It’s kind of fitting that, on the same day, an all-time “what happened to that guy” guy like Andy Marte signed with someone, that another one does too: Wily Mo Pena signed with the Diamondbacks.
It’s a minor league deal with an invite to camp, paying him $675,000. Given the way he raked in limited play in Portland last year — .324/.390/.556 — he’s definitely worth a shot. Worst case, you let him go. Best case: he turns into Carlos Pena redux: a guy who everyone thought could put it together some day, didn’t for a long time, and then finally figured it out later.
I don’t know that I’d bet on it — Carlo Pena always had good plate discipline in his favor whereas Wily Mo doesn’t — but it’s a low risk, high upside proposition. And he has a better shot at helping his team than Andy Marte does, I’d wager.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.