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Seattle Mariners calling up top pitching prospect Logan Gilbert, OF Jarred Kelenic



The Seattle Mariners are calling up right-hander Logan Gilbert, their top pitching prospect, and he will start Thursday against the Cleveland Indians, manager Scott Servais said after Wednesday night’s 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Gilbert is ranked as the No. 43 prospect in baseball, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

Seattle also will call up touted outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, the No. 6 pick in the 2018 amateur draft, on Thursday, Servais said.

Gilbert made his Triple-A debut for the Tacoma Rainiers on Friday. He allowed one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in five innings of work.

Gilbert, the 14th pick in the 2018 draft, popped up in the Cape Cod League the summer before his draft year, working in the mid-90s with above-average stuff and starter command. During his sophomore season at Stetson, he was pitching deep into games, regularly well over 100 pitches, and his velocity was hovering in the low 90s with a less sharp breaking ball.

He profiles as a bulk-inning midrotation starter with solid average stuff and plus command, according to McDaniel.

The 18-18 Mariners, third in the AL West entering Wednesday, have had to lean heavily on their bullpen after injuries to Marco Gonzales (left forearm strain), James Paxton (season-ending Tommy John surgery) and Nick Margevicius (left shoulder inflammation). Seattle is down to four healthy members of its six-man rotation to start the season: Yusei Kikuchi, Justus Sheffield, Chris Flexen and Justin Dunn.

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New York Yankees trade 1B Mike Ford to Tampa Bay Rays for $100,000



NEW YORK — First baseman Mike Ford was traded by the New York Yankees to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday for $100,000 and a player to be named.

Ford was designated for assignment Saturday when reliever Zack Britton was activated from the injured list.

The money in the trade is payable July 1.

Ford, who turns 29 on July 4, had a strong rookie season with the Yankees in 2019, hitting .259 with 12 homers and 25 RBI in 143 at-bats over 50 games.

But he slumped to a .135 average with two homers and 11 RBI in 74 at-bats during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. With first base time available this year because of Luke Voit‘s injuries, Ford batted .133 with three homers and five RBI in 60 at-bats.

A rare left-handed hitter on the current Yankees, Ford had a .199 average with 17 homers and 41 RBI in parts of three major league seasons.

Ford hit .083 (2 for 24) with one RBI in seven games this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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MLB Power Rankings Week 11



After a shortened 60-game 2020 MLB season, we’re already past that point in baseball’s return to a 162-game schedule with the All-Star break now less than a month away. What does that mean for your favorite team in our Week 11 MLB Power Rankings?

The Tampa Bay Rays and Chicago White Sox both suffered significant injuries this week, but was that enough to drop them from the two top spots on our list? Which of the AL West’s red-hot teams — the Houston Astros, Oakland Athletics and Los Angeles Angels — made the biggest leap? And how far did another rough stretch from their struggling offense drop the New York Yankees?

Here is what our eight-voter expert panel decided based on what we’ve seen in the first two-plus months of the season. We also asked ESPN baseball experts David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle, Joon Lee, Jesse Rogers and Alden Gonzalez to weigh in with one Week 11 observation based on what they have seen recently for all 30 teams.

Previous rankings: Week 10 | Week 9 | Week 8 | Week 7 | Week 6 | Week 5 | Week 4 | Week 3 | Week 2 | Week 1 | Opening Day

Record: 43-26
Previous ranking: 1

The loss of Tyler Glasnow to a UCL injury is a big blow to Tampa Bay, which will now have to rely heavily on Rich Hill, Ryan Yarbrough, Shane McClanahan and Michael Wacha. Randy Arozarena continues to have a strong season, while Austin Meadows has bounced back from his lackluster 2020 season, although his .234 batting average could use some improvement. — Lee

Record: 43-25
Previous ranking: 2

The upside of the news that Nick Madrigal‘s hamstring injury is a season-ender is that the White Sox at least know they need a rest-of-the-season solution at second base, not just a stopgap. In the short term, the White Sox will continue to use utility players Danny Mendick and Leury Garcia at the position. In the minors, the White Sox have veterans Marco Hernandez and Tim Beckham both playing for Triple-A Charlotte. One out-of-the-box idea is to move Yoan Moncada back to the keystone and recall prospect Jake Burger, who is hitting well in the minors. That notion probably causes more problems than it solves. Chicago is likely going to be attached to any middle infielder on the trade rumor mill, with the ideal fit being Pittsburgh’s Adam Frazier, who offers a Madrigal-like skill set. — Doolittle

