Los Angeles showed patience with Jerry Sands by sticking with the rookie despite a very slow start and he rebounded with a solid May, but after beginning this month in a 1-for-17 slump the Dodgers have demoted him back to Triple-A.
Sands’ overall numbers aren’t pretty, as he hit just .200 with two homers and a .622 OPS in 41 games. He showed good plate discipline and some gap power with 10 doubles, but also struck out 33 times in 144 trips to the plate.
Trent Oeltjen takes Sands’ place on the roster and it’ll be much easier for manager Don Mattingly to leave a veteran minor leaguer on the bench than it would have been for him to sit a 23-year-old top prospect. Of course, there’s an argument to be made for the Dodgers simply sticking with Sands considering they’re 29-34 and the alternatives are proven mediocrities Marcus Thames and Tony Gwynn Jr.
Sands will be back at some point this season, perhaps as the starting first baseman if the Dodgers finally decide to dump James Loney.
The Brewers have signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year, $5.35 million contract. There are some performance incentives in the deal that could push it to $6.85 million. Feliz will likely open the 2017 season as the Brewers’ closer.
The 28-year-old righty is coming off of an impressive season with the Pirates. His hits allowed per nine innings were WAY down and his WHIP dipped sharply as well, despite the fact that he walked a few more dudes. That was offset by a big spike in his strikeout rate: from 7.3/9IP in 2015 to 10.2 last year. A blemish: he missed the last month of the season after suffering a bout of arm soreness, though no structural problem was ever uncovered, he’ll likely be good to go next month.
The Miami Marlins have acquired starting pitcher Dan Straily from the Cincinnati Reds. In exchange, the Reds will receive right-handed pitching prospects Luis Castillo and Austin Brice and outfield prospect Isaiah White.
For the Marlins, they get a solid starter who logged 191.1 innings of 113 ERA+ ball last year. Straily has moved around a lot in his five big league seasons — the Marlins will be his fifth club in six years — but it was something of a breakout year for him in Cincinnati. The only troubling thing: he tied for the league lead in homers allowed. Of course, pitching half of his games in Great American Ballpark didn’t help that, and Miami will be a better place for him.
Castillo is 24. He split last season between high-A and Double-A — far more of it in A-ball — posting a 2.26 ERA over 24 starts. Austin Brice is also 24. He pitched 15 games in relief for the Marlins last year at the big league level with poor results. He seemed to blossom at Triple-A, however, after the Marlins shifted him to the pen. White was a third round pick in the 2015 draft. He played low-A ball as a minor leaguer last year, hitting .214/.306/.301.
A mixed bag of young talent for the Reds, but stockpiling kids and seeing what shakes out is what a team like the Reds should be doing at the moment. For the Marlins: a solid mid-to-back end starter who may just be coming into his own.