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On The Move: Trades & Transactions

Tigers DFA VerHagen; prospect Gerber recalled

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said at the end of Spring Training that he and his staff would be testing relievers in different situations early in the season to see where each fits best. The club's first major decision appears to be on Drew VerHagen, who was designated for assignment on Monday.

The move opens a roster spot for outfielder Mike Gerber, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Gerber will serve as an extra left-handed bat and outfielder off the bench for the Tigers' upcoming Interleague series at Pittsburgh, where the lack of a designated hitter will put pinch-hitters and double-switches at a premium. MLB Pipeline ranks Gerber as the No. 11 prospect in the Tigers' farm system.

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said at the end of Spring Training that he and his staff would be testing relievers in different situations early in the season to see where each fits best. The club's first major decision appears to be on Drew VerHagen, who was designated for assignment on Monday.

The move opens a roster spot for outfielder Mike Gerber, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Gerber will serve as an extra left-handed bat and outfielder off the bench for the Tigers' upcoming Interleague series at Pittsburgh, where the lack of a designated hitter will put pinch-hitters and double-switches at a premium. MLB Pipeline ranks Gerber as the No. 11 prospect in the Tigers' farm system.

The Tigers have several relievers with Minor League options who could have been sent down to make room. They chose VerHagen, who's out of options. When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

VerHagen, the Tigers' fourth-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2012, owns a 3-5 record and a 5.04 ERA in 73 Major League appearances over five seasons. The 27-year-old right-hander entered the season with a chance to claim a middle-relief role as a situational righty, using his hard sinker and mid-90s fastball to induce ground balls.

Though VerHagen, a former starter, struck out 11 batters over 10 innings this season, he also allowed seven runs on six hits and seven walks. He took the loss in Sunday's 8-5 defeat to the Royals, walking two of the three batters he faced to begin the seventh inning and throwing just five of his 15 pitches for strikes.

"He almost hit two guys in the head, and that's scary," Gardenhire said after the loss. "We needed him to get a couple of outs, and it didn't work out."

VerHagen's struggles in a close game mirrored his performance on Opening Day, when he allowed a walk and a hit in trying to protect a two-run lead over the Pirates in the eighth. While he has been dominant in low- and medium-leverage situations, holding opponents to a .138 average with four walks and nine strikeouts, VerHagen retired just two of seven batters he faced in high-leverage scenarios.

Video: WSH@DET: Gerber slugs a solo homer to right-center

Gerber rejoins the Tigers after making his Major League debut as the 26th man in Friday's doubleheader split against the Royals, pinch-running for Miguel Cabrera in the ninth inning of the nightcap. Though he was optioned back to Toledo after the game, the 26th man rules allow him to be recalled without the normal 10-day wait.

Gerber's return gives Gardenhire a five-man bench for the upcoming series, including DH Victor Martinez and switch-hitters Niko Goodrum and Victor Reyes.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Mike Gerber, Drew VerHagen

Elias returns to Mariners in deal with Red Sox

MLB.com

The Mariners acquired left-handed pitcher Roenis Elias from the Red Sox on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Elias will report to Triple-A Tacoma.

The Mariners acquired left-handed pitcher Roenis Elias from the Red Sox on Monday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Elias will report to Triple-A Tacoma.

Elias, 29, is 1-0 with 1 save and a 1.23 ERA (1 ER, 7.1 IP) with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks in 4 games with AAA Pawtucket this season. He has struck out multiple batters in 3 of his 4 outings, including a season-high 4 strikeouts in 3.0 scoreless innings of work in his season debut on April 7 vs. Lehigh Valley.

The 5-foot-11, 197-pound left-hander spent the majority of the 2017 season on the disabled list with the Red Sox. He began the season on the 10-day DL with a right oblique strain and was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 15. He combined to make 7 rehab starts with high-A Salem, short-A Lowell, AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket. He was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Pawtucket on Aug. 17, where he made 3 more starts. Elias was recalled by Boston on Sept. 1 and made his only Major League appearance of 2017 on Sept. 4 vs. Toronto, striking out 1 and walking 1 in 0.1 innings pitched.

In parts of 4 Major League seasons with the Mariners (2014-15) and Red Sox (2016-17), he is 15-21 with a 4.20 ERA (134 ER, 287.0 IP) with 244 strikeouts and 114 walks in 55 career games (50 starts). Elias was acquired by the Red Sox from the Mariners on Dec. 7, 2015 along with RHP Carson Smith in exchange for LHP Wade Miley and RHP Jonathan Aro.

