As expected, the Phillies have activated Brad Lidge from the disabled list after the former closer missed the first 97 games of the season with shoulder and elbow problems.
To make room on the roster and in the bullpen for Lidge they designated Danys Baez for assignment, which is a move that’s been a long time coming.
Baez signed a two-year, $5.25 million deal with the Phillies in January of 2010 and has given them 84 innings of 5.81 ERA pitching for that money.
He provided some rare value by throwing five scoreless innings in a marathon win over the Reds on May 25, but in the two months since then Baez has logged a grand total of just 12 innings … and has allowed 17 runs.
Charlie Manuel will probably work Lidge back into the bullpen mix somewhat slowly, which is a luxury made possible by Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo, but if he looks good in his first few appearances the Phillies may decide they don’t need any further relief help at the trade deadline.
Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.
Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.
Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.
Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.
Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.
As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.
You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.