Record: 41-27
Previous ranking: 5

When the Dodgers first signed Albert Pujols, he was a luxury — a future Hall of Famer who would be used mostly for late-game pinch-hitting. But since that surprise acquisition, the Dodgers have lost Corey Seager, Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger to the injured list, prompting extended first-base time for the 41-year-old Pujols. Muncy (oblique) and Bellinger (hamstring) could both return from short stints next week, but Pujols will continue to be counted on. And so far, he’s contributing. In his first 70 plate appearances with the Dodgers, Pujols hit .273/.314/.530 with five home runs and 13 RBIs. — Gonzalez

Record: 43-25
Previous ranking: 3

It has become increasingly clear, despite what their preseason projections might have looked like, that the Giants need to be active in acquiring veteran players at the trade deadline instead of transitioning into the next phase of their development. Given that, the Giants will undoubtedly take a strong look at the ninth inning. Jake McGee and Tyler Rogers have basically split the closer’s role and combined for a WHIP below 1.00. But the Giants have already blown 14 saves this season and need to do better there if they hope to stay relevant in the hyper-competitive National League West. — Gonzalez

Record: 43-27
Previous ranking: 7

Oakland continues to bounce back in May following a lackluster June with an 11-2 record in the month. Mark Canha continues to lead the way for the team, hitting .256/.380/.467 with 11 homers, while Matt Olson looks like one of the best hitters in the sport, hitting .289/.373/.600. Olson’s 18 homers are tied with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani for third across baseball, behind only Fernando Tatis Jr. and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. — Lee

Record: 39-28
Previous ranking: 8

Houston fans have been treated to a vintage Astros offense in recent weeks. The offense has rolled up more than six runs per game during June, and as of recent yore, Houston does it by doing everything well. During this time of morbidly depressed batting averages, Astros batsmen are hitting a combined .304 this month, easily the best mark in baseball. But Houston also leads the majors in all the percentages — on-base, slugging, OPS, isolated power, wOBA. Some of the faces have changed, but this Houston attack appears to be as potent as ever. — Doolittle

Record: 42-27
Previous ranking: 6

Boston remains neck and neck with the Rays in American League East race, but the issues around starting pitching are starting to reveal themselves. After leading the team through the early part of the season, the back-end rotation trio of Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez have come back down to earth. Meanwhile, Eduardo Rodriguez, considered the potential ace of this rotation in the absence of Chris Sale, continues to struggle, posting a 6.21 ERA with a 1.47 WHIP and a -0.5 bWAR. Rodriguez’s FIP of 3.63 suggests some bad luck at play, but results are results. — Lee

Record: 38-32
Previous ranking: 4

The Padres began June with 10 losses in their first 14 games and were OPSing only .594 through that stretch, dead last in the majors. Fernando Tatis Jr. is putting together a dynamic offensive season, with a National League-leading 20 home runs and 13 stolen bases through his first 51 games. But Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers, among others, are performing below expectations. Somehow, the Padres’ loaded lineup ranks below those of the Mariners, Tigers and Diamondbacks in slugging percentage. — Gonzalez

Record: 38-30
Previous ranking: 10

It was a strange week for the Cubs, but they kept pace with the Milwaukee Brewers atop the NL Central. They swept the Cardinals in a weekend series at home, scoring 17 runs in the three games, but overall their numbers at the plate weren’t great. The Cubs hit just .186 for the week ending on Tuesday. A healthy return to the lineup for Nico Hoerner and Matt Duffy should help those numbers. — Rogers

Record: 35-25
Previous ranking: 11

It’s not just the starting rotation that is doing the job. The bullpen has been solid, ranking eighth in the majors in ERA, tied for third in fWAR and ninth in win probability added. Edwin Diaz is 13-for-14 in save chances, and Seth Lugo, excellent since his return from the IL, picked up a two-inning save on Tuesday. — Schoenfield

11. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 38-30
Previous ranking: 9

