Drew Silva

Kevin Gausman

Kevin Gausman returns to O’s rotation amid trade rumors

10 Comments

Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman has been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and will return to Baltimore’s rotation Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, but where will he be after July 31?

ESPN’s Buster Olney reported on Wednesday afternoon that the Orioles “appear to be willing to talk” to other teams about Gausman, who was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Louisiana State University and has appeared in games for the O’s in each of the last three seasons.

Gausman owns an underwhelming 4.31 ERA and 1.32 WHIP through 188 career major league innings, but he still carries high-level upside at age 24 and he is under contractual control through 2020.

The Orioles, like many teams, are right on the line of buyer or seller as the trade deadline approaches. They are currently 3 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race and five games back in the AL East.

Francisco Liriano to return to Pirates’ rotation on Thursday following minor neck injury

Francisco Liriano
2 Comments

Pirates southpaw Francisco Liriano was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday against the Brewers just minutes before first pitch due to tightness in his neck. But it’s only a minor thing.

Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Liriano made it through a side session Monday without issue and is scheduled to take his next turn in the rotation this Thursday night versus the Nationals. Vance Worley started in his place on Saturday night at Miller Park and surrendered five runs — four earned — over just four innings.

Liriano owns a stellar 2.98 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, and 125/39 K/BB ratio in 114 2/3 innings this season for the Pirates, who currently hold the third-best record (54-39) in Major League Baseball. They’re in the midst of a big three-game series in Kansas City.

Chris Johnson hopes the Braves trade him soon

chris johnson getty
10 Comments

Atlanta’s Chris Johnson has drawn only 16 starts this season at third base and 11 at first base, and he’s batting .258/.297/.342 in 128 plate appearances when he does play. He wants a change of scenery, as he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien this week …

“I’d be lying if I said I understood it,” Johnson said of his diminished playing time. “It just seems like there was a point from the end of last year where, you know, the ship has kind of sailed, and it was just hard. So hopefully something (a trade) gets done.”

Johnson had a .653 OPS, 10 home runs, and 58 RBI in 153 games last season as the Braves’ everyday third baseman and an .816 OPS with 12 homers and 68 RBI in 142 games the year before.

Johnson is owed $7.5 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017, so it may be a little tough to find a taker.

Blue Jays sign Joba Chamberlain to minor league contract

joba chamberlain getty
18 Comments

As first reported by Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Blue Jays have reached agreement on a minor league deal with reliever Joba Chamberlain.

Joba was cut loose by the Tigers before the All-Star break after posting a 4.09 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, and 15/5 K/BB ratio across 22 innings. He doesn’t seem to be much of a weapon anymore at age 29, but the Blue Jays are desperate for pitching help of any kind.

Entering play Tuesday, the Toronto pitching staff (starters and relievers) had a combined 4.10 ERA. That ranks 23rd out of the 30 major league teams.

Chamberlain will presumably join the bullpen at Triple-A Buffalo for now.

Jed Lowrie, out since April with a torn thumb ligament, finally cleared to play rehab games

Jed Lowrie
Leave a comment

MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that Astros infielder Jed Lowrie has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Wednesday evening with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.

Lowrie has been on the disabled list since suffering a ligament tear in his right (throwing-side) thumb back in late April. That thumb injury required surgery and Lowrie was given a three-month recovery timetable, which is going to prove to be pretty accurate.

Carlos Correa has taken over at shortstop for the Astros and obviously won’t be moving anywhere, so Lowrie’s playing time down the stretch will come primarily at the hot corner and as an off-the-bench bat.

Lowrie is a switch-hitter and Houston’s starting third baseman, Luis Valbuena, hits left-handed.

Lowrie was slashing .300/.432/.567 with four home runs and 10 RBI through his first 18 games this year for the Astros. He’ll be a nice weapon in whatever role over the final two months of regular-season play.