Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik “is running out of time”

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With the Mariners off to another bad start and seemingly headed for their fourth straight losing season Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com writes that general manager Jack Zduriencik “is running out of time.”

In talking to Rosenthal the GM stressed that patience is required because so much of his effort has involved building up the farm system and those prospects aren’t all ready yet. And he’s right, because the Mariners do have a bunch of high-upside young players nearly ready for the majors, but several supposedly high-upside players who were acquired by Zduriencik have been flops in the majors.

Since hiring Zduriencik as GM in October of 2008 the Mariners are 297-375 (.442), he’s already fired a manager and shaken up the front office, and various attempts at landing a high-profile free agent have failed. It might be that manager Eric Wedge gets fired before Zduriencik, because that’s how things tend to go, but right now the entire organization looks headed for a reboot this offseason.

Brewers claim Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Sunday that the Brewers claimed catcher Stephen Vogt off waivers from the Athletics. Vogt was designated for assignment by the Athletics on Thursday.

Vogt, 32, was an All-Star in each of the last two seasons, but struggled this year. He hit .217/.287/.357 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 174 plate appearances.

With the Brewers, Vogt will likely split time behind the plate with Manny Pina. Meanwhlie, the Athletics’ catching situation will be handled by Josh Phegley and Bruce Maxwell.

Dallas Keuchel is unlikely to return before the All-Star break

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Astros’ left-hander Dallas Keuchel might not return to the rotation before the All-Star break, Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. The club placed their star southpaw on the 10-day disabled list on June 8, retroactive to June 5, after a nerve issue was revealed in his neck.

Keuchel has taken a conservative approach to his recovery over the last several weeks, and while he appears to have made some progress, still has yet to throw off the mound. The injury interrupted the start of an outstanding run with the Astros, during which the 29-year-old lefty furnished a 9-0 record with a 1.67 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 through his first 75 2/3 innings of 2017.

According to Hinch, it’s certainly possible that Keuchel could return to the team sometime within the next two weeks, but it’s clear that the team would prefer to play it extra safe with their ace. Even assuming that he feels ready to reclaim his spot on the Astros’ pitching staff, he still needs to complete a few key activities before competing in another game — like throwing off a mound, for example. In the meantime, Lance McCullers Jr. will continue to head Houston’s rotation as they try to build on their 12.5-game lead in the AL West.

 

Hinch’s full comments are below: