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On The Move: Trades & Transactions

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

MLB.com

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
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Brandon Drury was on the Yankee Stadium infield early on Saturday morning, his spikes digging into the dirt as he repeatedly rounded first base under the watch of the coaching staff. Sidelined with severe migraines that have caused blurred vision, those simple steps represented progress as he aims to resume playing in games.

"I'm figuring out what's going on, so it's good," Drury said. "We've been doing a lot of work in the back of my neck area. I'm not sure if that's what was causing this, but there was a lot of pressure back there. We're trying to release that."

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NEW YORK -- Brandon Drury was on the Yankee Stadium infield early on Saturday morning, his spikes digging into the dirt as he repeatedly rounded first base under the watch of the coaching staff. Sidelined with severe migraines that have caused blurred vision, those simple steps represented progress as he aims to resume playing in games.

"I'm figuring out what's going on, so it's good," Drury said. "We've been doing a lot of work in the back of my neck area. I'm not sure if that's what was causing this, but there was a lot of pressure back there. We're trying to release that."

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Drury has been on the disabled list since April 7 with the issue, which he said has affected him throughout his career, though he did not disclose it to the D-backs during his previous three big league seasons, and the Yankees say they were unaware of it prior to his February acquisition. While Drury said he is still experiencing migraines, the blurred vision has dissipated.

Video: NYY@TOR: Drury blasts a two-run homer to center

"I think he's a really good player, and if we can get those answers and get this issue put aside, I'm just eager to get him back in there helping us," manager Aaron Boone said. "He was out running the bases this morning. He got his ground-ball work and baserunning in. I know he's hitting. Hopefully we're getting close to him starting to play in some games, wherever that may be."

In Drury's absence, Miguel Andujar has made a solid impression at third base, including hitting his second big league homer in Friday's 8-5 loss to the Blue Jays. Andujar entered play on Saturday with seven extra-base hits in his past four games.

"I think he's done a better job controlling the strike zone," Boone said. "Early on in his first several games, he was a little bit anxious, maybe a little bit over-aggressive. He's an aggressive hitter, because he can handle so many pitches in the strike zone. I think he's settling in a little bit and getting a little more comfortable."

Video: TOR@NYY: Andujar smacks a solo home run to right

Roster move

The Yankees recalled right-hander Jonathan Holder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre prior to Saturday's game, adding a fresh arm to their taxed bullpen. Righty Adam Warren was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right back strain.

"For our bullpen to be what we know they are, we've got to be able to protect them with some innings from our starters," Boone said. "That's obviously something we've got to start getting. It's a priority."

Video: TOR@NYY: Boone, Warren on 10-day disabled list stint

The move came one night after Sonny Gray lasted 3 1/3 innings, with his ERA swelling to 8.27 through four starts. Despite a small drop in velocity, Boone said that he does not believe that Gray's issues are mechanical or physical.

"I think the pitches are there. I think the stuff is there," Boone said. "He's not getting strike one as much as he historically has during his career. … We've got to get him through this, because he's so important to our club. I absolutely believe it's in there. Hopefully we'll look back on this as just a tough start, and maybe he'll be better for having gone through it."

Video: TOR@NYY: Torreyes tosses bat at ball for a single

Toe tap

Boone and several of the Yankees' coaches were amused by Ronald Torreyes' seventh-inning single in Friday's game, in which the utilityman literally threw his bat at a Danny Barnes slider and was rewarded with a single that dropped into left field.

"It was one of those, you kind of look at each other, like, 'Did I see that right?'" Boone said.

Torreyes entered play on Saturday having hit safely in each of his eight starts, batting .500 (14-for-28) in those games. Overall, Friday's 3-for-4 performance raised his season average to .438 (14-for-32).

"He's a pro," Boone said. "He just does a lot of things well, prepares really well. I love watching him prepare, bouncing around different positions, getting all of his work in. He's been a spark for us. Whether he's sitting over there for a while, he goes out and seems to figure it out in the box. Whatever position you throw at him, he seems to get it done."

Bird flying south

Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) has been hitting, running and throwing, and the first baseman expects to continue doing so at the Yankees' complex in Tampa, Fla., when the team travels to the West Coast next week.

