman, also a free agent at season's end, has a 2.96 ERA over 33 appearances (27 1/3 innings) this season. Kela, the Rangers' closer, has a 3.67 ERA and 18 saves in 29 appearances.

Reds drawing interest in Duvall
June 23: Outfielder Adam Duvall is drawing a "surprising" amount of trade interest according to Rosenthal in a video for FOX Sports. Duvall is hitting .203/.285/.409 with 12 home runs for Cincinnati this season, but has been pretty unlucky according to Statcast™: Entering Saturday, his expected batting average based on launch angle and exit velocity of batted balls was .249.

Over the past two seasons, Duvall slashed .245/.299/.489 with 64 homers in 307 games. He also finished as a Gold Glove Award finalist in both seasons and was selected as an All-Star in 2016. The 29-year-old is under team control over the next three seasons.

O's star Jones 'holds all the cards'
June 23: Five-time All-Star Adam Jones has been stellar for the Orioles, batting .291 with a 109 OPS+ through Friday's action. But Jones told Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli on Friday that the Orioles had not approached him in any capacity about a potential trade, even as the team likely pivots to a rebuilding phase in these weeks leading up to the Trade Deadline.

"I can't let it bother me," Jones told the Sun. "I'm in a different part of my life to where I'm not anticipating a $150 million, $200 million, $300 million offer this offseason. I'm more just, 'Let me go be a pro, do what I do best,' and that's play the game hard and live with the result."

Jones can veto any trade opportunity by virtue of his 13 years of Major League service time and 11 consecutive seasons in Baltimore. Telling the Sun that he "holds all the cards" in a trade scenario, Jones was realistic about his role in the marketplace as he plays through his age-32 season.

"What I'm trying to do is maintain my value and continue the path that I've been on of consistency and performing year-in and year-out," Jones said. "I'm just basically doing me, and not worrying about everybody else."

Video: MIA@BAL: Jones drills a 2-run double to right-center

Jones represents a potentially valuable veteran presence should teams need an outfielder near the Deadline. He is one of a handful of Orioles players including Machado, Zach Britton, Brad Brach and others that make Baltimore arguably the most intriguing potential seller this summer. Jones has hit at least 25 home runs in each of his past seven big league seasons, and he has recorded an OPS below league average just once since 2009.

Nats say asking price on Realmuto too high
June 22: The Nationals could be among the most aggressive teams in making significant roster upgrades these next few weeks, but the cost for Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto remains prohibitive, at least in the eyes of Nats general manager Mike Rizzo.

Here's what Rizzo said in a candid interview on Friday with MLB Network Radio about potentially acquiring Miami's backstop:

"[The Marlins] are not going to sell him cheap. We know what the return has to be on Realmuto, and we're not willing to meet that price. So unless something changes there, on their end, we're going to go with [Matt] Wieters when he gets healthy and a combination of [Pedro] Severino and [Spencer] Kieboom to back him up."

Feinsand: 10 players whose trade stock is on the rise

The Nats were very publicly linked to Realmuto throughout the winter, but -- as appears to still be the case -- the asking price was too high. Many reports over the offseason alluded that Miami, in the midst of a major overhaul, was asking for at least one of its top two prospects, Victor Robles or Juan Soto, both of whom have excelled in brief MLB stints.

Realmuto, 27, remains under club control through 2020, which assuredly would be one of the many enticing returns for Washington, which has many significant contributors hitting free agency this winter. Realmuto is batting .297/.355/.524 with nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 54 games this season for a Marlins club that entered Friday with a 29-46 record.

Video: Mike Lowell breaks down J.T. Realmuto, his value

Astros remain interested in acquiring Britton
June 22: After nearly trading for O's closer Britton last season, the Astros remain interested in the left-hander, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

Houston and Baltimore agreed on a deal sending Britton to the Astros for multiple players before the non-waiver Trade Deadline in 2017, but it was reportedly vetoed by Orioles owner Peter Angelos after physicals were exchanged.

Britton has allowed only one hit over 4 1/3 scoreless innings since he returned from right Achilles tendon surgery, and he's walked just one batter after issuing three free passes in his season debut.

The bullpen arguably remains the Astros' biggest weakness, and yet, the club's relief corps has performed incredibly well lately, posting the third-best ERA (2.03) in the Majors during June.

Hector Rondon has emerged as the Astros' primary closer this month, notching four saves in four chances, and Chris Devenski (1.57 ERA), Collin McHugh (1.13 ERA) and Brad Peacock (2.30 ERA) have also excelled this season. Even Ken Giles, who posted a 7.88 ERA in May and allowed three runs in his first two June appearances, has found a groove, tossing four straight scoreless outings.

