Archive for the ‘Tampa Bay Rays’ category

Best Foreign Pitching Prospects for Taiwan’s CPBL 2020

January 21, 2020

Last off-season I had fun writing a post on the best foreign pitching prospects for Taiwan’s CPBL.  Henry Sosa was the one of many players I name-checked in the article, and I predicted he’d sign with a Mexican League team.

The point is there are so many pitchers available with the right talent level and potentially in the CPBL’s price range that it’s kind of a fool’s errand to try to predict who exactly CPBL teams will sign, unless you are reading reports out of Taiwan in Chinese coming from sources that actually work for one of the CPBL’s four teams.

Nonetheless, it’s still fun to identify some pitchers most MLB fans have never heard of but who still have enough left they could be stars in the CPBL earning at least $150,000 to start if they can last a full season. There were a flurry of foreign pitcher signings in the CPBL last week, but there still appear to be as many as four remaining roster spots available for foreign pitchers as I write this.

Former foreign KBO pitchers are always very popular with CPBL teams.  Christian Friedrich (32 years old in 2020), Joe Wieland (30), Deck McGuire (31), Felix Doubront (32), Pat Dean (31), Ryan Feierabend (34), David Hale (32), Tyler Cloyd (33) and Scott Copeland (32) are all over age-30 former KBOers who are still looking for a contract somewhere.

Christian Friedrich is my favorite as a potential CPBLer.  He hasn’t pitched in the MLB-system since 2017 due to an arm injury.  In 2019, he split the season between the Atlantic League and the KBO and pitcher very well in both places.  He’s not returning to the KBO to start the 2020 season (all the KBO roster spots for foreign pitchers are now filled), and at age 32, he might find it hard to get a call from an MLB organization.

Also, by my calculation Friedrich only earned about $160K last season, which is an amount a CPBL team could easily afford.  Almost all of these pitchers would be a good bet for a CPBL team, so long as any of them are willing to pitch in Taiwan for what the Rakuten Monkeys or the 7/11 Uni-Lions are willing to pay.  The ChinaTrust Brothers and the Fubon Guardians spent big on foreign pitchers this off-season, but their roster spots are now filled.

I like Feierabend too, because as a knuckleballer, he could still potentially pitch for years in the CPBL even though he’s already 34.

Pitchers who pitched well in the Caribbean Winter Leagues are a good bet for CPBL teams.  Teddy Stankiewicz (26) , who pitched well at AAA for the Red Sox last year and in both Mexico and the Dominic Republic this winter, would be a great prospect, but I expect an MLB organization will eventually get around to signing him.  David Kubiak (30) pitched so well in the Dominican Republic this winter, he deserves another shot in the CPBL.

Eric Stout (27), Jason Garcia (27), Justin Nicolino (28), Jake Paulson (28), Giovanni Soto (29), Mitch Lambson (29), Forrest Snow (31), Joe Van Meter (31), Hector Santiago (32) and Mitch Atkins (34) round out a list of pitchers who were good this winter and are still looking for summer 2020 jobs.

CPBL teams like AAA pitchers who have aged out and didn’t quite pitch well enough the previous season to receive a contract for next season.  The current possibilities include Dan Camarena (27), Dillon Overton (28), Tyler J. Alexander (28), Ryan Merritt (28), Parker Bridwell (28), Daniel Corcino (29), Drew Hutchison (29), Dietrich Enns (29), Erasmo Ramirez (30), Kyle Lobstein (30), Seth Maness (31), J.J. Hoover (32), and Logan Ondrusek (35).

I still like Tyler Alexander and Kyle Lobstein, whom I listed last off-season, as potential CPBL pitchers, but any of these pitchers would be good bets.  J.J. Hoover pitched in the Australian Baseball League this winter, which is great back door to the CPBL, because it’s easier and cheaper for CPBL teams to scout players Down Under than in the Americas.  Thomas Dorminy (28) and Rick Teasley (29) are two former CPBL pitchers pitching in Australia this winter, who, I bet, would jump at the chance to pitch in Taiwan again at CPBL salaries, even at the low end.

CPBL teams like Mexican League pitchers too.  Matt Gage (27), Andre Rienzo (31) and Dustin Crenshaw (31) are current Mexican League pitchers who might be available this off-season.