The lefty made his Major League debut with the Mariners on April 3, 2014 at Oakland and went on to compile a record of 10-12 with a 3.85 ERA (70 ER, 163.2 IP) with 143 strikeouts and 64 walks in 29 starts in his rookie season. He became just the 5th left-handed rookie in club history to earn 10 wins. On June 1, 2014 vs. Detroit, he tossed a shutout, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 1. He is one of 10 rookies in club history (done 16x) to throw a shutout. He originally signed with Seattle as a minor league free agent on May 3, 2011.

Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners

White Sox place Gonzalez (shoulder) on DL

Farquhar transferred to 60-day DL; Fulmer to start Monday's opener vs. Mariners
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Prior to tonight's game vs. Seattle, the Chicago White Sox placed right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 19) with right rotator cuff inflammation and purchased the contract of right-hander Chris Beck from Class AAA Charlotte. To make room for Beck on the 40-man roster, the White Sox transferred right-hander Danny Farquhar to the 60-day disabled list.

Right-hander Carson Fulmer will start tonight's series opener against the Mariners.

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CHICAGO -- Prior to tonight's game vs. Seattle, the Chicago White Sox placed right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to April 19) with right rotator cuff inflammation and purchased the contract of right-hander Chris Beck from Class AAA Charlotte. To make room for Beck on the 40-man roster, the White Sox transferred right-hander Danny Farquhar to the 60-day disabled list.

Right-hander Carson Fulmer will start tonight's series opener against the Mariners.

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Beck, 27, is 0-0 with a 2.00 ERA (2 ER/9.0 IP) and 13 strikeouts in four games (two starts) with Charlotte this season. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Beck has limited opponents to a .129 (4-31) average.

Beck has gone 4-4 with a 6.38 ERA (68 ER/96.0 IP) and 55 strikeouts in 83 games (one start) over parts of three major-league seasons (2015-17) with the White Sox. He originally was selected by the Sox in the second round of the 2012 draft.

Gonzalez, 33, is 0-3 with a 12.41 ERA (17 ER/12.1 IP) over three starts this season after re-signing with the White Sox as a free agent on January 11, 2018.

Farquhar, 31, was placed on the disabled list on Saturday with a brain aneurysm. He is 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA (5 ER/8.0 IP) and nine strikeouts over eight relief appearances with the White Sox this season.

The White Sox 40-man roster remains at 40.

Chicago White Sox, Miguel Gonzalez

Mariners acquire RHP Quezada from D-backs

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The Mariners made a minor deal on Sunday, acquiring right-hander Edwin Quezada from the D-backs in exchange for international slot money.

Quezada, 21, posted a 1.74 ERA in 15 games, including three starts, last year in the Dominican Summer League. The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder struck out 46 in 41 1/3 innings with 17 walks, while holding opposing hitters to a .205 batting average.

SEATTLE -- The Mariners made a minor deal on Sunday, acquiring right-hander Edwin Quezada from the D-backs in exchange for international slot money.

Quezada, 21, posted a 1.74 ERA in 15 games, including three starts, last year in the Dominican Summer League. The 6-foot-5, 205-pounder struck out 46 in 41 1/3 innings with 17 walks, while holding opposing hitters to a .205 batting average.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Rendon's toe injury finally sends him to DL

Nats' third baseman hits shelf after missing seven games
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Rendon lifted up his leg to reveal the black bruise underneath his left big toe, a result of the ball he fouled off his foot more than a week ago. He had been doing his best to avoid the disabled list, taking batting practice, jogging or trying to field grounders each day. At best, he could have been considered a pinch-hitting option off the bench late in games.

Every time he felt enough improvement to add more pressure to his toe, however, he would come up sore the following day. Finally, prior to Sunday night's game against the Dodgers, the Nationals decided to place Rendon on the DL. Right-hander Austin L. Adams was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse in his place.

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LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Rendon lifted up his leg to reveal the black bruise underneath his left big toe, a result of the ball he fouled off his foot more than a week ago. He had been doing his best to avoid the disabled list, taking batting practice, jogging or trying to field grounders each day. At best, he could have been considered a pinch-hitting option off the bench late in games.

Every time he felt enough improvement to add more pressure to his toe, however, he would come up sore the following day. Finally, prior to Sunday night's game against the Dodgers, the Nationals decided to place Rendon on the DL. Right-hander Austin L. Adams was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse in his place.

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"It's just a slower process than we anticipated," Rendon said. "I think the hardest part is you have days where it feels good and you push it, and then come in the next day and it's sore. It's like you take one step forward and two steps back."

