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GM Klentak talks bullpen, Trade Deadline

MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- If the Phillies had a legitimate closer, they swear they would use him as one.

But the Phillies have not anointed a closer since Hector Neris lost the job last month, which is why they continue to mix and match their relievers late in games.

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PHILADELPHIA -- If the Phillies had a legitimate closer, they swear they would use him as one.

But the Phillies have not anointed a closer since Hector Neris lost the job last month, which is why they continue to mix and match their relievers late in games.

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"If we had Brad Lidge on this team, he would close," Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. "If we had Billy Wagner on this team, he would close. If we had Jonathan Papelbon on this team, he would close. We don't have one of those guys. So we're making due with what we have, which is a pretty good group.

"I think at some point we might [have a closer]. If organically it works, and that's the way things shake out, I think we're open to that."

On Monday, the Nationals traded three prospects to the Royals for closer Kelvin Herrera, who enhances Washington's chances of winning a World Series. Klentak declined to say if the Phillies took a shot at Herrera, but he said there have been "a handful of conversations" about potential trades.

Manager Gabe Kapler said Monday that he does not believe the Phillies need to acquire a reliever before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, although he quickly acknowledged that he always welcomes upgrades. The Phillies have a 4.50 ERA in the eighth inning and a 4.82 ERA in the ninth inning this season. Those numbers rank 23rd and 26th in baseball, respectively. Of course, there are other ways to measure a bullpen's success.

Kapler said Tuesday that the Phillies' bullpen has been one of the best in the National League. It is third in the NL with a 3.72 xFIP (expected Fielding Independent Pitching), according to FanGraphs.

"The group itself is really talented and we're confident in it," Klentak said. "I think at some point in the near future we're going to get Pat Neshek back, who, while not a traditional closer, is probably as good a bullpen arm as a team is going to add in the next six weeks. We will see what's available in the trade market -- which players are available, what the costs are. We will probably look at that in free agency as well. But we have to maintain the proper perspective on any potential acquisition."

The Phillies have enough payroll flexibility and farm-system depth to acquire any number of players before July 31. It could mean a high-powered arm in the bullpen, a starter like Cole Hamels or J.A. Happ or a third baseman like Mike Moustakas.

"I think there's a chance that we will trade for a rental," Klentak said. "What we've said all along is that if we can come out of June in a good position and get ourselves onto a roll in July, then that will hopefully put us into a position to make additions. That could come in the form of years of control or the form of rentals. If it's the rental type, we just have to make sure that we're maintaining the proper balance and perspective on that so that we're making this team better but also not mortgaging too much of our future."

Sources told MLB.com in recent weeks that the Phillies are highly unlikely to empty the farm system for a rental like Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. The idea of sending top prospects to Baltimore for two months of Machado, when he is certain to test the free-agent market and he might only guarantee the Phillies a one-game playoff as a NL Wild Card, does not seem like smart business to them.

In the meantime, maybe somebody establishes himself as the Phillies' closer before July 31. Maybe it is Seranthony Dominguez, who is the team's best reliever.

Why not just give him a shot right now?

"The argument against that is that the ninth inning is not always the highest-leverage situation," Klentak said. "You can blow a save in the seventh or the eighth or the ninth. And, emotionally, it stings more when it happens in the ninth because you feel like you're right there. You're just about to win the game. But if you never get to the ninth inning with a lead in the first place, you never have a chance to win that game. So sometimes using your best relievers earlier in the game is what makes the most sense.

"Make no mistake about it, I would love to have a traditional, dominant, ninth-inning closer. There are a few of them throughout the league, and the Phillies have had them over the years. We would like to have that. We believe that with the group of guys we have on this roster right now, with the depth of pitching we have throughout our system, we will find that guy and more internally. If it turns out to be the case that I'm wrong, then we'll have to address that externally. But right now, we like the group that we have on this roster and coming up behind them in the system."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies

Mendez optioned following team rules violation

Bibens-Dirkx recalled, will start in place of Rangers' No. 7 prospect Wednesday
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers have pulled rookie left-hander Yohander Mendez from Wednesday's start against the Royals and optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock after it was determined he violated team rules.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx has been recalled from Round Rock and will start on Wednesday.

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KANSAS CITY -- The Rangers have pulled rookie left-hander Yohander Mendez from Wednesday's start against the Royals and optioned him to Triple-A Round Rock after it was determined he violated team rules.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx has been recalled from Round Rock and will start on Wednesday.

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The Rangers did not specify what Mendez did to warrant being disciplined, but it took place Monday night after their 6-3 victory over the Royals and did not happen at Kauffman Stadium. General manager Jon Daniels said Mendez's actions were not serious enough to involve either the police or Major League Baseball but could be addressed internally.

"Part of it is where we are in the development of the club and comes from holding a certain level of standards for veterans and young players alike," Daniels said. "Part of the development of young players is on the maturity side as well. That's kind of where this one falls."

Daniels said other players were involved at a certain level. He did not specify who the players were, but second baseman Rougned Odor was scratched from Tuesday's lineup. Odor was originally supposed to play second with Jurickson Profar starting at third. But Profar was moved to second and Isiah Kiner-Falefa started at third base, with Adrian Beltre at designated hitter.

"I felt like it was a situation with Kiner-Falefa playing third base and Profar at second," manager Jeff Banister said. "The rest of it … I don't have any further comment."

Joey Gallo was also not in the lineup, but Banister made it clear that Tuesday was a regularly scheduled day off for Gallo with nothing else to it.

Mendez was called up last Friday to start against the Rockies. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 7 prospect in the Rangers' farm system, and the plan was to give him an extended look in the Major League rotation. That was still the plan after he allowed six runs in three-plus innings against the Rockies.

