Cardinals demote Oscar Taveras to Triple-A

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Matt Adams’ return from the disabled list meant the Cardinals had a tough decision to make likely demoting one of their young outfielders back to the minors and they settled on sending Oscar Tavares to Triple-A.

Taveras is a better, younger prospect than Randal Grichuk, so it makes some sense that the Cardinals are more willing to let Grichuk stick around in a part-time role without consistent playing time.

Taveras homered in his first game, but hit just .189 in 11 games overall. Adams’ return means Allen Craig shifts back to right field, which is where Taveras has been playing since making his MLB debut at age 21.

Taveras is one of the best handful of prospects in baseball and doesn’t really have much left to prove in the minors after hitting .325 with seven homers and an .897 OPS in 49 games at Triple-A to begin the season, but the Cardinals’ depth means they have him on a much slower timetable than most teams would.

Felix Hernandez will miss 3-4 weeks with shoulder bursitis

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Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez is looking at a 3-4 week recovery period, the team announced on Friday. Hernandez has been officially diagnosed with bursitis in his right shoulder after getting pulled from his last start against the Tigers on Tuesday.

It’s not the first shoulder issue the 31-year-old righty has dealt with during his career. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times notes that Hernandez was previously diagnosed with bursitis during a minor league stint in 2005, several weeks prior to making his major league start for Seattle. This time around, however, the injury is coupled with a few years of not-so-sharp stuff, waning velocity and career-low numbers, and while it’s certainly not a worst-case diagnosis, it seems like greater cause for concern.

Without Felix, the Mariners will keep rolling with James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma, Ariel Miranda, Yovani Gallardo and Chase De Jong in their rotation. They’ll also keep Ben Gamel in right field, with starting right fielder Mitch Haniger expected to miss 3-4 weeks after sustaining a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique on Tuesday.

Rays acquire RHP Drew Smith from Tigers

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The Rays acquired minor league reliever Drew Smith from the Tigers on Friday, per a team announcement. The move will close the loop on the trade the two teams began in January for backup outfielder Mikie Mahtook.

Smith, 23, pitched his first full season in Single-A West Michigan in 2016, turning in a 2.96 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 11.5 SO/9 in 48 2/3 innings. The right-hander is still several levels away from making any impact on the Rays’ major league roster, but appears to be progressing steadily in two seasons of pro ball and has delivered two runs, four walks and 12 strikeouts in his first 11 2/3 innings at High-A Lakeland this season. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that he’ll be reassigned to the Rays’ High-A Charlotte this week.