This week, we talk about Rusney Castillo’s monster signing of 7 years and $72.5 million with the Red Sox as well as how Cuban players are affecting not only major leagues, but other international leagues as well.
Umpires have gotten a lot of attention lately. Jayson Stark wrote an article about the best and worst umpires and which one has the “lowest ERA” or highest. We touched on this and an article from earlier this year published by Columbia University Business School that shows umpires get “star-struck” by all-star pitchers, creating the Rock Star Strike Zone.
The Tigers have been slumping lately, recently getting absolutely pummeled by the Twins. We poked them a bit. We prodded them some too. Perhaps we laughed at their misfortune. We also analyzed their problems and talked about what to expect from them for the rest of the season.
Two first place teams, the Angels and the Orioles, lost prize players to knee injuries. The Orioles now have to learn to live without Manny Machado, who has been a good run producer at the plate and a great run preventer at third base. The Angels have to do without the best pitcher on their staff, Garrett Richards, who had a dazzling 2.61 ERA until his injury. That leaves the Angels scrambling for upgrades in order to fend off the talent volcano that is the second place Oakland Athletics.
On the Royals front, Dayton Moore has managed to turn one of the worst benches into one of the better ones in the American League. By trading Valencia for Eric Kratz, promoting Christian Colon, and acquiring Josh Willingham to oust Raul Ibanez from DH, the bench is now solid on defense and provides legitimate power on offense.
We also delve into the impending call-ups that accompany expanded September Rosters.