Rendon will miss his eighth consecutive game on Sunday in what will be his ninth day since the foul ball against the Rockies that forced him to exit the game after seven inning on April 13. The Nationals were able to backdate his stint on the DL to April 19, but Washington played with a short roster for more than a week with hopes Rendon could return soon.

And now Rendon can not return to the lineup until next Sunday.

"It wasn't for lack of effort," manager Dave Martinez said. "He was really trying to play. ... When you lose a guy like Rendon, who's a big part of your lineup and he's telling you he'll be available, you got to give him that opportunity. And it got to the point now where he finally realized, 'I can hit, but I can't do the things I need to be doing to help us win.'"

The injury is another blow to the Nationals, as Rendon joins second baseman Daniel Murphy (knee) and left fielder Adam Eaton (ankle) on the shelf. Murphy is at extended spring training, and his return is still a few weeks away. Eaton was eligible to return from the DL on Thursday and Martinez said they are hopeful he could return at some point this week in San Francisco. 

Rendon had been off to a good start batting in front of Bryce Harper in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, posting a slash line of .286/.355/.411 in 14 games. Rendon has been able to hit without pain, but he struggles with the toe while taking ground balls at third base or trying to pivot and throw. With him still feeling pain fielding grounders, he has not attempted to sprint.

"I don't want to come back and be here and be only a pinch-hit threat," Rendon said. "I want to play defense. I want to make sure I'm helping the team."

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Anthony Rendon

CarGo goes on DL; Rox call up Dahl, Cuevas

Parra begins serving 4-game suspension, Tauchman assigned to Triple-A
MLB.com

DENVER -- Amid the Rockies' Sunday morning roster moves, David Dahl made his long-anticipated return to the Majors and Noel Cuevas made his first trip to the bigs -- both up from Triple-A Albuquerque -- in the Rockies' 9-7 loss to the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

Starting in left field, Dahl went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Cuevas, who started in right field, went 0-for-3 but was robbed of an extra-base hit by Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. on his deep line drive in his first at-bat.

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DENVER -- Amid the Rockies' Sunday morning roster moves, David Dahl made his long-anticipated return to the Majors and Noel Cuevas made his first trip to the bigs -- both up from Triple-A Albuquerque -- in the Rockies' 9-7 loss to the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

Starting in left field, Dahl went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Cuevas, who started in right field, went 0-for-3 but was robbed of an extra-base hit by Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. on his deep line drive in his first at-bat.

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The reinforcements became necessary when Gerardo Parra dropped his appeal and began serving a four-game suspension for his role in an April 11 bench-clearing incident vs. the Padres. The Rockies also placed outfielder Carlos Gonzalez on the 10-day disabled list with right hamstring soreness and optioned outfielder Mike Tauchman (1-for-23, three walks, 11 strikeouts) to Albuquerque.

Video: CHC@COL: Dahl single, Edwards error plate two for Rox

Dahl, a first-round pick (10th overall) by the Rockies in the 2012 Draft, excited the Rockies' faithful in 2016 when he hit .315 with seven home runs and 21 RBIs in his 63-game Major League debut, but last year, a stress reaction in his rib wouldn't go away and eventually led to back problems. He didn't appear in the Majors, and was shut down at Albuquerque on July 31.

After two strong games to start this Triple-A season, Dahl came down with a stomach virus and didn't play for 11 days. Overall, he has hit .231 with two doubles and five RBIs in six games in Albuquerque, but feels healthy.

"It's been a while since I've been back, so I'm just excited, ready to get out there and play," said Dahl, who said his strength came back quickly after recovering from the illness.

This spring, a rusty Dahl began 0-for-15 but went 17-for-47 (.362) with five home runs, three doubles and a triple the rest of the way. Manager Bud Black said he wanted Dahl to get into the swing of playing regularly before bringing him back to the Majors.

"The at-bats have been really good, and I'm trying to carry that up here. And defensively, I feel like I made some good plays in Albuquerque," Dahl said.

Cuevas, 26, was a 21st-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2010 Draft. He came to the Rockies in the Dodgers' trade for relief pitcher Juan Nicasio in December 2014. Cuevas' breakthrough began last year at Albuquerque (.312-.353-.487 slugging) and continued early this year; he was hitting .333 with two homers and 13 RBIs in 16 games.

During Spring Training, Cuevas, a native of Camuy, Puerto Rico, brought attention to the damage caused by Hurricane Maria on his home island.

"It means the world to my family, it means the world to the island of Puerto Rico, and especially my city of Camuy," Cuevas said. "I think everybody is going to be watching today in my city, and I love 'em all. I feel the good vibes."