Bird said that he is about a week away from logging at-bats in extended spring training, and he expects to rejoin the big league lineup in May.

"We'll see how next week goes," Bird said. "We'll come up with more of a game plan after that."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Brandon Drury, Jonathan Holder, Adam Warren

Wright exits first rehab start with stiff back

Poyner set for second outing with Triple-A Pawtucket
Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Veteran knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is recovering from left knee surgery that he underwent in May, was removed from his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Friday night after experiencing stiffness in his back.

Wright had thrown 61 pitches in 2 2/3 innings against the Gwinnett Stripers. He had been slated to throw six innings, with an 80-pitch limit.

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OAKLAND -- Veteran knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is recovering from left knee surgery that he underwent in May, was removed from his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket Friday night after experiencing stiffness in his back.

Wright had thrown 61 pitches in 2 2/3 innings against the Gwinnett Stripers. He had been slated to throw six innings, with an 80-pitch limit.

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Red Sox manager Alex Cora announced Wright's rehab assignment on Wednesday, but the timetable for Wright's return to the Red Sox remains unclear. The 33-year-old right-hander started the season on the 10-day disabled list following a platelet-rich plasma injection at the site of his surgery.

Wright notched three strikeouts and two walks while allowing three runs (two earned) against Gwinnett on five hits. He exited after allowing a walk and three singles in the third, including a single and a run scored by Ronald Acuna, MLB Pipeline's No. 2 prospect in baseball.

Upon his return, Wright will need to serve a 15-game suspension for a violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy.

Poyner set to make second rehab appearance

Rookie left-hander Bobby Poyner will make the second appearance of his rehab assignment on Saturday for Triple-A Pawtucket, Cora announced Friday.

The Red Sox have not determined if he will join the team for the upcoming series in Toronto.

"He has [an outing] tomorrow, and then we'll make a decision," Cora said.

Poyner started and pitched one inning for Double-A Portland on Thursday in his first rehab appearance, allowing one hit and striking out one batter. He threw 12 of his 19 pitches for strikes.

The 25-year-old was placed on the 10-day disabled list on April 12 for a left hamstring strain. He was 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA over seven innings in six relief appearances after making his first Major League roster following a strong Spring Training, during which he recorded an 0.87 ERA with eight strikeouts and a walk over 10 outings.

Pedroia to join team at home

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia will leave extended spring training and rejoin the Red Sox in Boston next week, as he did last homestand, but his return to action remains undecided. Pedroia has been out after undergoing left knee surgery in October.

Cora may have given a hint as to when the veteran second baseman could potentially return.

"He's doing everything, but it's like the beginning of Spring Training for him," Cora said.

Walden optioned to Triple-A

Right-hander Marcus Walden was optioned to Pawtucket following Thursday's 8-2 win over the Angels to make room for Drew Pomeranz, who was activated before starting Friday night's game against the Athletics in Oakland.

Walden, 29, made his first career Major League Opening Day roster after attending Spring Training with the Red Sox as a non-roster invitee. He has appeared in seven big league games over two stints with Boston, posting a 4.09 ERA in 11 innings and a .220 opponent batting average with 10 strikeouts and three walks. Walden earned Pawtucket's Most Valuable Pitcher Award in 2017, his first season in the Red Sox organization. In 218 career Minor League games (117 of them starts), he is 46-45 with a 3.84 ERA.

Do-Hyoung Park is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Boston Red Sox, Bobby Poyner, Steven Wright

Schebler's return gives Reds a power bat

With outfielder activated from DL, lefty Reed optioned to Louisville
MLB.com

The Reds regained a power bat on Friday, when they activated outfielder Scott Schebler from the 10-day disabled list. To make room on the roster, they optioned left-hander Cody Reed to Triple-A Louisville.

Schebler was called on to pinch-hit for reliever Dylan Floro in the top of the seventh in the Reds' 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on Friday night. But before he could see a pitch, he was lifted for Devin Mesoraco after the Cardinals pulled starter Michael Wacha in favor of lefty Tyler Lyons.