Milwaukee’s offense finally started to heat up with Christian Yelich looking a little more like his old self, while Daniel Vogelbach has had some key hits. Willy Adames has been a difference-maker since Milwaukee acquired the shortstop from Tampa Bay. — Rogers

Record: 33-33
Previous ranking: 12

The Blue Jays held their own against the Boston Red Sox and White Sox over the weekend, and are sitting at a similar spot in the division with the Yankees. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is in the conversation for the Triple Crown two months into the season, while the team continues to get strong performances from Marcus Semien and Bo Bichette. — Lee

Record: 37-28
Previous ranking: 13

While Cleveland has enjoyed good injury luck for the most part this season, at least relative to what has happened elsewhere in the majors, the rotation has been thinned by the absences of, first, Zach Plesac and, second, reigning AL Cy Young Shane Bieber, who is down with a shoulder problem. If Bieber is out for any length of time, that’s obviously a major problem. But Cleveland has had some good news of late, too. Cal Quantrill has shown signs of becoming a viable rotation option while working through the process of being stretched out from relief work. And among the position players, Bobby Bradley seems intent on taking advantage of his latest crack at a regular big league role, with three homers, 10 RBIs and a 1.361 OPS in eight games since being recalled from Triple-A. — Doolittle

Record: 35-32
Previous ranking: 11

The optimism around Luis Severino coming back dissipated when manager Aaron Boone announced that the righty was diagnosed with a low Grade 2 groin strain, delaying his return to the Yankees rotation by a month. Severino suffered the injury during his second rehab start after February 2020 Tommy John surgery, and has not pitched in a major league game since 2019. — Lee

Record: 35-31
Previous ranking: 19

The Reds got themselves back in the NL Central race with series wins over the Rockies and Brewers this past week. Joey Votto joined Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker in carrying Cincinnati’s offense as he compiled an OPS above 1.000 while driving in an NL-high 11 runs over the last seven days. — Rogers

Record: 33-33
Previous ranking: 18

Jean Segura is looking like a potential All-Star, although he could get squeezed at a position where Pittsburgh’s Adam Frazier or Colorado’s Ryan McMahon might have to represent their teams. We’ll see if the groin injury that knocked him out of Tuesday’s game puts him on the IL. Segura made it in 2013 and 2018, but was not an All-Star in 2016, easily his best season. Entering Wednesday, he ranked eighth among NL position players in WAR, although was much lower in FanGraphs’ calculations, as the two split on his defensive value. — Schoenfield

Record: 30-35
Previous ranking: 15

Entering Wednesday, the Atlanta bullpen is 9-17 with a 4.82 ERA. Only the Twins with 18 have more bullpen losses — no surprise that both teams have disappointed. The Braves rank 26th in relief win probability added. Closer Will Smith has five losses, and this isn’t a ghost runner/extra-inning thing as all five of his losses came in the ninth inning. — Schoenfield

Record: 35-33
Previous ranking: 22

St. Louis has been in freefall since Jack Flaherty went down. A four-game home sweep by the Reds was followed shortly by a three-game sweep by the Cubs in Chicago. Winning a home series against the Marlins helped, but they need starting pitching in a bad way. Kwang Hyun Kim‘s return to the mound Tuesday was huge, as he pitched six innings while giving up just three hits. — Rogers

Record: 33-35
Previous ranking: 23

The Angels — without Mike Trout for about another month — were rolling before arriving in Oakland this week, winning six in a row and 11 of their past 14 games to get back over .500 for the first time since May 1. During that 14-game stretch, their starting rotation combined for a 3.61 ERA and seven quality starts, a major sign of improvement. But alas, that success came mostly against bad teams. The Angels don’t seem like a team that can go toe-to-toe with baseball’s best at the moment –– Gonzalez

Record: 29-39
Previous ranking: 20

As the Marlins continue to slide, they have some relief pitchers who might be of interest at the trade deadline. After a couple of bad outings to start the season, Anthony Bass has a 2.42 ERA and .176 average allowed since April 12. Dylan Floro hasn’t allowed a home run in 28 innings, and Adam Cimber hasn’t allowed one in 30.2 innings. John Curtiss has a 3.10 ERA and 33 K’s in 29 innings. Curtiss is the guy mostly likely to be kept because his salary is cost controlled for several more seasons. — Schoenfield

