Padres ink Hector Ambriz to minor league contract

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According to MLB.com’s Corey Brock, the Padres have signed right-hander Hector Ambriz to a minor league contract. He is already ticketed for Triple-A El Paso — the Padres’ new Pacific Coast League affiliate — and will operate there as organizational relief depth.

Ambriz posted a rough 5.71 ERA and 1.76 WHIP in 36 1/3 innings last season out of the Astros’ bullpen. He owns a 5.37 career ERA, a 1.67 career WHIP, and a 7.4 K/9 in 104 total innings at the major league level.

The 29-year-old was a fifth-round pick of the Diamondbacks in the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft.

Phillies option Hector Neris to Triple-A

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The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.

It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.

Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.