Rangers willing to pay part of Choo's contract in trade
June 22: The Rangers have made Shin-Soo Choo available and are willing to pay part of the veteran's salary to get a deal done, according to Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

The 35-year-old is owed $42 million over the 2019-20 seasons as part of the seven-year, $130 million contract he signed with Texas in December 2013.

Choo has reached base in 34 straight games and owns a stellar 134 wRC+ this season. However, his defensive capabilities in the outfield are limited at this point, and he's spent much of the year as the Rangers' designated hitter. That, along with his contract, could reduce that number of teams interested in acquiring him.

"No chance" Pirates trade Taillon
June 22: Even if the Pirates decide to sell, Jameson Taillon is not expected to be one of the players available, according to Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

A source told Heyman there is "no chance" Pittsburgh moves its 26-year-old right-hander, who has posted a 4.03 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP this season.

Taillon won't be arbitration eligible for the first time until the 2019-2020 offseason and has four seasons remaining after this one before he reaches free agency.

Pirates players who are more likely to be dealt include Jordy Mercer, Josh Harrison, Corey Dickerson and Ivan Nova.

Mets more likely to trade Wheeler than deGrom, Syndergaard?
June 21: The Mets have been calling around to gauge other teams' trade interest in their players, according to Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

Video: Morning Lineup: Teams that could trade for deGrom

While rivals are dubious the Mets will trade either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard, the club is finding interest in Zack Wheeler, per Heyman. Meanwhile, there hasn't been much chatter yet regarding Steven Matz.

Rosenthal reported Monday that the Mets are "open for business" as it relates to prospective trade offers ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

However, it will likely take a major haul to acquire either deGrom or Syndergaard. A Mets source told Heyman the club would need to get Gleyber Torres back to trade deGrom to the Yankees, which provides a sense of the asking price the club has placed on the ace. Of course, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman has already nixed the idea of trading Torres, joking that he still has to "walk around this city."

Wheeler will surely cost teams less than it would take to acquire deGrom or Syndergaard. The righty owns a 4.82 ERA this season and has an extensive injury history, but his FIP is a promising 3.80. He was also hitting 99 mph with his four-seam fastball in his most recent start on June 17 against the D-backs.

Could Phils jump into Machado sweepstakes early?
June 21: The Phillies, who have been thought to be planning a pursuit of Machado when he hits the free-agent market this offseason, are having problems on the left side of their infield: Not only have they been getting little production there, rookie shortstop/third baseman J.P. Crawford recently broke his left hand when he was hit by a pitch.

Duquette: 7 potential trade destinations for Machado

According to Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports, Philadelphia -- with several front-office executives having been with Baltimore when Machado was drafted -- would love to add the superstar third baseman, but the question remains whether the Phillies will be a contender as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline nears.

Royals shift focus to trading Moustakas after Herrera deal
June 21: After a trade that sent closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals, the Royals are now shifting their focus to moving Moustakas, according to Heyman in an article for FanRag Sports.

Moustakas is on a one-year deal with Kansas City that includes a mutual option for 2019. He's having a solid season, slashing .263/.319/.480 with 14 home runs after belting a career-high 38 in 2017, though he has been slumping of late. Moustakas has played his entire eight-year career with the Royals.

Ailing elbow sends Lyles to 10-day DL

Hedges activated as Padres make flurry of roster moves
MLB.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Padres right-hander Jordan Lyles was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday and is headed to San Diego to have his ailing right elbow evaluated by team doctors.

Lyles was scratched from his start on Saturday afternoon with right forearm tightness, prompting an unplanned bullpen day. Immediately before the top of the first inning, pitching coach Darren Balsley noticed Lyles awkwardly stretching his forearm after his pregame bullpen session. Balsley and manager Andy Green inquired, and the Padres decided not to take any chances.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Padres right-hander Jordan Lyles was placed on the 10-day disabled list Sunday and is headed to San Diego to have his ailing right elbow evaluated by team doctors.

Lyles was scratched from his start on Saturday afternoon with right forearm tightness, prompting an unplanned bullpen day. Immediately before the top of the first inning, pitching coach Darren Balsley noticed Lyles awkwardly stretching his forearm after his pregame bullpen session. Balsley and manager Andy Green inquired, and the Padres decided not to take any chances.

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A day later, the Padres seemed optimistic that their prudence might end up paying dividends.

"A 10-day break will do him well," said Green. "He'll rest the elbow and then hopefully come back ready to start in 10 days."

