Veteran right-handed reliever Luis Ayala was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Braves on Tuesday due to anxiety disorder, the team announced.
The news comes straight out of left field, given that Ayala has spent nine years in the big leagues without any public hint of previous problems. However, he is on a new team in Atlanta after the Orioles traded him earlier this month. The Braves became his seventh franchise when they picked him up for Chris Jones on April 10. He’s allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings since joining the team.
Ayala arrived in the majors in 2003 and immediately became a quality setup man for the Expos, picking up 10 wins, five saves and 19 holds as a rookie. He blew out his elbow in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, but returned and had a decent 2007 season for the Nationals. Things went downhill in 2008 and it looked like his career was just about over when he gave up 10 runs in 7 2/3 innings for the Marlins in 2009, but after spending the entirety of 2010 in the minors, he put together impressive showings in the majors for the Yankees in 2011 (2.09 ERA in 56 IP) and the Orioles last year (2.664 ERA in 75 IP).
David Carpenter was called up to replace Ayala in Atlanta’s bullpen.
Update: Braves GM Frank Wren shed a little light on the situation early this evening:
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.