Video: COL@TEX: Mendez freezes Arenado for first K of 2018

But the plan has been put on hold for now. The Rangers were disappointed that Mendez's postgame activities on Monday were not representative of a pitcher who should have been getting ready to start on Wednesday.

"There are steps for every player to take as far as commitment and focus," Banister said. "Both who you are as an individual player and being a team player is part of it. We all learn lessons and don't always get it right. It's part of the process. There are things that happen, but we need to continue to put the team first. There are standards we want to abide by. We want to make sure those standards are held in high regard. That doesn't mean mistakes won't be made."

The Rangers have not placed a timetable on Mendez's return. Daniels said they will have additional conversations with Mendez and put him on a program to follow.

The Rangers followed a similar plan with reliever Keone Kela at the beginning of last season. He clashed with teammates over a perceived lack of effort in a B game at the end of Spring Training, and he was unexpectedly optioned to Round Rock. Kela was there for the first 2 1/2 weeks of the season before being brought back to the big leagues after taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

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, Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Yohander Mendez

Herrera arrives in DC, ready to fight for playoffs

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Kelvin Herrera has played all eight of his Major League seasons with the Royals, and he became emotional when speaking with the media on his way out of Kansas City on Monday night. So Nationals manager Dave Martinez is focused on making Herrera feel like a part of the Nationals' family after Washington traded for him Monday night in return for three prospects.

When Herrera arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, Martinez sat down with him to discuss the right-hander's role as a late-inning reliever.

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WASHINGTON -- Kelvin Herrera has played all eight of his Major League seasons with the Royals, and he became emotional when speaking with the media on his way out of Kansas City on Monday night. So Nationals manager Dave Martinez is focused on making Herrera feel like a part of the Nationals' family after Washington traded for him Monday night in return for three prospects.

When Herrera arrived in Washington on Tuesday afternoon, Martinez sat down with him to discuss the right-hander's role as a late-inning reliever.

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"He actually looked at me and said, 'Wow, that was a pretty good conversation,'" Martinez said.

Martinez ensured Herrera they'd chat often, knowing that if the newly acquired reliever is happy and playing well, the Nationals will also thrive.

"I get it with him. He's been there a long time," Martinez said. "I even told him, 'The color red looks good on you. I know you're used to blue.' His winter ball team, I think, was red. I told him, 'Just think of it as you're playing on your winter ball team. You've got a different color on, and let's move forward.'"

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the Nationals reached out to the Royals about a month ago regarding Herrera, and those talks progressed more over the past week.

Video: MLB Tonight on Herrera being traded to the Nats

The non-waiver Trade Deadline isn't until July 31, but Rizzo said teams wait until that date to make a trade so they can identify their needs. Rizzo has known since the beginning of the season Washington has needed to add bullpen depth, since the Nationals have heavily relied on Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler.

Doolittle and Justin Miller are the only Nationals relievers who have pitched at least 12 innings and hold ERAs under 3.00. Kintzler has been on the disabled list since June 10 with a right forearm flexor strain, but has progressed to throwing on flat ground.

Doolittle, Madson, Kintzler and Herrera form a strong back end of the bullpen, which the Nationals hope will shorten postseason games and lead to winning their first playoff series. Doolittle, Madson and Herrera have extensive postseason experience.

Washington entered its game against the Orioles on Tuesday night 3 1/2 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the National League East.

Herrera, who will be paid the remainder of his $7.9 million salary by Washington, knew he might be traded to a contender, but the 28-year-old was surprised he was traded this early in the season. The Nationals parted ways with infielder Kelvin Gutierrez and outfielder Blake Perkins, whom MLB Pipeline ranked the team's No. 10 and 11 prospects, respectively, as well as 17-year-old right-hander Yohanse Morel, to acquire Herrera.

Herrera closed for the Royals, but the Nationals plan to continue using Doolittle in that role. Doolittle has notched a 1.37 ERA with 18 saves in 19 chances this season. Herrera said he's happy pitching any inning, and Doolittle also said Monday he's fine playing any role. Martinez encouraged each of his late relievers to imagine closing the inning they're selected to throw.

"The one thing I have seen about this team, these past few years, is they're always in the battle, in the fight for the playoffs, which is great chemistry here," Herrera said through a translator during his introductory news conference at Nationals Park on Tuesday. "I'm just ready to join the team and help any way I can."

This season, Herrera has a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves, 22 strikeouts and two walks in 27 games. In 22 career postgame games, including when he won the 2015 World Series, Herrera owns a 1.26 ERA and has 38 strikeouts without permitting a home run.

The Nationals also bolstered their bullpen before the Trade Deadline last season, adding Doolittle, Kintzler and Madson to improve what was then one of baseball's worst bullpens. Washington has the league's 10th-best bullpen ERA this season.

"We never rule out doing more," Rizzo said. "We feel that [when] healthy, we've got as good a team as anybody in the league and will compete with anybody. But factors go into this thing and injuries are a part of this thing. You have to be flexible enough to roll with the punches and do what you need to do on the fly to put the best team you can at the end of the season."

Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.

Washington Nationals, Kelvin Herrera

MLB Buzz: D-backs, O's chat about Machado

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.

O's, D-backs have talked Machado trade
June 19: The Orioles and D-backs have engaged in discussions regarding a potential trade for Manny Machado, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, and dialogue remains open between the two clubs.

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

O's, D-backs have talked Machado trade
June 19: The Orioles and D-backs have engaged in discussions regarding a potential trade for Manny Machado, according to MLB Network insider Jon Paul Morosi, and dialogue remains open between the two clubs.

Morosi described the trade talks as "due diligence on Arizona's part as the team's needs become clear." The two clubs also reportedly discussed a Machado trade this past offseason. Arizona currently holds the top spot in the National League West, but the second-place Dodgers narrowed the gap when they defeated the Cubs in Game 1 of a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon.

It's unclear whether the D-backs are interested in acquiring Machado to play shortstop or third base.

