A couple of AL West transactiony things that, upon reading them, made me say “well, duh”:
- The Angels are not likely to bring Hideki Matsui back next year. Godzilla has hit pretty darn well over the past month. But it’s still been a down season for him overall, he’s a free agent after the season is over, he’s 36, he can’t play defense anymore and the Angels have given off approximately 136 signals this year that they intend to use Bobby Abreu as their DH next season. But other than that . . .
- The Rangers are going to bring back Ron Washington as their manager next year. Texas may be struggling right now, but this has been a fine season for them and there have been umpteen stories about how great the atmosphere is in the Rangers’ clubhouse, thanks in large part to Washington. With all of the distractions surrounding the sale of the club — distractions which filtered down through the front office and caused at least some job security anxiety among Rangers’ employees — it would have been easy for gloominess to seep into the clubhouse too. It didn’t, and Washington deserves a lot of the credit for that.
Next reports I expect to see: the Mariners may make a change or two this winter and Jerry Manuel could be on the hot seat in New York.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.