Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Pittsburgh Pirates
news

On The Move presented by Penske

Astros prospect Valdez set for inaugural callup

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The Astros are swapping out left-handed pitchers and are planning to call up Framber Valdez, their 11th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, from Triple-A Fresno to take the roster spot of Cionel Perez, who was optioned to Fresno following Monday's loss to the Mariners.

Valdez will be making his first appearance on a Major League roster after going 6-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 22 games (14 starts) this year, with all but two appearances coming with Double-A Corpus Christi. The 24-year-old threw 5 2/3 innings on Aug. 14 for Fresno in his most recent appearance, so he would be ready to pitch multiple innings Tuesday in a game the Astros are patching together with relievers (Brad Peacock is starting).

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- The Astros are swapping out left-handed pitchers and are planning to call up Framber Valdez, their 11th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline, from Triple-A Fresno to take the roster spot of Cionel Perez, who was optioned to Fresno following Monday's loss to the Mariners.

Valdez will be making his first appearance on a Major League roster after going 6-5 with a 4.11 ERA in 22 games (14 starts) this year, with all but two appearances coming with Double-A Corpus Christi. The 24-year-old threw 5 2/3 innings on Aug. 14 for Fresno in his most recent appearance, so he would be ready to pitch multiple innings Tuesday in a game the Astros are patching together with relievers (Brad Peacock is starting).

View Full Game Coverage

The Astros signed Valdez out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 when he was 21 years old.

Perez, Houston's No. 4-ranked prospect, has appeared in six games over two stints with the Astros this year, allowing three runs in seven innings. He's spent most of the season in the Minors, going 6-1 with a 1.98 ERA in 16 games (11 starts) for Corpus Christi. Perez has also appeared in one game for Fresno.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Houston Astros

Cards claim Adams, activate C-Mart

MLB.com

The Cardinals brought first baseman Matt Adams back on Tuesday, claiming him on waivers from the Nationals. They also activated right-hander Carlos Martinez from the disabled list.

Infielder Patrick Wisdom was optioned to Triple-A Memphis following Monday night's game and outfielder Dexter Fowler was moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

The Cardinals brought first baseman Matt Adams back on Tuesday, claiming him on waivers from the Nationals. They also activated right-hander Carlos Martinez from the disabled list.

Infielder Patrick Wisdom was optioned to Triple-A Memphis following Monday night's game and outfielder Dexter Fowler was moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

After spending nine years in the Cardinals organization, and six with the big league club from 2012-17, Adams returns to the team that picked him in the 23rd round of the 2009 Draft. The left-handed hitter is batting .257/.332/.510 with 18 homers and 48 RBIs in 94 games this season. The 29-year-old shapes up to be a power hitter who can potentially come off the bench.

As a member of the Cardinals, Adams played in 486 games, batting .271 with 56 home runs and 217 RBIs. He is eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

Martinez returns to the Cardinals having missed 19 games after sustaining a right shoulder strain on July 31. The right-hander made two relief appearances during an injury rehab assignment with Double-A Springfield. Martinez is 6-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 18 big league starts this season, striking out 98 batters in 100 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals hope the additions of Adams and Martinez provide a spark they need for the pennant chase. Entering Tuesday, St. Louis was in a three-way tie with Colorado and Philadelphia for the second National League Wild Card spot, a half-game behind Milwaukee.

Wisdom, 26, was purchased from Memphis on Aug. 11 and played in nine games for the Cardinals, batting .333 with a home run and three RBIs in 12 at-bats. He had played in 747 career Minor League games before making his Major League debut.

Adams was in transit and is expected to join up with the team in the upcoming days.

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Adams

Trade Talk: Yanks, Nats, Dodgers, Cubs, Cards

MLB.com

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire could stay hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 

Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the transaction wire could stay hot ahead of Aug. 31. That date is important because clubs acquiring new players via trade must have those players on their 40-man roster by then in order for that player (or players) to be eligible for its postseason roster. Teams can acquire players after Sept. 1, but those players would not be eligible to play with that team in the playoffs. 

Throughout August, it's not uncommon for high-profile players to be placed on waivers. In fact, most clubs will place a sizable portion of their Major League roster on waivers to gauge interest for their talent ahead of the offseason. 

When a waiver claim is placed, the player's original club has three options:
• Work out a standard trade with the claiming club within 48 hours
• Allow the player -- and all money remaining on his contract -- to go to the claiming club with no return
• Pull the player back off waivers

A player who is pulled back off waivers can be placed on trade waivers a second time, but at that point the waiver request becomes irrevocable. If a player passes through waivers unclaimed, he can then be traded to any club, free of restriction (though all 40-man-roster players in the trade must clear waivers before being dealt).

Glossary: Trade Waivers & Aug. 31 'Deadline'

With that in mind, here is the latest trade buzz:

Will Yankees trade for bat with Judge, Sanchez, Didi on DL?
Aug. 21: MLB Network insider Jon Heyman noted Thursday in an article for Fancred Sports that the Yankees sit just a few million dollars below the luxury-tax threshold and are reserving that money "in case there are any more rotation solutions that crop up." However, New York's offense might be a more pressing issue.

Right fielder Aaron Judge still hasn't started a hitting progression as he recovers from a fractured right wrist, and shortstop Didi Gregorius (bruised left heel) joined Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez (right groin strain) on the disabled list Tuesday. Sanchez is nearing his return, but it remains to be seen what type of impact he'll have, as he owns an underwhelming .188/.283/.416 slash line this season.

The problem for the Yankees is that there aren't many attractive trade options given the club's low waiver priority, as MLB Network insider Joel Sherman outlined in an article for the New York Post.

