Jose Contreras may still pitch in Japan, but it probably won’t be for the Softbank Hawks. According to Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, citing a Nikkan Sports report, the Hawks have moved on from Contreras, citing a roster crunch and uncertainty about what role he would play with the club.
According to the report, SoftBank could re-consider Contreras in the event that imports Brian Falkenborg, D.J. Houlton and Justin Germano aren’t retained or if the staff suffers an injury during the season.
It’s hard to believe that Softbank
would rather have three pitchers who combined for a 5.22 ERA in the
majors as opposed to Contreras, so the Hawks may be hoping he’ll bring
his asking price down.
However, if negotiations have truly
broken down, Contreras’ next best bet may be with the Hiroshima Carp,
based on the proximity to his son’s school, though it is not known if they have interest.
The Braves placed closer Arodys Vizcaino on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, per a team announcement on Sunday. The assignment is retroactive to June 21. While the right-hander will be eligible to return to the team within the week, it’s not clear yet how long his recovery will take.
Vizcaino, 27, has already been sidelined a week after experiencing discomfort in his right shoulder. While he was treated with a cortisone injection earlier this month, it doesn’t appear to have had the effect the Braves were hoping for. The injury derailed what has otherwise been a productive season for the right-hander: Through his first 30 appearances, he logged 15 saves with a 1.82 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 10.0 SO/9 over 29 2/3 innings. Per MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, the club is prepared to give more closing duties to rookie left-hander A.J. Minter as Vizcaino takes some time to recover, though it seems conceivable that the up-and-coming Evan Phillips will earn a few looks in the spot as well.
In corresponding moves, infielder Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment and right-hander Phillips was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett. The 23-year-old righty is poised to make his major league debut after four years in the Braves’ system. He currently sports a 2.31 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 12.9 SO/9 through 35 innings at the Triple-A level this season.