When it comes to collecting terrible-hitting former Angels catchers the Blue Jays just can’t help themselves.
Toronto has claimed Bobby Wilson off waivers, adding him to a roster that already included Angels castoff Jeff Mathis.
Wilson spent this season backing up Chris Iannetta, but was forced into extended duty by Iannetta’s broken wrist and ended up hitting .211 with a .569 OPS in 75 games. At age 30 he’s purely backup material at best.
His departure does open the door for 24-year-old prospect Hank Conger to take over as Ianneta’s new backup, although after the Angels signed Iannetta to a three-year, $15.5 million extension last month it wouldn’t be surprising if they look to trade Conger this winter.
For the third consecutive season, the Astros are AL West champions. The ‘stros clinched the division on Sunday afternoon with a convincing 13-5 win over the Angels. They were backed by three homers from leadoff man George Springer and individual homers from Alex Bregman and Aledmys Díaz.
Springer has the 22nd three-homer game in baseball this season. He’s the first Astro to hit three homers in a game since Yordan Álvarez last month, on August 10.
Justin Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s start, yielding two runs on six hits and a pair of walks with five strikeouts. The right-hander is arguably the frontrunner for the AL Cy Young Award, now 20-6 with a 2.53 ERA and a 288/42 K/BB ratio in 217 innings on the year. Verlander is 12 strikeouts shy of the 300-strikeout milestone and six strikeouts short of 3,000 for his career. If the Astros stay on schedule, Verlander would pitch the second-to-last game of the regular season against the Angels.
Sunday’s win marked No. 102 on the season for the Astros. The franchise record is 103 wins set last year. With six games remaining, it seems likely the Astros will set a new record.
The Astros and Yankees both won on Sunday, meaning the Astros remain a half-game ahead in the race for home field advantage. The No. 1 seed will also have the privilege of playing the Wild Card winner, which is down to the Athletics, Rays, and Indians.