Needless to say, many of the pitchers I’ve listed will get minor league offers between now and the end of Spring Training, or they will elect to pitch in the Atlantic League or the Mexican League in the hopes of working their way back to the MLB system.  Even so, there are lots of options out their for CPBL teams, if they are willing to turn over every stone and kick a few tires.

MLB Teams Sign More Asian Players

December 19, 2019

We’ve had a flurry of signings of Asian players the last couple of days.  I’ve been waiting to see if Shogo Akiyama gets signed, but it hasn’t happened yet.

First, the Tampa Rays signed Yoshitomo Tsutsugo for two years at $12M.  The Rays are also sending $2.4M to his old team, the Yokohama Bay Stars.

The Rays obviously like Yoshi’s high on-base percentages, but his power is likely to get swallowed up at Tropicana Field, he doesn’t run well and he’s not reported to have a great deal of defensive value.  Still, you have to like his career NPB .382 on-base percentage and the fact that he’s still only 28 years old.

The Cardinals inked former KBO ace Kwang-hyun Kim for a two-year $8M guarantee with a possible $3M in performance bonuses.  That’s plenty more than the Padres were willing to offer Kim give off-seasons ago when he was a lot younger.  However, he’s pitched extremely well since missing all of 2017 to Tommy John surgery, so maybe now is his time to shine in MLB.

I’m doubtful the KBO has gotten significantly better compared to MLB in the last five years, but there’s certainly more demand for KBO players after the MLB success of Eric Thames and Merrill Kelly.

Finally, the Blue Jays reached agreement long-time NPB star Shun Yamaguchi pending a physical.  It is believed the amount will be about $6M guaranteed for two seasons.  I would expect a lot of performance incentives at that price.

If the contract amount is right, Yamaguchi’s deal could well turn out to be the best signing for the team of the three.  At $3M per, that’s the price of an effective middle reliever, and I think Yamaguchi will be at least that in his two season with the Jaybirds.

I have this vision of Yamaguchi being a worthy successor to Koji Uehara.  I don’t have much to base that on other than their ages when they came to MLB and their success level in NPB.  Call it a feeling or a hunch.  In any event, it’s a very affordable deal for the Blue Jays with the potential for significant upside.

I’m wondering if the Rays or the Jays will also sign centerfielder Akiyama.  So long as Akiyama actually gets along with Tsutsugo or Yamaguchi, I don’t think it would be a bad idea to bring in a second Japanese player.  It might make the transition to MLB easier for both players if they at least have someone they can talk to in their native language. I think both the Rays and the Jays have been rumored to have interest in Akiyama, so we’ll see.

In a final note, 35 year old NPB slugger Wladimir Balentien, after nine seasons in which he blasted 288 home runs for the Yakult Swallows, has jumped to the SoftBank Hawks on a two-year 1 billion yen ($9.14M) deal.  It’s a lot by NPB standards for a player his age, but a number of factors worked in Big Wlad’s favor.

First, he’s got so many years of NPB service, that he no longer counts as a “foreign” player for major league roster purposes, so the Hawks will get to put an extra foreign player on the field.  Second, the Hawks have won the last three Nippon Series and fully expect to win their fourth straight in 2020.

However, talks with the Cuban government have reportedly broken down over the return of stars Alfredo Despaigne and Yurisbel Graciel.  I don’t know what happened here, particularly in light of the fact that the rich Hawks could and would pay top yen for the pair given their proven NPB performance.  The best source I know says that Despaigne earned 400M yen ($3.6M) and Graciel earned 150M ($1.4M) in 2019.

One thing I feel pretty sure of, however, is that the Cuban government is probably acting like any good old fashioned capitalist when negotiating contract terms with SoftBank.  Anyway, the Hawks have now very clearly replaced Despaigne with Balentien, which may or may not loosen up negotiations for Graciel’s and Livan Moinelo‘s 2020 playing rights.

Even if Balentien slugs in accordance with his recent seasons, the losses of both Graciel and Moinelo would seriously damage the Hawks’ chances for a 4-peat.

San Francisco’s Old Love Matt Duffy Should Be Available

November 21, 2019

The Tampa Rays just designated Matt Duffy for assignment, presumably because the Rays don’t intend to offer him salary arbitration after an injury-plagued 2019.  Duffy will likely choose free agency, which means there is at least the possibility of an affordable return performance with the San Francisco Giants.

