Rumor: Twins interested in Nationals closer Matt Capps

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Tim Kurkjian of ESPN.com reports that the Twins are interested in Nationals closer Matt Capps, which along with yesterday’s report that they’re talking to the Blue Jays about various relievers makes it pretty clear that Minnesota is in the market for bullpen help.
It’s tough to find anyone who has any sort of confidence in Jon Rauch as a closer, but he’s actually done a very good job filling in for the injured Joe Nathan by converting 20-of-24 saves with a 3.22 ERA and 26/9 K/BB ratio in 36.1 innings.
Capps has a longer history of closing and I’m sure that’s what the Twins find appealing about him, but he’s hardly a prototypical flame-throwing closer and hasn’t really been any better than Rauch with a 2.86 ERA and 36/9 K/BB ratio in 44 innings.
Beyond that the Twins’ bullpen as a whole has hardly been a problem this year. In fact, Twins relievers lead the league with a 3.17 ERA and haven’t been particularly overworked, ranking in the middle of the pack in innings and appearances.
Capps certainly wouldn’t be a bad addition and pushing Rauch back into a setup role would only make the overall bullpen stronger, but Kurkjian speculates that the Nationals will ask the Twins for top catching prospect Wilson Ramos in exchange for Capps and … well, that would just be silly.

Orioles’ Mark Trumbo becomes the first to 40 home runs this season

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 28: Mark Trumbo #45 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a home run during the eighth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on August 28, 2016 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.

Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.

Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.

Gerrit Cole scratched from Monday’s start

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 07:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates waits out a replay review in the first inning during the game against the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on August 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday that Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was scratched from Monday’s start against the Cubs. Cole instead has flown to Los Angeles to have his sore right elbow examined by a specialist, Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Cole struggled in Wednesday’s start against the Astros, yielding five runs in five innings. He did not throw his regular between-starts bullpen. An MRI didn’t reveal any ligament damage, but a bone spur remains a possibility.

Cole, 25, has a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over 20 starts this season. The right-hander missed some time earlier this season with a triceps injury.