Update: Hundley was placed on the disabled list prior to Friday’s game, making room for Phillips.
It hasn’t put him on the DL, but Nick Hundley is unavailable for Friday’s game with a strained right oblique, forcing the Padres to call up a third catcher in Kyle Phillips.
Although he’s slumping lately, Hundley has been the Padres’ best hitter this season, amassing a .263/.336/.421 line, three homers and 12 RBI in 95 at-bats. After opening the season in the eight hole, he’s spent time batting fourth and fifth recently.
Taking his place tonight is ex-Mariner Rob Johnson, who won the Padres’ backup catcher gig by default after Gregg Zaun retired this spring. He’s 8-for-27 with a homer and 11 strikeouts in limited action.
Phillips, the younger brother of former big-leaguer Jason Phillips, will be making his major league debut nine years after being drafted by the Twins. He was hitting .316/.341/.447 in 76 at-bats for Double-A San Antonio.
(And, yes, that is a picture of Nick Hundley. You just have to look really closely.)
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.