MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos reports that the Athletics will call up pitching prospect A.J. Puk from Triple-A Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Yankees.
Puk, 24, was selected by the A’s in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2016 draft. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the organization’s No. 2 prospect behind Jesús Luzardo, and No. 43 across the league.
Puk made his season debut on June 11 with High-A Stockton after recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 25 1/3 innings across three levels of the minors this year, Puk has allowed 16 runs (14 earned) on 21 hits and 10 walks with 38 strikeouts.
The A’s are expected to use Puk out of the bullpen. A good showing for Puk, however, could earn him some points towards earning a spot in the starting rotation going into next season.
Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.
That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.
Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.
It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.