RosterResource Roundup: March 30-31

Below you’ll find a roundup of notable moves and roster notes from the past two days, as well as future expected moves and a Minor League Report, which includes a list of recent major league debuts and top prospect promotions. For this column, any lineup regulars, starting pitchers, or late-inning relievers are considered “notable,” meaning that middle relievers, long relievers, and bench players are excluded. You can always find a full list of updated transactions here.

RosterResource News: Earlier this week, we moved our RosterResource pages into regular season mode and introduced a new feature that allows you to view all 30 projected lineups (vs RHP and vs LHP) on one page.

Bullpen Report update: As you might have noticed, the late-inning reliever content here is similar to what we’ve had as part of the Bullpen Report from the past few seasons. It’s not as detailed, but it quickly summarizes the most relevant closer-related news. We will still have a Bullpen Report, but it will be a once-per-week recap beginning next Sunday evening.

Lineup Regulars

Atlanta Braves
•C Sean Murphy (strained oblique) placed on 10-Day IL.

Murphy was officially placed on the Injured List for the first time in his major league career prior to Saturday’s game. It’s a grade-1 oblique strain, which is considered the best-possible scenario. He’ll still miss at least a few weeks, though. Travis d’Arnaud started on Saturday and contributed to a 12-4 victory over the Phillies with a two-run double. Chadwick Tromp made his first big league start since last May on Sunday.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

Chicago White Sox
•DH Eloy Jiménez left Sunday’s game with a strained adductor. Lenyn Sosa is expected to be recalled from the minors, presumably (but not confirmed) to take Jimenez’s spot if he is placed on the 10-Day IL. UPDATE 4/1: Jiménez was not placed on the 10-Day IL prior to Monday’s game. He’s not in the lineup, though, and the team is reportedly waiting on his MRI results.

At least in the short term, this would mean more at-bats for Gavin Sheets.

•INF Braden Shewmake, who was highly questionable for Opening Day with an ankle injury and hadn’t really been mentioned as a strong candidate for regular playing time, has been in the starting lineup in both of the team’s games versus a right-handed starting pitcher.

The left-handed hitting Shewmake started at SS on Saturday with Paul DeJong taking a seat, and then played 2B on Sunday with Nicky Lopez getting a day off. Acquired from the Braves in the offseason trade for Aaron Bummer, the 26-year-old is off to a 3-for-8 start with a HR and SB. For now, it looks like he’s squarely in the mix for regular playing time.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

Miami Marlins
•OF/INF Nick Gordon has started both of the team’s games versus a right-handed starting pitcher.

While it’s not a huge surprise to see Avisaíl García in a part-time role, there was at least a chance that the Marlins would give him somewhat of an opportunity to prove he could still be the guy who they thought were getting when they signed him to a four-year, $53MM contract before the 2022 season. He wasn’t very good in spring, though, which made it easier to get Gordon in the lineup immediately.

Gordon was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his two starts, but hit a pinch-hit, game-tying home run against Pirates’ closer David Bednar in Sunday’s game. García is 2-for-12 with four strikeouts, but he also homered on Sunday, giving him some momentum heading into next week.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

Minnesota Twins
•3B Royce Lewis (strained quad) placed on 10-Day IL; INF/OF Austin Martin recalled.

For the third time in his three big league seasons, Lewis will spend a good amount of time on the Injured List. While it’s possible that he’s out until mid-May or early June, it will still be early enough for the 24-year-old to make a significant contribution to the 2024 season. But he came into the season with questions about his ability to stay healthy and this will only add to that. After missing the beginning of the 2023 season recovering from knee surgery that cut short his rookie year in 2022, he missed time with oblique and hamstring injuries. And now it’s the quad.

Willi Castro started at third base on Saturday and Sunday versus right-handed starters. Kyle Farmer will likely play there versus lefties.

Martin, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in the José Berríos trade a few years back, made his first big league start on Sunday in center field. He could also get time in left field and second base.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

New York Yankees
•3B DJ LeMahieu, who is currently on the 10-Day IL, was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of his foot.

LeMahieu’s injury was initially thought to be only a bone bruise. Thus, he’ll be out longer than anticipated. The acquisition of Jon Berti helps, but it’s been Oswaldo Cabrera who has stepped up with seven hits, including two homers, through the team’s first three games. In fact, Berti didn’t even make his Yankees’ debut until Sunday. And he only started because Anthony Volpe was ill. Expect Cabrera to continue getting the bulk of starts, at least until his bat cools off a bit.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

San Francisco Giants
•C Joey Bart designated for assignment.

The Giants waited until the fourth day of the season to place Bart on waivers, possibly thinking there was a better chance he’d clear waivers after teams had set their Opening Day rosters. There aren’t that many great fits, but all it takes is one team that believes the 27-year-old Bart is a better option than their current backup. The A’s, who are going with rookie Kyle McCann as their backup, seem like the most logical choice while the Angels, Marlins, and White Sox also seem like possibilities.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

Washington Nationals
•3B Nick Senzel (fractured thumb) placed on the 10-Day IL; INF Trey Lipscomb has contract selected from minors.

