Dodgers turn to Bobby Abreu with Juan Rivera injured

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Bobby Abreu was signed as a bench bat, but he may be in line for regular starts as the Dodgers left fielder thanks to Juan Rivera’s hamstring injury.

Rivera, who’s been splitting time between first base and left field, was placed on the disabled list after hitting just .247 with a .634 OPS in 25 games. Abreu’s lack of range at age 38 will hurt the Dodgers’ defense, but he remains capable of getting on base at a good clip, particularly if spotted mostly versus right-handed pitching.

Triple-A call-up Scott Van Slyke could also see some starts in left field and a platoon between the lefty hitting Abreu and righty hitting Van Slyke would make sense for manager Don Mattingly.

Cardinals move Luke Weaver to the bullpen

Luke Weaver
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Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver has been reassigned to the bullpen, manager Mike Shildt announced Sunday. Fellow righty Daniel Poncedeleon will take his spot in the rotation for the time being, though it’s still unclear whether Weaver’s demotion is a permanent one or not.

Still, it’s not the most surprising of moves, especially as the club advances toward a potential playoff berth in October. Weaver, 24, has struggled to find his groove this season after putting up a 6-11 record in 24 starts and a 4.67 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2018. During two of his last three outings in August, he was pulled before the fifth inning, citing mechanical issues with his delivery that may be impacting his fastball location and delivery and having an adverse effect on his results — and those of the team — as well.

Poncedeleon, on the other hand, appears primed to take on more responsibility following an impressive run with the Cardinals this summer. He maintained a sub-3.00 ERA through his first six appearances, issuing four runs, nine walks, and 10 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t handled more than one start in the big leagues, his track record in the minors speaks to his ability to get consistent results on the mound: he went 9-3 in 17 starts at Triple-A Memphis with a 2.15 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 10.1 SO/9 across 92 innings. He’s scheduled to cover for Weaver on Tuesday against the Pirates and will presumably continue to pitch out of the rotation for the remaining six weeks of the season.