Video: Dahl, Black on Dahl's promotion to the Major Leagues

While Dahl is a left-handed hitter, Cuevas gives the roster a needed righty hitter; both callups were in the lineup Sunday as the Cubs started lefty Jose Quintana. Cuevas also gives the Rockies a righty bench bat alongside Pat Valaika on other days.

Gonzalez suffered the injury while making a 5-star catch in Wednesday's 10-2 loss at Pittsburgh. Although he is improving -- he took batting practice before Saturday night's 5-2 victory over the Cubs, the need to bring in outfield reinforcements led to his DL placement.

"The thing that put us over the top was with Parra's suspension starting today and CarGo not 100 percent, we maybe would've been down to 23 players," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I mean, CarGo was available to pinch-hit and give us an at-bat, but we probably would have had to run for him. He isn't able to play defense the next couple days."

Gonzalez's DL placement is retroactive to Thursday.

Hoffman's status changed

The Rockies announced that they've rescinded the option to Triple-A Albuquerque for righty Jeff Hoffman, who is working his way back from right shoulder soreness suffered in Spring Training. Hoffman will stay at Albuquerque, but officially he's on the 10-day disabled list and on a Minor League rehab assignment. In Hoffman's last start, he retired the last 11 batters he faced.

Earth Day power

MLB celebrated Earth Day on Sunday. The Rockies are one of nine clubs that celebrate it all the time, since they use solar power at Coors Field.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, David Dahl, Carlos Gonzalez

Mariners option Heredia, keep Ichiro as 4th OF

Right-hander Ramirez activated from 10-day DL; M's observe Earth Day; Gordon out of Sunday's starting lineup
Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Faced with the necessity of a roster move to activate Sunday's starter, Erasmo Ramirez, the Mariners decided the best bet was to send down an outfielder. At least based on recent performance, Ichiro Suzuki would have seemed the odd man out -- but the future Hall of Famer is staying, at least for now, and Guillermo Heredia is headed to Triple-A Tacoma.

Heredia has a slash line of .310/.417/.552 in 29 at-bats this season, with a double, two homers and four RBIs. Prior to Sunday, Ichiro was at .212/.212/.212 with seven hits, all singles, in 33 at-bats -- but he did reach base four times, with two infield singles and two walks, in the Mariners' 7-4 loss to the Rangers.

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ARLINGTON -- Faced with the necessity of a roster move to activate Sunday's starter, Erasmo Ramirez, the Mariners decided the best bet was to send down an outfielder. At least based on recent performance, Ichiro Suzuki would have seemed the odd man out -- but the future Hall of Famer is staying, at least for now, and Guillermo Heredia is headed to Triple-A Tacoma.

Heredia has a slash line of .310/.417/.552 in 29 at-bats this season, with a double, two homers and four RBIs. Prior to Sunday, Ichiro was at .212/.212/.212 with seven hits, all singles, in 33 at-bats -- but he did reach base four times, with two infield singles and two walks, in the Mariners' 7-4 loss to the Rangers.

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One reason Ichiro stayed instead of Heredia is Ichiro is left-handed, manager Scott Servais said before Sunday's game. The other factor, Servais said, is that they didn't feel comfortable sending down a reliever from their recently taxed bullpen.

"Based on where that's gone the last couple days with our starting pitching and how much we've relied on the bullpen, that really wasn't an option," Servais said. "After that, looking at the upcoming schedule really did play into it. We have seven consecutive right-handed starters after today.

"Heredia has done a nice job for us. He certainly has got a role with us. Our whole group thought playing time-wise, over the next week … the rest of the road trip is right-handed starters, so that's where it went. Heredia will be back with us, he's a good player, we love the way he plays and how he goes about it. Again, it's about managing all the pieces, and that's the decision that we made."

So Ichiro, who started in right field Sunday, will be the fourth outfielder in Chicago and Cleveland. Servais acknowledged that the 44-year-old, one of the most accomplished players ever to wear a Mariners uniform, has not made massive contributions to the club thus far this season.

Video: Must C Catch: Ichiro leaps to rob Ramirez of a homer

"Ichi's had some days that have been more productive than others," Servais said. "I think when he's come in, he's given us what we thought we were going to get in the sense of he puts the bat on the ball. He's made a couple decent plays in the outfield and a couple others, he didn't great jumps on. But I love having him around. I think he's been a very good influence in our clubhouse and what he does there, and like I said, we'll see how this plays out over the next week, 10 days or so."

Heredia and Ichiro had similar performances at the plate last season. Heredia played in 123 games last year for the Mariners, batting .249 with a .652 OPS. Ichiro played in 136 games for the Marlins, posting a .255 average and a .649 OPS.