The Padres have an off-day Thursday after their three-game series in Texas, which begins Monday. They have another day off the following Monday after three games at home against Pittsburgh. As a result, they wouldn't need to call up a fifth starter to take Lyles' place.

It's also possible the Padres use a scheduled bullpen day, as they've done four times already this season. But those are details that can be worked out later. For now, Lyles' health is the primary concern.

"No pop, no tear, no pain, just discomfort," Lyles said following Saturday's game. "And not even discomfort -- just my brain telling me there's something there I'd never felt."

Lyles transitioned from the bullpen to the rotation in early May. He's been somewhat inconsistent since then, having posted a 4.79 ERA. But he's shown flashes of being very good. He carried a perfect game into the eighth against the Rockies in mid-May. He worked seven innings of one-run ball in Atlanta in his last start.

"We're hoping, literally, it's one of those 10-day things like we've run into with [Luis] Perdomo's shoulder injury in the past," Green said. "He got really anxious about that. But he had never had any shoulder history, and he was back very quickly. In Lyles' case, he's never had any arm issues, whatsoever, in his entire career. He doesn't know how to gauge it off past experience. We're very, very hopeful it's nothing very serious."

Hedges activated
Six weeks ago, a dejected Austin Hedges stood at his AT&T Park locker, having felt soreness in his elbow that resulted in tendinitis. It took longer than he expected to get back, but he was notably more cheerful on Sunday morning.

"It feels great, it's been too long," said Hedges, who was activated prior to Sunday's series finale, as expected. "Obviously this has lingered a little longer than we anticipated, but I'm just glad to be back."

Hedges' first rehab stint was shut down in May when his elbow soreness re-emerged. That soreness has subsided entirely, Hedges said, and he was hitting .385/.422/.718 in his rehab games with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore and Triple-A El Paso.

That's a positive sign for the 25-year-old backstop, who was hitting just .173/.235/.293 in 24 games this season.

"Any time you have some time off, it feels like a fresh start," said Hedges, who has returned to the one-handed follow through that he used during his swings prior to this season.

Fellow catcher Raffy Lopez was optioned to Triple-A El Paso, clearing room for Hedges.

Stock, Makita up
In need of bullpen reinforcements, the Padres called up arguably the hardest and softest throwers in their organization on Sunday.

Right-handers Robert Stock and Kazuhisa Makita made the short drive from Sacramento where the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas were playing a weekend series. Stock's first appearance will be his big league debut.

The 28-year-old right-hander has a fastball that routinely sits in the upper 90s. He owns a 1.95 ERA across 32 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A this season.

Stock was drafted by St. Louis as a catcher, and he spent his first three professional seasons as a hitter before he transitioned to the mound. He spent time in the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds systems, along with a brief stint in independent ball with the New Jersey Jackals.

"It's 10 years of pro ball in the making," Stock said. "A lot goes through your mind really quickly. It's hard to take it all in."

Makita, the submarine-style right-hander whose fastball sits around 80 mph, also returned, with righty Phil Maton optioned to Triple-A. The Lyles move paved the way for Stock's callup, and left-hander Tyler Webb was designated for assignment, giving the Padres room on the 40-man roster.

Stock gives the San Diego bullpen an element of big-time velocity that they haven't seen in a long time.

"It's just another weapon," Green said. "We've had a lot of different-look weapons, but we haven't had the high-velo righty."

Jankowski scratched late
Outfielder Travis Jankowski was a late scratch from the San Diego lineup with soreness in his left quad. Green noted that Jankowski was likely available to pinch-hit if necessary, but the Padres didn't want to take any chances.

Initially, Jankowski was penciled into the leadoff spot and scheduled to play left field. He was replaced by Matt Szczur, who batted eighth.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Austin Hedges

Busenitz recalled, adds depth to bullpen

MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota recalled right-handed reliever Alan Busenitz from Triple-A Rochester before Sunday's 2-0 win against Texas at Target Field in order to add depth to a depleted bullpen. The move was in correspondence to Saturday's announcement that rookie starter Fernando Romero had been optioned to Rochester.

Busenitz, who pitched in four games for the Twins in April, appeared in 17 games for the Red Wings recently, going 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA (28 1/3 IP, 4 ER), five walks, 32 strikeouts and two saves. The 27-year-old Busenitz appeared in 28 games and posted a 1.99 ERA for the Twins in 2017.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota recalled right-handed reliever Alan Busenitz from Triple-A Rochester before Sunday's 2-0 win against Texas at Target Field in order to add depth to a depleted bullpen. The move was in correspondence to Saturday's announcement that rookie starter Fernando Romero had been optioned to Rochester.

