Winners of seven straight, the Pirates currently have the best record in the majors at 49-30. But not everything is going their way.
Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that Wandy Rodriguez has been shut down after he felt lingering tightness in his left forearm during his most recent throwing session. Rodriguez, who landed on the disabled list earlier this month, allowed one run in four innings during his first rehab start last Sunday with Triple-A Indianapolis and was slated to make his next outing on Monday. That obviously won’t happen now.
Rodriguez, 34, has a 3.59 ERA and 46/12 K/BB ratio in 62 2/3 innings over 12 starts this season. With A.J. Burnett still working his way back from a calf strain, it looks like we can put the talk of sending Gerrit Cole to the minors to rest for at least a little while.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.