Texas is reportedly shopping reliever Koji Uehara, but that didn’t stop the Rangers from adding some bullpen depth by signing right-hander Sean Green and left-hander Mitch Stetter to minor-league contracts.
Both pitchers will get invitations to spring training, although it’ll be tough for them to claim spots in the Rangers’ deep bullpen even if Uehara is traded.
Green has been a pretty typical middle reliever, with a 4.41 career ERA, mediocre strikeout rates, and iffy control to go along with a high-80s fastball. His biggest strength is inducing ground balls and avoiding homers, which could play well in Texas if he ever got the opportunity.
Stetter was very effective for the Brewers in 2008 and 2009, but the 31-year-old lefty has spent most of the past two seasons in the minors or on the disabled list and even when healthy his fastball tops out in the mid-80s.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.