"We have claimed a lot of guys, but we have not been eligible on anybody," general manager Brian Cashman said.

The Nationals' Daniel Murphy would have been a great fit for the Yanks, but he was traded to the Cubs on Tuesday after being claimed off revocable waivers.

Sherman also notes that the Yankees aren't likely to pursue controllable players, as they will cost more to acquire than those on expiring contracts. Controllable players who have cleared waivers include Justin Smoak, C.J. Cron and Wilmer Flores.

That leaves the Yankees to choose from the likes of Adam Jones, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and Logan Forsythe, who have all cleared waivers as well, but New York has shown no inclination that it is planning to zero in on any of them, according to Sherman.

Nats trade Murphy to Cubs, Adams to Cards; Harper claimed but reportedly staying put
Aug. 21: The Nationals traded Daniel Murphy to the Cubs and Matt Adams to the Cardinals on Tuesday. Bryce Harper was also claimed off waivers, but Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports that no deal was reached.

Tweet from @chelsea_janes: Just heard Harper will be staying. No deal with team that claimed him.

While the team that claimed Harper is still unknown, MLB Network Radio's Grant Paulsen was told that it was the Dodgers.

Washington received Minor League infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named later or cash considerations in exchange for Murphy, who will provide the Cubs with another productive bat as third baseman Kris Bryant works his way back from left shoulder inflammation. Adams, meanwhile, was sent to the Cardinals, with whom he played from 2012-17, for cash considerations.

St. Louis has jumped back into the postseason race by posting the National League's best record (22-11) since dismissing manager Mike Matheny and promoting bench coach Mike Shildt in mid-July. The Cards entered Tuesday in a three-way tie with the Phillies and Rockies for the second NL Wild Card spot, and the club is 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs as well as a 1/2 game behind the Brewers in the NL Central.

The Nats, though, have not been able to make up ground in the NL East, prompting the club to sell. Washington might not be done dealing, as Mark Reynolds, Matt Wieters and Gio Gonzalez were also placed on revocable waivers, according to the Washington Post's Jorge Castillo. Those three players are set to become free agents this offseason, along with Murphy, Adams and Harper. 

McCutchen on the move by the end of the week?
Aug. 21: The Giants have placed right fielder Andrew McCutchen on revocable waivers, according to The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly. San Francisco had been hanging around in the NL West and NL Wild Card races into the second half of the season, but following a sweep at the hands of the Reds in Cincinnati over the weekend, the deficit within the division ballooned to eight games entering play Monday, and 7 1/2 games in the Wild Card standings. According to Baggarly, there is a "very good chance [McCutchen] is wearing another uniform by the end of the week."

McCutchen, 31, entered Monday hitting .257/.354/.417 with 14 home runs and 10 steals for the Giants this season. The five-time All-Star and 2013 NL Most Valuable Player is in his 10th Major League season, and since enduring a steep dropoff in performance in 2016 with the Pirates (104 OPS+), has posted a 117 OPS+ for Pittsburgh and San Francisco since.

Tweet from @extrabaggs: Not surprising given the way #sfgiants played in Cincinnati, but I���m hearing Andrew McCutchen has been placed on revocable waivers. Very good chance he is wearing another uniform by the end of the week.

Donaldson getting closer to return?
Aug. 16: With just over two weeks to go before the end of August, Josh Donaldson is still rehabbing from a left calf injury that has kept him out since late May. But the Blue Jays third baseman could be nearing his return.

Donaldson posted a video of himself running the bases with the caption "Getting closer!!" on his Instagram account Wednesday.

Tweet from @AaronBenRose: #BlueJays Josh Donaldson back running the bases 👀 Says he's "getting closer" on his Instagram (tos_bor20)������������������ pic.twitter.com/eHOsedmnDw

If he can return from the disabled list and prove to be even a fraction of the player he was from 2015-17, the 32-year-old could be an attractive trade candidate before Aug. 31.

MLB Network insider Jon Heyman broke down the market for Donaldson in an article for Fancred Sports earlier this month and listed the Indians, Cardinals, Braves, Cubs and Red Sox as potential landing spots for the impending free agent.

Heyman pegged the Indians -- who will have the first chance among those teams to claim Donaldson off waivers -- as the most likely of the five to acquire the third baseman.

While the Tribe has American League MVP candidate Jose Ramirez at the hot corner, it can shift him to second base and move Jason Kipnis to the outfield to help out a group that has been decimated by injuries and lost recent acquisition Leonys Martin to the disabled list with a bacterial infection last week.

Video: IT on Josh Donaldson's ability to help a playoff team

Jones reportedly clears revocable waivers, now eligible to be traded anywhere
Aug. 16: Adam Jones has passed through revocable waivers unclaimed, sources told MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, making the Orioles outfielder eligible to be traded to any of the other 29 teams.

Of course, a deal remains unlikely, as Jones used his 10-and-5 rights to veto a trade to the Phillies prior to the July 31 non-waiver Deadline, with family, friends and his community programs in Baltimore among the major reasons why, per Heyman.

Philadelphia's plan to have Jones platoon with lefty-swinging Nick Williams in right field may also have been a factor in Jones' refusal to approve a deal there, though the veteran hasn't indicated whether that is the case.

According to Heyman, the O's recently approached the Yankees to gauge their interest in Jones with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Clint Frazier on the disabled list, but New York is close to the luxury-tax threshold and would like to save that money in case any additional rotation solutions arise.

