Bartolo Colon lands on 15-day DL with strained left hamstring

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As expected, the Yankees placed starter Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained left hamstring. The official news comes via Dan Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.

Colon suffered the injury in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-0 defeat of the Indians.

He allowed only two hits over 6 2/3 frames before exiting that start and has been just as reliable for almost the entire 2011 regular season. A shot-in-the-dark free agent signing this winter, the 38-year-old Colon has registered a stellar 3.10 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across 78 1/3 innings as a first-time wearer of the Yankees’ pinstripes. He’s tallied 72 strikeouts and just 18 walks.

The Yanks recalled 24-year-old Hector Noesi from Triple-A in a corresponding move. He posted a 1.76 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings of relief for New York earlier this season and has been operating as a starter in the minor leagues. Perhaps he’ll get the first crack at the Yanks’ now-vacant rotation spot.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.