Nationals return Jesus Flores to Triple-A after brief comeback

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After missing most of 2009 and all of 2010 with shoulder problems Jesus Flores made it back to the majors last week for his first game action since September 12, 2009, singled in his first at-bat … and is now going back to Triple-A.

Flores’ comeback story is a good one, but when the Nationals called him up last week I wondered what exactly they planned to do with a third catcher when Wilson Ramos and Ivan Rodriguez were both playing regularly behind the plate. It turns out they didn’t plan to do anything with him, so after a grand total of two at-bats in nine days they optioned Flores to Triple-A to make room on the roster for utility man Brian Bixler.

Here’s what manager Jim Riggleman said about the move:

We’re carrying three catchers, and we just don’t really think it’s doing Jesus much good here. The opportunities and the need are not arising that often. We need to get him back down there playing.

He’s right, of course, but it just seems odd that Riggleman and the Nationals couldn’t connect those dots before actually calling Flores up to sit on the bench for two weeks. It’s possible that Flores could share time with Ramos next season after Rodriguez leaves as a free agent, but the Nationals trading him at midseason to a team that still views the 26-year-old as a potential starter behind the plate makes the most sense.

Indians sign Marc Rzepczynski

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The Cleveland Indians announced this afternoon that they have signed reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.

Rzepczynski was released by the Mariners earlier this month after 18 games in which he allowed nine runs in seven and two-thirds innings. A lot of that damage came at the hands of right-handed hitters, which he probably shouldn’t be facing, so maybe Terry Francona will get some better luck by deploying him a bit more judiciously.

He’s still being paid by the Mariners for the final few months of the two-year, $11 million deal he signed before the 2017 season, so it’s worth it for the Indians to try and see if they can get anything out of him.