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The Reds regained a power bat on Friday, when they activated outfielder Scott Schebler from the 10-day disabled list. To make room on the roster, they optioned left-hander Cody Reed to Triple-A Louisville.

Schebler was called on to pinch-hit for reliever Dylan Floro in the top of the seventh in the Reds' 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on Friday night. But before he could see a pitch, he was lifted for Devin Mesoraco after the Cardinals pulled starter Michael Wacha in favor of lefty Tyler Lyons.

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Schebler had been out with an ulnar nerve contusion in his right elbow since he was hit by a pitch on April 1. He was hitting .333 with a home run in 12 at-bats prior to the injury.

Reed appeared in four games and recorded a 5.40 ERA, allowing five runs (three earned) in five innings of work.

The Reds could also be returning Eugenio Suarez to the fold. Suarez is on the road with the team and was seen doing some light throwing and fielding activities.

Injury updates

• Reliever David Hernandez (right shoulder inflammation) was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment tonight at Louisville.

• Reliever Kevin Shackelford (right forearm strain) is three appearances into a rehab assignment at Pensacola. On Thursday, he pitched 1 2/3 innings, gave up a run, walked two and struck out a batter on 31 pitches.

Jaylon Thompson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Atlanta.

Cincinnati Reds, Cody Reed, Scott Schebler

Giants place Pence on DL with sprained thumb

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Giants will be without Hunter Pence for at least the next 10 days after placing the outfielder on the disabled list before Friday's game against the Angels with a right thumb sprain.

In his place, San Francisco recalled outfielder Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento.

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ANAHEIM -- The Giants will be without Hunter Pence for at least the next 10 days after placing the outfielder on the disabled list before Friday's game against the Angels with a right thumb sprain.

In his place, San Francisco recalled outfielder Mac Williamson from Triple-A Sacramento.

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Pence hurt his thumb while diving to make a play on April 3, but he has played through the injury. He's hitting just .172 with one extra-base hit and three RBIs through 17 games this season.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy downplayed the severity of the injury, but offered no timetable for his outfielder's return.

"He needs a few days off and then we'll get him going again," Bochy said. "It's kind of been lingering, so we're going to give him some time off."

Pence hit 13 home runs last season and drove in 67 runs, his most since 2014 when he was an All-Star and finished 11th in NL MVP voting. But his .701 OPS in 2017 was the second worst of his career, and he opened this year with a .386 OPS, although in a small sample size (61 plate appearances).

While nobody was willing to directly correlate the nagging thumb injury with Pence's rough start, adding a hot bat in Williamson made sense with the Giants' offensive struggles.

Williamson, 27, joins the Giants for the first time in 2018 after a hot start to the year with Sacramento. He hit .487 (19-for-39) with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 11 games for the River Cats.

"Hopefully he'll be a shot in the arm for us," Bochy said.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Hunter Pence

Torres joins bullpen as Cole exposed to waivers

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Less than a month ago, the Nationals named A.J. Cole their fifth starter entering the season, hopeful he could continue his progress from the end of 2017. Instead, Cole's progress reverted through a rocky first four appearances.

The Nationals designed Cole for assignment prior to Friday's game against the Dodgers, exposing him to waivers and risking losing him. The move cleared room on the 40-man roster for veteran right-hander Carlos Torres, who was promoted to provide bullpen depth to a taxed relief corps.

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LOS ANGELES -- Less than a month ago, the Nationals named A.J. Cole their fifth starter entering the season, hopeful he could continue his progress from the end of 2017. Instead, Cole's progress reverted through a rocky first four appearances.

The Nationals designed Cole for assignment prior to Friday's game against the Dodgers, exposing him to waivers and risking losing him. The move cleared room on the 40-man roster for veteran right-hander Carlos Torres, who was promoted to provide bullpen depth to a taxed relief corps.

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"That was a tough conversation today. It really was," manager Dave Martinez said. "We felt, with Torres, the way he was pitching in the Minor Leagues and having veteran experience in the bullpen, it give us length. I mean, he can pitch multiple days, pitch two innings at a time, [that] would fit our needs better right now."