The 25-year-old would be an offensive upgrade over starting third baseman Jake Lamb and shortstop Nick Ahmed, as he's hitting .310 with 18 homers, 53 RBIs and a .945 OPS over 69 games for the Orioles in 2018 and owns a lifetime 118 wRC+.

But Machado has struggled defensively in his first season as the O's primary shortstop, recording -15 defensive runs saved (DRS). Ahmed, meanwhile, has notched six DRS. Machado has proven to be a stellar defender at the hot corner in the past, posting 81 DRS as a third baseman during his career and winning two AL Gold Glove Awards at the position.

Are Mets 'open for business?'
June 18: The Mets are reportedly "open for business" as it relates to prospective trade offers ahead of the non-waiver Trade Deadline, including on ace Jacob deGrom, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. The club would be more inclined to move Noah Syndergaard, per Rosenthal, but it might be inclined to part with deGrom given the right return.

deGrom would cost a "boatload" in return, one source told Rosenthal, and likely for a combination of Major League talent as well as highly touted prospects, which perhaps only a handful of clubs could fulfill. deGrom has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining before he becomes a free agent, while Syndergaard wouldn't hit the market until after the 2021 season.

deGrom is firmly in the mix for the National League Cy Young Award, with the Majors' best ERA (1.55) over 87 1/3 innings in 14 starts. He's currently on pace for career bests in strikeout rate (32.8 percent), opposing batting average (.206) and WHIP (1.01), as he's one of the few glimmering spotlights for a Mets team that tumbled out of first place in early May. The right-hander did avoid a significant injury scare nearly seven weeks ago when he hyperextended his pitching elbow on an awkward swing, landing on the 10-day disabled list.

Syndergaard hasn't pitched since May 25 due to a strained ligament on his right index finger. The high-velocity right-hander missed nearly the entire 2017 season due to a partial tear in his right lat. Over 11 starts this year, Syndergaard is 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA.

Monday's report surfaced less than two weeks after general manager Sandy Alderson called the liklelihood of a teardown "very remote" in an interview with USA Today.

"Just because you tear it down doesn't mean you're going to have a great rebuild. It doesn't work that way. It just doesn't," Alderson said at the time.

In Rosenthal's report, he indicates that the club would ideally like to retain most of its controllable nucleus -- shortstop Amed Rosario, outfielders Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto and right-handers Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman -- but those chips are likely the most coveted by other clubs.

Yanks, M's looking to acquire Happ

June 18: As the Yankees and Mariners have emerged as true contenders in the American League pennant race, so, too, have their roster voids -- specifically within their starting rotations. Both clubs are believed to be in the market for an available arm over the next six weeks, and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported on Monday that each is interested in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ.

In the midst of an All-Star-caliber season, Happ has a 3.48 ERA over 82 2/3 innings in 14 starts. He is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract, and due to his lingering free agency, he might not be as costly a return in what is shaping up to be a thin trade market for starters.

Both Seattle and New York have gotten above-average production from their starting staffs, though each has shown signs of vulnerability.

Video: Morosi on potential trade fits for J.A. Happ

Beyond AL Cy Young Award candidate Luis Severino, the Yankees have gotten inconsistent results from Sonny Gray and Masahiro Tanaka, Jordan Montgomery was lost for the season because of Tommy John surgery and Domingo German hasn't yet exhibited enough to warrant the fifth spot for good. CC Sabathia has been reliable, when healthy. To complement their elite offense and lights-out bullpen, the Yankees have long been speculated to retool their rotation ahead of the Deadline.

Morosi noted that the Yankees might have more incentive to go after a lefty given that the division-rival Red Sox have an MLB-best .813 OPS against righties but only a .672 mark against southpaws. In addition to their 13 regular-season meetings remaining, there's a strong chance the Yankees could go through Boston in the postseason.

The Mariners' rotation has also proven to be top heavy, with arguably the AL's best starter in James Paxton. However, No. 2 starter Felix Hernandez has struggled to a career-worst 5.44 ERA, and he has given up five or more earned runs in five of his 15 starts. No. 5 starter Wade LeBlanc has been a pleasant surprise, but at 33 years old, there have been questions about his sustainability.

In a loaded AL East, Toronto entered 2018 with its most realistic avenue to the postseason via an AL Wild Card berth, but it entered Monday 12 1/2 games back of the second AL's spot. The Jays are 32-38 despite winning seven of their last 10, including sweeps of the Nationals and Orioles.

Giants going after Harper?
June 14: The Giants lost out on the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes in the offseason, despite being perhaps the most aggressive in pursuing the National League MVP Award winner via a trade from the Marlins. The Giants wound up filling out their lineup elsewhere -- trading for Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria -- but they may not be out of the market in acquiring a power-hitting corner outfielder, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported recently that they could be a "main player" for Bryce Harper in free agency.

"They do make some sense," a friend of Harper's told Heyman.

Harper has been speculated to land a potentially historic deal, though the Giants were believed to be willing to take on the entire $295 million remaining on Stanton's contract. And general manager Bobby Evans has made it clear the club doesn't intend to rebuild in the immediate future despite a depleted farm system.

"We're going to be focused in the market as much as anybody ... the trade market as we get to the winter," Evans said in a recent interview with MLB Network Radio. "But that's so far ahead of us now. But yeah, there's always an eye on the free-agent market."

McCutchen will be a free agent this offseason, and 35-year-old left fielder Hunter Pence has struggled to stay healthy and remain productive, hitting .183/.236/.207 in 30 games. The Giants appear to be all-in on the immediate, and pursuing Harper would certainly fit that strategic mold.

Archer likely to be moved
June 13: This is far from the first time that the Chris Archer has been floated as a trade candidate, but a rival executive told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal that he believes that a seller's market this year will make the Rays likely to move Archer before the Trade Deadline.

