Denver — The San Diego Padres acquired Trevor Rosenthal in a trade with the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, bolstering their bullpen for the pursuit of their first playoff appearance in 14 years.
San Diego thought its bullpen would be one of its biggest strengths this year after it traded for Emilio Pagán and signed Drew Pomeranz in free agency. But it has been hit hard by injuries, losing closer Kirby Yates for the rest of the season because of an inflamed right elbow. Pomeranz was on the IL with a strained left shoulder before he was activated on Saturday.
Enter Rosenthal, who is in the middle of a rebound season after struggling with injuries and poor performance in recent years. The 30-year-old right-hander has a 3.29 ERA and seven saves in 14 games.
“We’re excited to have him in,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “Lot of history, of experience at the back end of bullpens and closing games. He’s been having a great year in Kansas City. We’re excited to get his addition to our group.”
San Diego began the day in second in the NL West with a 20-14 record. Tingler said the team hopes Rosenthal can join the club in time for Sunday’s game at Colorado.
The last-place Royals obtained outfielder Edward Olivares and a player to be named in the deal. General manager Dayton Moore said Olivares will report to the team’s alternate training site.
“This made a lot of sense for us at this time,” Moore said. “I wish we’d be adding at this time, but it was nice to get a player back that’s a good fit and will improve our team for the future.
“By no means are we giving up hope. I believe and everyone believes we have enough talent to make things interesting in the last month.”
The 24-year-old Olivares hit .176 with a homer and three RBIs in 13 games with the Padres after making his major league debut on July 25. He batted .285 with 18 homers, 77 RBIs and 35 steals in 127 games with Double-A Amarillo last year.
The trade deadline for the pandemic-delayed season is on Monday.
Let’s play ball
All 30 major league teams played on the same day Saturday for the first time since July 26.
The league’s plan to play a pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season has been interrupted by positive coronavirus tests, protests over racial injustice, a hurricane and rain – and that’s just in the past week.
COVID-19 testing has postponed 37 games. The first was a Marlins-Orioles game July 27 after Miami experienced a team-wide outbreak during the season’s opening weekend. The most recent was a Mets-Yankees game Aug. 23 following positive tests for a Mets player and coach received Aug. 20.
The entire league was supposed to play Tuesday when the Mets returned to action, but a Yankees-Braves game in Atlanta was postponed by rain.
On Wednesday, three games were postponed as players opted not to play in response to the shooting by police of a Black man in Wisconsin – a movement that led to seven more postponements Thursday and one Friday.
Additionally, a game between the Angels and Astros in Houston was postponed Wednesday due to Hurricane Laura. The Astros then skipped their game Friday night against Oakland in a player protest.
Major League Baseball is trying to catch up on all the missed games with a bevy of doubleheaders, which have been shortened to a pair of seven-inning games this season. Saturday’s slate featured three twinbills.
The league said Friday that 84 of 90,888 samples tested for the coronavirus this season have returned a positive result, which is 0.09%.
Nats sign Holt
The Washington Nationals signed former longtime Red Sox utility player Brock Holt, adding him for the final month of the season.
The 32-year-old Holt played for the Red Sox for seven years before signing a $3.25-million, one-year deal with Milwaukee as a free agent in February.
Holt was released by the Brewers this week after hitting just .100 with nine strikeouts in 30 at-bats over 16 games.