Padres place Tyson Ross on DL

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The Padres have placed starter Tyson Ross on the disabled list due to a left shoulder subluxation — in other words, a partial dislocation of his left shoulder. Fortunately  the injury was suffered on his non-throwing shoulder, so his pitching shouldn’t be negatively impacted when he does return. According to MLB.com’s Corey Brock, Ross expected to toss a bullpen session today, but Padres management decided to play it safe. Padres manager Bud Black explained:

“The soreness has to decrease, and there’s a strengthening component to this. We’ve got to make sure he can swing the bat and have confidence that he can field his position,” Padres manager Bud Black said.

The subluxation occurred when Ross was at the plate and took a swing on Wednesday. In response to Ross going on the DL, the Padres recalled Thad Weber, a 28-year-old who has already bounced between the Majors and Triple-A Tucson. In his only Major League appearance on April 13, Weber allowed two runs in three and two-thirds innings.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.