Now that Michael Wacha and Jaime Garcia are both on the disabled list with shoulder injuries, the Cardinals are calling up one of their top prospects to help bolster their starting rotation.
As first reported by television announcer Dan McLaughlin, the Cardinals are promoting left-hander Marco Gonzales. He’ll make his major league debut Wednesday against the Rockies at Coors Field.
It’s been a rapid rise for Gonzales, who was selected No. 19 overall out of Gonzaga in last June’s First-Year Player Draft. The 22-year-old owns a 2.08 ERA and 101/26 K/BB ratio over his first 99 2/3 innings in pro ball. He began this season with High-A Palm Beach and has thrived since a promotion to Double-A Springfield last month.
Gonzales might not be up for long depending on how things play out in the coming weeks, including Joe Kelly’s recovery from a hamstring strain, but the Cardinals clearly aren’t afraid to be aggressive with their young arms. In case you haven’t noticed, health is an unexact science for pitchers, so a contending team might as well use the best talent available if they feel they are ready for the responsibility.
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.
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.