Struggling Todd Helton fitted for contact lenses

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Todd Helton, who was dropped to the sixth spot in the batting order on Sunday, was fitted with contact lenses on Monday, according to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post.

The 36-year-old first baseman entered play on Monday with a .250 batting average to go along with just
one home run and 10 RBI. Helton told Armstrong that he had 20/15 vision in the past, but indicated that his vision might be a factor in his recent slump.

“Could be. I wasn’t seeing the ball. It was
either my eyes or my head. I didn’t know if there was anything wrong.
It was just one of those things were I wanted to make sure.”

Helton is currently third among active players (min. 3000 plate appearances)
with a .326 batting average. Only Albert Pujols tops his .426 career on-base percentage.
 

Rays to start relievers in all three games of weekend series with Orioles

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays will start a reliever in each of the three games of the club’s weekend series at home against the Orioles. Sergio Romo will start Friday, Ryne Stanek will start Saturday, and Romo will start again Sunday. The Orioles’ starters are TBA at the moment.

This continues the trend that drew attention last weekend, resulting in Angels third baseman calling the strategy “bad for baseball.” I wrote about the potential labor impacts of this strategy as well. The Rays did it against the Angels because they had a right-hander-heavy top of the lineup and didn’t want lefty Ryan Yarbrough to have to face that top of the lineup three times.

The O’s have a righty-heavy top of the lineup as well, as various combinations of Trey Mancini, Adam Jones, Manny Machado, and Jonathan Schoop have batted 1-2-3-4 for most of the season. Romo has limited right-handers to a .702 OPS this season.