Clearing The Bases: AL News & Notes
Baltimore Orioles: Well we haven’t had a 2B Brian Roberts update in a little bit, well he has started to resume baseball activities and could return to the team in mid-June…..Starting pitcher Dylan Bundy is still waiting for the go ahead from Dr. James Andrews as to when he can begin a throwing program. The O’s did promote their other stud AAA SP Kevin Gausman for a start last week versus Toronto. The results were mixed as Gausman showed what makes him a top pitching prospect with a fastball that topped out at 98 MPH but did give up four runs in five innings to a good hitting Blue Jay team.
Boston Red Sox: Starting pitcher Clay Buchholz who missed his last start with a shoulder injury looks to be lined up to pitch the opener of the series versus the Yankees this weekend. It seemed he slept on the shoulder wrong which was the reason for his discomfort…..Much has been said about OF Jacoby Ellsbury’s slow start to the season. He may be the definition of a player that has one career season and will never reach those heights again. Should be interesting to see what team signs him this off-season as it seems more and more likely that it won’t be the Red Sox…..Third baseman Will Middlebrooks who went on the DL with back spasms should be good to return to the lineup as soon as he is eligible, June 8, same with OF Shane Victorino on June 5.
Chicago White Sox: Second baseman Gordon Beckham had to stop his rehab when he felt some discomfort in his wrist but it doesn’t look like it’s all that serious and he could be back with the team as soon as this weekend…..Chris Sale who was scratched from his start last week with shoulder tendinitis is a go to start Wednesday. The Sox are already having a subpar season and if anything were to happen to Sale, it may be time to pack it in and look forward to the Bears.
Cleveland Indians: I’m sure by now you have seen the highlight of OF Nick Swisher getting thrown at by Reds closer Aroldis Chapman on Monday. Not sure where that comes from but you have to think someone on the Reds pays the price for that Tuesday. You have to protect your hitters and if I’m the Reds batters, I’m not digging into the box all that much, and if I do get hit, I’m having a talk with Chapman in the clubhouse, it’s easy to write checks that someone else’s body has to cash…..Tough break for closer Chris Perez as he suffered an elbow injury versus Boston on Sunday. Vinnie Pestano will close in his absence.
Detroit Tigers: Can 3B Miguel Cabrera win the Triple Crown again? RBIs seem like a foregone conclusion and AVG shouldn’t be a problem to, HRs will be tough though with O’s 1B Chris Davis and Jays 1B Edwin Encarnacion looking like a lock for 40+…..Justin Verlander looked much better in his start Monday versus the Pirates, but still not the dominant ace we have come to expect. It almost looks like opposing batters now what’s coming, he is also throwing more sliders than usual, just something to keep in mind…..Outfielder Austin Jackson was eligible to come off the DL on Monday but has yet to embark on a rehab assignment. He is said to be doing better however.
Houston Astros: Outfielder Chris Carter continues to lead the league in Ks with 74. What makes matters worse is that those Ks have come in only 169 ABs, over a full season that might come close to 300 whiffs. They won’t need air conditioning in Houston at this rate…..Outfielder Justin Maxwell is still at least 10-14 days away from returning to the lineup…..Have to think the Astros trade anything that’s not nailed down by the deadline. This would definitely include SP Bud Norris, and I would check the market for 2B Jose Altuve also.
Kansas City Royals: Third baseman Mike Moustakas has sat out three straight games with they are called a sore quad, but you have to wonder if his .178 AVG might have something to do with it also, perhaps he would benefit from a trip to AAA…..James Shields is now 2-6 on the season, he really has pitched pretty well, just in some tough luck, still though, have to wonder if the Rays would like OF Wil Myers back…..KC is now 7.5 games behind Detroit in the AL Central and after winning only one of their last 11 games, this season is quickly slipping away from them.
