As expected the A’s have placed Coco Crisp on the disabled list with an inner-ear infection, calling up Michael Taylor from Triple-A to replace him on the roster and in the outfield.
Taylor was a top prospect when the A’s acquired him from the Blue Jays via the Phillies in mid-2009, ranking No. 29 on Baseball America‘s list the next spring, but his stock has dropped since then and now he’s getting his first extended look in the majors at age 26.
Taylor was hitting well at Triple-A with a .347 batting average and .938 OPS in 23 games, but in 273 total games at the level he’s hit .280 with a modest .439 slugging percentage.
Crisp has been battling dizziness, head congestion, and various other symptoms, so it’s unclear how quickly he’ll be able to return after beginning the season in a 13-for-67 (.194) slump.
The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.
Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.
While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.