The Indians are another potential landing spot for Jones, as they are missing Leonys Martin, Lonnie Chisenhall and Tyler Naquin, and have received lackluster production from Melky Cabrera (.695 OPS), Brandon Guyer (.663 OPS), Rajai Davis (.601 OPS) and Greg Allen (.580 OPS).

Video: BAL@NYY: Jones on invoking no-trade clause with O's

Cubs land Murphy from Nationals

MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Cubs added some depth -- and hopefully offense -- to the roster on Tuesday, acquiring Daniel Murphy from the Nationals for Minor League infielder Andruw Monasterio, plus a player to be named or cash considerations.

The Cubs know Murphy well -- he batted .529 against them in the 2015 National League Championship Series. Murphy, 33, was batting .300 in 56 games with the Nationals this season. A left-handed hitter, he has a career .413 average (the highest all-time among players with more than 100 plate appearances) and a 1.142 OPS in 28 regular-season games at Wrigley Field, and he was 7-for-12 there earlier this month.

View Full Game Coverage

DETROIT -- The Cubs added some depth -- and hopefully offense -- to the roster on Tuesday, acquiring Daniel Murphy from the Nationals for Minor League infielder Andruw Monasterio, plus a player to be named or cash considerations.

The Cubs know Murphy well -- he batted .529 against them in the 2015 National League Championship Series. Murphy, 33, was batting .300 in 56 games with the Nationals this season. A left-handed hitter, he has a career .413 average (the highest all-time among players with more than 100 plate appearances) and a 1.142 OPS in 28 regular-season games at Wrigley Field, and he was 7-for-12 there earlier this month.

View Full Game Coverage

The Cubs claimed Murphy off waivers, then made the trade. Monasterio, 21, was batting .263 in 109 games at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach.

The Cubs (71-52) boast the best record in the NL, but the offense has been sluggish lately, scoring four runs in four games against the Pirates and batting .239 in August.

Murphy could easily take over at second base, allowing Javier Baez to shift to shortstop to give Addison Russell time to heal a sore right hand. Third baseman Kris Bryant also is still rehabbing from a left shoulder strain.

Murphy did miss more than two months to start the season following right knee surgery. He returned on June 12 and was batting .340 with a .904 OPS since the All-Star break. A left-handed batter, he was a career .299 hitter in 10 Major League seasons with the Mets and Nationals.

Murphy has participated in postseason play in each of the last three seasons, batting .323 with three doubles, eight home runs and 19 RBIs in 24 postseason games. In addition to his regular-season success at Wrigley, he also has a .368 average (7-for-19) with two home runs in four career postseason games there.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Daniel Murphy

Nats send Murphy to Cubs, Adams to Cards

MLB.com

The Nationals dealt infielder Daniel Murphy to the Cubs for Minor League infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash considerations on Tuesday.

But the Nats weren't done dealing as St. Louis reacquired Washington outfielder/first baseman Matt Adams for cash considerations.

View Full Game Coverage

The Nationals dealt infielder Daniel Murphy to the Cubs for Minor League infielder Andruw Monasterio and a player to be named or cash considerations on Tuesday.

But the Nats weren't done dealing as St. Louis reacquired Washington outfielder/first baseman Matt Adams for cash considerations.

View Full Game Coverage

• A letter to Nationals fans from Mark D. Lerner

The Dodgers reportedly claimed Bryce Harper off revocable trade waivers on Tuesday, according to Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in Washington, but the claim has expired and the former National League MVP Award winner will stay with the Nationals, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: sources: waivers have expired on Bryce harper. he is staying with nats.

General manager Mike Rizzo wouldn't say how far talks got regarding Harper, but that the club would have to have gotten a deal that made a lot of sense.

Said Harper on Tuesday: "I had no fear of being traded."

In the final year of his three-year contract, Murphy is hitting .300/.341/.442 with six homers and 29 RBIs. The 33-year-old opened the season on the disabled list while recovering from microfracture surgery on his right knee and returned to the field in June.

The Cubs know Murphy well -- he batted .529 against them in the 2015 National League Championship Series. Murphy, 33, was batting .300 in 56 games with the Nationals this season. A left-handed hitter, he has a career .413 average (the highest all-time among players with more than 100 plate appearances) and a 1.142 OPS in 28 regular-season games at Wrigley Field, and he was 7-for-12 there earlier this month.

Video: Daniel Murphy reflects on his time with the Nationals

After spending nine years in the Cardinals organization, and six with the big league club from 2012-17, Adams returns to the team that picked him in the 23rd round of the 2009 Draft. The left-handed hitter is battting .257/.332/.510 with 18 homers and 48 RBIs in 94 games this season. A free agent at the end of the season, the 29-year-old shapes up to be a power hitter who can potentially come off the bench.

Adams was in transit and is expected to join up with the team in the upcoming days.

Washington Nationals, Matt Adams, Daniel Murphy

Wilson shows promise in confident debut

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Less than five months since beginning this season at the Class A Advanced level and a little more than 24 hours after learning he would make his Major League debut, Bryse Wilson entered the history books and provided another glimpse of the pitching depth within the Braves' organization.

As he stood on the mound at PNC Park during the Braves' 1-0 win over the Pirates on Monday, Wilson added to Pittsburgh's recent offensive woes and became the youngest Major League pitcher on record to win a 1-0 game in his big league debut. The stoic 20-year-old right-hander allowed three hits and pitched around three walks over five steady innings.

View Full Game Coverage

PITTSBURGH -- Less than five months since beginning this season at the Class A Advanced level and a little more than 24 hours after learning he would make his Major League debut, Bryse Wilson entered the history books and provided another glimpse of the pitching depth within the Braves' organization.