On Earth Day, Mariners lead the league in eco-efforts
Major League Baseball joined in on the Earth Day celebrations Sunday, and the Mariners are one of the league's leaders in sustainability efforts. Last year, they won the inaugural "Green Glove" award presented by MLB to the eco-friendliest club.

Among Seattle's environmentally conscious efforts are the installation of LED field lighting at Safeco Field; the league's best recycling practices with 96 percent of Safeco Field's waste diverted from landfills; a public-transit partnership with Sound Transit to provide free access to fans heading to the ballpark; solar power at the stadium; and club-operated gardens that are used to source food for Safeco concessions.

Also, Mariners front-office employees have been celebrating Earth Day throughout the entire month of April, with volunteer opportunities at urban farms and non-profit organizations.

Gordon out with minor foot issue
In Sunday's series finale, Servais kept center fielder Dee Gordon, who had a sore foot, out of the starting lineup but said Gordon would be available as a substitute later in the game if necessary.

Gordon had a key double in Saturday's win and is hitting .325 with nine stolen bases. He had started every game this season prior to Sunday.

"It is really hard to take him out," Servais said. "I love having his energy and the pressure he puts on the other team … it's more precautionary."

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com based in Arlington.

Seattle Mariners, Guillermo Heredia, Erasmo Ramirez, Ichiro Suzuki

Waino goes on DL with elbow inflammation

Right-hander Brebbia recalled from Triple-A Memphis
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- There is a two-inch window, between where Adam Wainwright has always released the baseball and where he must now, and therein lies the difference between prosperity and pain.

If Wainwright dips down to the bottom of it, a change imperceptible, he says, to the naked eye, his elbow will be fine. If he goes back "up top," like he did most of his life, like he did in his lousy season debut, then it'll hurt. Then the bone bruises that derailed his 2017 season will return, the first signs of which were what landed him on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, after Wainwright felt a familiar twinge in his elbow.

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ST. LOUIS -- There is a two-inch window, between where Adam Wainwright has always released the baseball and where he must now, and therein lies the difference between prosperity and pain.

If Wainwright dips down to the bottom of it, a change imperceptible, he says, to the naked eye, his elbow will be fine. If he goes back "up top," like he did most of his life, like he did in his lousy season debut, then it'll hurt. Then the bone bruises that derailed his 2017 season will return, the first signs of which were what landed him on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday, after Wainwright felt a familiar twinge in his elbow.

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Wainwright described the injury as precautionary, saying he knows what he needs to do to keep the pain from persisting.

"I took the route of cutting this off before it got like it did last year," Wainwright said. "If you're concerned whether I make 30 or 31 starts, be very concerned. If you're concerned whether I make 30 or 10, don't be."

Tweet from @UncleCharlie50: All will be well in a few days.

Slowed by elbow issues of varying degrees over the course of his 13-year career, Wainwright most recently required surgery last October to remove cartilage and alleviate two bone bruises. He underwent the same arthroscopic procedure following the 2014 season, and missed all of '11 due to Tommy John surgery.

Wainwright needed six weeks of recovery from the most recent procedure, after elbow pain limited his 2017 season to 23 starts. When on the mound, the injury starkly affected his velocity and effectiveness. Wainwright went 12-5 with a career-worst 5.11 ERA. He compiled a 1-2 record with a 3.45 ERA over his first three starts this season, after a full spring absent of elbow pain.

Wainwright spent much of camp experimenting with various arm angles and slots, hoping to add deception to his delivery as much as health. He says a few slips back into old habits retriggered the painful swelling.

"The problem was, the first game I came out and I was trying to heave the ball from that top spot. Now I'm kinda feeling the effect of that," Wainwright said. "I have no cartilage now. I have what could be a bone bruise now, if I let it continue. I'm not going to let it continue."

Video: STL@CHC: Wainwright K's Schwarber, escapes jam

Wainwright said he anticipated the pain coming after his season debut, when he lasted 3 2/3 innings against the D-backs on April 5. But he didn't feel it spark up again until last Tuesday, toward the end of his gutsy five-inning start against the Cubs. Back in the Busch Stadium bullpen this weekend, Wainwright felt it again.

"Obviously concerned with the feeling in his arm," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "In his bullpen, something just wasn't right."

That prompted the Cardinals to place him on the DL, when they recalled right-hander John Brebbia in a corresponding move. The club opted to move Luke Weaver up to start in Wainwright's place on Tuesday, instead of promoting No. 2 prospect Jack Flaherty.

Weaver and the rest of the rotation can line up on regular rest thanks to Monday's off-day, meaning the Cardinals don't need a starter until Saturday against the Pirates. Flaherty is a candidate to start that game, though his schedule at Triple-A Memphis would need to be adjusted.

