From beat writer Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic comes word that the Diamondbacks have activated right-handed starter Brandon McCarthy from the disabled list and designated reliever Tony Sipp for assignment to open up a roster spot.
McCarthy wound up missing all of June and July with a right shoulder injury. He will return to the Snakes’ rotation for Sunday’s series finale with the Red Sox.
Sipp, a 30-year-old southpaw, had registered a 3.86 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 37/18 K/BB ratio through 32 2/3 innings of relief this season for Arizona. He has held left-handed batters to a .220/.301/.410 slash line in his five-year major league career and could draw some interest on waivers from contending teams seeking a left-handed relief specialist.
The Tampa Bay Rays have signed lefty swingman Ryan Merritt to a minor league contract. Nah, it’s not a big signing but we’ll take anything today.
Merritt, who has spent his entire career in the Indians organization, spent the entire 2018 season at Triple-A Columbus. It wasn’t a bad year for him — he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 52/2 K/BB ratio in 13 starts and two relief appearances covering 71.1 innings — but the Tribe just couldn’t find a role for him at the big league level. He has shown in the past, however, that he can hack it in the bigs, having posted a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings with the Indians between 2016-2017.
His thing is that he simply doesn’t strike guys out at anything approaching a typical clip for a big leaguer: 3.7 per nine innings in his small sample of major league outings and 6.3 Ks per nine innings in the minors. Which, while it may not prevent him from having success at the big league level, is likely a reason for the limited number of chances he’s been given.
The Rays are probably the best place he could go, frankly. They’ve shown themselves willing to utilize guys in unique ways and are more likely than most teams to find places to spot a lefty control specialist who has shown he can both start and come out of the pen.