Video: TB@WSH: Archer on 10-day DL with abdominal strain

Archer is a two-time All-Star with a 3.67 ERA in his seven seasons in the Majors, but his current injury and struggles this year might affect his trade value -- he has a 4.24 ERA in 13 starts and is on the disabled list with a left abdominal strain without a definite timetable for his return. And Rosenthal reports that the Rays don't like the thought of trading the 29-year-old due to his team-friendly contract.

Archer could be under club control through 2021, with one year remaining on his contract plus two more years of club options. That makes him different than, for example, David Price, who was only under team control when the Rays traded him, or Evan Longoria, who had a much larger contract.

Hamels might want trade partner to pick up option
June 13: Cole Hamels has been one of the most prominent names in early-season trade buzz -- most notably as a potential trade target for the Yankees, who for all their success so far are in need of starting rotation depth. The Rangers have struggled this season, but Hamels has a 3.86 ERA and 79 strikeouts in his 13 starts.

Video: TEX@LAA: Hamels grabs strikeout No. 2,300 of career

But the veteran left-hander has a 20-team no-trade list, and a source told Rosenthal that even though Hamels recently called that protection "kind of a formality," he could still use it as leverage to ask a trade partner from that list to pick up his $20 million option for 2019. That makes sense for the 34-year-old, as the alternative to picking up his option is a $6 million buyout that would leave him facing the uncertainty of free agency in his mid-30s.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi has reported that the teams not on Hamels' no-trade list are the Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Mariners, Nationals, Phillies, Rays and Royals.

Per Rosenthal, Hamels could be a difficult fit for a team trying to remain under the luxury tax threshold, as he'll still be owed close to $8 million at the Trade Deadline, unless the Rangers include significant cash in a deal.

Video: SF@MIA: Realmuto crushes go-ahead 2-run homer in 7th

Brewers could seek to upgrade at multiple spots
June 13: Similar to the Nationals, the Brewers are a contending team that could benefit greatly from upgrades in several areas -- namely, pitcher, catcher and second base.

Milwaukee could use both a front-end starter (staff ace Jimmy Nelson is still recovering from last September's shoulder surgery) and a reliever. Plus, while second baseman Jonathan Villar has been better at the plate than last year, he's still something of a question mark and has rated as a just-below-average hitter overall, with a 97 OPS+, where league average is 100.

Video: NYY@KC: Merrifield collects 3 hits, swipes 3 bags

According to Rosenthal, the Brewers have been interested in Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield in the past. The Brewers would also face competition from other Royals suitors.

Mariners ink pair of int'l teen pitching prospects

Pacific Rim southpaws Chang, 18, and Townsend, 17, join organization
MLB.com

The Mariners added a pair of southpaws to their system Tuesday as they announced the signing of international pitching prospects Jing-Yu Chang and Blake Townsend.

Chang, 18, is a left-hander from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, who is coming off a national high school championship with Kao Yuan Tech. He was the winning pitcher in that tournament's title game, and he is also a member of the Taiwanese national 18-and-under team.

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The Mariners added a pair of southpaws to their system Tuesday as they announced the signing of international pitching prospects Jing-Yu Chang and Blake Townsend.

Chang, 18, is a left-hander from Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, who is coming off a national high school championship with Kao Yuan Tech. He was the winning pitcher in that tournament's title game, and he is also a member of the Taiwanese national 18-and-under team.

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Chang will join the 17-year-old Townsend in the Mariners' organization. Townsend, a native of Victoria, Australia, played with his country's 15-and-under national team at the Baseball World Cup in Japan in 2016. He also participated in Australia's 18-and-under squad's tour through Arizona this past April, during which he pitched against Major League talent in Spring Training action.

Mariners director of international scouting Tim Kissner projected both pitchers as potential starters in an official team release issued Tuesday. Seattle has enjoyed success with Pacific Rim pitchers before, including Hisashi Iwakuma and Kazuhiro Sasaki of Japan and Ryan Rowland-Smith of Australia.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Alvarez designated for assignment by Orioles

Wilkerson, Joseph called up from Triple-A
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Seeking versatility and in need of some fresh faces, the Orioles added infielder Steve Wilkerson and catcher Caleb Joseph prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Nationals. To clear a roster spot, the O's designated Pedro Alvarez for assignment.

Alvarez is now off Baltimore's 40-man roster, and the Orioles must either trade or place him on irrevocable waivers within the next seven days. If a team claims Alvarez off waivers, he will immediately be added to that team's 40-man roster. If Alvarez clears waivers, the O's are hoping he accepts an assignment to Norfolk.

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WASHINGTON -- Seeking versatility and in need of some fresh faces, the Orioles added infielder Steve Wilkerson and catcher Caleb Joseph prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Nationals. To clear a roster spot, the O's designated Pedro Alvarez for assignment.

Alvarez is now off Baltimore's 40-man roster, and the Orioles must either trade or place him on irrevocable waivers within the next seven days. If a team claims Alvarez off waivers, he will immediately be added to that team's 40-man roster. If Alvarez clears waivers, the O's are hoping he accepts an assignment to Norfolk.

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"He's a good teammate and you know with the potential of some other people returning … there's some changes we're gonna have to make in the roster," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "He's always one of those guys you feel like he could part the water and you could run him out there every day, but with [Mark Trumbo] and [Chris Davis] being back with us here shortly, there just weren't gonna be the at-bats for him."

Alvarez, 31, has a .180/.283/.414 slash line and eight home runs this season. An All-Star with the Pirates in 2013, Alvarez was also the National League home-run champion that year with 36, to go along with 100 RBIs.

For Wilkerson, who has yet to make his Major League debut, Tuesday's promotion was a long time coming. Expected to compete for the utility infield spot this spring, Wilkerson instead was suspended 50 games this offseason for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Plan.

