Free agent right-hander Jumbo Diaz has signed a minor league contract with the Marlins, per a report from SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. Diaz elected free agency from the Astros last November and had yet to find a landing place for the 2018 season. The club has not officially confirmed the signing.
Diaz, 33, was claimed off waivers by the Rays last March. He went 1-4 in 31 relief appearances and turned in a career-worst 5.70 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.4 SO/9 in 30 innings. In July, the righty signed a minor league deal with the Astros and found considerably more success with the club’s Triple-A affiliate, producing a 2.92 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 in 12 1/3 innings.
The deal presumably comes with an invitation to major league spring training, where Diaz will compete for a bullpen spot among the likes of fellow right-handers Kyle Barraclough, Junichi Tazawa, Drew Steckenrider, Nick Wittgren and Brian Ellington. According to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, the Marlins are considering an eight-man bullpen again in 2018 as they look to bolster a questionable rotation. They ranked 23rd among all major league bullpens in 2017 with a collective 4.40 ERA and 2.0 fWAR.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.