Adam Loewen is headed back to the majors as a pitcher

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This flew under the radar a bit with the news that Chase Utley is coming off the disabled list tomorrow, but the Phillies also announced this afternoon that Adam Loewen is headed back to the majors as a pitcher.

Loewen began his career as a pitcher with the Orioles, posting a 5.38 ERA over 29 starts and six relief appearances from 2006-2008 before suffering a pair of stress fractures in his throwing elbow. He made the conversion to position player from there and appeared in 14 games as an outfielder with the Blue Jays in 2011 while batting .188 (6-for-32) with one home run and four RBI. After bouncing around the minors for a couple of years, he decided to make the move back to the mound late last season. Now 31 years old, he has posted a 2.15 ERA with a 60/32 K/BB ratio over 46 relief innings in Triple-A this year while notching 10 saves.

Assuming Loewen ends up pitching in a game, he will have gone seven years between appearances. He’s quite an interesting story to follow.

Lucas Giolito earns second shutout of season

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The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.

Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.

As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.