The Mariners announced this evening that outfielder Michael Saunders has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder sprain. Endy Chavez has been called up from Triple-A Tacoma to replace him on the roster.
Saunders suffered the injury last night against the Astros when he crashed into the right field fence while catching a ball off the bat of Jose Altuve. While he’ll be sidelined for at least the next 15 days, he told Larry Stone of the Seattle Times that he hopes to not miss much time.
The Mariners are going with Michael Morse, Franklin Gutierrez and Raul Ibanez from right to left in the outfield tonight against Rangers’ right-hander Justin Grimm. Jason Bay, who beat out Casper Wells for a roster spot during spring training, should get some starts against southpaws. The newly-added Chavez will spell Gutierrez in center field if he needs a day off.
Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.
Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.
Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.
Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.
Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.