The honeymoon is over.
Willie Bloomquist, who hit .394 with eight runs scored and six steals in his first seven games with the Diamondbacks, went on the disabled list Monday because of a strained hamstring suffered during Thursday’s game.
Veteran utilityman Josh Wilson was called up to replace him.
Bloomquist had been slumping of late anyway, going 6-for-29 with three runs scored since his fast start. The Diamondbacks are playing Gerardo Parra regularly in left field because of Bloomquist’s injury, and he’s responded by going 7-for-16 over the last four games.
When Bloomquist returns, it will probably be to a significantly lesser role. He spent the first week of the season replacing an injured Stephen Drew at shortstop, and the move to left came as a way to keep his hot bat in the lineup after Drew returned.
Somewhat disappointing is that the Diamondbacks didn’t use the opportunity to promote the red-hot Wily Mo Pena from Triple-A Reno. Pena, who has hit .420/.473/.820 with six homers in the early going, could have provided Parra with some serious competition in left. However, with Melvin Mora banged up and neither he nor Ryan Roberts able to function as much more than an emergency shortstop, another infielder was needed.
According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain has a deal with the Brewers. No confirmation or terms of the contract have been confirmed by the team yet.
Chamberlain, 31, had a promising resurgence in the Indians’ bullpen during 2016. He shaved his ERA down to a modest 2.25 mark over 20 innings with Cleveland, paired with an 8.1 SO/9 and less-than-stellar 5.0 BB/9 rate. Over a decade in the major leagues, the right-hander holds a career 3.81 ERA, 8.8 SO/9 and 3.7 BB/9 rate.
The veteran righty was released by the Indians in July after refusing re-assignment. He’s expected to compete for a major league role this spring.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.