As he stood on the mound at PNC Park during the Braves' 1-0 win over the Pirates on Monday, Wilson added to Pittsburgh's recent offensive woes and became the youngest Major League pitcher on record to win a 1-0 game in his big league debut. The stoic 20-year-old right-hander allowed three hits and pitched around three walks over five steady innings.

View Full Game Coverage

"That's about as good as it gets," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I was impressed all the way around. He carried himself like I expected."

Video: ATL@PIT: Wilson on his 1st win in the Majors

Wilson's meteoric rise through Atlanta's system was accelerated around noon ET on Sunday, when he learned he was being promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett to start Monday's game. A few hours later, he boarded the Braves' charter flight to Pittsburgh and had some time to think about all that has transpired since the Braves selected him in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft.

"It feels like forever ago," Wilson said when asked about the days he spent as a football and baseball star at Orange High School in North Carolina.

Video: ATL@PIT: Wilson escapes a jam after inducing DP

Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the 13th-best prospect in Atlanta's farm system, Wilson certainly didn't appear to be just a little more than two years removed from high school during this 87-pitch debut. He leaned on a fastball that touched 97 mph, found success with a slider that has improved significantly since he turned pro and competed with his changeup, the influential pitch he developed over the past year.

"I kind of expected to have a good year, but this year has been a lot of fun," Wilson said. "I've just been blessed with opportunities."

Wilson will return to Gwinnett's roster on Tuesday. But his debut essentially guaranteed that when rosters expand in September, he will return, either to make additional starts or to be used as a reliever. The Braves could opt to use him and another hard-throwing top prospect, Kyle Wright, to add depth to the bullpen.

• Wilson denied 1st career hit on rare 9-3 putout

"We knew this was going to be one start right now, and it was good to see," Snitker said. "He's got to feel really good about everything he's worked toward and getting a win in his first game in a game like this. You're going to see him again for probably a long time."

Wilson -- at 20 years, 243 days old -- became the youngest Major Leaguer to start a game this season. He also joined Mike Soroka and Kolby Allard as Braves starting pitchers who have made their debuts before turning 21 this year. Each earned a win in his debut.

"For as young as they are, they've been pretty impressive," said Braves outfielder Nick Markakis, who plated the lone run in Monday's victory.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves

Pazos optioned; Elias, Bradford recalled

Infielder Beckham also sent to Triple-A; Paxton playing catch; Felix to start Monday
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Lefty reliever James Pazos, one of just three relievers who'd been with the Mariners all season, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma as Seattle added Roenis Elias and Chasen Bradford to the pitching staff for Sunday's 12-1 loss to the Dodgers.

Elias was recalled from his rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma to start Sunday's game and took the loss after allowing five runs in three innings. Bradford also was brought back from Tacoma and pitched three frames of relief and allowed three more runs (two earned).

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- Lefty reliever James Pazos, one of just three relievers who'd been with the Mariners all season, was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma as Seattle added Roenis Elias and Chasen Bradford to the pitching staff for Sunday's 12-1 loss to the Dodgers.

Elias was recalled from his rehab stint with Triple-A Tacoma to start Sunday's game and took the loss after allowing five runs in three innings. Bradford also was brought back from Tacoma and pitched three frames of relief and allowed three more runs (two earned).

View Full Game Coverage

The Mariners also optioned infielder Gordon Beckham back to Tacoma prior to Sunday's series finale.

Pazos' departure is something of a surprise as he's one of just three relievers -- along with Edwin Diaz and Nick Vincent -- who have been with the Mariners since the start of the season. Pazos owns a 3-1 mark and a 2.68 ERA with 35 strikeouts and 10 walks in 40 1/3 innings over 49 appearances. He's tied for 10th in the American League with 17 holds.

But the big lefty had struggled for the past month, allowing 12 hits and nine runs (six earned) with five walks over nine innings in his last 13 appearances.

Manager Scott Servais said Pazos has been given a detailed throwing program to work on mechanical issues with the hope he can regain his fastball velocity and command and return in September to contribute for the stretch run.

"I thought through first couple months of the season, once Pazos got on a roll, he was really, really good," Servais said. "But over the last six weeks, he hasn't been as consistent with his fastball, and that's his trick. That's what he's got, a riding fastball that really plays well up in the zone.

"This is about getting him right mechanically. We really need him to be a big part of our bullpen and right now, he's just not. So let's take a step back, regroup and go from there."

With Elias starting his first game off the disabled list and having only pitched one-inning stints in his three Minor League rehab games while recovering from a strained left triceps, the Mariners need some length in the bullpen and Bradford should help there.

The 29-year-old is 5-0 with a 3.05 ERA over 44 1/3 innings this season, with 32 strikeouts and 9 walks. His 44 1/3 innings are second among Mariners relievers behind only Diaz's 61. In 11 outings of at least 1 1/3 innings pitched, he is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA, with 12 strikeouts and five walks in 22 frames.

Beckham had a pinch-hit single on Friday after being recalled from Tacoma prior to the game. He's hit .222 in 36 at-bats in 14 games with Seattle this season and .311/.411/.479 in 82 games with Tacoma.

Paxton on the mend
James Paxton, on the 10-day disabled list after getting nailed in the left forearm Tuesday in Oakland by a line drive, played catch at about 75 feet prior to Sunday's game and said everything went well.

"It felt good. No problems," Paxton said, estimating he threw at about 60-percent effort level. "There was no real stiffness or anything. Just a little achy, maybe. I think just getting the rest of the swelling out of there will help that and I think once we get the swelling out, it should be ready to go."

