Despite solid start, Wakefield still bullpen bound

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In his final start before giving way to Daisuke Matsuzaka in the Red Sox’s rotation, Tim Wakefield held the Orioles to two runs over 6.2 innings Sunday and afterward indicated that he’s unhappy about the impending move to the bullpen.
Terry Francona quickly tried to bring some calm to the situation by saying: “This is not us turning him into a reliever, this is us putting him in the bullpen until he starts again.”
While true in the sense that Wakefield will almost surely be back in the rotation as soon as the Red Sox need a fill-in for whatever reason, there are no actual plans for that in place.
Wakefield heads to the bullpen at 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA, .288 opponents’ batting average, and 16/8 K/BB ratio in 25 innings and Matsuzaka is scheduled to take his spot Saturday against those same Orioles after looking good on a rehab assignment.

Yankees Promote Top Prospect Gleyber Torres To Triple-A

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The Yankees probably have the best minor league system in baseball right now and the best player in that system is, without question, shortstop Gleyber Torres. Now that top prospect is a step closet to the Bronx: he has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Yankees don’t rush their prospects anywhere nearly as fast as a lot of teams do, but Torres, who is only 20, proved himself to be ready for the promotion. In 32 games at Double-A Trenton this year he hit .273/.367/.496 in 139 plate appearances. That OPS is almost 100 points higher than that which he posted in high A-ball in 2016.

Torres came over to the Yankees from the Cubs organization in the Aroldis Chapman trade last summer. At this rate he’ll be playing shortstop behind Chapman in New York before too long.

The Dodgers may use outfielder Brett Eibner as a relief pitcher

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Dodgers outfielder Brett Eibner came into yesterday’s game against the Marlins as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning. He hit a single scoring Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernandez and then advanced to second on the throw home. Overall on the year he’s 5-for-16 with a walk, two homers and six driven in eight games. Admirable work for a guy whose job is to be a bench bat and outfield depth.

As Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports, however, he could possible provide some bullpen depth too:

Eibner has thrown several bullpen sessions at Dodger Stadium and at Oklahoma City, working on building arm strength and developing secondary pitches to accompany a fastball he said hit 95 mph in college.

The idea, still in its theoretical stages, would be for Eibner to remain, primarily, a backup outfielder, but to possibly serve as an extra arm during periods when the Dodgers pen gets worked hard. Something less than an everyday reliever but something more than the gimmick of using a position player to save the real pitchers in a blowout.

In an age when teams have cut their position player depth down to the bone in the service of adding more relief pitchers, finding a guy who can do both could provide a nice little boost, no?