After a strong first half Alex Rios has been injured and ineffective in the second half and now T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that “it appears increasingly likely” the Rangers will decline his $14 million option for 2015.
Texas would have to buy him out for $1 million, which would send the 33-year-old outfielder into the open market following a season in which he’s managed just four homers and 23 walks in 131 games for a measly .709 OPS despite a solid .280 batting average.
Rios has topped an .800 OPS just once since 2008 and his defense is no longer good enough to offset mediocre production, making him a so-so starting corner outfielder.
The Twins have arguably baseball’s scariest offense. Their average of 5.87 runs per game is second only to the Yankees (5.90) while leading the league in slugging percentage (.501), OPS (.840), and home runs (244). White Sox starter Lucas Giolito made their offense look impotent on Wednesday, blanking them over nine innings for his second shutout of the season. The White Sox won 4-0.
Giolito allowed just three hits and walked none while fanning 12 batters over his nine innings of work. He’s now 14-6 with a 3.20 ERA and a 194/51 K/BB ratio in 151 2/3 innings on the season. Giolito is very much in the AL Cy Young Award picture. The Astros’ Justin Verlander leads the league in ERA at 2.81. A strong finish to the season for Giolito could certainly see his ERA dip below 3.00.
As mentioned, Wednesday’s shutout was Giolito’s second of the season. He and the Indians’ Shane Bieber are the only pitchers with multiple shutouts this season. They are two of only 21 pitchers with a shutout.