Eduardo Sanchez has been fantastic for the Cardinals, quickly ascending to a prominent bullpen role by throwing 29 innings with a 1.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts, but now the 22-year-old’s rookie campaign is on hold thanks to a shoulder injury.
Sanchez left the team and traveled back to St. Louis for an MRI exam yesterday that revealed no structural damage, but the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list anyway and general manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that returning in 15 days is no sure thing.
Strauss writes that Mitchell Boggs, who just a couple weeks ago was demoted to the minors for the stated purpose of getting work as a starter, will be elevated into a higher-leverage bullpen role in Sanchez’s absence.
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.