Rosters expand from 25 to 40 tomorrow, but the Indians needed a spot for today’s starting pitcher, Jeanmar Gomez, and created one by optioning Matt LaPorta to Triple-A.
LaPorta will no doubt be back in September, but he’ll have to wait at least 10 days to rejoin the team unless someone is placed on the disabled list in the meantime.
LaPorta was the centerpiece of the package Cleveland got from Milwaukee for CC Sabathia and at the time the former No. 7 overall pick looked like a future middle-of-the-order impact bat, but he’s battled various injuries while hitting just .234 with a .694 OPS in 259 games for the Indians.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Arizona Diamondbacks have signed pitchers Kris Medlen and Antonio Bastardo to minor-league deals. Medlen will make $1.1 million if he breaks camp with the Snakes. Bastardo will earn at $1.5 million if he makes the team.
Medlen hasn’t pitched in the bigs since 2016 and hasn’t pitched effectively in the bigs since 2013 due to multiple Tommy John surgeries and, more recently, shoulder ailments. Last year he put up a 4.95 ERA in 20 games in the Braves’ minor league system. If he’s healthy he could be a depth guy for the Dbacks in the event one of their big league starters go down.
Bastardo pitched in nine games, ineffectively, for the Pirates before being released last season. He didn’t catch on anywhere else after that so, hey, I guess he’s fresh?