Given that — as Bernie Miklasz noted in his evisceration of the Cardianls’ bullpen today — Miguel Batista was averaging 5.83 walks per nine innings and 15.43 base runners per nine innings, he was likely not long for the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen. And today his run there ended: the Cards have given Batista his unconditional release.
Batista started the year deceptively strong — his ERA was low anyway, which doesn’t necessarily tell you what you need to know about a reliever — but he crashed to Earth in June. Last night was the final straw, as he came into the game with the bases loaded, promptly walked the first two men he faced and then allowed a two-run single. A terrible few moments in what was already a terrible inning for St. Louis.
In his place comes Lance Lynn, recalled from Memphis. He has started and relieved, but he’ll be doing long man work for Tony La Russa. Most likely in a more effective fashion than Batista who, really, may have thrown his last pitch in the majors.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.