One month into the season, the rosters begin to shift a little bit. Certain players being held back in Extended Spring Training to start the season begin to be given assignments. Further, minor league players who were released out of Spring Training by their former teams are beginning to sign. Read below to see all of what organizational changes transpired during this past week.
The week began with Jeremy Guthrie going down with a sore shoulder from a biking accident. The pitcher was placed on the disabled list on short notice before a start, and Guillermo Moscoso was recalled from AAA to take his place in the rotation, being the most convenient option in terms of pitching schedule. Moscoso, as you may remember, exhausted his optional assignments last week, but remember that options are counted on a seasonal basis, meaning we can continue to send Moscoso to the minors until the end of the 2012 season.
Josh Outman and Jorge De La Rosa began rehab assignments with the Modesto Nuts this week. Outman also participated in rehab outings with both Tulsa and Colorado Springs. Outman was originally slated to be a lefty long reliever to start the season. The Rockies may still choose to find room for him at the MLB next week, but it is also a possibility that he will be optioned to the minors to attempt to recapture his lost MLB roster spot. De La Rosa is on a rehab plan that will last five more starts (putting him at exactly the 30 day rehab limit), meaning the earliest we can expect to see him activated is early June. If there are any setbacks at all during this month, however, expect DLR to be pulled from rehab and his return delayed as a result.
Finally, much of course has been made of the decision to option a struggling Jhoulys Chacin to the Sky Sox. The move occurred Wednesday but did not become official until Thursday, as the transaction was filed after the game. The option won't be burned officially until he has been on assignment for 20 days, as per usual. If it is burned, it will be his final regular option. Chacin could qualify for a bonus if he doesn't pitch a full pro season in 2012, but this is unlikely. Carlos Torres is expect to be purchased and recalled to fill the MLB 25 Man Roster; that move will be covered in next week's article.
One last note: Charlie Blackmon's optional assignment became officially burned yesterday. It is his first assignment, meaning he has two more option seasons remaining.
For the minors, check under the jump.AAA
A flurry of activity for the Sky Sox this week, centered around injuries. Wil Nieves became the second Sky Sox catcher to be sidelined by injury (foot sprain). Dallas Tarleton, who was taking time off on the inactive list from his regular duty at Modesto, was promoted to the Sky Sox as an emergency replacement so they wouldn't be left with Matt McBride and Jordan Pacheco as the only players on the roster who could catch (neither player is a full time catcher).
Christian Friedrich was activated from the disabled list to replace Moscoso in the rotation upon the latter's recall to the Rockies. Tyler Johnson, who was assigned to the Sky Sox from Extended Spring Training when Zach Putnam made his one day stop with the Rockies last week just in case the Sox needed an extra bullpen arm, was activated from the Reserve List and immediately placed on the 7 Day Disabled List.
The injuries kept on coming as relief pitcher Stephen Dodson hit the DL with a hamstring problem. The Sky Sox were carrying an extra bullpen member at the time, allowing the team to activate utility player Wilkin Castillo from the disabled list to take the open spot. The return of Castillo, who is another player with significant catching experience, allowed the team to return Tarleton back to the Modesto Nuts. Filling Tarleton's spot on the roster is a familiar name, Brandon Hynick. Hynick was traded from the Rockies to the White Sox in 2009 for Jose Contreras, and is p[robably most famouas for throwing a 7 inning perfect game for these very Sky Sox. Hynick was released out of Spring Training by the Reds, and was picked up by his original organization. He will take Carlos Torres' spot in the AAA rotation until, presumably, Chacin fills it. Chacin is currently sitting on the Sky Sox reserve list.
Finally, outfielder Brandon Roberts returned to the Sky Sox after recovering from a severe concussion he suffered several weeks ago. Charlie Blackmon's lingering toe problems returned the prospect to the MiLB disabled list after struggling since returning from the MLB disabled list.
The most stable organization of the year so far, the Drillers saw no roster moves this week aside from Josh Outman's rehab stint, which does not affect the rest of the roster. Though Tulsa is no longer going with a four man rotation, the roster spot originally vacated by Drew Pomeranz still remains open. It is a mystery what they are waiting for; it still may be Chad Bettis, but as was pointed out in Andrew Fisher and Matthew Muzia's farm report, there has been no conclusive news, positive or negative, towards a Bettis return. Either way, the Drillers seem to be doing just fine one position player short. Keep in mind that this is the roster size the Texas League played with just one year ago, with AAA and AA rosters expanding a player under the new CBA, so this is nothing new.
The only roster move besides Outman and De La Rosa's rehab stints was Bryce Massanari being sent to the Temporarily Inactive List with the return of Dallas Tarleton. Having begun the season with three catchers (Tarleton, Massanari and Dustin Garneau), the move of Tarleton followed by the movie of Massanari suggests that the team may be struggling to keep all three on the roster at once, a possible precursor to a demotion or release of one of these players. The Nuts are still waiting for several injured players to return, including Joey Wong and Bruce Kern.,
Jordan Ribera, who had been in EST in Arizona nursing an injury sustained during Spring Training, filled the empty roster spot vacated by Juan Perez after being promoted to Asheville last week. The Tourists continue to be one player short, however. After evaluating the situation, the Tourists finally put outfielder David Kandilas on the disabled list after he was rested for enough time to place the entire placement onto a retroactive assignment (meaning that Kandilas can be activated at any time, regardless). This suggests to me that the team is unsure if Kandilas will be ready to return very soon or quite a while from now, and the organization is ready to assign another player there if necessary.
In addition to Hynick, the Rockies signed two other MiLB free agents released by their teams out of Spring Training. Kennil Gomez, a pitcher out of the Dominican Republic, was released by the Rangers organization. After being a full time starter for most of his six year MiLB career, he has spent the last two seasons splitting time between the rotation and the bullpen. He has spent three straight years in the A+ levels, though 2011 was by far his most successful season at the level. Also signed was Casey Frawley, released by the Indians. Frawley is a shortstop with some utility experience at second base, third base and the outfield. Though he is the same age as Gomez (24), his pro career is only in entering its fourth year. Frawley has demonstrated some decent power numbers for a middle infielder, and also demonstrated good on-base numbers early in his career before falling off in 2011. Both players joined the Rockies' Extended Spring Training program.
See you next week.