Flaherty started in Wainwright's place earlier this month in Milwaukee, after the veteran strained his left hamstring. He struck out nine over five innings against the Brewers, then went 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA over three starts at Memphis. Club officials routinely characterized the 22-year-old Flaherty as its first option should the starting rotation spring a leak.

Video: STL@MIL: Flaherty strikes out nine over five innings

Pham sits again
The Cardinals continue to be cautious with center fielder Tommy Pham, who sat for the third time in four games on Sunday due to a minor groin injury. The club hopes he can return to the lineup following Monday's off-day.

Earth day initiatives
All across Major League Baseball, teams are participating in a wide variety of season-long initiatives to promote sustainability. Many of those came into focus on Sunday's Earth Day.

The Cardinals' role in these efforts is twofold. Busch Stadium is one of 11 MLB ballparks that operates its own garden or farm, all of which is utilized to source food for concession stands and restaurants. In addition to providing food, the Busch Stadium garden also serves as a teaching tool to inform the public about the importance of its local environment, a ballpark tour highlight and as a fan-gathering spot throughout a game.

Tweet from @Cardinals: Happy Earth Day! We are proud to have been recognized by the EPA for our efforts to reduce food waste. If you would like to learn more about the #4AGreenerGame initiative, visit https://t.co/WkHUv2s3dx pic.twitter.com/dnwgY5vJPw

The Cardinals are also one of nine clubs to utilize solar power at their ballpark. The club will increase its commitment to green power by approximately 12,000 REC (Renewable energy certificate) in 2018, enough to offset all of its gameday energy usage for the entire season.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Adam Wainwright

Petit returns to A's 'pen; Lucas sent to Triple-A

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The A's on Saturday had movement in their bullpen, yet again. Yusmeiro Petit returned from the family medical emergency list, prompting the club to return Josh Lucas to Triple-A Nashville following an impressive showing against the Red Sox.

Lucas needed just 25 pitches to get through three scoreless innings in his A's debut Friday night, offering another glimpse into the team's relief depth. Earlier in the week, hard-throwing Lou Trivino gave the A's similar work in his debut.

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OAKLAND -- The A's on Saturday had movement in their bullpen, yet again. Yusmeiro Petit returned from the family medical emergency list, prompting the club to return Josh Lucas to Triple-A Nashville following an impressive showing against the Red Sox.

Lucas needed just 25 pitches to get through three scoreless innings in his A's debut Friday night, offering another glimpse into the team's relief depth. Earlier in the week, hard-throwing Lou Trivino gave the A's similar work in his debut.

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"First look was really good," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I'd kinda be surprised if we didn't see him again at some point.

"During the course of the season, we need depth, so we feel a little bit better about our relief options if we need to reach down and get a couple of these guys."

A's pitchers have been susceptible to the long ball this season, relievers included. Oakland's bullpen is responsible for a Major League-worst 14 homers this season -- four to Emilio Pagan's name. In a situation that would have typically been reserved for Petit, Pagan offered up a go-ahead grand slam to Mitch Moreland in the sixth inning on Friday night.

Melvin maintained his trust in Pagan, who has allowed runs in six of his 10 outings with his new team.

"He's a guy that we brought in here to pitch in games like that," Melvin said. "That's probably going to be Petit's role if we have a second lefty. But when guys aren't available, you have to go to other guys, and we still have a lot of faith in Pagan.

"He's got a good riding fastball, maybe should've tried to use that at that point instead of a first-pitch slider, but sometimes you have to ride through some bumps with some guys, and if you feel like it goes on for too long, then change the roles up a bit."

Phegley joins Nashville

Catcher Josh Phegley was reinstated from the disabled list Saturday and optioned to Triple-A Nashville.

Phegley sustained fractures to the fourth and fifth fingers on his right hand during Spring Training and was out of action until April 10, when he began a Minor League rehab assignment. Between Class A Advanced Stockton and Nashville, he was 4-for-25.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Josh Lucas, Yusmeiro Petit

Mets option Bautista, recall Oswalt for bullpen

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Gerson Bautista's initial stay with the Mets was brief and ineffective. But considering the Mets' season-long bullpen strategy, he is likely to return before long.

The Mets on Saturday optioned Bautista to Double-A Binghamton, recalling right-hander Corey Oswalt from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. Bautista appeared in two games with the Mets in his first taste of the big leagues, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He averaged 96 mph on his fastball and topped out at 98 -- both down from reports of triple-digit heat last summer.

