Orioles recall Kevin Gausman, designate Freddy Garcia for assignment

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Freddy Garcia pitched well in his first month with the Orioles, starting six games with a 3.57 ERA, but the soft-tossing 36-year-old coughed up 20 runs in 17.2 innings this month and today Baltimore designated him for assignment. Garcia told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he has no plans to retire and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him latch on somewhere as a stop gap rotation fill-in.

To replace him on the roster the Orioles recalled Kevin Gausman, who was demoted to the minors after beginning his big-league career with an 0-3 record and 7.66 ERA in five starts. Gausman was the No. 4 overall pick in last year’s draft out of LSU and has a 3.96 ERA and 53/6 K/BB ratio in 52 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.

While being knocked around in his first taste of the majors Gausman averaged 95.4 miles per hour with his fastball, which would rank third-fastest among all qualified starting pitchers behind only Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.