Lipscomb followed up a very impressive spring (20-for-50, HR, 5 BB, 7 K) with a 3-for-7 performance over the weekend against the Reds. Facing off against Hunter Greene on Saturday, the 23-year-old singled in his first MLB at-bat and promptly stole second base. In his second big league game on Sunday, he had a pair of hits, including an opposite-field home run in the 7th inning to give his team a 4-3 lead.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  Playing Time Projections

Starting Pitching

Chicago Cubs
Justin Steele (strained hamstring) placed on 15-Day IL; Ben Brown recalled.

It was assumed that Brown would take Steele’s rotation spot when it came up early next week. It wasn’t reported one way or another, but the fact that the Cubs called him up three days before they would need him to start probably should’ve told us otherwise.

Making his MLB debut in the 7th inning of Saturday’s game against the Rangers with his team losing 5-2, the 24-year-old pitched a scoreless inning. At this point, they could’ve still penciled him for at least three innings on Wednesday. But he was back out for the 8th, decreasing his chances of an upcoming start, and possibly deflating his confidence after he allowed six runs while recording just two more outs.

If the Cubs wanted to call someone up to make a spot start on Wednesday, Thomas Pannone would be an option. Or it’s possible they go with a bullpen game.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  SP Probables Grid

New York Mets
Tylor Megill left Sunday’s start after four innings due to shoulder discomfort.

If he’s forced to miss any time, José Buttó and Joey Lucchesi are the leading candidates to replace him. Prospects Dominic Hamel, Christian Scott, and Mike Vasil all have a chance to reach the majors in 2024, but not likely this early. It will be fun to see which of the three can position themselves to be next in line, though. CORRECTION: Neither Buttó and Lucchesi can be recalled until 4/12 unless they are replacing a player going on the IL. Therefore, the prospects could be options for a spot start unless the Mets go with a bullpen game.

Roster/Depth Chart  |  SP Probables Grid

 

Late-Inning Relievers

Boston Red Sox
Kenley Jansen was unavailable for Saturday’s game due to back tightness. After the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead in the top of the 10th, they had to rely on Joely Rodríguez in the bottom half of the inning. He recorded one out, allowed a pair of singles, and left with the game tied and the winning run on third base. Rule 5 pick Justin Slaten entered to make his MLB debut and allowed a walk-off single to Julio Rodriguez.

Jansen’s status remained in doubt on Sunday, although the 36-year-old did walk out to the bullpen later in the game, presumably to prepare for a save situation. He was not needed, however, as Slaten redeemed himself by pitching 2.1 scoreless innings to pick up his 1st MLB save in the 5-1 victory.

Roster/Depth Chart

Chicago White Sox
Three games into the season and it’s still not quite clear who will be the closer for the White Sox. It is clear that they won’t need a closer very often, but even last year’s 101-loss team had 28 saves. One pitcher has stood out over the rest, though, and certainly looks like a closer. And it shouldn’t be all that surprising that it’s Michael Kopech.

In two appearances, the 27-year-old has allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out four in 2.2 scoreless innings. If he becomes the White Sox closer and has success, there’s a good chance he won’t be the White Sox closer very long because he’d quickly become a very popular trade candidate. But it’s fun to imagine a scenario where Kopech dominates as a reliever and Garrett Crochet is moved to the bullpen later in the season in order to cut down on his workload.

Roster/Depth Chart

Detroit Tigers
After Jason Foley closed out the team’s 1-0 victory on Opening Day by recording the final two outs, the question of Alex Lange’s status became very important. And, of course, we would have no clarity until we saw how manager A.J. Hinch utilized him — he entered Saturday’s game in the 7th inning with the game tied at 3 — and how he performed. Not great. He had one strikeout and three walks before being removed. That was probably enough to assume he wasn’t in the short-term plans for save chances.

On Sunday, Foley got himself another two-out save. The Tigers have a very good bullpen with multiple pitchers who Hinch wouldn’t hesitate to use in a save situation. Andrew Chafin and Shelby Miller are at the top of that list. But Foley, who had seven saves and 26 holds in 2023 and a sinker that can reach 101 MPH, probably should be the closer.

Roster/Depth Chart

Milwaukee Brewers
A day after Abner Uribe got the first save chance and the first save for the Brewers, manager Pat Murphy went back to the well on Saturday as Uribe closed out the Mets again for his second save. As I wrote after Opening Day, Murphy either would use Uribe, Joel Payamps, and Trevor Megill interchangeably to close out the final 2-3 innings of a win, or he would continue to go with what worked the first time (until it didn’t work anymore). He went with the latter.