Record: 30-35
Previous ranking: 22

One thing you did not expect to read in 2021: Entering Wednesday’s game, Juan Soto and Victor Robles have the same number of extra-base hits (13). Soto has out-homered Robles 8-0, but Robles has 12 doubles to just four for Soto. Soto’s average exit velocity is actually up from 2020, and his hard-hit rate is slightly up as well, so look for that batting average and slugging percentage to start climbing. — Schoenfield

Record: 34-36
Previous ranking: 21

What has gotten into Jake Fraley? He’s hitting .273/.487/.527 with four home runs in 20 games, with 22 walks and 17 strikeouts (entering Wednesday). He doesn’t have enough PAs to qualify, but his 28% walk rate would easily lead the majors (Joey Gallo is at 19.4%). Maybe they will have a Rookie of the Year contender in the outfield (just not the guy everyone thought). — Schoenfield

Record: 30-37
Previous ranking: 17

The 2021 Royals have tended to follow their stretches of good play with a prolonged inability to beat pretty much anyone. Halfway through June, Kansas City’s latest lapse at least clarifies things: This team isn’t going anywhere, at least not this year. Only a 6-1 win over the A’s on June 11 prevented the Royals from posting a second 11-game losing streak during the first half of the season. The latest slump has been marked by remarkably poor clutch hitting. Since June 5, Kansas City is hitting .156 with runners in scoring position. — Doolittle

Record: 27-41
Previous ranking: 24

The good news for the Twins is that for once, they seemed to have more activations than injury replacements over the past week and Byron Buxton appears to be nearing a return to the big league lineup. The bad news is the Twins continue to get battered on the field, as the .500 mark recedes into the distance. We’ve picked on the Minnesota bullpen plenty this season, for good reason. But when a team is giving up more runs per game than any other club except for Arizona, the rotation shoulders a good deal of blame as well. The Twins have gotten decent seasons from Jose Berrios and Michael Pineda. The problem is everybody else. Minnesota starters other than Berrios and Pineda have combined for a 6.03 ERA.

Record: 28-41
Previous ranking: 26

Trevor Story has been painted as the lone star remaining in Denver, but Ryan McMahon continues to make his case to represent the Rockies when they host the upcoming All-Star Game. After a four-RBI night on Tuesday, McMahon — who has provided solid defense at second and third base — owned an .835 OPS with 16 home runs and 1.7 FanGraphs wins above replacement. — Gonzalez

Record: 25-43
Previous ranking: 27

Texas had four off days in the span of 11 — not a bad thing considering the Rangers haven’t won a series since May 23. They’re near the bottom of the AL in hitting and pitching, making them clear dealers come July. Starter Kyle Gibson could be a great catch for a contender while bringing back some prospects for Texas, as his 2.09 ERA is attractive, and he’s signed through 2022. — Rogers

Record: 29-39
Previous ranking: 25

While you wouldn’t exactly call it vintage Miguel Cabrera, the future Hall of Famer has seen an uptick since the calendar flipped to June. Cabrera is hitting .306 in 12 games so far this month, raising his season mark to .216. He has upped his career totals in hits (2,906) and homers (492) to the point we can start to count down to Miggy reaching historical milestones in those categories. The march to 3,000 hits will almost certainly continue into 2022. But the 500-homer mark is reachable this season if Cabrera can add a modest power surge to his current run of good average. With the Tigers shuffling their roster and getting young, as with this week’s DFAing of catcher Wilson Ramos, Cabrera’s quests are something for Detroit fans to root for while waiting for the rebuild to be complete.

Record: 22-45
Previous ranking: 29

With John Means on the injured list, much of the attention on this team centers around Cedric Mullins and Trey Mancini, but some of the team’s other contributors include shortstop Freddy Galvis, who is hitting .252/.313/.443 with nine homers and a 108 wRC+ this season while playing strong defense at shortstop. Galvis signed a one-year deal in the offseason and could prove to be a potential trade chip at the deadline. — Lee

Record: 23-44
Previous ranking: 28

Pittsburgh has struggled to beat anyone who isn’t also below .500. The Pirates are just 12-31 against the better teams in baseball while enduring a long losing skid over the past 10 days. For the season, the Pirates are last in OPS and 13th in ERA in the National League. — Rogers

