With only one Tommy John “victim” from last week’s list graduating from a rehab stint, stashers everywhere have turned their collective eyes to a pair of former Braves who are nearing their returns to the majors after exhaustively working their way from multiple TJ operations…
The Graduates: (1) Patrick Corbin
Corbin was activated on July 4th and celebrated the holiday by facing the Rockies at home, throwing 76 pitches over five innings in his return to the Diamondbacks rotation. Corbin gave up two runs on eight hits and struck out three. More importantly, in making his first start since September 2013, he didn’t walk a batter, and his velocity was back to its pre-Tommy John form at 15 months after his last pitch in the majors.
The Dropouts: None
Olivera, out of game action since June 20th, served as the designated hitter Tuesday in his first game back rehabbing his strained hamstring. The injury was expected to keep him out of action for 2-3 weeks, making it likely that Olivera spends a few more days at the Dodgers Arizona complex before rejoining Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Schwarber’s first 15 games of Pacific Coast League action went about as expected with the bat, as his .358/.414/.642 line indicates. Schwarber has seen as much left-field action in Iowa as he did at Double-A Tennessee earlier this season—which is to say, zero innings.
With Baltimore’s move of Bud Norris to the bullpen, "The Human Yo-Yo” figured to make his way off of this list, but much like The Guy On The Couch, he’s still here hanging around. Gausman’s last two starts as part of the Orioles rotation couldn’t have gone much differently, as he gave up four hits and struck out seven against the Rangers in 6 1/3 scoreless innings on July 2nd, but it was his road effort Tuesday night against the Twins that earned him yet another ticket back to the minors. Gausman was charged with seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings of work, moving his ERA to an even 5.00 on the year. This demotion at least makes some sense as the plan is for him to make one start in the minors over the All-Star break and then be eligible to rejoin the Orioles rotation after that, but as always with Gausman—who knows?
5) Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 6)
Since his demotion to Triple-A Round Rock, Gallo has appeared in four games at third base, two games in left field, and one as the designated hitter. With the injury histories of Josh Hamilton and Delino DeShields, Jr., the Rangers are best served to continue to give Gallo a few starts a week in the outfield. As Leonys Martin continues to struggle with the bat, it will be interesting to see if the Rangers play Gallo in center field a bit at Round Rock, as they did give him one start in center against the Blue Jays on June 27th.
In addition to his latest public bashing of a beloved Phillies player on Tuesday, GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. said that Nola’s promotion to the majors was “close” and that the Phillies first-round pick from last year is “still working on some things.” What those things are exactly remains unclear as Nola sports a 2.28 ERA in his first four Triple-A starts, having K’d 24 in 23 2/3 innings and walked five. Nola has held lefties to a .231 batting average against in Triple-A after limiting them to a .188 average at Double-A Reading. I’m sure it all fits into Amaro’s master plan somehow.
8) Brandon Beachy, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers (Last week: 9)
In Beachy’s first appearance on The Stash List, a reminder was given on just how good the former Brave was when healthy, but now that he is nearing the end of his rehab stint and is a candidate to start on Saturday against the Brewers, an assessment of his current abilities is in order.
Beachy reportedly touched 93 mph in his most recent Triple-A effort on Monday, throwing 92 pitches (59 strikes), allowing nine hits and three earned runs while striking out five and walking two. Beachy owns a shiny 2.41 ERA over his five rehab starts, but his 10 walks issued (against only 12 strikeouts) in 18 2/3 innings pitched could signal trouble at the major-league level. The control being an issue at this point is not unexpected but could lead to struggles out of the gate for Beachy—and it’s unclear just how long of a leash the contending Dodgers will give him with the trade deadline looming. The possibility also exists that Mike Bolsinger’s lackluster recent performance (4.79 ERA over his last seven starts) could make him the odd man out if the Dodgers do make a trade.
With Carlos Frias hitting the DL on Sunday, Beachy is a must-add in NL-only leagues, but his relevance in mixed leagues will be determined by how close he can get back to his lifetime 9.3 K/9.