Video: SEA@OAK: Paxton going to DL with left forearm bruise

Paxton is expected to play catch again the next few days before getting back on the mound in a bullpen session and testing the arm with some breaking balls and more velocity. The lefty will miss at least one start this week and could come off the DL by Saturday in Arizona, though that seems unlikely.

"It's one of those things you have to work through," Servais said. "We certainly need him in the worst way. But I want him to be healthy and able to contribute when he gets back out there."

Felix back in rotation on Monday
After pitching one game in long relief after Paxton got knocked out of Tuesday's game, Felix Hernandez returns to the rotation in Monday's series opener against the Astros.

Given that Erasmo Ramirez only went five innings in a 10-inning win on Friday and Elias isn't stretched out to go very deep in Sunday's game, the Mariners need Hernandez to provide some length Monday.

"That's where we're at," Servais said. "With a bullpen day [with Elias], Pax being out, giving Marco Gonzales a couple extra days, Mike Leake has been hands-down our most-consistent guy probably throughout the whole year. Felix doesn't have to go out there and shut the world out, just go out and be competitive and throw the ball over the plate. That's the biggest thing."

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

Seattle Mariners, Gordon Beckham, Chasen Bradford, Roenis Elias

Twins place Santana on DL with finger injury

Busenitz recalled from Triple-A; Grossman reinstated from DL
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Ervin Santana, who has struggled with velocity and results in five starts since returning from right middle finger surgery, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday and could miss the rest of the season, Twins manager Paul Molitor said. He's suffered recurring symptoms related to his original injury to his third finger MCP joint.

Reliever Alan Busenitz was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot on the roster, and lefty prospect Stephen Gonsalves was in the clubhouse and will take Santana's spot in the rotation to start on Monday against the White Sox in his Major League debut. Reliever Tyler Duffey was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Gonsalves on Sunday.

View Full Game Coverage

MINNEAPOLIS -- Right-hander Ervin Santana, who has struggled with velocity and results in five starts since returning from right middle finger surgery, was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Sunday and could miss the rest of the season, Twins manager Paul Molitor said. He's suffered recurring symptoms related to his original injury to his third finger MCP joint.

Reliever Alan Busenitz was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to take his spot on the roster, and lefty prospect Stephen Gonsalves was in the clubhouse and will take Santana's spot in the rotation to start on Monday against the White Sox in his Major League debut. Reliever Tyler Duffey was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Gonsalves on Sunday.

View Full Game Coverage

Additionally, outfielder Johnny Field was optioned to Rochester as outfielder Robbie Grossman was reinstated from the DL after missing 11 games with a strained right hamstring.

"It's a combination of some discomfort, and I don't think it's working quite as well," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Santana's injury. "We all see how it's been going to this point. I'm not sure where it's going to go from here, but we just thought it made sense at this time rather than run him back out there on Tuesday. I don't know when the next time he'll pitch is going to be. We'll hopefully get another opinion on Tuesday."

Santana, 35, underwent the surgery on his right middle finger in early February but was expected to return in late April or early May. However, Santana dealt with complications, including a setback that forced him to wait until July to make his debut. His fastball velocity has been around 90 mph -- three mph less than last year -- and he's struggled with homers. His last start came on Thursday against the Tigers, when he allowed seven runs in four-plus innings, including three home runs.

Video: DET@MIN: Santana fans Reyes in the 2nd inning

"I have a little bit of discomfort right now, that's why we shut it down," Santana said. "Mostly the grip, that's where most of the pain is. You need to get it right before you do anything else. I'm going to shut it down and try to recover as fast as I can."

Santana is in the last year of his contract and the Twins aren't expected to pick up his $14-million option for next year. The 14-year veteran has a 3.68 ERA in 85 starts with Minnesota.

"It's our desire to try to find a way to support him the best way we can," Molitor said. "Sure, there's a component that what makes sense for us is going to be in there, too. He's well aware, we're well aware where he sits on next year status and all those type of things."

Gonsalves is the club's No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline. He's gone a combined 12-3 with a 2.76 ERA between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester this season. He's struck out 95 and walked 55 in 100 1/3 innings with Rochester this season.

Video: Top Prospects: Stephen Gonsalves, LHP, Twins

"I was actually struggling a little bit walking everyone," Gonsalves said. "I was effectively wild, not mixing in a whole lot of hits. I've missed bats in the past with good changeups and good spin. Hopefully, we can just go from there."

Gonsalves, 24, said he found out late Saturday he was going to make his MLB debut, and the first person he called was his grandmother.

"I shared some tears with her," Gonsalves said. "We're all very excited. My grandfather passed away three years ago, and I dedicated this season to him. They'd been at every game ever since I was a little kid. They had season tickets to the Padres when my dad was a kid. Big sports fans. Big baseball fans. She was number one."

Busenitz, who pitched in 11 games over three stints with the Twins this season, recently appeared in seven games for the Red Wings, allowing six runs on nine hits in eight innings pitched with three saves.

Grossman and Busenitz will take the vacated 25-man roster spots of Field and Santana.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Ervin Santana

Farmer gets first start of 2018 in place of Turner

Triple-A pitcher did not clear 10-day DFA period
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Buck Farmer made his first start of the season in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Twins in place of Jacob Turner, who was orignially scheduled to start.

Detroit announced on Sunday morning that Farmer would get the nod and left-hander Daniel Stumpf had been recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take the spot of Zach McAllister, who was designated for assignment following Saturday's 7-5 win.

View Full Game Coverage

MINNEAPOLIS -- Buck Farmer made his first start of the season in Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Twins in place of Jacob Turner, who was orignially scheduled to start.