Record: 20-49
Previous ranking: 30

Just when you thought the D-backs had hit rock bottom, Tuesday happened. The D-backs led 7-0, which is significant because no team had blown a seven-run lead all season. And they ultimately lost, 8-7, on an eighth-inning grand slam by Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. It was the D-backs’ 21st consecutive loss on the road — the third-longest road losing streak in the modern era — and their 12th consecutive loss in general. It was also the first time in 194 chances that a team blew a seven-run lead in 2021. Arizona entered that game 358-1 in franchise history when leading by seven runs in a game. Then they lost. Of course. — Gonzalez

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Arizona Diamondbacks tie MLB modern-era record with 22nd straight road loss



The Arizona Diamondbacks‘ unfathomable road struggles reached near-unprecedented heights on Wednesday night in a 13-7 loss to the host San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park. The D-backs have now lost 22 consecutive road games, tying the 1963 New York Mets and the 1943 Philadelphia Athletics for the longest road losing streak since 1900.

Overall, the D-backs have lost 13 in a row, 27 of their past 29 and 36 of their past 41. They were 15-3 on May 2, and now they’re 20-49, owners of the worst record in the majors. They now have lost 13 straight two times over the course of the past month, becoming the first team with multiple 13-game losing streaks through an entire season since the 1962 Mets. That Mets team lost 120 games, still a modern-era record.

“Look, this is obviously nothing that we ever expected, nothing that we’re proud of,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “We can’t reverse anything that’s happened over the past 40-plus days, and we gotta find a way to win a baseball game tomorrow.”

Arizona’s last road win was back on April 25, when Madison Bumgarner pitched seven no-hit innings in the second game of a doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves. Now Bumgarner is one of four starting pitchers on the injured list, along with Luke Weaver, Taylor Widener and Zac Gallen, though Gallen will be activated to start Thursday’s series finale in San Francisco.

The D-backs trailed by only a run in the eighth inning in Monday’s series opener, but the Giants promptly tacked on a couple of insurance runs to pull away. Tuesday offered their most difficult defeat yet. They jumped out to a 7-0 lead and blew it on an eighth-inning grand slam by Mike Yastrzemski, marking the first time this season — in 164 chances — that any team had blown a seven-run lead.

The D-backs jumped out to another lead Wednesday, scoring two first-inning runs off Anthony DeSclafani. But Merrill Kelly allowed four runs in a 47-pitch bottom of the first that saw the Giants send all nine hitters to bat. Keury Mella allowed four more runs in the fourth, and Ryan Buchter allowed another five in the fifth. When Brandon Belt took Buchter deep with two on and one out in that inning, the Giants held a 13-2 lead and had already accumulated five home runs.

Lovullo was “very close” to pulling Kelly after the first inning but needed more out of him so that his team would have enough pitching to get by. Kelly wanted to keep going as long as possible, despite spending most of the 2020 season recovering from thoracic outlet surgery.

“At the end of the day, this is our job,” Kelly said when asked about grinding through continual losing. “Whether we like it or not, whether things are going the way we want them to go, there’s nowhere to hide.”

The D-backs have allowed 64 home runs on the road this season, by far the most in the majors. Since May 3, they’re second-to-last in OPS, second-to-last in runs per game, last in starters’ ERA and last in reliever WHIP. A loss on Thursday would put them in the company of teams like the 1890 Pittsburgh Innocents and the 1889 Louisville Colonels — the only franchises to suffer 23 or more consecutive road losses, according to research from the Elias Sports Bureau.

Asdrubal Cabrera, 35, has spent 15 years in the big leagues and couldn’t recall going through another stretch like this.

“It’s hard, man,” he said. “I feel bad for me and my teammates because I know we’re working hard. I know we’re trying our best all the time. But for some reason we’re in this situation right now.”

Lovullo also alluded to his team’s persistent competitive spirit, pointing to a five-run top of the sixth when the game already seemed out of reach.

Of the D-backs’ 22 consecutive road losses, 15 have been decided by three runs or fewer.

“These guys get after it every day,” Lovullo said. “They come in with a great spirit and a great intensity to make something special happen today. That’s the part that makes it so difficult — that we are fighting.”

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