"This is a very special moment," said Wilkerson, who tested positive for an amphetamine. "Regardless of how my season started, I'm very happy and very fortunate to be here right now and I'm really looking forward to it."

Wilkerson has hit .290 and recorded an .862 OPS in 16 games for Norfolk and can play virtually anywhere on the diamond.

"It was a very difficult time," Wilkerson said of his suspension. "The last few months of the offseason and Spring Training, and the first few months of the season were difficult, and I made the decision at that time to try to put my best foot forward and go about it in a way that I was continuing to prepare myself as best I could for when I got the opportunity to play."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Pedro Alvarez

Red Sox recall lefty reliever Scott, option Haley

MLB.com

The Red Sox recalled left-handed pitcher Robby Scott from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned right-hander Justin Haley to Pawtucket on Tuesday.

Scott, 28, has made 24 relief appearances for the PawSox this season, posting a 1.48 ERA (4 ER/24.1 IP) with 36 strikeouts, a 1.03 WHIP, and a .187 opponent batting average. Left-handed hitters have a .362 OPS against Scott, going 5-for-37 (.135) with one extra-base hit (double), two walks, and 17 strikeouts. 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 IP) while holding opponents to a .137 batting average (7-for-51) and zero home runs. Signed by the Red Sox as a undrafted free agent in 2011, he is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA (15 ER/41.2 IP) in 64 career Major League relief appearances (2016-17), having made his first career Opening Day roster with Boston in 2017.

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The Red Sox recalled left-handed pitcher Robby Scott from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned right-hander Justin Haley to Pawtucket on Tuesday.

Scott, 28, has made 24 relief appearances for the PawSox this season, posting a 1.48 ERA (4 ER/24.1 IP) with 36 strikeouts, a 1.03 WHIP, and a .187 opponent batting average. Left-handed hitters have a .362 OPS against Scott, going 5-for-37 (.135) with one extra-base hit (double), two walks, and 17 strikeouts. 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 IP) while holding opponents to a .137 batting average (7-for-51) and zero home runs. Signed by the Red Sox as a undrafted free agent in 2011, he is 3-1 with a 3.24 ERA (15 ER/41.2 IP) in 64 career Major League relief appearances (2016-17), having made his first career Opening Day roster with Boston in 2017.

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Haley, 26, was selected to the Major League roster from Pawtucket on June 8. He made his Red Sox debut -- and his lone big league appearance of the season -- on June 13 at Camden Yards, throwing two scoreless innings in a 5-1 win over the Orioles. The right-hander is 3-6 with a 3.18 ERA (20 ER/56.2 IP) and 52 strikeouts in 11 starts for Pawtucket this season, including a 2.45 ERA (10 ER/36.2 IP) over his last seven outings. Selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2012 Draft, he spent his first five professional seasons (2012-16) in the Boston organization. Haley made the Twins' 2017 Opening Day roster and had a 6.00 ERA (12 ER/18.0 IP) in 10 relief appearances, the first Major League outings of his career.

Boston Red Sox, Justin Haley, Robby Scott

Kershaw set for rehab start prior to return

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Clayton Kershaw lost the debate and will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday before returning to the Dodgers' rotation.

After an impressive three-inning simulated game on Monday, Kershaw was hoping to return Saturday for the Dodgers against the Mets.

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CHICAGO -- Clayton Kershaw lost the debate and will make a rehab start for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday before returning to the Dodgers' rotation.

After an impressive three-inning simulated game on Monday, Kershaw was hoping to return Saturday for the Dodgers against the Mets.

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"He made his case, as he always does," said manager Dave Roberts. "We're putting him in the best chance for success and health. You consider all the factors, got a lot of thoughts and opinions by people more qualified than I am, and you make a decision."

Roberts said Kershaw will throw four innings or 60 pitches for OKC. A Saturday start means Kershaw would return to the Dodgers no sooner than next Thursday's day game against the Cubs at Dodger Stadium.

The club believes Kershaw will need only one rehab start.

Kershaw has pitched in one MLB game since May 1. He went on the disabled list after that game with left biceps tendinitis. He came back for one start May 31, then went back on the DL with a lower back strain.

• The Dodgers summoned Brock Stewart to Chicago as the 26th man for the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw

This is why Braves are being patient with market

Anthopoulos might only make 1-2 moves; notes on Machado, deGrom
MLB.com

The Braves have been one of the game's biggest surprises this season, their young team holding firm to first place in the National League East with the halfway point rapidly approaching.

Although Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos has several areas of his roster that he could address in the coming weeks, a source with knowledge of the Braves' thinking doesn't anticipate a series of major moves coming between now and July 31.

The Braves have been one of the game's biggest surprises this season, their young team holding firm to first place in the National League East with the halfway point rapidly approaching.

Although Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos has several areas of his roster that he could address in the coming weeks, a source with knowledge of the Braves' thinking doesn't anticipate a series of major moves coming between now and July 31.

"They can address a lot of areas, but they're not going to be able to address a lot of areas," the source said. "In a perfect world, they could use a bullpen guy, a front-of-the-rotation starter and a big bat, but they're not going to have the dollars to fill all those spots. They also don't want to use that much prospect capital to fill that many holes."

With their rebuild moving faster than expected, the Braves also plan to wait until mid-to-late July before making any move.

"They'll likely wait as long as they can because between now and July, there could be more players get injured, there could be dips in performance, things like that," the source said. "The needs today could be different than they are three or four weeks from now. The longer they wait, the more clearly defined the needs will be."

With the payroll nearing $120 million, Atlanta won't be in position to acquire a bench player making $4 million-$5 million or a middle reliever earning $6 million. It's also highly improbable that the Braves will be able to bring in a big-salary star, the source said, making Manny Machado an unlikely target.

"It's ridiculous," the source said of the constant Machado-to-Atlanta chatter.

