Los Angeles Dodgers claim RHP Layne Somsen off waivers from New York Yankees
06/23/2016 2:06 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Relief pitcher Layne Somsen throws against the Phillies.(AP)
The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Wednesday night that they have claimed RHP Layne Somsen off waivers from the Yankees, and optioned Somsen to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers transferred RHP Chih-hui Tsao from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.
The Yankees had claimed Somsen, 27, off waivers from Cincinnati on May 24th, then designated him for assignment on June 13th when they signed 1B Ike Davis. Somsen pitched 6 scoreless innings over 4 appearance while with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and has a 1.44 ERA in 14 total appearances (19 innings pitched) between SWB and the Reds' Triple-A affiliate in Louisville.
Somsen has also made 2 major-league appearances this year, both with the Reds, where he allowed 5 runs in 2 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers signed veteran left-hander Randy Choate to a minor league deal recently, Baseball America’s Matt Eddy reported in his Minor League Transactions roundup this week. The 40-year-old ACES client was in camp with the Blue Jays back in Spring Training but was released on March 29.
Choate’s most recent big league work came with the Cardinals, who signed him to a 3-year deal covering his age-37 to age-39 seasons. As a strict lefty specialist, Choate was deployed in a highly limited role with St. Louis and totaled just 98 2/3 innings over the life of the deal. In that time, he posted a 3.56 ERA with 7.5 K/9 against 2.6 BB/9. Those numbers aren’t exactly dominant, but Choate was unhittable against lefties for most of his tenure with St. Louis, allowing same-handed batters to post a paltry .176/.270/.247 batting line. His numbers in 2013-2014 were stellar, though it should be noted that Choate did slip up a bit in 2015 when he yielded a .259/.333/.361 line to left-handed hitters.
Choate hasn’t been playing since that spring audition with Toronto, so he’ll probably need to build up some strength before joining one of the Dodgers’ minor league affiliates. Once active, he’ll serve as a veteran depth piece that has long been a thorn in the side of opposing lefties. It’s conceivable that he could help out the Dodgers later in the year by matching up against some tough left-handed hitters, assuming he proves that he has something left in the tank at the minor league level.
Per Eddy’s report, the Dodgers also added right-hander Alfredo Figaro on a minor league pact. The 31-year-old spent the 2015 season pitching for the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization and posted a 3.38 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 165 innings out of the rotation. He hasn’t appeared in the Majors since 2014 with the Brewers, but Figaro has a fair amount of MLB experience. In parts of 4 big league seasons with Detroit and Milwaukee, he has a 5.04 ERA in 114 1/3 innings.
The Pirates have designated INF Cole Figueroa and righty Jorge Rondon for assignment, the club announced. They lost their roster spots to make way for infielder/outfielder Adam Frazier and righty Juan Nicasio.
Figueroa, 28, saw limited action in Pittsburgh this year and has still yet to crack the century mark in major league plate appearances. But he’s a versatile fielder who owns a .288/.356/.376 batting line in 1,777 plate appearances at the Triple-A level.
Rondon, who is also 28, has seen just 19 frames at the major league level over the past three seasons. The results have been less than stellar in that minuscule sample, but he too has had his successes in the upper minors. Across 238 2/3 Triple-A innings, Rondon owns a 2.72 ERA with 7.1 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9.
Aroldis Chapman’s name continues to come up in speculation, but Heyman writes that the Yankees haven’t ruled out signing the lefty to an extension as opposed to entertaining trade offers. Heyman adds that the Yankees have yet to even have internal discussions about selling off parts of their MLB roster.
All these years later, it still stings, though Horace Clarke says he understands. But hearing people mock the Yankees' "Horace Clarke Era" makes him say, "Here we go again."
Clarke was the starting second baseman for the Yankees in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a productive player who says he was "infuriated" when given a day off. But those were fallow years for the Yankees – their stars were aging and they did not win the pennant, which fans still expected. Really, though, how could a team replace players such as Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Elston Howard?
Clarke admits, "I am hurt" by the idea he was a scapegoat. "I played my (butt) off. But I know – New York is New York. You don't win, you're going to hear about it. I was in the middle."
Clarke, now 69, is retired and living in his native St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. After leaving baseball after a few months with the Padres at the end of 1974, he came home and ran baseball programs for kids. Midre ****sand Jerry Browne, two former major leaguers, came through Clarke's programs.
Clarke laughs easily during a recent phone conversation and while he sometimes wishes he wasn't a touchstone for those Yankee years, it's clear he enjoyed his career. "Walking onto the field at the Stadium that first time was one of the biggest things for me," he says. "I grew up listening to the Yankees on the radio and Phil Rizzuto was my idol – I associated with him because he was small and I was small and I played shortstop then, too.
"I remember walking out there and thinking, 'Here I am, this little guy from the Virgin Islands, in Yankee Stadium.' "
Clarke played from 1965-1974 and led the AL in at-bats and singles twice. In 1969, he had his best year, batting .285 with 33 steals. He was difficult to strike out, fanning only once every 19.6 at-bats in 1970, tops in the league.
He laughs again when he says, "I had some really unusual things happen to me." That's also how he explains wearing his trademark hard helmet in the field instead of a cap.
Within one month in 1970, Clarke broke up no-hit bids by Jim Rooker, Sonny Siebert and Joe Niekro, all in the ninth inning. He was the final batter in a bizarre scene in the Washington Senators' final game at RFK Stadium on Sept. 30, 1971 – fans poured onto the field, causing the Senators to forfeit when they were winning in the ninth.
Clarke also says he may have been the last Yankee to live in the neighborhood while playing in the Bronx, at the Concourse Plaza Hotel on the Grand Concourse. "I walked three blocks to the ballpark," he says.
Nowadays, Clarke spends much of his time on music, playing his beloved vibraphone. "I'm retired, I have all the time in the world to practice," he says. "I love the standards." A few times a week, he plays with a five-person band.
"It's a fun thing," he says. "Sometimes after a gig, I'm happy with it and sometimes not. Like baseball."
New York Yankees activate Mark Teixeira from disabled list, designate Ike Davis for assignment
06/25/2016 12:26 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Teixeira has been out since June 3.(AP)
NEW YORK -- As expected, the New York Yankees activated Mark Teixeira from the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, and he was in the lineup hitting sixth and playing first base for Saturday afternoon's game against Minnesota.
To make room for Teixeira on the 25-man roster, the Yankees designated 1st baseman Ike Davis for assignment.
Teixeira went on the disabled list on June 4th because of torn cartilage in his right knee. He was hitting .180 with 3 HRs and 12 RBIs in 48 games before landing on the DL, and was 1-for-9 with a sacrifice fly in 3 rehab games with the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders earlier this week before rejoining the Yankees.
Davis was signed on June 13th after the Yankees placed Chris Parmelee on the disabled list. He appeared in 8 games in pinstripes, all at 1st base, and went 3-for-15 (.200) with 1 RBI at the plate.