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MLB News and Notes for Monday, May 30, 2022

As we fly by the quarter mark of the season, teams around the league are settling into the long season as the summer months approach. While most of the focus remains on the action on the field, there is plenty of news off the field as well. Here are some of the biggest MLB stories of the week.

Former Cy Young Winner Designated For Assignment

It has been a long fall from grace for southpaw Dallas Keuchel. A former Cy Young Award winner in 2015 with the Houston Astros, Keuchel signed a three-year deal worth $55 million with the Chicago White Sox before the 2020 season.

On Saturday, his tenure with the SouthSiders ended. In eight starts this season with the White Sox, he went 2-5 with a 7.88 ERA, 2.156 WHIP, and had just 20 strikeouts in 32 innings of work.

In his first year with Chicago, in 2020, he did pitch well, going 6-2 with a 1.99 ERA in 11 starts (the pandemic-shortened season), but it has been all downhill since then.

The best season of his career was his Cy Young award year, where he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA and pitched 232 innings.

Now, at 34-years-old, it will be interesting to see if Keuchel can latch on with a major league organization after he is officially released or if this is the end of his career. If this is it for the lefty, he will finish with a career record of 101-87 with a 3.86 ERA.

Yankees Bring In Veteran Infielder

On Thursday, the New York Yankees announced that they were bringing in former St. Louis Cardinals star Matt Carpenter on a major league contract. Prior to signing with the Yankees, he had been with the Rangers on a minor league deal before being released.

Last season, with the Cardinals, Carpenter hit just .169/.305/.275 with three home runs, 21 runs batted in, and 18 runs scored in 207 at bats. Arguably his best season was in 2018 when he hit .257/.374/.523 with 36 home runs, 81 runs batted in, and 111 runs scored.

The 36-year-old veteran will serve in a bench role for the Yankees as he has the versatility to play several positions along the infield and give depth to an aging infield that includes Anthony Rizzo, D.J. LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson, and Gleyber Torres.

Couple Of Minor Trades

The official trade deadline is not until August 2, but that did not stop a couple of teams from making some minor trades on Saturday.

First, the Pirates acquired some infield depth by trading for Cleveland Guardians’ infielder Yu Chang. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey, the Guardians will receive cash considerations in return.

Chang did not have a hit in 10 at bats this season with seven strikeouts. Last year, in 237 at bats with Cleveland, he hit .228/.267/.426 with nine home runs, 39 runs batted in, and 32 runs scored.

Elsewhere, the New York Mets also picked up another infielder as they acquired JT Riddle from the Cincinnati Reds.

The 30-year-old Riddle has just ten at bats over the last two seasons at the major league level and has three hits in that span. The most at bats he ever got in a season was in 2018 when he hit .231/.277/.377 with nine home runs, 36 runs batted in, and 28 runs scored in 308 at bats with the Marlins.

Martinez Suspended 80 Games

Once seen as a top pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals’ organization, Carlos Martinez’s career has hit another major speedbump as he was suspended 80 games for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

In 2021, Martinez went just 4-9 with a 6.23 ERA in 16 games; in that span, he also had a 1.372 WHIP while striking out 57 in 82.1 innings.

From 2015 to 2017, Martinez went a combined 42-27 and was seen as a major building block of the rotation moving forward.

Now a free agent after failed minor league contracts with the Giants and Red Sox, this could spell the beginning of the end for his career as a whole. At the very least, he won’t be pitching for a team for the foreseeable future.

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