Busenitz, who pitched in four games for the Twins in April, appeared in 17 games for the Red Wings recently, going 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA (28 1/3 IP, 4 ER), five walks, 32 strikeouts and two saves. The 27-year-old Busenitz appeared in 28 games and posted a 1.99 ERA for the Twins in 2017.

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A newly-discovered feel for his curveball has helped Busenitz become one of Minnesota's more consistent Minor League pitchers.

"I don't want to say we made a mechanical adjustment, but we just changed a mental thought, which is helping stuff stay in the zone longer, more strikes," Busenitz said of adjustments he made during his tme in the Minors. "That was the issue when I was here: I couldn't throw a curveball for a strike. … [now] it seems [I can]. Hopefully I keep doing it."

With Romero in Triple-A, the Twins currently only have four starting pitchers on their roster. Manager Paul Molitor hinted before Sunday's game that the club may not need to add another starter until Saturday's road matchup with the Cubs, due to the way their schedule lines up.

Molitor also indicated that Saturday's likely starter is not currently on Minnesota's 25-man roster.

"[Busenitz] has been as good as anybody down there, hence he got an opportunity," Molitor said. "We all like having him around. I like having another power arm down there with a breaking ball, which plays up here. That's probably been the biggest improvement in his recent run down there, the quality of his secondary pitch, as far as being able to land it for a strike early, or being able to get back in the count, which makes his fastball all the more effective."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Twins, Alan Busenitz

Shipley recalled, Barrett optioned to Triple-A

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The D-backs' reliever shuffle continued Sunday as they recalled right-hander Braden Shipley from Triple-A Reno and optioned reliever Jake Barrett back to Reno.

Barrett had been called up Thursday to provide an extra arm in the bullpen after the team optioned starter Matt Koch to Reno.

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PITTSBURGH -- The D-backs' reliever shuffle continued Sunday as they recalled right-hander Braden Shipley from Triple-A Reno and optioned reliever Jake Barrett back to Reno.

Barrett had been called up Thursday to provide an extra arm in the bullpen after the team optioned starter Matt Koch to Reno.

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Barrett pitched one-third of an inning Thursday and an inning Saturday. With rain in the forecast for Sunday, the D-backs wanted to have a fresh arm in the bullpen in case there's a lengthy rain delay early that would force starter Clay Buchholz to not be able to continue.

Shipley, the team's first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, has been a starter throughout his professional career, until last month when the team shifted him to the Reno bullpen because it felt it gave him a better chance of contributing more this season.

The D-backs will need to make another roster move with the pitching staff Monday, when Shelby Miller is scheduled to be activated from the 60-day disabled list to start against the Marlins.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Angels claim righty reliever Robles from Mets

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Angels bolstered their bullpen depth Saturday, claiming right-hander Hansel Robles from the Mets. Robles was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, but the Angels vacated a spot on their 40-man roster for him by transferring catcher Rene Rivera to the 60-day disabled list.

Robles, 27, logged a 5.03 ERA over 19 2/3 innings for the Mets this season before being designated for assignment on Friday. Robles, who possesses a mid-90s fastball, struck out 229 batters over 208 career innings (9.9 K/9) with the Mets, but he also surrendered 32 home runs over that span.

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ANAHEIM -- The Angels bolstered their bullpen depth Saturday, claiming right-hander Hansel Robles from the Mets. Robles was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, but the Angels vacated a spot on their 40-man roster for him by transferring catcher Rene Rivera to the 60-day disabled list.

Robles, 27, logged a 5.03 ERA over 19 2/3 innings for the Mets this season before being designated for assignment on Friday. Robles, who possesses a mid-90s fastball, struck out 229 batters over 208 career innings (9.9 K/9) with the Mets, but he also surrendered 32 home runs over that span.

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"Right now, he's in Triple-A," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We'll see what the next couple of days bring."

The Angels have been searching for arms to fill the gaps in the back end of their bullpen left by the injuries to Keynan Middleton, Blake Wood and Jim Johnson. They claimed right-hander Oliver Drake from the Indians last month, but he was designated for assignment after four shaky appearances.

On Friday, the Angels also recalled right-hander Deck McGuire, who was acquired from the Rangers in exchange for cash considerations on Tuesday. McGuire has yet to debut for the Angels, but he's already been designated for assignment twice this year.

Skaggs on track to return Monday

Left-hander Tyler Skaggs said he felt "really good" after completing a bullpen session Saturday. Skaggs, who was scratched from his scheduled start against the Blue Jays on Thursday with right hamstring tightness, is likely to fold back into the rotation on Monday, when the Angels face the Royals at Kauffman Stadium to make up for the April 15 game that was postponed due to inclement weather.

