Designated for assignment by the White Sox last week, Lastings Milledge has cleared waivers and accepted and assignment to Triple-A, according to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune.
That means he’ll remain in Chicago’s organization, but won’t take up a spot on the 40-man roster and can’t be called up again unless the White Sox add him to the roster first (in which case they’d have to waive him again prior to another trip to Triple-A).
Milledge’s stock has obviously plummeted in recent years, as he’s gone from one-time top prospect to clearing waivers at age age 26, but I’m still somewhat surprised that another team didn’t take a flier on him as a backup outfielder.
He’s a good defender in either corner spot who can fake center field for short stretches at a time, and while his overall offensive game hasn’t developed as hoped Milledge is a career .287 hitter with a .793 OPS versus left-handed pitching. As a fourth outfielder or the right-handed-hitting portion of a platoon, he’s still useful.
Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.
There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.
The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.