The Yankees add Kevin Whelan to the bullpen

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Yesterday Matthew ran down the immediate possibilities for the now-depleted Yankees bullpen. One of them he mentioned was Kevin Whelan, who has a 30/6 K/BB ratio and a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s closer this season.  That possibility is now a reality as the Yankees have called him up.

One would hope, if one cares about how the Yankees fare, that Whelan will provide enough stability to where Brian Cashman could focus on starters, rather than relievers, at the trade deadline. Because really, even if the bullpen is an acute problem at the moment. it’s the rotation that will need more help over the course of the next couple of months and will go farther in deciding if the Yankees can win the east or not.  Get a solid starter and the pressure is off the pen a bit, ya know?

Astros release Jon Singleton

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The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.