Here’s a fun one to tide us all over until the rumors begin swirling again early Friday morning.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Rangers asked the Marlins about the availability of 26-year-old ace Josh Johnson while they were finishing up negotiations for infielder Jorge Cantu this week. The Rangers even offered the Marlins their top three prospects, and if you’re familiar with that club’s farm system you know we’re talking about serious talent.
Of course, the Fish told the Rangers immediately that Johnson is “unmovable.” The right-hander has posted a 10-3 record, a 1.00 WHIP and 146 strikeouts in 141.1 innings this season in south Florida. He leads all major leaguers with a 1.72 ERA and he’s under team control through 2013 at a very affordable price.
Nice try, Rangers. Isn’t the trade deadline a blast?
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).