That player was supposed to be Cole after he was removed from the starting rotation with the promotion of right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. The Nats were hopeful a shift to the bullpen would benefit Cole and he could serve as their long reliever to eat up innings. However, in two relief appearances this week, Cole gave up three runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings and a pair of home runs.

Once a touted prospect, Cole appeared in 26 games for the Nationals in the past four seasons, mixing in as a spot starter or long reliever. He never spent much time on the Major League roster and posted a 5.32 ERA in 110 innings.

Torres, 35, made four scoreless appearances for Triple-A Syracuse, where he did not allow a hit with a walk and three strikeouts. He is an eight-year MLB veteran and spent the past two seasons with the Brewers, posting a 3.43 ERA.

"I feel good. I believe I've always felt good," Torres said. "It's just a matter of executing pitches on a more routine basis … coming up here, do whatever they ask me to do, whatever job, whatever role however many innings, whatever game. So come out here to work."

Video: COL@WSH: Rendon fouls ball off foot, exits game later

Rendon out for sixth straight game
It's been one week since Anthony Rendon fouled a ball off his left big toe, and he was out of the starting lineup for the sixth consecutive game Friday night. Martinez said Rendon's toe is feeling better, but Rendon, who was scheduled to take grounders and hit on the field, did not appear when the Nationals took batting practice.

The Nats have not placed Rendon on the disabled list because they are confident his return is imminent. Martinez said prior to the game that Rendon could be a pinch-hitting option and that he was confident he would play at some point this weekend.

"He constantly kept saying it was getting better and better," Martinez said. "He was trying to do things, but he felt that he would probably be ready this weekend."

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

Washington Nationals

Padres activate Myers from disabled list

Left-hander Webb optioned to Triple-A El Paso
MLB.com

Wil Myers is back with the Padres. San Diego activated the outfielder from the disabled list ahead of Friday's series opener against the D-backs in Arizona.

In a corresponding roster move, the Padres optioned left-hander Tyler Webb to Triple-A El Paso.

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Wil Myers is back with the Padres. San Diego activated the outfielder from the disabled list ahead of Friday's series opener against the D-backs in Arizona.

In a corresponding roster move, the Padres optioned left-hander Tyler Webb to Triple-A El Paso.

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Myers had landed on the 10-day DL after just three games due to nerve irritation in his right arm. He was 3-for-12 at the plate with a home run.

The 27-year-old played three rehab games and homered twice with Class A Advanced Lake Elsinore before the Padres activated him Friday. Hunter Renfroe and Jose Pirela had been getting most of the time in right field for San Diego in Myers' absence.

Webb made his season debut this week and pitched in two relief outings. The 27-year-old took the loss when the Padres dropped a 12-inning game to the Dodgers on Tuesday, but he pitched three scoreless innings and allowed just one hit in Wednesday's game.

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

San Diego Padres, Wil Myers, Tyler Webb

A's add Bassitt, Lucas; option Coulombe

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The A's brought in a pair of bullpen reinforcements ahead of Friday's series opener against the Red Sox, promoting right-handers Chris Bassitt and Josh Lucas from Triple-A Nashville.

Left-hander Daniel Coulombe, who worked 1 2/3 innings in Wednesday's 14-inning marathon win over the White Sox, was optioned to Triple-A -- one day after righty Lou Trivino was also optioned, following his three-inning outing in the same game.

OAKLAND -- The A's brought in a pair of bullpen reinforcements ahead of Friday's series opener against the Red Sox, promoting right-handers Chris Bassitt and Josh Lucas from Triple-A Nashville.

Left-hander Daniel Coulombe, who worked 1 2/3 innings in Wednesday's 14-inning marathon win over the White Sox, was optioned to Triple-A -- one day after righty Lou Trivino was also optioned, following his three-inning outing in the same game.

Oakland used eight pitchers Wednesday. A handful of them remained unavailable Friday, necessitating the move for a long reliever. Enter Bassitt, who hasn't pitched in the big leagues since April 28, 2016.

The right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery and returned to action as a reliever in the Minor Leagues last season. Left wondering if he'd return to the big league stage again, Bassitt is extra grateful for his latest opportunity.

