We’ll kick Friday morning off with a trio of outright assignments…
- Veteran catcher Sandy Leon cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Guardians and has been sent outright to Triple-A Columbus, per the league’s transactions page. The team did not formally announce the move, and Leon had the right to reject the assignment in favor of free agency. However, he was back in the lineup with Columbus last night, so he’s clearly accepted the assignment and will remain in Triple-A for the time being (without occupying a spot on the 40-man roster). The 33-year-old switch-hitter batted .133/.381/.133 in a tiny sample of 21 plate appearances with Cleveland in his second big league stint with the organization in the past three years. He’ll remain on hand as a veteran depth option with a strong reputation for defense and receiving but just a .211/.279/.317 batting line in parts of 11 MLB seasons.
- The Pirates announced that left-hander Cam Vieaux went unclaimed on waivers. He’s been sent outright to Triple-A Indianapolis and will remain in the organization without requiring a spot on the 40-man roster. Vieaux’s stint with the major league club was fairly brief. Selected to the majors in mid-June, the 28-year-old made five appearances over the next couple weeks. Vieaux began his big league career with three scoreless outings, but he retired only one of three batters faced on June 29. Two days later, he was called upon for mop-up work against the Brewers. Milwaukee sent 13 batters to the plate in one inning against him, plating eight runs on six hits and three walks before he made it out of the inning after a staggering 56 pitches. Pittsburgh optioned Vieaux a few days later and, after two more minor league appearances, designated him for assignment. Now that he’s cleared waivers, he’ll head back to Indianapolis in hopes of building on his 2.12 ERA through 29 2/3 innings and, more importantly, earning his way back to the big leagues.
- Right-hander Michael Kelly cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, per an announcement from the Phillies. The 29-year-old made his big league debut with the Phils in mid-June and has pitched four innings of one-run ball across a pair of stints with the team. However, he’s also been hit hard in Triple-A, where he’s toting a 7.33 ERA through 23 1/3 innings on the season. To his credit, Kelly has punched out 30.8% of his Triple-A opponents this season, and that bloated ERA is at least partially due to a sky-high .439 average on balls in play against him. That said, the former No. 48 overall pick (Padres, 2011) has also walked far too many hitters (11.2%) — a trait that has plagued him throughout parts of five seasons in Triple-A, where he has an 11.7% walk rate through 170 2/3 innings.
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