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ATLANTA -- Gerson Bautista's initial stay with the Mets was brief and ineffective. But considering the Mets' season-long bullpen strategy, he is likely to return before long.

The Mets on Saturday optioned Bautista to Double-A Binghamton, recalling right-hander Corey Oswalt from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. Bautista appeared in two games with the Mets in his first taste of the big leagues, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He averaged 96 mph on his fastball and topped out at 98 -- both down from reports of triple-digit heat last summer.

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"We just told him to go down there and continue to work and improve," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said of Bautista, whom the Mets acquired as part of the Addison Reed trade last July. "He's done such a good job from last year coming into Spring Training, and he looked great, and he's had a great season so far. We'll continue to communicate with his Minor League pitching coaches and continue to get him better."

Oswalt returns for his second stint with the Mets, though he never had a chance to make his big league debut in the first one. In two starts for Las Vegas, Oswalt went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 12 strikeouts and four walks in nine innings.

Already this month, the Mets have made six bullpen transactions, aiming to keep as many relievers as fresh as possible. Bautista, Oswalt, Jacob Rhame and Hansel Robles are among those who have shuttled back and forth from the Minor Leagues.

Missing links
A day after Yoenis Cespedes acknowledged he is considering golfing again as a way to bust his early-season slump, Callaway said he's fine with it -- as long as the hobby doesn't interfere with Cespedes' daily responsibilities.

"I think golf is like anything else," Callaway said. "If he does it the right way, he's smart about it -- off-days, days when we come in and we're not taking BP -- and it doesn't fatigue him or affect baseball, then guys can do what they want away from the field."

An avid golfer, Cespedes says the game forces him to concentrate on swing mechanics, allowing him to break out of slumps. But he gave it up last summer amid criticism that he was spending too much time at the golf course, interfering with his ability to avoid the types of leg injuries that have dogged him for much of his Mets career.

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

New York Mets

Leclerc pressed into relief duty after callup

Right-hander works two scoreless frames in Rangers' loss
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reinforced their bullpen by calling up Jose Leclerc from Triple-A Round Rock before Saturday night's game against the Mariners. In a corresponding move, outfielder Ryan Rua was optioned to Round Rock.

Leclerc was used right away, pitching two scoreless innings in the 9-7 loss. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out two.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers reinforced their bullpen by calling up Jose Leclerc from Triple-A Round Rock before Saturday night's game against the Mariners. In a corresponding move, outfielder Ryan Rua was optioned to Round Rock.

Leclerc was used right away, pitching two scoreless innings in the 9-7 loss. He retired all six batters he faced, striking out two.

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This is Leclerc's second tour with the Rangers. He was on the Opening Day roster and pitched three scoreless innings over three games before being optioned on April 5. He pitched 4 2/3 innings at Round Rock, allowing four runs on three hits, five walks and nine strikeouts. Opponents were 3-for-17 off him.

Rua was optioned to Round Rock on Monday, but he was given a temporary reprieve the following day when reliever Tony Barnette went on the disabled list. Rua is hitting .178 with one home run and three RBIs.

Leclerc may have another short stay with the Rangers as outfielder Delino DeShields is getting ready to come off the disabled list. Barnette is also eligible to be activated on Wednesday.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Jose Leclerc, Ryan Rua

Padres activate Margot; Renfroe (elbow) to DL

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PHOENIX -- The Padres gained an outfielder and lost another, continuing a trend early in this season.

The club reinstated center fielder Manuel Margot from the 10-day disabled list prior to Saturday's game against the D-backs, which the Padres lost, 6-2. He suffered bruised ribs when he was drilled by a pitch in Colorado on April 10. However, right fielder Hunter Renfroe was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 18, with right elbow inflammation.

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PHOENIX -- The Padres gained an outfielder and lost another, continuing a trend early in this season.

The club reinstated center fielder Manuel Margot from the 10-day disabled list prior to Saturday's game against the D-backs, which the Padres lost, 6-2. He suffered bruised ribs when he was drilled by a pitch in Colorado on April 10. However, right fielder Hunter Renfroe was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 18, with right elbow inflammation.

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Margot is scheduled to bat leadoff Saturday at Chase Field. Franchy Cordero, who played in center in Margot's absence, is in right field in place of Wil Myers, who returned from the disabled list on Friday and is getting the day off to ease back into things.

"It's good to have Manny back," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I think defense is where he solidifies us up the middle in a big way. We were under the belief that he was going to take off as well offensively, had some good at-bats before he got hit."

Margot hit .159 through the first 11 games of the season before suffering the injury. He was moved down in the lineup because of early struggles.