With limited financial flexibility, the Braves will likely have one or two moves to make in the best-case scenario. With that in mind, Anthopoulos will want to make that move or two really count.

"They only have so many resources, whether it's money they can take on in salary or total players they'll be willing to move," the source said. "What if they make the move in June and then in July, it turns out that wasn't the primary need? Look at the Twins last year; they made a deal for Jaime Garcia and then turned around a week later and traded him away. [The Braves are] playing the slow game."

* * * * * 

Machado is the crown jewel of this trade season, one of the few race-changing hitters expected to be dealt before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Video: MIA@BAL: Machado lines a 2-out RBI single in the 8th

But one baseball insider wonders whether the Orioles will actually trade Machado before July 31, citing Baltimore's seemingly unrealistic asking price for the star shortstop.

"The offers weren't good enough over the winter, and they're apparently not good enough now," the insider said. "With every day that ticks off the calendar, you'd have to think teams will offer less, not more. The O's may have overplayed their hand."

Baltimore was said to be asking for two young, controllable starting pitchers for Machado, though that seems like a lot for a half-season or less of the three-time All-Star.

Machado is slated to become a free agent after the season, and while an acquiring team would have a chance to sell him on their city as a long-term home, it's extremely unlikely that he would sign an extension before reaching free agency.

* * * * * 

MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported Monday that the Mariners have shown interest in Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ, but a source indicated that Seattle is monitoring as many as a half-dozen starting pitchers in an effort to add an arm in the coming weeks.

Video: Morosi on potential trade fits for J.A. Happ

"They're just combing the landscape right now," one evaluator said, though a second source said the Mariners seem intent on being "aggressive" when it comes to acquiring a starter.

The biggest obstacle might not be the lack of desirable arms on the market, but rather the lack of notable prospects. According to MLB Pipeline's most recent rankings, Seattle has only one player on the Top 100 Prospects list (outfielder Kyle Lewis, No. 60).

"Their farm system is very thin," the evaluator said. "There isn't much to trade there."

* * * * * 

The Mets are prepared to listen to offers for many of their players, and while teams are certain to check in on Jacob deGrom's availability, a source said it would take "an overwhelming offer" to get the ace out of Queens.

Video: NYM@COL: deGrom strikes out 7 over 8 strong innings

"Trading him would be a huge organizational decision," the source said. "That won't stop teams from inquiring or trying to deal for him, but it's hard to see the Mets parting with him."

MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reported Monday that while the Mets will listen to offers, a team source cautioned not to expect any deals any time soon. Despite their position in the standings, the Mets "want to play out the next few weeks to see if they can climb back into contention before committing to any sort of sell-off," DiComo reported.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001

Jacob deGrom, J.A. Happ, Manny Machado

Royals, Yost emotional over losing Herrera

All-Star closer was last link to dominant relief trio of HDH
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Kelvin Herrera. Wade Davis. Greg Holland.

The Royals' famed HDH bullpen was one of the most feared trios in the game for years.

KANSAS CITY -- Kelvin Herrera. Wade Davis. Greg Holland.

The Royals' famed HDH bullpen was one of the most feared trios in the game for years.

Holland was the first to go, lost to Tommy John surgery and then free agency. Then Davis was traded to the Cubs.

And now with the last of that trio, Kelvin Herrera, moving on after being traded to the Nationals on Monday, Royals players inside the clubhouse reflected on the memory of just how great HDH was.

"We were pretty lucky to see that every day," Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "The fans were lucky to see that. Just having them going out there every day and picking our offense up.

"We knew once we got in the fifth or sixth or seventh inning, if we could find a way to get up by one run, we were going to win that game. I mean, having three closers pitching in the seventh, eighth and ninth was obviously unbelievable. And something I will remember [forever]."

Video: TEX@KC: Herrera reflects on his time in Kansas City

Manager Ned Yost said the HDH trio didn't make his life easier. "It just made me a helluva lot smarter," Yost said.

Where does the HDH trio rank all time?

"It's really right up there," Yost said. "I remember the old 'Nasty Boys' group in Cincinnati, they were really, really good. But there's not a lot of three-combo guys, guys that were all three closers and all three were lockout guys. [Norm] Charlton, Randy Myers and [Rob] Dibble, and then the HDH is about the only [other one] I can come up with."

Tweet from @duffkc41: Roomies at the Days Inn in surprise AZ for extended spring.. to world champions together. This dude brings new definition to competitor! Love you bro! Washington got a good one! Good luck my dude! Royals forever no matter where you go. https://t.co/nzzoA7VFZF

Yost admitted he knew the time would come soon when they had to trade Herrera, a pending free agent, though that didn't make it any easier.

Outfielder Alex Gordon, in fact, said Yost was in tears when he told the team of the trade prior to the Royals' 6-3 loss to the Rangers.

Video: MLB Tonight on Herrera being traded to the Nats

"We were all getting ready for the game, and Ned walked in crying into the training room," Gordon said. "That should just explain how much [Herrera] kind of meant to us. Ned told us the news, and we rushed in here as soon as we could, and said our good-byes. Luckily, at least we got to say our good-byes, and tell him how much he meant to all of us, and just what a great teammate he was, and player and person for this city."

Video: Moore, Yost talk Kelvin Herrera trade

Catcher Salvador Perez, too, seemed shaken by the news.

"Kind of hard, bro," Perez said. "I've known him since the first time I got here in Kansas City, 2006, 12 years ago. Expected for him to get traded. And a good thing for him. He's gonna be a free agent next year, and maybe we'll have him back. He has the opportunity to again be in the playoffs, a great teammate. It's kind of good for him, for his career. We're sad, I'm sad, and I love him like my brother."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Kelvin Herrera

Royals trade Herrera to Nats for 3 prospects

No. 8 INF Gutierrez, No. 15 OF Perkins, RHP Morel come to KC
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals continued their quest to restock the farm system as they traded closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals prior to Monday night's game against the Rangers.