Duffy was really popular in SF in 2015, when he was a Rookie of the Year candidate after being drafted in the 18th round of the 2012 Draft.  No one had expected much out of him, but he worked hard and had a fantastic season that year.

Since the Giants traded Duffy to the Rays in a package for starter Matt Moore, Duffy has been hurt more often than not, although he did have a fine come-back season in 2018.  Duffy’s defensive value is mostly as a 3Bman but he can also play SS and 2B on an as needed basis.

It’s hard to imagine anyone seeing Duffy as their every-day third sacker going into the 2020, but as a utility man who could seize a starting role if things break right for him (and badly for someone else), that’s certainly a possibility.

With Pablo Sandoval having undergone Tommy John surgery in August, and probably available only as a designated hitter in 2020, Sandoval’s roster space is certainly open for Duffy to step in, if the Giants decide to go that route.  If nothing else, I’m sure the fans would all love to see Duffy again back in the Orange and Black.

Aaron Brooks and Ricardo Pinto to Join the KBO in 2020

November 17, 2019

The Kia Tigers of South Korea’s KBO have reached agreement on a one-year deal with soon to be 30 year old former Baltimore Oriole Aaron Brooks, while the SK Wyverns have inked former Tampa Ray Ricardo Pinto.

What I find interesting about the signings is that contract amounts are small, both well under $1 million, but both look to be fully guaranteed, which is unusual for new foreign pitchers joining the KBO.  Brooks is getting a $200,000 signing bonus and a guaranteed salary of $479,000 (so, $679,000 in total), and Pinto is getting a $100,000 signing bonus, a $450,000 guaranteed salary and a $250,000 team option for 2021, at what I would bet dollars to donuts would be a for another $800,000 salary.

Aaron Brooks’ major league record in 2019 looks a lot like Tim Adleman‘s 2017, both players’ respective age-29 seasons.  Adleman got a $1.05 million contract to pitch in the KBO in 2018, which was probably guaranteed, in light of the facts that at the time the contract amount was not as high as it reasonably could have been given Adleman’s 2017 season and that the Samsung Lions kept him around all season in spite of the fact that his performance didn’t match his relatively-high-for-the-KBO salary.

First year contracts for foreign players was limited to a cool $1M effective the 2018-2019 off-season.  It’s entirely possible that Brooks, in particular, could have negotiated a contract that paid a $300K signing bonus and an unguaranteed $700K salary, but it’s just as likely that the Tigers were willing to guarantee his full salary in order to lock him in a lower total compensation amount.  KBO attendance was down in 2019, so a bigger guarantee to lock in a lower salary would certainly make sense from the team’s perspective.

The MLB major league minimum in 2020 will be $563,500 in 2020, but neither Brooks nor Pinto had any real shot of getting a major league (i.e., guaranteed) contract.  Aaron Brooks likely would have earned $575,000 for major league service time in 2020, but after an age-29 season in which he posted a 5.65 ERA and corresponding ratios, it was certainly uncertain that Brooks would have spent even half of the 2020 season on a major league roster.  Better to go to South Korea for a guaranteed $679,000, with a big chunk up front.

Despite his much more limited MLB success, Pinto commanded a bigger guarantee because he has a lot more leverage entering his age 26 season.  His chances of spending a big chunk of the 2020 season on a major league roster are probably better than Brooks’.  Also, the Wyverns have apparently locked him into a second KBO season for what would be a total commitment of $1.35M (at least based on the way second year options almost always work for KBO foreigners).  The Wyverns have been quoted by Yonhap as looking at Pinto as a player they can develop into a mult-year star, although KBO teams almost always treat their foreign players as win-now, immediate-performance.

Pinto is expected to replace Henry Sosa, which is a shame, because Sosa proved he was still a KBO starter after spending the first half of the season in Taiwan’s CPBL.  That’s baseball, and it could mean a repeat performance by Sosa in the CPBL in 2020.

Brooks will replace either Jacob Turner or Joe Wieland, assuming the Tigers don’t decide to replace them both.  I have to assume that Turner is the one who just lost his job, but Wieland shouldn’t be laying out money for living expenses in South Korea in 2020 either.