Los Angeles Angels: The Angels look like they are going to become the team we thought they would be, one that will give up their share of runs, but also hit like crazy…..Jered Weaver is scheduled to make his first start Wednesday since being put on the DL, man oh man could the Angels really use him to be the Weaver of old and be a true ace…..Tommy Hanson is also set to rejoin the rotation this weekend, don’t really know what to expect of him…..Outfielder Josh Hamilton is out of the lineup Tuesday with back spasms, this doesn’t seem to be anything to worry about, but with a back we never know.
Minnesota Twins: If you haven’t seen it, take a look at the play OF Aaron Hicks made when he robbed former Twin and current Brewer Carlos Gomez of a HR on Tuesday, wow…..Love how the Twins said the reason they called up SPs Sam Deduno and P.J. Walters instead of Kyle Gibson last week was because they wanted Gibson to show more consistency in his starts. While that may be true, the real reason is because they didn’t want to start his arbitration clock yet.
New York Yankees: Pretty unbelievable that OF Curtis Granderson suffered another injury when he was struck by a pitch versus the Rays on Friday. He was just starting to hit but will now be lost to the team for at least a month…..With the way 1B Lyle Overbay has hit in Mark Teixeira’s absence, Tex will have quite a bit of pressure on him to produce when he returns to the lineup, this weekend. The same can be said about 3B Kevin Youkilis as David Adams has been very good while he was on the DL. Unfortunately for both players however, there may be little room on the team for them when those players do return…..SS Eduardo Nunez has been shutdown from baseball activities after feeling a twinge in his side…..Andy Pettitte threw 75 pitches in a simulated game Tuesday and could be activated as soon as the NYY want him to rejoin the starting rotation, next week.
Oakland Athletics: I picked the A’s to win the AL West this season and I’m liking that pick more and more as they have been able to withstand a few injuries and are only three games out of first place…..Outfielder Josh Reddick has started a rehab stint and could be back with the A’s as soon as Friday…..Third baseman Josh Donaldson is having a really good season, maybe the best season that no one is talking about. He’s hitting .324 with eight HRs and 33 RBIs so far this season. He could actually make the All-Star team…..Shortstop Jed Lowrie, after missing a few games with a foot injury has returned to the lineup…..This is not the week to start Of Brandon Moss as the A’s are scheduled to face five left-handed pitchers.
Seattle Mariners: First baseman Justin Smoak has missed the last three games with a strained oblique. Not really sure why the team hasn’t placed him on the DL, not like he was hitting anyway, might as well give him two weeks off to make sure he is completely healthy…..How does Aaron Harang throw a shutout versus anyone? The Mariners finally tired of 2B Dustin Ackley and his empty offense and sent him back down to AAA, talk about a fall from grace, Carlos Triunfel is his likely replacement.
Tampa Bay Rays: The Rays are still trying to figure out what is up with their rotation. David Price still isn’t ready to start a rehab assignment, Matt Moore is 8-0 but not going deep into games because of wildness, Jeremy Hellickson has been terribly inconsistent, Roberto Hernandez is getting shelled, and Jake Odorizzi was just sent back to AAA. This was supposed to be the strength of their team. Chris Archer seems likely to be called up to replace Odorizzi in the rotation…..What has 2B Kelly Johnson been eating lately? He’s on a pretty good power binge.
Texas Rangers: Second baseman Jurickson Profar is doing well since replacing the injured Ian Kinsler, but still won’t have a place to play when Ian returns…..Alexi Ogando could return to the Rangers as soon as this weekend if he doesn’t require a rehab start…..Martin Perez was sent back down to AAA after starting the first game of Monday’s doubleheader…..Colby Lewis is probably about two weeks away from joining the Rangers rotation.
Toronto Blue Jays: Third baseman Brett Lawrie sprained his ankle on an awkward slide into second base Monday and seems likely to need a DL stint…..Josh Johnson looks like he will join the Jays rotation at some point in San Francisco next week…..Ricky Romero however won’t be rejoining the rotation anytime soon, he looks completely lost at AAA…..Brendan Morrow had to leave his start early on Tuesday due to a stiff forearm, the same injury that bothered him in his last start. He may need a DL stint as well.
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