Right-hander Felix Pena will pitch Sunday against the Blue Jays in his second career MLB start.

Youth movement

With Ian Kinsler, Albert Pujols and Martin Maldonado receiving routine days off on Saturday, the Angels started five rookies against Toronto on Saturday: David Fletcher, Jose Briceno, Jose Fernandez, Michael Hermosillo and Jaime Barria.

Fletcher, who is 5-for-13 (.385) over his first six MLB games, batted leadoff and started at second base in place of Kinsler.

Video: TOR@LAA: Fletcher leads off the 1st with a single

"He's a grinder," Scioscia said. "I think that he fits right in with the guys on our club. Nobody on our team gives an inch in the batter's box. Defensively, his head is in the game. He runs the bases well. He's athletic, so hopefully he'll get a chance to get on base for some of our guys in the middle of the lineup tonight."

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Hansel Robles

Robles claimed off waivers by Angels

Reliever was DFA'd by Mets Friday; New York announces more Draft signings
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- As Mets officials suspected, reliever Hansel Robles did not last long on the waiver wire.

The Angels announced Saturday that they claimed Robles off waivers, a day after the Mets designated him for assignment. Los Angeles subsequently optioned Robles to Triple-A Salt Lake.

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NEW YORK -- As Mets officials suspected, reliever Hansel Robles did not last long on the waiver wire.

The Angels announced Saturday that they claimed Robles off waivers, a day after the Mets designated him for assignment. Los Angeles subsequently optioned Robles to Triple-A Salt Lake.

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Posting a 5.03 ERA this season, Robles became a victim of the Mets' roster crunch when they needed to clear two 40-man spots for call-ups Kevin Kaczmarski and Drew Smith. Although Robles still possesses a dynamic right arm capable of throwing in the mid-90s, he served up 32 home runs in 208 career innings with the Mets.

New York had other options to clear roster space, but chose to part ways with Robles even knowing there was a high likelihood he would be claimed.

"You kept on seeing the same thing," manager Mickey Callaway said. "The adjustments that he probably needed to make to be that consistent guy that was going to be able to get consistent outs was looking more and more difficult. It looked like it wasn't going to happen for us. He went out there, he attacked, probably did the best he could and the results just weren't coming."

Draft signings
The Mets announced another wave of Draft signings, inking fourth-round pick Adam Hill, fifth-rounder Ryley Gilliam and 14th-rounder Andrew Mitchell to their first professional contracts. The Mets have now signed 23 of their 40 selections, including 14 of their top 17 picks.

First-rounder Jarred Kelenic is scheduled to take batting practice at Citi Field on Wednesday. He made his professional debut Saturday for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets, going 3-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and two runs scored.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Hansel Robles

Orioles activate Hart for bullpen help vs. Braves

Wilkerson optioned to Triple-A Norfolk
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- After a 15-inning, five-plus-hour game on Friday night that called for 13 different relievers spanning between the Orioles and Braves, both clubs needed an extra arm out of the bullpen to help finish out the weekend.

O's manager Buck Showalter announced before Saturday's game that left-handed reliever Donnie Hart was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for the weekend's second of three games against the Braves at SunTrust Park, while utility man Steve Wilkerson was optioned to Norfolk.

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ATLANTA -- After a 15-inning, five-plus-hour game on Friday night that called for 13 different relievers spanning between the Orioles and Braves, both clubs needed an extra arm out of the bullpen to help finish out the weekend.

O's manager Buck Showalter announced before Saturday's game that left-handed reliever Donnie Hart was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for the weekend's second of three games against the Braves at SunTrust Park, while utility man Steve Wilkerson was optioned to Norfolk.

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"We would have liked to have kept (Wilkerson)," Showalter said. "He has presented himself well, but we just need a pitcher today, and Donnie was our best option."

The news comes after Wilkerson recorded his first Major League hit in Friday night's 10-7 win over the Braves -- an RBI single during the Orioles' six-run ninth inning. The O's selected Wilkerson's contract from Norfolk on Tuesday.

Video: BAL@ATL: Wilkerson drills RBI single for 1st MLB hit

Wilkerson notched his first big league hit in front of a crowd of friends and family on Friday night. A Georgia native, Wilkerson went to Pope High School in Marietta, Ga., less than 10 miles from SunTrust Park.

"Coming back here last night and getting the hit in front of friends and family was really special," Wilkerson said. "I think I did my job as well as I could. The game [on Friday night] brought me a lot of opportunities to be in it."

