Kansas City activated Yuniesky Betancourt from the disabled list and he’s starting at second base tonight against the A’s. Not only that, he’s batting second in the lineup.
Because why wouldn’t you want a swing-at-everything hitter with a .293 career on-base percentage setting the table, right? Or something.
Betancourt has been out since May 1 with an ankle injury. Chris Getz initially filled in for him at second base, but then he got hurt as well and the Royals turned to 28-year-old career minor leaguer Irving Falu along with 24-year-old prospect Johnny Giavotella.
Falu was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Betancourt’s return and, knowing manager Ned Yost, it’ll be a while before Giavotella sees regular starts at second base again.
Free agent lefty reliever Aaron Loup has been given a locker in the Padres’ clubhouse, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reported Sunday. Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Loup received a one-year MLB deal with a club option for 2020. The Padres will shift right-hander Garrett Richards to the 60-day injured list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Loup, 31, began the 2018 season with the Blue Jays and was traded to the Phillies for minor league right-hander Jacob Waguespack at the midseason deadline. The veteran left-hander pitched just two innings in Philadelphia before hitting the injured list with a forearm strain and returned for a handful of appearances at the end of the year, bringing him up to a 4.54 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 10.0 SO/9, and 0.3 fWAR across 39 2/3 combined innings.
Assuming health issues don’t complicate his next campaign in San Diego, Loup will be added to the bullpen alongside fellow left-handers Matt Strahm and José Castillo (with the possible late addition of southpaw reliever Brad Wieck, who underwent surgery for testicular cancer earlier this year). There are worse places to be — according to FanGraphs, the Padres’ ‘pen jumped from second-worst in 2017 to second-best in the league with a cumulative 3.53 ERA, 3.31 FIP, and 8.7 fWAR in 2018.