Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves have placed pitching coach Roger McDowell on administrative leave pending the outcome of their investigation into the anti-gay slurs and otherwise poor behavior he allegedly displayed toward a fan at AT&T Park last Sunday.
In the meantime, Dave Wallace — the Braves’ minor league pitching coordinator — has been named interim pitching coach. Wallace, you’ll remember, is a former pitching coach for the Mets, Dodgers and Red Sox.
McDowell apologized publicly for his actions. This move suggests that an apology may not be good enough for the Braves and Major League Baseball.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.