Yet Another Example That Short Rest in the Post Season Is Usually a Mistake

October 9, 2019

The Astros started Justin Verlander on (for him) historically short rest.  He gave up three runs in the 1st and allowed four in 3.2 IP total, after allowing the Rays one hit over 7 innings in Game 1.  I’d have gone with Wade Miley and everyone else in the Astros’ pitching staff except Verlander and Gerrit Cole, so those last two could be saved for proper rest at home in Houston for Game 5.

Now the Astros have to start Cole on short rest, when he might potentially have been a perfect two or three inning reliever, as and if necessary, in Game 5.

If Cole wins tomorrow, no harm done, except that the rotation will be screwed up in terms of when Verlander pitches in the series against the Yankees.

Managers start their aces on short rest because it’s the safe move to make.  You rely on your ace, and your ace lets you down.  Who can blame the manager.  It probably makes more sense to have your ace fully rested pitching at home in Game 5.

I’ll admit that it would have been braver for me to write this post before today’s game started, since I knew the Astros would be starting Verlander.  However, I wrote back on September 11th, that I expected Miley to get exactly one start in most of the Astros’ post-season series, because he was the obvious choice for a No. 4 starter needed to keep the team’s three aces fresh.

Now it’s all up to Gerrit Cole on short rest at home to make A.J. Hinch look like he knows what he’s doing.

Is It Worth Tanking to Improve Your MLB Draft Position?

September 25, 2019

My team, the SF Giants, are currently in line to get either the 13th or 14th pick in the 2020 June Draft.  Gints fans will remember that the team made deals at the trade deadline, but they were kind of push.  The team sold on a couple of relievers, but also made trades designed to help the team going forward in 2019.  The Gints still had an outside shot at making the play-offs at the trade deadline, and they play in a market large enough to make total rebuilds relatively expensive.

Is it worth tanking, at least once the team has realized it has no reasonable chance of making the post-season, in order to get a higher selection in the next MLB draft?

I looked at the first twelve draft picks from the June drafts starting with 1987 (the first year the June draft was the only MLB amateur draft conducted for the year) through 2009 (which is long enough ago that we should now know whether the players drafted were major league success stories).  Suffice it say, with the first 12 draft picks of each June draft, the team imagines it has drafted a future major league star in compensation for sucking ass the previous season.

In order to keep things simple, I used baseball reference’s career WAR totals to determine whether each drafted player was a major league success.  Not precise, I’ll admit, since what drafting teams really care about is the first six-plus major league seasons of control.  However, I don’t know how to create a computer program to figure out the years-of-control WAR for each drafted player, and I’m not sure I’d be willing to spend the time to do so even if I knew how.  Career WAR seems a close enough approximation.

Also, for purposes of my study, no player is considered to have lower than a 0 career WAR — you cannot convince me that a drafted player who never reaches the majors is worth more than a drafted player who played in the majors but had a negative career WAR.  A player reaches and plays in the majors 9 times out of 10 because he is the best player available at that moment to take the available roster spot.  The tenth time, he is worth trying to develop as a major league player because of his potential upside.

As a result, I did not bother with averages.  Instead, I looked at median performances (i.e., for the 23 players picked at each of the first 12 draft slots during the relevant period, 11 players had a higher career WAR and 11 players had a lower career WAR than the median player.

Also, if a player was drafted more than once in the top 12, because he didn’t sign the first time drafted, I still counted him as his career WAR for each time he was drafted.

Here we go:

1st Overall Pick.  Median player:  Ben McDonald (1989, 20.8 Career WAR).  Best Players drafted with the No. 1 pick: Alex Rodriguez (1993, 117.8 career WAR); Chipper Jones (1990, 85.3 WAR); Ken Griffey, Jr. (1987, 83.8 WAR).  Odds of drafting a 15+ WAR player = 61%.  [Examples of 15+ WAR players are Mike Lieberthal (15.3 WAR); Gavin Floyd (15.6 WAR); Eric Hosmer (15.7+ WAR); and Phil Nevin (15.9 WAR).]  Odds of drafting a 10+ WAR player = 65%.  [Examples of 10+ WAR players are Rocco Baldelli (10.2 WAR); Shawn Estes (10.4 WAR); Todd Walker (10.5 WAR)  ; and Doug Glanville (10.9 WAR).]  Odds of drafting a 5+ WAR player = 70%.  [Examples of 5+ WAR players are John Patterson (5.0 WAR); Mike Pelfrey (5.3 WAR); Billy Koch (5.4 WAR); and Sean Burroughs (5.5 WAR).]

