Kansas City Royals v Minnesota Twins

The American League’s worst by position

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Just as the title says, I’m going position by position here to look for the AL’s weakest offensive situations to date. I’ll do the NL tomorrow.

Presented along with the team is the player most responsible.

Twins C – 390 (Drew Butera)
Twins 2B – 451 (Luke Hughes)
Mariners SS – 465 (Brendan Ryan)
Red Sox C – 472 (Jarrod Saltalamacchia)
White Sox 3B – 472 (Brent Morel)
Angels LF – 474 (Vernon Wells)
Rays SS – 483 (Reid Brignac)
Twins SS – 488 (Alexi Casilla)
Royals SS – 494 (Alcides Escobar)
Red Sox LF – 509 (Carl Crawford)
White Sox CF – 512 (Alex Rios)
Athletics 2B – 521 (Mark Ellis)
Tigers 3B – 529 (Brandon Inge)
Mariners 3B – 531 (Chone Figgins)
Blue Jays LF – 539 (Travis Snider)
Tigers CF – 543 (Austin Jackson)
Mariners C – 544 (Miguel Olivo)
Rays 1B – 564 (Dan Johnson)
Indians LF – 564 (Austin Kearns)
Orioles RF – 565 (Nick Markakis)
White Sox LF – 567 (Juan Pierre)
Twins LF – 577 (Delmon Young)
Blue Jays 2B – 577 (Aaron Hill)
Blue Jays 3B – 578 (Edwin Encarnacion)
Twins DH – 580 (Jim Thome)
Orioles 3B – 587 (Mark Reynolds)
Rays 3B – 600 (Felipe Lopez)
Rays C – 601 (John Jaso)
Mariners LF – 604 (Milton Bradley)
White Sox 2B – 607 (Gordon Beckham)
Yankees SS – 609 (Derek Jeter)
Twins 3B – 610 (Danny Valencia)
White Sox C – 617 (A.J. Pierzynski)
Athletics 3B – 625 (Kevin Kouzmanoff)
Athletics SS – 630 (Cliff Pennington)
Tigers SS – 631 (Jhonny Peralta)
Angels RF – 632 (Torii Hunter)
Angels C – 633 (Jeff Mathis)
White Sox SS – 636 (Alexei Ramirez)
Mariners CF – 636 (Ryan Langerhans)
Mariners DH – 640 (Jack Cust)
Royals 1B – 642 (Kila Ka’aihue)
Yankees RF – 646 (Nick Swisher)
Athletics RF – 646 (David DeJesus)
White Sox DH – 647 (Adam Dunn)

– The Rangers are the only team getting at least a 650 OPS out of every position to date. Their low mark is a 671 from center field.

– The White Sox, on the other hand, have seven positions list above: all of them except first base and right field. The Mariners and Twins both have six positons apiece.

– While the Yankees place two on the list, they do lead the AL in OPS at 808. The Rangers rank third at 781. Cleveland is second at 787.

CC Sabathia goes on the disabled list with a strained groin

New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws to the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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CC Sabathia pitched wonderfully Wednesday night, tossing seven shutout innings in what was easily his best start in ages. But since we live in a world in which we simply cannot have nice things, that sweet has to come with some sour: the Yankees just announced that they have placed Sabathia on the 15-day disabled list with a strained groin.

The Yankees have replaced Sabathia on the roster with their old friend Phil Coke, whose contract they just purchased from Scranton.

The Yankees have had bad luck with all of their starters not named Masahiro Tanaka so far this year. Losing one of them just as he put together his best start of the season is just a killer.

Tim Lincecum’s showcase is a lot bigger a deal than it seemed before

Tim Lincecum
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When a pitcher doesn’t sign anywhere before or during spring training people sometimes wring their hands a bit, but it’s usually the case that they’ll be OK if they are patient. Once the season starts guys start going down with injuries left and right or show that they’re ineffective. In such cases, a free agent pitcher’s value goes way up. He’s a relatively low cost option for a team which, a month ago, seemed set but is now suddenly desperate.

Tim Lincecum may benefit from that dynamic.

As we noted earlier today, the Angels’ rotation is a hot mess now that Garrett Richards is out for the year and Andrew Heaney‘s absence may be just as extended. The back end of the Giants’ rotation is likewise a mess. Lincecum was never seriously on San Francisco’s radar this past winter, but given how Matt Cain and Jake Peavy are going, those crazy kids may get back together. The Dodgers could use a pitcher and their competition with the Giants may make this whole situation a lot more profitable for Lincecum than it might have otherwise been.

Of course, Lincecum still has to show that he can pitch and that he’s healthy. That’s why he’s having the showcase, that goes down here very shorty — 2:30 eastern time — and you can watch it streaming live at CSNBayArea.com.

Buddy Carlyle named the Braves new replay assistant

Buddy Carlyle
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The Braves have been terrible with respect to replay challenges this year. Almost improbably terrible. Fredi Gonzalez has challenged calls seven times and he’s been unsuccessful on all seven challenges. Given how these things work, it’s likely because he’s getting bad advice from the Braves employee designated to watch the replays and suggest when challenges should be made.

Now Gonzalez is going to have a new guy in that role. A familiar name too: Buddy Carlyle, who Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports, will join the Braves as a coaching assistant who will handle the replay review decisions.

Carlyle, of course, spent nine seasons as a major league pitcher and nearly 20 as a professional overall. Most recently with the Mets last season before calling it a career. He pitched for the Braves as well, from 2007-09.

Now he’ll provide a new and, hopefully, more discerning set of eyes for the Braves’ replay operation.

Garrett Richards needs Tommy John surgery, Andrew Heaney has UCL damage too

Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Associated Press
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Bad, bad news for the Los Angeles Angels: their best starter needs Tommy John surgery and their most promising young starter has UCL damage as well.

Jeff Passan reports that Garrett Richards has a torn right ulnar collateral ligament and is expected to need Tommy John surgery. Richards was scratched from today’s start due to fatigue and dehydration, but Passan says they found the UCL tear while examining him yesterday. Richards is the Angels’ ace, having won 13 games in 2014 and 15 games a year ago. So far this year he a 2.34 ERA in six starts.

Heaney, meanwhile, has damage to his left ulnar collateral ligament, Passan reports. He was diagnosed with a flexor muscle strain after he was placed on the disabled list following his first start of the season, but this is obviously more serious. Unlike Richards, the plan at the moment is for Heaney to rehab rather than go under the knife. Sometimes that works. Often it doesn’t and Tommy John happens later. We’ll see.

These twin blows are huge and terrible for the Angels, who already had serious depth issues basically everywhere on the roster. The conventional wisdom before the year started was that, if everything broke right and everyone stayed healthy, they could possibly contend in an often volatile AL West, but that they didn’t have a big margin for error. This is a lot of error. The Angels are 13-15 and four games out in the division as it is. Without two starters on whom they were counting big, it’s hard to see how the rest of the Angels’ season isn’t going to be a total slog.