Los Angeles’ catching duo of Tim Federowicz and Drew Butera has been incredibly bad this season while subbing for the injured A.J. Ellis, hitting a combined .143 with a .393 OPS.
That’s some pitcher-caliber hitting, so the Dodgers have decided to demote Federowicz back to the minors and call up veteran Miguel Olivo from Triple-A.
The good news is that Olivo was hitting .390 with four homers and a 1.099 OPS in 15 games at Triple-A.
The bad news is that Olivo is 35 years old and has hit a combined .222 with a .633 OPS during the past three seasons. And even while lighting up Triple-A recently he posted a ghastly 19/3 K/BB ratio. He can’t help but be an improvement over Federowicz and Butera, but Olivo is a pretty awful hitter himself.
They need Ellis to get healthy.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.