In exchange, the Royals acquired three Minor Leaguers: infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, who was ranked as the Nationals' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline, outfielder Blake Perkins, the No. 11 prospect, and right-handed pitcher Yohanse Morel.

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals continued their quest to restock the farm system as they traded closer Kelvin Herrera to the Nationals prior to Monday night's game against the Rangers.

In exchange, the Royals acquired three Minor Leaguers: infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, who was ranked as the Nationals' No. 10 prospect by MLB Pipeline, outfielder Blake Perkins, the No. 11 prospect, and right-handed pitcher Yohanse Morel.

Gutierrez, who is now ranked as the Royals' No. 8 prospect, will be optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Perkins, now the club's No. 15 prospect, will be assigned to Class A Advanced Wilmington and Morel will join the Surprise Royals (Rookie).

Herrera, who is eligible to be a free agent after this season, was believed by many to be the Royals' top trade asset as he had a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves.

"Kelvin, he's family," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "We've known Kelvin since he signed with us, since he was 16 years old. He's one of the very best competitors that I've ever been around, probably this organization has seen, truthfully. Without him, there's no way we can ever make it to a World Series, win a World Series.

"Just like I told him and [manager Ned Yost] told him, he's about winning championships, and he's got a chance to go over to Washington and compete to win a division and be in the playoffs, and win a World Series. Once we articulated that to him, he kind of perked up a little bit, and you could see his juices getting going a little bit."

Herrera took the news hard at first, he said.

"This is a moment that was painful, even though they've been talking about it a lot in media and social media," Herrera said. "This is a moment that I never wanted to see.

Tweet from @KelvinHerrera40: Thank you @Royals for everything these past 12 years, from the Glass family, to the FO, to my coaching staff, to my teammates, to every employee who made me feel family. I���m also very thankful for all our fans, you guys are the best and I���m gonna miss you all #ForeverRoyal pic.twitter.com/qmcKW7KmQi

"I've been playing with [Danny Duffy], [Mike Moustakas], [Salvador Perez], [Eric Hosmer] since I was 18 years old. Then we came here together, made me feel better. Then after that, we went to the World Series. Winning one of them was the best experience ever."

Video: TEX@KC: Broadcasters chat about the Herrera trade

Moore now has traded two assets, Jon Jay and Herrera, well before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

"We'd like to be holding on to our players longer," Moore said, "but where we are in the standings and what we're faced with, how we're playing, if we can get the right deals, it's important to move ...

"[The three guys we got] we obviously like. We spent a great deal of time over the last couple weeks trying to find the right fits. I believe that we found three really high-quality guys. Gutierrez and Perkins are both elite-type defenders with upside with the bat. Makeup is very good."

Video: Moore, Yost talk Kelvin Herrera trade

Gutierrez, 23, hit .274 (63-for-230) with six doubles, three triples, five homers and 36 runs scored in 58 games for Double-A Harrisburg this season. He was also 10-for-11 in stolen-base attempts. He was added to the 40-man roster last fall.

MLB Pipeline wrote of Gutierrez: "The Nationals view Gutierrez as one of the better pure hitters in their system. He has a relatively simple inside-out stroke from the right side of the plate that produces hard contact across the whole field and fuels his projection as an above-average hitter. And while he hasn't yet figured out how to apply his raw power during games, club officials do expect him to clear more fences once he becomes more comfortable firing his barrel and turning on the ball."

Video: MLB Tonight on Herrera being traded to the Nats

Perkins, a 21-year-old switch-hitting outfielder, was selected in the second round of the 2015 MLB Draft. He hit .234/.344/.290 (59-for-252) with 11 doubles, a homer and 39 runs scored in 65 games with Class A Advanced Potomac.

Wrote MLB Pipeline of Perkins: "The Nationals helped Perkins become a switch-hitter upon entering the pro ranks, and the club is thrilled with his early returns from both sides of the plate. He made huge strides as a lefty in 2017, collecting 25 of his 39 extra-base hits including all eight of his home runs from that side. ... Perkins' plus speed translated to 31 steals in his first full season, and he should continue to swipe bags with ease thanks to his strong on-base skills."

Morel, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher from Samana, Dominican Republic, is in his first professional season after signing as a non-drafted free agent last July.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Kelvin Gutierrez, Kelvin Herrera

Nats acquire reliever Herrera from Royals

MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made an early summer splash on Monday evening, acquiring right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera from the Royals in exchange for a trio of Minor Leaguers: infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel.

The trade helps bolster Washington's bullpen, something that has become a midsummer tradition, by adding another reliever with experience pitching in high-leverage and big-game situations. And Herrera has been effective this season, recording a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves, 22 strikeouts and two walks allowed in 27 games for Kansas City.

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made an early summer splash on Monday evening, acquiring right-handed closer Kelvin Herrera from the Royals in exchange for a trio of Minor Leaguers: infielder Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel.

The trade helps bolster Washington's bullpen, something that has become a midsummer tradition, by adding another reliever with experience pitching in high-leverage and big-game situations. And Herrera has been effective this season, recording a 1.05 ERA with 14 saves, 22 strikeouts and two walks allowed in 27 games for Kansas City.

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The move improves an already strong late-inning arsenal, adding Herrera to the trio of Sean Doolittle, Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler to form a potential dynamic back end of the bullpen, one capable of shortening games in the postseason and turning early leads into victories.

"I think it's one of those situations where you can't have too many options down there," Doolittle said. "You get a guy who's pitched in every high-leverage role from the seventh inning on. He's won a World Series. He's battle-tested. We're planning on playing some really meaningful games down the stretch and making a run into the playoffs. We're going to need some help. I think it's awesome."