Detroit announced on Sunday morning that Farmer would get the nod and left-hander Daniel Stumpf had been recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take the spot of Zach McAllister, who was designated for assignment following Saturday's 7-5 win.

View Full Game Coverage

The Tigers had originally penciled in Turner to start on Sunday, announcing on Saturday that they had purchased his contract. But later that night, the club realized that Turner, who had been designated for assignment on Aug. 10 and optioned to Toledo on Aug. 13, had not yet cleared the 10-day DFA period and thus could not rejoin the big league club.

"We had actually discussed before either going with a bullpen day or going with a starting pitcher," Detroit general manager Al Avila said. "And it just so happened that Turner's day to start fell today. So we put that into action. Then [Detroit director of baseball operations Sam Menzin] calls and said, 'Hey, I just checked, and Turner hasn't been down 10 days.' So at that time, we reversed everything."

Farmer worked 2 1/3 innings in his start on Sunday, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out two batters.

Stumpf tossed the fifth and sixth innings for the Tigers on Sunday and held the Twins scoreless. The 27-year-old struck out three batters and walked one on 27 pitches, 15 of which were strikes. 

Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said the club planned for Farmer to throw two or three innings, then the majority of Detroit's bullpen would be available. Only Victor Alcantara and Joe Jimenez, who both pitched on Saturday, are off limits.

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

Detroit Tigers, Buck Farmer

Stroman on DL; Pannone, Shafer brought up

Blue Jays option Santos, move Sanchez to 60-day DL
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays officially placed right-hander Marcus Stroman on the 10-day disabled list prior to Sunday afternoon's 10-2 loss to the Yankees.

Toronto also optioned right-hander Luis Santos to Triple-A Buffalo. As expected, the Blue Jays recalled lefty Thomas Pannone, and they also promoted right-hander Justin Shafer from Buffalo. Pannone tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on Sunday, and Shafer added a scoreless frame in his big league debut.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- The Blue Jays officially placed right-hander Marcus Stroman on the 10-day disabled list prior to Sunday afternoon's 10-2 loss to the Yankees.

Toronto also optioned right-hander Luis Santos to Triple-A Buffalo. As expected, the Blue Jays recalled lefty Thomas Pannone, and they also promoted right-hander Justin Shafer from Buffalo. Pannone tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief on Sunday, and Shafer added a scoreless frame in his big league debut.

View Full Game Coverage

The decision to place Stroman on the DL had been considered inevitable for the last couple of days. He was removed from Friday night's loss to the Yankees after four innings because of a blister issue on his right middle finger, marking his third consecutive start that was cut short by the injury.

Video: TOR@NYY: Shafer rings up Torres for first strikeout

"It has kind of been something I've prided myself on getting through, and I'm never one to bark about this being an issue, ever," Stroman said on Saturday. "I pride myself on being able to go out there and battle regardless of what I have going on, and I've gotten out there and I want to continue to go out there.

"I'm going to get through this, because that's who I am. But at this point right now I've just got to let it heal for a few days and kind of let that skin fully get back to being healthy."

Video: TB@TOR: Pannone K's Kiermaier for 1st MLB strikeout

The 24-year-old Pannone made his Major League debut earlier this month. He made three appearances out of the bullpen and allowed two runs over three innings. He is ranked Toronto's No. 27 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and he was 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in six starts for the Bisons this season.

Shafer made 32 appearances out of Buffalo's bullpen this year, posting a 2.45 ERA while striking out 29 and walking 16 over 36 2/3 innings.

The blister is another setback in what has become a frustrating 2018 campaign for Stroman. He missed approximately six weeks earlier this year because of a right shoulder injury. The product of Duke returned in late June, but after back-to-back seasons with at least 200 innings, he currently only has 100 2/3.

"Way more frustrating," Stroman admitted. "I [worked really hard] to be back this year, to get my shoulder right, and it's finally getting to the point where it feels great and to have this pop up, it sucks. It's something I have to deal with, it's something I'll get through. I usually channel and turn adversity into a positive, always, so I'll get through this.

Video: MIN@TOR: Santos strikes out Grossman to end the frame

"I know who I am as a pitcher, I know how dominant I'm going to be in this game for many, many years to come, and it's just a matter of getting this right. I'll get through it, and I'll come out stronger, like I always do."

To make room on the 40-man roster for Shafer, right-hander Aaron Sanchez was placed on the 60-day DL. Sanchez has been out since June 22 with a contusion on his right middle finger, and the move is simply procedural because he is technically eligible to return later this week. Sanchez is currently on a rehab assignment, but he is expected to need at least one more start before coming off the DL.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Thomas Pannone, Luis Santos, Justin Shafer, Marcus Stroman

Braves activate LHP Freeman, option Allard

Reliever looks to regain command in return from shoulder injury
MLB.com

ATLANTA -- Instead of sticking to their plan of giving Sam Freeman another Minor League rehab appearance, the Braves activated the left-handed reliever from the disabled list before Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Rockies.

Freeman returns to Atlanta's bullpen hoping to distance himself from the second-highest walk rate among qualified Major League relievers -- 6.13 walks per nine innings -- that led to a 5.45 ERA over 39 2/3 innings.

View Full Game Coverage

ATLANTA -- Instead of sticking to their plan of giving Sam Freeman another Minor League rehab appearance, the Braves activated the left-handed reliever from the disabled list before Sunday afternoon's series finale against the Rockies.

Freeman returns to Atlanta's bullpen hoping to distance himself from the second-highest walk rate among qualified Major League relievers -- 6.13 walks per nine innings -- that led to a 5.45 ERA over 39 2/3 innings.

