This probably qualifies as a “deep thought,” but over the weekend Zack Greinke signed with the Dodgers and James Shields was dealt to the Royals. Both Greinke and Shields were targets of the Texas Rangers. They’ve also sought to trade for Justin Upton, but they don’t want to deal a shortstop to Arizona and, with the starting pitchers falling off the market, it makes that multi-team megadeal everyone was talking about last week much harder.
So what are the Rangers going to do?
Seems like a logical option is to go back to Josh Hamilton, the player they’ve been distancing themselves from since the end of the season. Because while losing him would have been fine assuming Jon Daniels could find the wins his bat provided with someone else’s bat or in a couple of someone else’s arms, those options are getting thinner and thinner.
There’s a lot of time left in the offseason and a lot of different directions Texas could go, but every time a player falls off the big board, a reunion with Josh Hamilton becomes more and more likely.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.