And while Wilkerson had the opportunity to play in Friday night's game, so did a handful of Orioles relievers, causing the need for more relief out of the bullpen for the remainder of the weekend.

Hart has made six appearances out of the bullpen for Baltimore throughout 2018. He holds a 1.35 ERA through 6 2/3 innings in the Majors this year. The Orioles are 1-5 when Hart has made an appearance in relief.

The left-handed reliever has allowed just one home run through 31 1/3 innings at all levels in 2018, while striking out 31 in 26 game appearances.

But despite the need for a pitcher on Saturday, Showalter said the decision to send Wilkerson down did not stem from his play -- he was 1-for-5 through three game appearances -- but from the circumstance the club is in this weekend in Atlanta. He assured that this was not the last Major League appearance for Wilkerson.

"He'll be back," Showalter said.

Tori McElhaney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Baltimore Orioles, Donnie Hart

Martini recalled, notches first Majors hit, RBI

Bassitt, Coulombe optioned to Minors; Buchter to be activated on Monday
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CHICAGO -- The A's recalled outfielder Nick Martini from Triple-A Nashville before Saturday's game against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, optioning right-hander Chris Bassitt back to Nashville.

Left-hander Danny Coulombe, who served as the 26th man for the second game of Friday's doubleheader, was also optioned to Nashville.

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CHICAGO -- The A's recalled outfielder Nick Martini from Triple-A Nashville before Saturday's game against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, optioning right-hander Chris Bassitt back to Nashville.

Left-hander Danny Coulombe, who served as the 26th man for the second game of Friday's doubleheader, was also optioned to Nashville.

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Bassitt started the nightcap on Friday, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He is 0-3 this season, and he has lost nine straight decisions, dating back to 2015.

Video: OAK@CWS: Bassitt strikes out Sanchez looking

Martini, 27, was hitting .305 (68-for-223) with 38 runs, five home runs and 33 RBIs in 62 games with Nashville. He was 0-for-9 with the A's during a three-game stint earlier this month, but he recorded his first Major League hit on Saturday, a pinch-hit, go-ahead single in the eighth inning to put Oakland ahead by a run. The score held, and the A's went on to win, 7-6.

Martini had family and friends in attendance for the big moment. The only downer was that his father was away on a business trip and couldn't attend.

"Which stinks, but he's definitely someone that's gotten me to this point," Martini said. "I wish I could share it with him here, but I'm glad to get it here."

It was quite a whirlwind for Martini, who didn't learn he was being called up until late Friday night.

Video: KC@OAK: Martini makes a diving catch in left field

"I grew up a Cubs fan, but I came to a lot of games here," Martini said. "I found out late last night, and when I found out they were here, I was super excited."

Before the game, Martini said he believes he's better prepared for this opportunity.

"It definitely eases the nerves, especially since I've been here for a few at-bats, and I know most of the guys here," Martini said.

Despite Saturday's success, Martini's time in the Majors may be brief. The A's are going with a 12-man pitching staff, and Melvin said lefty reliever Ryan Buchter -- who completed a rehab stint with Nashville on Friday -- will be activated on Monday for the opener of a four-game series at Detroit.

Video: OAK@TEX: Buchter strikes out Choo, but leaves game

"It'll be big," Melvin said of having Buchter back. "We've been missing that piece, that late-inning lefty that also gets righties out. That's one of the reasons we got him here, not necessarily just situationally to use him against lefties. It just makes us a better team."

For his part, Martini said he's not focused on how long he's in the Majors.

"My mindset is to just put together good at-bats, play good defense and hopefully it gets noticed," Martini said.

John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com based in Chicago.

Oakland Athletics, Chris Bassitt, Ryan Buchter, Nick Martini

Red Sox recall infielder Lin, option lefty Scott

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BOSTON -- Prior to Saturday night's game against the Mariners, the Red Sox recalled infielder Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room for Lin on the 25-man roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Robby Scott to Pawtucket.

Lin, 24, is making his second appearance with the Major League club this season, having gone 6-for-32 (.188) with two doubles in 14 games for Boston from April 10-May 3. He was batting .188 for the PawSox through May 22, but he has since raised his batting average to .299 by going 40-for-116 (.345) with 10 doubles and three home runs in his last 28 games, hitting safely in 25 of those, including in 16 consecutive games from May 27-June 14.

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BOSTON -- Prior to Saturday night's game against the Mariners, the Red Sox recalled infielder Tzu-Wei Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket. To make room for Lin on the 25-man roster, the club optioned left-handed pitcher Robby Scott to Pawtucket.

