The Rangers acquired right-handed reliever Paolo Espino from the Brewers for cash considerations, the teams announced Saturday. Espino was designated for assignment on Wednesday to clear space on the 40-man roster for Triple-A right-hander Aaron Brooks. Espino will assume fellow right-hander Tanner Schepper’s place on the Rangers’ active roster and is expected to report to Triple-A Round Rock.
The 30-year-old rookie totaled just six appearances in the big leagues this season, compiling a 6.11 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.6 SO/9 over 17 2/3 innings. He adjusted his command to much better results in Triple-A Colorado Springs, and polished off 75 2/3 innings there with a 4.52 ERA, 1.7 BB/9 and 8.7 SO/9.
Espino isn’t a huge get for the Rangers. He’s more journeyman than proven veteran and has struggled to produce consistent results over the last several seasons. Still, he could get another shot at the majors in September and, at the very least, will give the club some organizational depth as they try to close their two-game gap in the wild card standings.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.