"I don't think it's going to set in until I'm actually out there pitching, but getting the call is more of a relief right now," Bassitt said. "Once I get out on the mound it's going to be a flood of emotions, just because, to be honest with you, I didn't know if I was going to be able to get back here last year. I'm just very grateful."

Bassitt pitched to a 0.69 ERA in a hybrid role with Nashville, throwing at least four innings in each of his three outings and holding the opposition to a .188 average. He could be a starting option down the road for the A's, but will remain in the bullpen for the time being.

Bassitt, who expressed frustration in the uncertainty surrounding his role in Spring Training, has come to accept -- and embrace -- the unknown.

"My goodness, it's been a long time, but I finally feel normal," he said. "I don't care anymore about my role. I really don't. Whatever this team needs to win, I'll fill whatever role they want me to do. I'll be ready. I got in that trap in Spring Training where it made me upset and frustrated because I didn't really have a role, but it was kind of unprofessional on my part when it comes to wanting a role. Who cares? When they call your name, just be ready."

Said manager Bob Melvin: "That's a lonely rehab, and then you're coming back, you're wondering how things are going to go, you're certainly very aware of how your arm feels. But he worked really hard during that process. He studied what he needed to improve along the way, and it looks like he's pitching as well as he pitched since he's come off Tommy John."

Lucas, acquired from St. Louis on March 31 as part of a swap for Minor League pitcher Casey Meisner, did not allow a run or a hit in 4 2/3 innings with Nashville. He also didn't yield a run in 11 1/3 spring innings with the Cardinals.

"Just throwing strikes, trying to get guys out, pound the zone, get weak contact and early outs," Lucas said. "That's pretty much my approach every time."

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

Oakland Athletics, Chris Bassitt, Danny Coulombe, Josh Lucas

Cubs place Butler on DL, recall Farrell

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DENVER -- Eddie Butler's homecoming to Colorado -- the team he came up with before a February 2017 trade to the Cubs -- started inauspiciously, as the right-handed pitcher went on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain Friday. The Cubs recalled right-hander Luke Farrell from Triple-A Iowa.

"The groin is bothering him a little bit, so we just had to do something," manager Joe Maddon said. "We had to protect ourselves lengthwise in the bullpen."

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DENVER -- Eddie Butler's homecoming to Colorado -- the team he came up with before a February 2017 trade to the Cubs -- started inauspiciously, as the right-handed pitcher went on the 10-day disabled list with a right groin strain Friday. The Cubs recalled right-hander Luke Farrell from Triple-A Iowa.

"The groin is bothering him a little bit, so we just had to do something," manager Joe Maddon said. "We had to protect ourselves lengthwise in the bullpen."

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Butler entered Thursday's 8-5 victory over the Cardinals in the seventh inning and allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits and two walks without retiring a batter. He said he started feeling something right before he went out and tried to pitch through it.

"It ended up affecting my finish -- it didn't have the late life it should have had," Butler said of the groin's effect on his pitching. "It just tightened up on me, felt like it wouldn't loosen up. Obviously four hitters in a row got on, let's go ahead and make a change."

Butler said he had never experienced a groin issue before.

"We just decided it was better to sit down a few days and get it right before we make this long haul," Butler said. "We want to make sure we nip it now and don't let it linger the whole year. That's the main thing, just getting back to full capacity where I really attack the guys. No point in stressing here in April when you've got six months left in the season."

Butler is 0-1 with a 4.30 ERA in six games covering 14 2/3 innings. He has walked five and struck out 10.

Video: CHC@MIA: Butler throws seven strong innings in relief

Farrell, 26, will take Butler's place as the long man in the 'pen. He has been starting for Iowa, where he is 0-1 with a 5.91 ERA in two starts. He made his Major League debut last season with Kansas City before joining Cincinnati in August, combining to post a 5.54 ERA in 10 appearances (one start) spanning 13 innings. Farrell had a 2.61 ERA in nine relief outings with the Reds last year.

"I was [relieving] in Spring Training, and last year I ended up relieving in Cincinnati, so it's something I'm looking forward to getting back to, especially just being here," Farrell said of his callup before the game. "You try to take advantage of every opportunity you get. That's my intention coming here -- relax, go about my work and do everything I can to help the team."