Lin, 24, is making his second appearance with the Major League club this season, having gone 6-for-32 (.188) with two doubles in 14 games for Boston from April 10-May 3. He was batting .188 for the PawSox through May 22, but he has since raised his batting average to .299 by going 40-for-116 (.345) with 10 doubles and three home runs in his last 28 games, hitting safely in 25 of those, including in 16 consecutive games from May 27-June 14.

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Lin has spent his entire professional career in the Boston system since signing as an international free agent in June 2012. In 39 Major League games since his 2017 debut, the infielder has hit .239 (21-for-88) while making 13 starts at shortstop, six at third base and five at second base.

Video: BOS@CLE: Scott strikes out Zimmer to preserve the tie

Scott, 28, was recalled by the Red Sox on June 19 and made his lone Major League appearance of the season that night at Minnesota, allowing two runs in one-third of an inning. He has made 24 relief appearances for the PawSox this season, posting a 1.48 ERA (4 ER/24 1/3 IP) with 36 strikeouts, a 1.03 WHIP, and a .187 opponents' batting average.

Twenty of his 24 appearances have been scoreless, including 13 of his last 14. Since May 5, Scott has posted a 0.61 ERA (1 ER/14 2/3 IP) while holding opponents to a .137 batting average (7-for-51) and zero home runs. Signed by the Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in 2011, he is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA (17 ER/42 IP) in 65 career Major League relief appearances (2016-18), having made his first career Opening Day roster with Boston in 2017.

Boston Red Sox

Brewers send Santana to Triple-A, recall Miller

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MILWAUKEE -- With a crowded outfield since the return of Eric Thames from left thumb surgery earlier this month, the Brewers optioned right fielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs and added some infield depth on Saturday morning.

After hitting 30 home runs in 2017 and starting on Opening Day in right field for Milwaukee, Santana has struggled to find any pop. The 25-year-old has three homers in '18 and has not started since June 12 against the Cubs, only filling in as a pinch-hitter since.

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MILWAUKEE -- With a crowded outfield since the return of Eric Thames from left thumb surgery earlier this month, the Brewers optioned right fielder Domingo Santana to Triple-A Colorado Springs and added some infield depth on Saturday morning.

After hitting 30 home runs in 2017 and starting on Opening Day in right field for Milwaukee, Santana has struggled to find any pop. The 25-year-old has three homers in '18 and has not started since June 12 against the Cubs, only filling in as a pinch-hitter since.

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"I think as we really just looked at what Domingo's role was going to be moving forward, we know at some point we're going to need Domingo going, and we'd both prefer that he's rolling and clicking when that time comes," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It's tough to do when you're not playing that much."

Counsell credited Santana for being "a big part of the Brewers' success last season" and believes he will return to the Majors at some point this season.

"We're hoping we're putting him in a spot to be successful," Counsell said. "When that time comes for him to be up here, we'll want him to be able to carry that load and count on him regularly."

Video: NYM@MIL: Santana flicks go-ahead 2-run double into RF

Milwaukee already sent down struggling Opening Day shortstop Orlando Arcia this season, but he was swiftly called back up after Tyler Saladino's ankle forced him onto the disabled list.

The Brewers called up infielder Brad Miller from Triple-A as Saturday's corresponding move. They will look for Miller, who was acquired from the Rays in a trade for Ji-Man Choi earlier this month, to add some offense to a scuffling middle infield.

"I'm pretty excited to get the call and come to a team in first place," Miller said. "Just getting in this organization, everybody so far to me has been first class, and I want to contribute to this winning culture."

Tweet from @Brewers: Brad Miller, the newest member of the #Brewers, meets with the Milwaukee media. Prior to today, Miller had never been to Miller Park. He bats sixth today and will play second base. #MILvsStL pic.twitter.com/JH5jGJkbrb

This is Miller's first stint with a National League team after spending six seasons with the Mariners and Rays. He has started everywhere except pitcher and catcher in his career, and Miller thinks his skillset should work with an NL team, especially during double switches and pinch-hitting scenarios.

"In Interleague games, the few of them I've had, it's kind of fun," Miller said. "Definitely, I think my ability to play everywhere and be a left-handed bat fits well."

Miller knocked 30 home runs in 2016 with Tampa Bay, but he hit .201 last season. Still, he believes he can get back to his '16 level and contribute offensively for the first-place Brewers. In 48 games primarily at first and second base with the Rays in '18, Miller hit .256 with five home runs and 21 RBIs. Miller hasn't been at shortstop for a couple of seasons, but Counsell said his ability to play all over the field regularly makes him "versatile and a very good athlete."