While Murphy said that Uribe would be available for a third consecutive game, it was Payamps who got the call to close out a 4-1 win. So we’re back to “committee” now? I’d guess probably not. Using his “closer” for a third consecutive game this early in the season would’ve been the wrong move when Payamps is more than capable of holding a three-run lead. After three games, it looks like it’s Uribe’s job to lose.

Roster/Depth Chart

Minnesota Twins
To no one’s surprise, it was Griffin Jax who picked up the save on Opening Day with Jhoan Duran on the 15-Day IL to begin the season. One game later, manager Rocco Baldelli reminded us that he’s not afraid to use his best reliever(s) earlier than the 9th inning on occasion. Jax was called upon in the 8th inning with the game tied at one versus the Royals. As the Twins were taking the lead in the top of the 9th, Brock Stewart was warming up for his first save chance of the season.

By the time he entered the game, though, it was no longer a save chance as they had taken a 5-1 lead. Stewart still closed things out in impressive fashion, striking out three batters and reminding us that he also has the ability to be a big league closer.

Roster/Depth Chart

Texas Rangers
Despite the signing of David Robertson, who has 175 career saves, and the mini-breakout of Josh Sborz during the Rangers’ post-season run, it seemed all along like José Leclerc would get a chance to be the team’s closer to begin the 2024 season. But after three games, seven Rangers’ relievers not named Leclerc have combined for 11.2 scoreless innings and one reliever named Leclerc has allowed five earned runs on five walks and one hit in 1.2 innings pitched.

It’s only two games and manager Bruce Bochy isn’t going to panic. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to put Leclerc out there the next time there is a save situation. I’d expect that his next appearance will come in a lower-leverage situation and the Rangers will reassess after that.

Roster/Depth Chart

 

Click HERE to view our Closer Depth Chart.

 

Minor League Report

Major League Debuts 

  • Matt Sauer, RP, Kansas City Royals: IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, K  3/31/24
  • Kai-Wei Teng, RP, San Francisco Giants: 3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K  3/31/24
  • Justin Slaten, RP, Boston Red Sox: 0 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 0 K  3/30/24
  • Ben Brown, RP, Chicago Cubs: 1.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, K  3/30/24
  • Jordan Leasure, RP, Chicago White Sox: IP, 0 R, H, BB, K, Hold  3/30/24
  • Cade Smith, RP, Cleveland Guardians: 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, BB, 5 K  3/30/24
  • Oliver Dunn, 3B, Milwaukee Brewers: 1-for-4, K  3/30/24
  • Austin Martin, PR, Minnesota Twins: 0-for-0  3/30/24
  • Jared Jones, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates: 5 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 10 K, W  3/30/24
  • Austin Shenton, PR, Tampa Bay Rays: 0-for-1  3/30/24
  • Trey Lipscomb, 3B, Washington Nationals: 1-for-4, SB 3/30/24
  • Clayton Beeter, RP, New York Yankees: IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 0 K  3/29/24
  • Mitch Spence, RP, Oakland Athletics: 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 3 K  3/29/24
  • Landen Roupp, RP, San Francisco Giants: IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K  3/29/24
  • Blaze Alexander, DH, Arizona Diamondbacks: 2-for-5, RBI, 2 K  3/28/24
  • Anthony Molina, RP, Colorado Rockies: 0.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, BB  3/28/24
  • Colt Keith, 2B, Detroit Tigers: 1-for-4  3/28/24
  • Darell Hernaiz, PH, Oakland Athletics: 0-for-1  3/28/24
  • Victor Scott II, CF, St. Louis Cardinals: 0-for-3, SB, K  3/28/24
  • Jung Hoo Lee 이정후, CF, San Francisco Giants: 1-for-3, RBI, K, CS  3/28/24
  • Erik Miller, RP, San Francisco Giants: IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, K  3/28/24
  • Wyatt Langford, DH, Texas Rangers: 1-for-3, RBI, BB, K  3/28/24
  • Yoshinobu Yamamoto, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers: IP, 5 ER, 4 H, BB, 2 K  3/21/24
  • Stephen Kolek, RP, San Diego Padres: 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 0 H, BB  3/21/24
  • Jackson Merrill, CF, San Diego Padres: 0-for-3   3/20/24
  • Graham Pauley, PH, San Diego Padres: 0-for-1, K  3/20/24
  • Yuki Matsui, RP, San Diego Padres: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, BB, K  3/20/24

Promotions: Top 101 Prospects





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Brian SDmember
1 month ago

I have a couple questions about what to expect from the RoS projections, and I can’t seem to find the info anywhere, if you (or anyone else) can help.
So far, the skill rates don’t seem to be changing (Mookie Betts had a .383 wOBA in the Bat X preseason, and .383 wOBA in the Bat X RoS updated this morning).
Will the counting stats in the RoS projections just be rounded to integers (unlike the preseason projections)?
Thanks!