The MLB Daily Dish is a daily feature we're running here at MLBDD and rounds up roster-impacting news, rumors, and analysis. Have feedback or have something that should be shared? Hit us at @mlbdailydish on Twitter.
Good morning baseball fans!
It was mentioned yesterday in the American League West roundup, but Rangers starter Colby Lewis is out for two months with a strained lat.
The Phillies might be in line for some good news, as Vince Velasquez says that he is ready to return to the rotation.
Andrew McCutchen has totally lost his swing.
This is either encouraging or it’s not. Just last year, McCutchen played through injury, and he successfully returned to his old level of performance. This year’s injury, however, is a different one, and should it nag, it’s hard to see how McCutchen could get back to being himself. Maybe he really does just need to not grip the bat so hard, but for one thing, that could be a tricky adjustment, and for another, maybe that would sap some of his strength. Who’s to say? The best solution would be for the pain to go away, but with that, there are no guarantees. There are hopes, and there’s modern medicine, but hitters use their hands to swing countless times a day. The potential is there for the discomfort to drag on.
So for the second year in a row, Andrew McCutchen is trying to play at something well below 100%. Last time, it worked out, and the Pirates were better for it. Last time isn’t this time, but the Pirates, certainly, don’t need him any less.
Baltimore is interested in both Francisco Liriano and Drew Pomeranz.
Another team interested in Pomeranz, the Marlins, are also being linked to Jake Odorizzi and Bud Norris.
It was mentioned at the top of the Dish, but here is the roundup of news from around the American League West.
Despite them being at the top of the western divisions, the Giants and Rangers might not be as good as they look.
What can’t be so easily waved off is the Rangers’ and Giants’ defensive performances. Both teams are elite with the gloves this season, with players like Beltré, Desmond, Brandon Crawford, Matt Duffy, and Buster Posey all putting up great numbers by most metrics. The irony, of course, is that by Park-Adjusted Defensive Efficiency, both the Dodgers and the Mariners are either on par with or better than their division rivals on defense. The Rangers and Giants aren’t gaining too much of a competitive advantage in the only arena where they can properly claim greatness — an arena that can be notoriously unstable in small samples.
All of this may not matter by the end of the season. Both teams have built such sturdy leads in their respective divisions that even if they just played .500 ball for the rest of the year, they’d probably still make the playoffs. Once you’re there, anything can happen.
There’s only so long you can dance along the razor’s edge before you get cut, however. In fact, the Rangers might be ready to taste blood, now that more than half of their rotation is on the DL. (Rangers starters for the next month appear to be Cole Hamels and a pile of string.) The success of both the Rangers and the Giants has looked a lot like smoke and mirrors. Sometimes smoke can carry you all the way to the end of October, but most of the time we just end up seeing its true reflection.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1970, the Reds play their final game at Crosley Field.