2nd Overall Pick.  Median player: Dustin Ackley (2009, 8.1 WAR).  Best Players drafted with the No. 2 pick: Justin Verlander (2004, 70.8+ WAR); J.D. Drew (1997, 44.9 WAR).  Odds of drafting a 15+ WAR player = 35%.  Odds of drafting a 10+ WAR player = 43%.  Odds of drafting a 5+ WAR player = 70%.

3rd Overall Pick.  Median player:  Philip Humber (2004, 0.9 WAR).  Best Players drafted at No. 3: Evan Longoria (2006, 54.2+ WAR); Troy Glaus (1997, 38.0 WAR).  15+ WAR player = 22%10+ WAR player = 35%5+ WAR player = 43%.

4th Overall Pick.  Median player: Tim Stauffer (2003, 3.8 WAR).  Best Players drafted at No. 4: Ryan Zimmerman (2005, 37.7+ WAR); Alex Fernandez (1990, 28.4 WAR).  15+ WAR player = 17%10+ WAR player = 26%5+ WAR player = 39%.

5th Overall Pick.  Median player: zero value.  Best players drafted at No. 5: Mark Teixeira (2001, 51.8 WAR); Ryan Braun (2005, 47.7+ WAR).  15+ WAR player = 30%10+ WAR player = 35%5+ WAR player = 39%.

6th Overall Pick.  Median player: zero value.  Best players drafted at No. 6: Derek Jeter (1992, 72.6 WAR); Zack Greinke (2002, 71.3+ WAR).  15+ WAR player = 9%10+ WAR player = 13%5+ WAR player = 26%.

7th Overall Pick.  Median player: Calvin Murray (1992, 2.1 WAR).  Best players drafted at No. 7: Frank Thomas (1989, 73.9 WAR); Clayton Kershaw (2006, 67.6+ WAR).  15+ WAR player = 30%10+ WAR player = 39%5+ WAR player = 48%.

8th Overall Pick.  Median player: zero value.  Best players drafted at No. 8: Todd Helton (1995, 61.2 WAR); Jim Abbott (1988, 19.6 WAR).  15+ WAR player = 13%10+ WAR player = 26%5+ WAR player = 39%.

9th Overall Pick.  Median player: Aaron Crow (2008, 2.6 WAR).  Best players drafted at No. 9:  Kevin Appier (1987, 54.5 WAR); Barry Zito (1999, 31.9 WAR).  15+ WAR player = 26%10+ WAR player = 26%5+ WAR player = 48%.

10th Overall Pick.  Median player: Michael Tucker (1992, 8.1 WAR).  Best players drafted at No. 10: Robin Ventura (1988, 56.1 WAR); Eric Chavez (1996, 37.5 WAR).  15+ WAR player = 39%10+ WAR player = 48%5+ WAR player = 52%.

11th Overall Pick.  Median player: Lee Tinsley (1987, 1.7 WAR).  Best players drafted at No. 11: Max Scherzer (2006, 60.5+ WAR); Andrew McCutchen (2005, 43.6+ WAR).  15+ WAR player = 13%10+ WAR player = 17%5+ WAR player = 22%.

12th Overall Pick.  Median player: Bobby Seay (1996, 3.0 WAR).  Best players drafted at No. 12: Nomar Garciaparra (1994, 44.2 WAR); Jared Weaver (2004, 34.4 WAR).  15+ WAR player = 26%10+ WAR player = 39%5+ WAR player = 48%.

What do I conclude from all of the above number-crunching and name-dropping (and my cursory review of the Nos. 13-15 draft picks during the relevant period)?  It’s worth tanking to get the first or second pick in the June Draft or to get one of the top ten picks.  Since teams bad enough at the trade deadline to have a reasonable shot to get the No. 1 or 2 picks will be tanking no matter what, the only real lesson is that teams that have the 11th to 15th worst record in MLB approaching the trade deadline and realize they have no reasonable shot to make the post-season should SELL, SELL, SELL in order to get one of the top ten draft picks the next June.

The second lesson I take from my study is that teams should ALWAYS draft the player they think to be the best available/remaining if they have a top 12 or 15 draft pick and PAY what it takes to sign the player, unless the potential draftee has made it clear he will not sign with the team under any circumstances.  After the two best players in any given draft, there is too much uncertainty for teams not to draft the player they think is the best available.  Drafting a player the team thinks is a lesser player in order to save $2 million to throw at a high school player drafted in the 11th round is going to be a bad decision in most cases, particularly in the current regime where teams get a finite budget to sign their first ten draft picks, and the draftees know the cap amounts.