"Each year's different, and you kind of go with the ebbs and the flows," Miller said. "But being in this environment, the culture they've created here, it seems pretty positive for everyone involved."

Miller, who started at second and batted sixth, drove in a run with a bloop single and drew a walk in his Brewers debut in Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Cardinals. He was pulled in favor of Eric Sogard during a double switch in the seventh inning. His performance came one night after Milwaukee's middle infielders -- Arcia, Hernan Perez and Jonathan Villar -- combined to go 0-for-7. But getting the start just hours after arriving in Milwaukee didn't startle the newest Brewer.

"That first day -- no matter how much sleep you have, no matter the travel -- it doesn't really matter," Miller said. "You're just running on adrenaline and want to get out there and get going."

Video: STL@MIL: Miller hits an RBI single in 1st Brewers AB

Brewers sign sixth-round pick Rasmussen
The Brewers on Friday agreed to terms with another one of their top picks from the 2018 Draft, signing Oregon State right-hander Drew Rasmussen.

Rasmussen, Milwaukee's sixth-round selection, signed for $135,000, although his pick value (No. 185) was $251,700, according to MLB.com's Jim Callis. A redshirt junior, Rasmussen has undergone two Tommy John surgeries and missed all of last season. He was drafted as a supplemental first-rounder by the Rays in 2017, but he failed his physical and returned to college.

Only first-rounder Brice Turang and ninth-round pick Arbert Cipion remain unsigned for the Brewers in the top 10 rounds.

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.

Milwaukee Brewers, Brad Miller, Domingo Santana

Giants option Williamson, recall prospect Slater

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' revolving door in left field continued to spin Saturday as they optioned Mac Williamson to Triple-A Sacramento and recalled Austin Slater from the same club.

As of right now, the Giants don't have a starting left fielder, or even one who will receive most of the playing time at that spot. "We have four guys who can play left field," manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Alen Hanson, Austin Jackson, Hunter Pence and Slater, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Giants' No. 5 prospect. "It's hard to rotate."

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' revolving door in left field continued to spin Saturday as they optioned Mac Williamson to Triple-A Sacramento and recalled Austin Slater from the same club.

As of right now, the Giants don't have a starting left fielder, or even one who will receive most of the playing time at that spot. "We have four guys who can play left field," manager Bruce Bochy said, referring to Alen Hanson, Austin Jackson, Hunter Pence and Slater, who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Giants' No. 5 prospect. "It's hard to rotate."

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Slater came into Saturday's 5-3 win as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning and added an insurance run when he drove in Brandon Crawford with a sacrifice fly.

For instance, Hanson started Saturday against San Diego. Bochy said that Pence likely will start Sunday. "We have to find ways to get them in the lineup," Bochy said.

As for Slater, Bochy said, "It's going to be up to us to give him as many at-bats as we can." Slater, who has experienced four recalls from Sacramento, was hitting .344 with 24 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBIs for the River Cats.

Entering Saturday's game against San Diego, left field ranked as San Francisco's least productive offensive position, other than pitcher. The eight players to occupy left for San Francisco (including Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez and Brandon Belt) had combined for a team-low slash line of .227/.287/.347. Left fielders also contributed seven home runs and 28 RBIs, well behind positions such as first base (14 homers, 42 RBIs) or third base (12 homers, 46 RBIs).

Not long ago, Williamson appeared poised to claim the position. After beginning the season in Sacramento, he joined the Giants on April 20 and collected three homers and five RBIs in his first five games.

Then Williamson sustained a concussion while colliding with the left-field wall in foul territory in an April 24 game against Washington at AT&T Park. Four days later, he went on the disabled list, missed 28 games and lost his hitting groove. Upon being optioned, Williamson owned a .213/.295/.383 slash line with four homers and 11 RBIs in 28 games.

Bochy said that Williamson "was in a very good place. Then we had to shut him down for quite a while. It would have been nice if he didn't have to deal with that and kept playing and staying with the roll he was on."

Even with these moves, speculation remained that Steven Duggar, the club's No. 3 prospect and widely considered San Francisco's center fielder of the future, soon will be summoned to the Majors. "I'm not saying no," said Bochy, who added, "It's not been talked about."

• Bochy announced that right-hander Jeff Samardzija will start Tuesday for Sacramento at Albuquerque. This most likely will be the right-hander's final Minor League rehab start before he rejoins San Francisco's rotation.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

San Francisco Giants, Austin Slater, Mac Williamson

Solid alternatives to big-name trade options

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