The Braves scratched infielder Alberto Callaspo from tonight’s lineup against the Dodgers and now we have an explanation on the reason for the last-minute change:
Chris Johnson has been rehabbing a left hand injury and is expected to come off the disabled list later this week, so Bowman speculated earlier tonight that Callaspo’s days with the Braves were likely coming to an end. That Gonzalez is talking about it so openly means it’s inevitable, whether we’re talking about a trade or him being designated for assignment.
Callaspo signed a one-year, $3 million contract with Atlanta over the winter, but he showed up to spring training out of shape and has struggled as a part-time player this season. The 32-year-old is batting just .206 with one home run and a .545 OPS over 123 plate appearances. He has just three hits in his last 28 at-bats. He struggled last season as well, so it’s hard to see much of a market for him right now unless the Braves eat the great majority of his contract.
Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.
Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.
Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.