Brandon McCarthy “scouted heavily” by at least six teams

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Once upon a time Brandon McCarthy was considered a top pitching prospect and in December of 2006 the White Sox traded him to the Rangers for John Danks and Nick Masset.

That trade didn’t exactly work out well for Texas, in part because of Danks’ emergence as one of the league’s best southpaws and in part because McCarthy’s career has been wrecked by injuries.

He didn’t pitch in the majors at all this season and was limited to just 56 innings at Triple-A because of a stress fracture in his shoulder, but McCarthy pitched well in the minors when healthy, has a 1.96 ERA in four Dominican winter league starts, and is still just 27 years old despite seemingly being around (and more often than not on the disabled list) forever.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that McCarthy “has been scouted heavily in recent weeks” by a number of teams, including the Astros, Diamondbacks, Brewers, Padres, Mariners, Tigers, and A’s. Even setting aside his injury history McCarthy often struggled in Texas and Chicago because he’s an extreme fly-ball pitcher and both of those ballparks boost power hitting. San Diego, Seattle, and Oakland would be good fits for him in terms of limiting his weaknesses.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.