Orioles sign Nationals castoff Luis Ayala


Released by the Nationals yesterday, veteran reliever Luis Ayala has already found a new home with the Orioles, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Ayala is 35 years old, averaged under 90 miles per hour with his fastball last season, and has never topped 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings in his career, but his ERAs the past three seasons have been 3.27, 2.64, and 2.09

Worst-case he’s merely a depth pickup to stash at Triple-A, but he certainly looks capable of helping in a middle-relief role and pitched well for the Orioles in 2012 with a 2.64 ERA and 51/14 K/BB ratio in 75 innings.

Steven Souza diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle

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Steven Souza looked like he sustained a major shoulder injury after diving for a ball and missing on Wednesday night. Turns out, though, that it is not nearly as bad as it could’ve been: he has a strained pectoral muscle. That’ll only keep him out “a couple of weeks” according to Dbacks manager Torey Lovullo.

Good news for Souza and the Diamondbacks, who are counting on their new right fielder’s power to help offset the loss of J.D. Martinez, who helped the Dbacks to the playoffs with his second half home run outburst. He hit 30 with Tampa Bay last year and would seem poised to at least match that given Chase Field’s more hitter-friendly reputation.

Until Souza returns Jarrod Dyson and Yasmany Tomas will likely cover right field.