"The hits weren't really showing up, but I was putting good swings on the ball, and I think at this level especially, that's what you're trying to do," Margot said through an interpreter before Saturday's game. "You're trying to make hard contact and know that will bring good things."

Margot said he started to feel improvement in his ribs about four days after he was hit by the pitch. He began with light activity, then increased the intensity as he went.

He estimated that he took about 12 at-bats in extended spring training. Green on Friday said Margot had felt good, but that the club wanted him to get his timing back before officially returning to action.

Margot returns without trepidation about something like the Colorado incident happening again.

"Those are things that happen in the game and you can't really think about it too much, because you don't want to be out there thinking about that and playing scared or anything like that," he said.

Green said Renfroe, on the other hand, "played with one arm for about a week and a half." He said Renfroe did so because the team was so thin in the outfield without two regulars in Myers and Margot.

"He's had at-bats where he's swinging with one hand," Green said. "He gave everything he could and this is, for him, the best thing -- to let him rest a bit."

Video: SF@SD: Renfroe belts go-ahead two-run homer in 7th

Still, the Padres are getting back to full strength. 

"Of course it helps whenever you get all your horses back," hitting coach Matt Stairs said. "Obviously you're missing Renfroe or whatever, but to have all your horses in the lineup, it's like, 'Here we go.' We saw some great things this Spring Training from all of the players."

Strahm and Rea throw bullpens

Matt Strahm (knee) and Colin Rea (shoulder) each threw a bullpen in Arizona on Friday, Green said.

"What role we choose to bring [Strahm] back in will be predicated on what we have in the rotation and what happens in the bullpen, but he's a guy that could swing either way," Green said. "In Colin's case, it's probably over a month away. Hasn't thrown in a game yet, hasn't thrown live BP yet. But he looks strong, it's good to see."

Final thought on Cordero

After Friday's win, Green seemed sure that Cordero's homer -- pegged at 489 feet per Statcast™ -- had to have gone at least 500.

He jokingly continued his argument Saturday.

"It was 500. There's no way that ball's not 90 feet over the fence," he said. "Home to first distance. Think that cleared home to first over that fence. That hit 60 feet above it. So you're telling me it's coming down in the next 90 feet?

"I don't know physics."

Justin Toscano is an associate reporter for MLB.com.

San Diego Padres, Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe

Cubs put Zobrist on DL, call up prospect Bote

Club's No. 14 prospect makes debut in hometown ballpark
Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- A stretch of rough weather contributed to Ben Zobrist going on the 10-day disabled list Saturday (retroactive to April 18), as he experienced continued tightness in his mid-to-lower back. Zobrist's hard luck spelled good fortune for Colorado native David Bote, who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and hit a double in his first MLB at-bat in Saturday's 5-2 Cubs loss to the Rockies at Coors Field, a ballpark where Bote grew up watching baseball as a kid.

As for Zobrist, he's not far from returning.

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DENVER -- A stretch of rough weather contributed to Ben Zobrist going on the 10-day disabled list Saturday (retroactive to April 18), as he experienced continued tightness in his mid-to-lower back. Zobrist's hard luck spelled good fortune for Colorado native David Bote, who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa and hit a double in his first MLB at-bat in Saturday's 5-2 Cubs loss to the Rockies at Coors Field, a ballpark where Bote grew up watching baseball as a kid.

As for Zobrist, he's not far from returning.

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"I can swing, I can run, but it's just a little uncomfortable to do both of those things at 100 percent," Zobrist said. "I told them I'm at 90 percent, but it's not getting better as fast as I want it to."

The wintry weather has been less than ideal for getting over a back injury, but Zobrist is hopeful he can rejoin the club during the Milwaukee series next weekend in Chicago.

"Who knows, it could still be freezing cold when I come back next weekend," Zobrist said. "It's not September, we're not trying to push for something right now. We just need to stay healthy as a group, and I didn't think it was worth risking a longer time away."

Video: CHC@CWS: Bote makes sliding backhanded stop at second

Zobrist is hitting .326 (14-for-43) with a home run and seven RBIs in 13 games. He has made starts at first base (3), second base (2), left field (2) and right field (3).

The move with Zobrist paved the way for Bote to earn his first Major League callup in the midst of his seventh year of professional baseball. After playing various levels of Class A ball for parts of five seasons, Bote, the Cubs' No. 14 prospect, spent all of 2017 at Double-A Tennessee, where he hit .272 with 30 doubles, three triples, 14 homers and 59 RBIs.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.

Chicago Cubs, David Bote, Ben Zobrist

Drury working to alleviate migraine issue

Righty Holder recalled from Triple-A; Warren placed on disabled list
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