View Full Game Coverage

Once Freeman allowed opponents to hit .327 with a .438 on-base percentage over 16 appearances from June 15 to July 28, the Braves placed him on the 10-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.

Freeman labored through an Aug. 12 rehab appearance for Class A Rome, but then he seemingly regained some arm strength during two appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett. He pitched around a walk in both of the scoreless innings he recorded for the Stripers.

Rookie Kolby Allard was optioned to Gwinnett to create a roster spot for Freeman, who produced a 2.55 ERA over 60 innings (58 appearances) for Atlanta last season.

Toussaint tunes up
Touki Toussaint prepped for a return to the Majors with nine strikeouts and one run allowed over six innings in Gwinnett's win over Buffalo on Saturday night. The Braves have not made an announcement, but it appears Toussaint will return to the Majors to start against the Marlins on Thursday or Friday.

Toussaint allowed one run and two hits over six innings when he made his Major League debut against the Marlins last week. MLB Pipeline ranks him as baseball's 76th-best prospect and the seventh best in the Braves' system.

Prospect watch
Third baseman Austin Riley -- Atlanta's No. 4 prospect and 43rd overall -- hit .308 with a .922 OPS and 10 homers over 222 plate appearances for Double-A Mississippi and Gwinnett before spraining his right knee on June 3. Over 146 plate appearances since returning from a month-long stint on the disabled list, he has batted .262 with a .717 OPS and just one home run.

Riley has also struck out once every 3.18 at-bats while with Mississippi and Gwinnett. His struggles have likely lessened the likelihood he will begin the 2019 season as Atlanta's third baseman. But at 21 years old, he still has plenty of time to live up to his tremendous potential.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Kolby Allard, Sam Freeman

Mariners recall Festa, send Bergman to Triple-A

MLB.com

SEATTLE -- The usual September callup came a couple of weeks early for right-hander Matt Festa, the Mariners' No. 8 prospect, on Saturday.

Festa will join the Mariners for his second big league stint of 2018 after continuing to pitch well in relief for Double-A Arkansas. In a corresponding move, reliever Christian Bergman -- who threw 2 2/3 innings of relief in Friday's 11-1 loss -- was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

View Full Game Coverage

SEATTLE -- The usual September callup came a couple of weeks early for right-hander Matt Festa, the Mariners' No. 8 prospect, on Saturday.

Festa will join the Mariners for his second big league stint of 2018 after continuing to pitch well in relief for Double-A Arkansas. In a corresponding move, reliever Christian Bergman -- who threw 2 2/3 innings of relief in Friday's 11-1 loss -- was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma.

View Full Game Coverage

Manager Scott Servais wanted to bolster his bullpen in advance of two games in which he won't be turning to one of his regular starters. Erasmo Ramirez got the nod on Saturday for his second start since returning from the disabled list, and the Mariners announced that Roenis Elias will make Sunday's start.

"Just trying to keep as many fresh arms as we can in the bullpen," said Servais. "Erasmo goes tonight and tomorrow Elias will go. I don't know how far he's going to be able to go in the game, so we want to cover as much as we can here in the next few days."

Sunday's start initially belonged to Marco Gonzales, but Servais shuffled the rotation in order to get extra rest for the lefty, who has pitched 142 1/3 innings.

"You do have to keep the big picture," Servais said. "We need Marco to be fresh and to try to keep him as fresh as possible as we go down the stretch here. He's going to be key for us."

Elias is still on the 10-day DL with a triceps strain. He tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs in a spot start vs. San Francisco as part of a 2018 campaign in which he's posted a 2.88 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Festa made his Major League debut with the Mariners right before the All-Star break in Colorado. He entered in the fifth inning, retiring two batters and allowing one inherited runner to score in a loss to the Rockies.

In 39 appearances with the Travelers, Festa posted a 2.70 ERA and converted 18 of 18 save opportunities, striking out 58 over 43 1/3 innings.

Video: Top Prospects: Matthew Festa, RHP, Mariners

Andreoli to the Orioles
Former Mariners outfielder John Andreoli was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on Saturday.

The Mariners designated Andreoli for assignment on Friday in order to make room on their 40-man roster for infielder Gordon Beckham, who was called up because of Jean Segura's paternity leave.

Seattle is very deep in the outfield, thanks to the acquisition of Cameron Maybin. The Mariners carry four outfielders on their 25-man roster -- Maybin, Mitch Haniger, Denard Span and Guillermo Heredia. They also have Ben Gamel -- who owns a .290/.360/.395 line in 200 at-bats with the Mariners this season -- stashed away in Triple-A.

In 89 games for Tacoma, Andreoli slashed .287/.397/.401. The Orioles optioned the 28-year-old to Triple-A Norfolk.

Video: SEA@OAK: Paxton exits after being hit with comebacker

Paxton progressing
James Paxton has not started throwing, but Servais said the lefty's range of motion is back to normal after he was struck on the forearm by a line drive in the first inning of Tuesday's start against the Athletics. Servais was hopeful that Paxton would start throwing within a few days.

"Hopefully he's not down too long," Servais said. "That's the big thing, the longer he's down, the longer it will take to get him back game-ready."

Daddy Jean

Segura was not in Saturday's lineup, using up the second of a maximum of three days of paternity leave. Servais said he was not sure whether Segura would play on Sunday.

Because Segura was not with the team, he missed Saturday's team photo. Instead, he posted a photo of newborn Jacob on Instagram.

David Gottlieb covers the Mariners for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DGottliebMLB.

