As expected the Rays have called up Hideki Matsui despite the 37-year-old veteran hitting just .170 at Triple-A after signing a minor-league contract last month.
Matsui went 8-for-47 with zero homers, two doubles, and a 10/4 K/BB ratio in 13 games for Durham, seemingly showing no signs of being ready to make an impact in the majors.
He also struggled last season for the A’s, posting career-worst marks in batting average (.251), on-base percentage (.321), and slugging percentage (.375) in 141 games, and can no longer regularly play the outfield.
To make room for him on the roster the Rays optioned Stephen Vogt back to Triple-A and Matsui will earn a prorated share of $900,000.
It’s been one issue after the next for Indians reliever Andrew Miller, and on Saturday, the left-hander landed back on the 10-day disabled list with right knee inflammation. According to comments made by club manager Terry Francona, Miller’s knee has been a problem since the start of the year. The team has yet to determine a concrete timetable for his return to the bullpen.
Miller, 33, hasn’t looked like his usual sub-2.00 ERA, 2.0+ fWAR self this season, though he paired a 4.40 ERA and 6.3 BB/9 with an impressive 14.4 SO/9 across his first 14 1/3 innings. A left hamstring strain and minor back injury hampered his effectiveness on the mound, though this appears to be a more serious issue — especially given the five weeks he spent recovering from a tendon injury in his right knee last year.
In corresponding moves, the Indians designated right-hander Oliver Drake for assignment and recalled Triple-A right-handers Ben Taylor and Evan Marshall. Taylor, 25, was working on a 3.63 ERA, 1.0 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 through 17 1/3 innings in Triple-A Columbus, while 28-year-old Marshall turned in a terrific 0.77 ERA, 0.8 BB/9 and 6.9 SO/9 over his first 11 2/3 innings. Neither reliever has pitched more than a handful of innings at the big league level in 2018.