Farrell was scratched from his scheduled Triple-A start Thursday, heading instead to Colorado to meet up with the Cubs.

"We had a couple choices," Maddon said of the decision to promote Farrell. "Luke made a great impression at Spring Training. He's been in the big leagues, he's got a great pedigree and he's also a wonderful human being. I really like being around him. I guess he hasn't had the best of times in Triple-A yet, but this guy knows what to do on the Major League level, so we're excited to have him here."

Farrell was originally selected by the Royals in the sixth round of the 2013 Draft out of Northwestern University. He is the son of former Major League manager John Farrell and the brother of Jeremy, the Cubs' Minor League infield coordinator, and Shane, a regional crosschecker for the Cubs.

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

Chicago Cubs, Eddie Butler, Luke Farrell

Orioles add prospect Scott to bullpen

MLB.com

The Orioles announced Friday that they have called up left-hander Tanner Scott from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned infielder Engelb Vielma to Triple-A in a corresponding move.

Scott, 23, allowed an earned run off two hits in his lone 1 2/3 inning appearance against the Yankees on April 8. The Orioles' No. 6 prospect figures to serve as a long reliever.

The Orioles announced Friday that they have called up left-hander Tanner Scott from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned infielder Engelb Vielma to Triple-A in a corresponding move.

Scott, 23, allowed an earned run off two hits in his lone 1 2/3 inning appearance against the Yankees on April 8. The Orioles' No. 6 prospect figures to serve as a long reliever.

The 23-year old Vielma tallied his only three plate appearances for Baltimore on Wednesday, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

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

Baltimore Orioles, Tanner Scott, Engelb Vielma

Marlins lose reliever Despaigne to DL

Wittgren recalled to bolster beleaguered bullpen
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight day, a Marlins reliever has been placed on the disabled list. On Friday, Odrisamer Despaigne was placed on the 10-day DL with a right forearm strain, and right-hander Nick Wittgren was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

The transaction was expected after Despaigne was replaced in the sixth inning of Miami's 12-3 loss on Thursday to the Brewers at Miller Park. Miami currently has nine players on the disabled list.

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MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight day, a Marlins reliever has been placed on the disabled list. On Friday, Odrisamer Despaigne was placed on the 10-day DL with a right forearm strain, and right-hander Nick Wittgren was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

The transaction was expected after Despaigne was replaced in the sixth inning of Miami's 12-3 loss on Thursday to the Brewers at Miller Park. Miami currently has nine players on the disabled list.

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On Thursday, reliever Chris O'Grady also went on the DL with a left shoulder strain.

"It's good to get Nick back," manager Don Mattingly said. "We felt like we'd get him back at some point. We were trying to get him built to multiple innings down there, and were taking that slow. But, obviously, with Odrisamer going down last night, he was really the guy."

Wittgren projects to help bridge innings from the starter to the Marlins' late relief and throw multiple innings.

Despaigne started the season as the Marlins' No. 3 starter, but he made just one start before going to the bullpen. The right-hander hadn't been sharp in his last three outings, giving up five runs over 3 2/3 innings. For the season, he has a 6.14 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.

Wittgren, 26, opened the season at New Orleans after he was building up in Spring Training from surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow last September.

"We brought him slowly, because we wanted to build him slowly, from the medical department," Mattingly said. "Obviously, with the surgery, and the rehab all winter, really there were no issues all the spring. It was a matter of building him up. There's no days in there you had to stop him or shut him down. We feel like he can compete here."

In seven appearances at New Orleans, Wittgren has had his struggles, posting a 10.13 ERA in 5 1/3 innings, including two home runs.

"I've been working on command and off-speed stuff," Wittgren said. "My Spring Training was a lot shorter than other guys. I'm getting back in the swing of things."

Wittgren last pitched in the big leagues on July 26 at Texas, working two-thirds of an inning, and he went on the disabled list the next day.

"I'm ready, and I'm ready to help out," Wittgren said. "I have almost 100 innings up here, I know what it takes. I know what I have to do up here to help out, and pitch for these guys. When I get out there, I just have to execute."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Odrisamer Despaigne, Nick Wittgren