As part of a series of corresponding roster moves today the Marlins have called up stud pitching prospect Andrew Heaney from Triple-A for what will be his big-league debut at age 23.
Heaney was the ninth overall pick in the 2012 draft and ranked 30th on Baseball America’s prospect list coming into this season, improving his stock even further by posting a 2.47 ERA and 79/15 K/BB ratio in 77 innings between Double-A and Triple-A.
He projects as a potential No. 1 or No. 2 starter with a low-90s fastball and good off-speed pitches, and Heaney will step into the rotation spot created by designating veteran left-hander Randy Wolf for assignment. His debut will be Thursday against the Mets.
In other moves, the Marlins also placed outfielder Christian Yelich on the disabled list with a back injury, recalled 22-year-old outfield prospect Jake Marisnick from Triple-A, and designated for assignment veteran right-hander Kevin Slowey. It’s a busy afternoon in Miami.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.