Video: MLB Tonight on Herrera being traded to the Nats

Even with the addition of Herrera, Doolittle will remain the Nationals' closer. Before the trade was complete, general manager Mike Rizzo went up to Doolittle to assure him of that much and let him know the team has confidence in him.

Doolittle has been lights-out this season, with a 1.37 ERA and 18 saves in 19 chances.

Manager Dave Martinez made sure to throw his support behind Doolittle as well. He was not sure exactly how he would utilize his new mix of late-inning relievers, but he'll have four pitchers with closing experience once Kintzler returns from the disabled list.

"I'm excited to have him. He's going to fit right in," Martinez said of Herrera. "He's closed games. He's come in in the eighth. For me, we have an All-Star closer right now, so he'll be asked to do some different things."

Video: NYY@WSH: Martinez discusses adding Herrera to bullpen

Plus, Nats relievers have shown they have little ego when it comes to deciding who pitches in what role, so incorporating Herrera into that fold should be simple.

"I don't think anybody's going to have a problem with it," Madson said. "Let the old horse rest a little bit. He can let me pitch every once in a while, and I'll be fine. All hands on deck, of course, when playoff time comes around. So I don't see anybody else losing any sleep about it."

Video: TEX@KC: Herrera reflects on his time in Kansas City

To acquire Herrera, who will be a free agent at the end of the season, the Nationals had to part with their Nos. 10- and 11-ranked prospects as rated by MLB Pipeline in Gutierrez and Perkins, respectively. But they held on to their top prospects.

A year ago, he acquired Doolittle, Kintzler and Madson to save a disastrous bullpen. Even though the Nationals' bullpen has been steady this season, Rizzo saw an opportunity to improve and try to build the kind of unit necessary for postseason success.

Herrera owns a 1.26 ERA in 22 games and 38 strikeouts without allowing a home run. That kind of experience will be valuable to a Nats club with lofty postseason aspirations.

"It takes a lot of quality arms," said Madson, Herrera's teammate with the Royals in 2015. "You look at any postseason team, there's a lot of quality arms out there. … So you can never too have many, and quality like these. [Herrera] will be a welcome addition."

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

Washington Nationals, Kelvin Herrera

Bucs activate Rodriguez from DL, call up Osuna

Neverauskas, Stallings optioned to Triple-A Louisville
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates shuffled their bullpen and bench before Monday's series opener against the Brewers at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh activated reliever Richard Rodriguez from the disabled list and optioned right-hander Dovydas Neverauskas to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Bucs also optioned catcher Jacob Stallings to Indianapolis and recalled corner infielder/outfielder Jose Osuna.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates shuffled their bullpen and bench before Monday's series opener against the Brewers at PNC Park.

Pittsburgh activated reliever Richard Rodriguez from the disabled list and optioned right-hander Dovydas Neverauskas to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Bucs also optioned catcher Jacob Stallings to Indianapolis and recalled corner infielder/outfielder Jose Osuna.

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This is Osuna's third big league stint of the season. He entered Monday hitting .241 with a .749 OPS and two homers in 14 games. The Pirates have depth in the corner infield and outfield spots, but Osuna can serve as a power bat off the bench and potentially start against left-handers.

"I have to be ready for the opportunity," Osuna said. "When they give it to me, I have to be ready."

Stallings did not play during his brief callup, primarily serving as insurance while the Pirates monitored Francisco Cervelli following a foul tip to the face. Neverauskas pitched two scoreless innings at Wrigley Field after being recalled on June 8, then gave up five runs over his next two appearances.

"It comes down to pitch execution," manager Clint Hurdle said. "When he hasn't executed pitches, he's paid a price up here with damage done off the bat."

Rodriguez has been sidelined since June 7 due to right shoulder inflammation and recently said that rest was the antidote he needed. Rodriguez posted a 2.38 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 22 appearances before the injury. He threw 20 pitches in one inning of a simulated game on Saturday.

Given his early success, Rodriguez could play a prominent role in a Pirates bullpen that has all but abandoned traditional setup roles in front of closer Felipe Vazquez.

"We have guys that we believe can develop into that, that can grow into that," general manager Neal Huntington said on Sunday. "But rather than lock guys into specific roles, we'd like to have Clint have the ability to go use who he feels most strongly about in the most important situation."

Kingham, Craig earn weekly honors
Right-hander Nick Kingham was named the International League Pitcher of the Week. After being optioned to Indianapolis on June 10, Kingham pitched eight scoreless innings while allowing two hits and striking out six on Thursday. Kingham carried a perfect game into the seventh, just like he did in his MLB debut.

Kingham, the Bucs' No. 12 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has dominated Triple-A competition this season, and he's put together a 3.82 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in six Major League starts. What more can he do to lock down a spot in Pittsburgh's rotation?

"Keep doing what he's doing," Huntington said Sunday. "We're in a position where we have five guys in our Major League rotation that, as we look back over the course of recent time -- in some cases, a year plus -- they've done a nice job."

Double-A Altoona first baseman Will Craig, the Pirates' first-round Draft pick in 2016 and No. 17 prospect, was named the Eastern League Player of the Week. Craig went 12-for-23 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in six games. Craig, who began Monday with a .263/.342/.493 slash line, leads the Pirates organization with 11 homers and 50 RBIs this season.

Bucs considering infield prospects
With Adam Frazier in Triple-A, the Pirates' only reserve middle infielder is Sean Rodriguez. The veteran infielder/outfielder is slashing .159/.286/.299, walking at a career-high rate but also striking out in 31.7 percent of his plate appearances.

"Sean is producing. It's just not statistically with batting average," Huntington said. "There are other ways he was producing and is still a really good defender."

Huntington said the Pirates are "taking a look" at Kevin Newman and Kevin Kramer, a pair of 2015 Draft picks and Triple-A infield prospects. It is unlikely either will be promoted, however, unless they can play an everyday role.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Jose Osuna, Richard Rodriguez