9) Martin Perez, LHP, Texas Rangers (Last week: 10)
Perez eclipsed the four-inning mark for the first time in his most recent rehab outing on Tuesday, working six innings and allowing two earned runs for Triple-A Round Rock. Perez struck out six and threw 56 of his 79 pitches for strikes, and has punched out 21 hitters in 19 2/3 innings across his five rehab starts. The Rangers have tentatively scheduled Perez for one more rehab start and then will decide whether or not to cast aside their Magic Wandy-Rod (and his 3.93 DRA) to slot him into the rotation.
Berrios was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on June 30th and struggled in his first start on Friday, going 5 2/3 innings and striking out four. Trevor May or Berrios should find himself in the Twins rotation once the Twins finally tire of seeing Mike Pelfrey’s ERA rise every time out.
11) Javier Baez, INF, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 12)
12) Arismendy Alcantara, 2B/OF, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 8)
Medlen had his best rehab start of the year on Sunday, pitching six innings (81 pitches) of five-hit ball, allowing two runs and striking out two. He will reportedly make one more start at Triple-A Omaha and be ready to join the Royals after the All-Star break. Yordano Ventura is set to rejoin the Royals rotation (moving Joe Blanton back to wherever he came from) and Jason Vargas will make a rehab start on Monday, leaving the Royals with a few interesting decisions to make in the upcoming weeks. Chris Young (4.05 FIP) or Jeremy Guthrie (4.71 FIP) could move to the bullpen to accommodate Medlen, but things become cloudy when Vargas (4.30 FIP) is ready to join the mix.
With Stephen Strasburg hitting the disabled list again over the weekend with an injured oblique, it was Tanner Roark who got summoned from the bullpen to fill his rotation spot instead of Ross. However, Ross entering the discussion as an option alongside the 15-game winner from last season illustrates just how impressive his first three career starts were. If Doug Fister’s forearm issues resurface, look for him to take his place.
17) Rafael Soriano, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Last week: 20)
Soriano made his first appearance of the season on Monday, pitching one scoreless inning for Double-A Tennessee and striking out three. With the Cubs late-inning options not named Jason Motte struggling of late, Soriano should slide right into high-leverage innings as soon as his arm is deemed ready. Joe Maddon’s familiarity with Soriano could conceivably give him the nod over Motte, Hector Rondon, and Pedro Strop for save situations over the second half of the season if the Cubs don’t make a move for a Proven Closer™ at the trade deadline.
Piscotty has been working at first base at Triple-A Memphis, but has yet to see any game action there this season and saw himself passed over twice for a promotion to Busch within the last week. The Cards called upon 27-year-old outfielder Tommy Pham on Friday and Quad-A extraordinaire Dan Johnson was summoned for infield help on Wednesday. Johnson figures to be a temporary solution but if Kolten Wong’s “mild” concussion proves to be more serious, the right-handed-hitting Piscotty (who is not on the 40-man roster) would figure to be a solution somewhere on the diamond.
Piscotty has answered a few questions about his power this season; his 10 home runs in 79 games have already passed his total of nine in 136 games last season at the Triple-A level, he is second in the Pacific Coast League in doubles with 27, and his 38 extra-base hits are good for fourth. His isolated power of .201 and walk rate of just over 12 percent would rank as career-best numbers, but with Matt Holliday slated to return from his hamstring injury next week, it looks as though the former 36th-overall pick in the 2012 draft may need a new organization to make an impact this season.
20) Nomar Mazara, OF, Texas Rangers (Last week: 21)
21) Steve Delabar, RHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Last week: 15)
After a horrific .256/.284/.367 June with one home run in 24 games, Arcia appears to have found his stroke in July. In seven games at Triple-A Rochester, Arcia owns a 1.350 OPS and has smacked five home runs. If you would have told a Twins fan before the season that both Arcia and Kennys Vargas would be in the minors in early July, they would have told you that the season had gone horribly, horribly wrong, but that is somehow not the case.
The Twins promoted Miguel Sano with the intention to give him the bulk of the designated hitter at-bats, making it difficult to envision a scenario (other than a Joe Mauer injury) in which either of these hitters rejoins the Twins in short order, despite the largely unattractive left field options ahead of Arcia.
24) Evan Scribner, RHP, Oakland A’s (Last week: 24)