Despite ugly spring, Edinson Volquez likely to wind up in the Pirates’ rotation

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Edinson Volquez has had a nightmarish spring, allowing 13 runs (11 earned) on 14 hits and five walks while striking out eight. Three of those hits are home runs. The right-hander just hasn’t been the same since a breakout 2008 season with the Reds, when he finished with a 3.21 ERA in 196 innings.

Still, Volquez is very likely to wind up at the back of the Pirates’ starting rotation, according to GM Neal Huntington, via Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. As a result, lefty Jeff Locke will either move to the bullpen or return to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

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.