I see no obvious difference in the results for the third through tenth rounds, because, I assume, after the first two consensus best players in any given draft, teams have different opinions about the merits of the next, larger group of potential draftees, to the point where it more or less becomes a crap shoot.  After the first two rounds, and with the notable exception of the 10th round, the median player drafted with the third through 12th pick isn’t really worth a damn, and the odds of selecting a 15+ WAR player, a true star, are considerably less than one in three.

As a final note, I don’t like the fact that post-trade-deadline waiver deals can no longer be made.  I don’t see the downside in allowing losing teams to dump their over-paid veterans after the trade deadline (but before the Sept. 1st play-off eligibility deadline) in exchange for some, usually limited, salary relief and prospects, while play-off bound teams get to add veterans so they can put the best possible team on the field come play-off time.  I hope MLB can find a way for these deals to resume in the future.

Busy Trade Deadline Day for San Francisco Giants

August 1, 2019

After being up in the air about how they were going to go into the trade deadline, the Giants made a flury of moves that kind of split the difference.  The Giants sent away relievers Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black, held onto Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith, and added 2Bmen Scooter Gennett and Mauricio Dubon and a bunch of B and C-grade prospects.

Dyson was the only really important piece for the Giants in 2019, and the Giants got three prospects for his last 1.33 seasons of control.  The three prospects are Prelander Berroa, a 19 year old right-hander who has never pitched above the rookie league level; Jaylin Davis, a just turned 25 year old outfielder who is a former 24th round draft pick but is having a big year this year in the high minors; and Kei-Wei Teng, a big (6’4″, 260 lbs) Taiwanese right-hander pitching well at full season A ball this year at age 20.

After a promotion from AA, Jaylin Davis was slashing .331/.405/.708 after 41 games for AAA Rochester, and he runs well. However, his career minor league .812 OPS is probably a better reflection of his true talents. doesn’t rank any of the three prospects the Giants received as being in the Twins’ top 30.

The Giants got a big return from the Brewers for Drew Pomeranz and Ray Black.  Just turned 25 2Bman Mauricio Dubon was slashing .297/.333/.475 after 427 plate appearances at AAA San Antonio.  Dubon was born in Honduras and went to high school in Sacramento.  He is just the second Honduran born player in major league history — the first was Gerald Young.

The trades involving Mark Melancon and Scooter Gennett were mostly about moving salary for the selling teams.  The Braves will reportedly pay all of Melancon’s remaining contract, which is close to $19M through the end of the 2020 season.  The prospects the Giants got in return reflect it.  Righties Tristan Beck and Dan Winkler don’t impress much.

Beck is a former 4th round draft pick out of Stanford, but missed all of the 2017 season to a stress fracture in his back.  Now age 23, he has an ugly 5.65 ERA in the normally pitcher-friendly Class A+ Florida State League after eight starts this season.  After a fine major league campaign last year at age 28, Dan Winkler pitched his way out of the Braves’ bullpen this year and has had trouble throwing strikes for AAA Gwinnett.

The Giants gave the Reds “cash considerations” for Scooter Gennett, which I assume means that the Giants will be paying all of the remaining $3.25 million owed to Gennett, plus maybe another $25,000 or $50,000.  Gennett has been awful this year since coming back from an injury.  It doesn’t seem likely he’ll hit better in pitcher-friendly San Francisco than he did in hitter-friendly Cincinnati, but you never know.  One thing is for certain — the additions of Dubon and Gennett mean that Joe Panik‘s playing time will be limited going forward unless he gets hot immediately.  It also seems almost certain the Giants will non-tender Panik this off-season.

In another very minor move, the Giants swapped lefty Jacob Lopez for LF/1B Joe McCarthy.  I’m doubtful either player ever reaches the majors, but again, you never know.

The Giants promoted Derek Rodriguez, Andrew Suarez and Jandel Gustave today to replace the traded away bullpen pieces.  None of the three deserved the promotion more than Sam Selman.  However, the odds that all three of Rodriguez, Suarez and Gustave can hold their major league roster spots seem slim, so Selman may get his shot soon enough.