Seattle Mariners, John Andreoli, Matt Festa

Prospect in Fiers deal sent Tigers' way

MLB.com

One of the two players to be named later from the Tigers' trade of Mike Fiers to Oakland earlier this month was named on Saturday. Reliever Nolan Blackwood, a Texas League All-Star this season at Double-A Midland, was announced as part of the deal.

The 23-year-old Blackwood, a 6-foot-5 sidearmer, ranked 30th on MLB Pipeline's list of A's prospects. The former 14th-round Draft pick two years ago out of the University of Memphis posted a 6-3 record and 4.08 ERA in 39 appearances out of the Midland bullpen this season, including nine saves. He struck out 48 batters over 53 innings while allowing 60 hits and 16 walks. With just three homers allowed, Blackwood kept the ball in the park in a generally hitter-friendly league while also providing surprising velocity for his arm angle with a 91-93 mph fastball.

View Full Game Coverage

One of the two players to be named later from the Tigers' trade of Mike Fiers to Oakland earlier this month was named on Saturday. Reliever Nolan Blackwood, a Texas League All-Star this season at Double-A Midland, was announced as part of the deal.

The 23-year-old Blackwood, a 6-foot-5 sidearmer, ranked 30th on MLB Pipeline's list of A's prospects. The former 14th-round Draft pick two years ago out of the University of Memphis posted a 6-3 record and 4.08 ERA in 39 appearances out of the Midland bullpen this season, including nine saves. He struck out 48 batters over 53 innings while allowing 60 hits and 16 walks. With just three homers allowed, Blackwood kept the ball in the park in a generally hitter-friendly league while also providing surprising velocity for his arm angle with a 91-93 mph fastball.

View Full Game Coverage

Blackwood adds a deceptive bullpen arm that has its share of power relief prospects but could use some deceptive arms to complement them. Double-A Erie closer John Schreiber is one such arm on a similar trajectory, having risen from the Tigers' 15th-round pick in 2016 to success in Erie. Blackwood is expected to join him in Erie, where he'll likely finish out the season.

The Tigers and A's still have one more player to announce in that deal. Detroit will select from a list of players agreed upon when it reached the deal to send Fiers to Oakland two weeks ago.

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

Detroit Tigers

Rodriguez joins rotation; Hellickson to DL

Milone moves to long relief; Herrera near return
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have been impressed by right-hander Jefry Rodriguez this season, from his handful of starts in the Majors to the way he has dominated the Minors lately. In his last start at Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday, he allowed just one unearned run in six innings and struck out 11. He also pitched well in his last start in the Majors on Aug. 7 against the Braves, giving up one run in five innings.

Those performances are reasons why the Nationals promoted Rodriguez to the rotation when they called him up to start Saturday's game vs. the Marlins and bumped Tommy Milone to the bullpen. Rodriguez, the Nationals' No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will take Jeremy Hellickson's spot in the club's rotation, as Hellickson was placed on the DL, retroactive to Thursday, with a right wrist sprain.

View Full Game Coverage

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals have been impressed by right-hander Jefry Rodriguez this season, from his handful of starts in the Majors to the way he has dominated the Minors lately. In his last start at Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday, he allowed just one unearned run in six innings and struck out 11. He also pitched well in his last start in the Majors on Aug. 7 against the Braves, giving up one run in five innings.

Those performances are reasons why the Nationals promoted Rodriguez to the rotation when they called him up to start Saturday's game vs. the Marlins and bumped Tommy Milone to the bullpen. Rodriguez, the Nationals' No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will take Jeremy Hellickson's spot in the club's rotation, as Hellickson was placed on the DL, retroactive to Thursday, with a right wrist sprain.

View Full Game Coverage

Hellickson, 31, is 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA in 18 starts for the Nationals. This will be his second stint on the disabled list this season.

Rodriguez has posted a 0.51 ERA with 19 strikeouts and six walks in his last three starts at Syracuse. Saturday was his fifth start for the Nationals.

"He's really attacking the strike zone and able to use his changeup a lot more," manager Dave Martinez said prior to the game. "He's getting confidence with his changeup, which allows his fastball to be that much better."

Milone slides into the bullpen as a long reliever to help provide length. His four appearances this year for the Nats have been all starts, but he has posted a 5.24 ERA.

Milone had been filling in for Stephen Strasburg in the Nats rotation, but Strasburg (neck) threw a bullpen session on Saturday and appears to be ready for his return from the DL. Although Martinez left open the possibility of Strasburg making a rehab start instead, the team has been planning for Strasburg to start Tuesday night against the division-rival Phillies at Nationals Park.

Herrea could be ready Tuesday
The Nats bullpen may get a much-needed jolt with the return of Kelvin Herrera, who could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. Herrera, who is on the DL with a right rotator cuff impingement, threw a 15-pitch simulated game Saturday afternoon and felt no discomfort in his shoulder.

He was initially scheduled to just throw a bullpen session, but Martinez wanted to see him face hitters to gauge his progress. Herrera had struggled during his tenure with the Nats, posting a 4.76 ERA and a 1.82 WHIP in 19 games before landing on the DL, but his return could help a bullpen short on reliable, healthy arms.

"I saw the ball today was coming out hot and had a lot of action," Martinez said. "Hopefully this is behind him, and come Tuesday or Wednesday, he's ready to go."

Gott optioned; Cordero promoted
The Nationals also swapped right-handed relievers on Saturday, optioning Trevor Gott to Syracuse while promoting Jimmy Cordero to the Majors. Cordero appeared in two games earlier this year for the Nats and has excelled at Triple-A Syracuse with a 1.96 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 46 innings without allowing a home run.

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

Washington Nationals, Tommy Milone, Jefry Rodriguez