Pirates send June call-up Brad Lincoln back to Triple-A

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Six weeks ago the Pirates called up top prospects Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, and Brad Lincoln, but now only the two hitters remain in Pittsburgh after Lincoln was demoted back to Triple-A yesterday.
Lincoln managed just four Quality Starts in nine outings, going 1-4 with a 6.57 ERA and 21/14 K/BB ratio in 50.2 innings. He didn’t miss many bats, didn’t induce many ground balls, and allowed opponents to hit .311 with nine homers in 206 at-bats for a .534 slugging percentage.
The former fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft took the demotion in stride, saying: “I need to clear my head and get back to where I was before I got here.”
He went 6-2 with a 3.16 ERA and 55/14 K/BB ratio in 11 starts at Triple-A to earn the promotion last month and is certainly capable of pitching much better whenever his next crack at the big leagues comes, but Lincoln’s upside isn’t the same as it was before undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2007 and he’s already 25 years old.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.