The Diamondbacks will open play tonight 9.5 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West and seven back for a Wild Card spot, but while it will take a remarkable run to secure a playoff spot, they are getting reinforcements back for the stretch run. Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that catcher Miguel Montero and infielder Eric Chavez have been activated from the disabled list while infielder Matt Davidson and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch have been optioned back to the minors.
Montero has been out all month with a lower back strain. This has been a disappointing year for the 30-year-old backstop, as he owns a .228/.316/.345 batting line to go along with nine home runs and 34 RBI, but the Diamondbacks will have to hope that the extended rest will allow him to finish strong.
Chavez, sidelined since August 9 with hip and knee injuries, is batting .299/.343/.526 with nine home runs and 40 RBI in 62 games this season. His return gives Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson the ability to rely on Martin Prado more in left field moving forward.
Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.
Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.
Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.
Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.
Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.