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AL East News & Notes: Week 11

Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Here at Jays Journal we like to keep you up to date with breaking news, statistical analysis and opinion pieces on the players, staff and front office of the Toronto Blue Jays. But in the sports world the steps your opponents take on their team have an effect on your team, for better or for worse. That’s why we bring you a weekly feature where we look back on what took place among the other 4 AL East teams. It’s week 11 of our ongoing series, now called the AL East News & Notes!

Tampa Bay Rays

-OF prospect Josh Sale has had an interesting time in the Rays system, to say the least, since being drafted by the team in 2010. Last season he was banned for 50 games for using stimulants (of which he is still observing) and earlier this week he was suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the organization. Sporting News covers the events, which include throwing change at a stripper.
-Chris Archer, pitching prospect for the Rays, has been called up. Sports Talk Florida details Archer’s history and repertoire. While he did not fare too well against the Indians (4 innings, 5 ER, 2.50 WHIP), the future might look better if he develops his changeup.
-Robbie Knopf looks in depth at (yet another) Rays rookie pitcher Alex Colome and his major league debut for Rays Colored Glasses. It’s an intriguing look into Colome’s stuff, including Pitch f/x analysis, that shows just how impressive he will be going forward.

New York Yankees

-Hideki Matsui is reportedly to sign a one day contract with the Yankees in order to retire from the MLB wearing the pinstriped uniform. ESPN details the career of one of the best Japanese-imported players in the history of the MLB, including winning the 2009 World Series.
-The Yankees activated both Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis off the DL on Friday. CBS’ Eye On Baseball reports on just how much the team needs these players to produce, and produce now. They’ve lost 6 of the last 7 games.
-Alex Pugliese of Yanks Go Yard details the good, the bad and the ugly of the Yankees’ month of may. Differing from Jays Journal’s Blue Jays May recap, Alex focuses on how specific Yankees players have fared during the month. However, it does end referencing the team’s bad batting average and on base percentage during May.

Boston Red Sox

-Dustin Pedroia is a beast. He’s been playing through a UCL injury in his thumb that he’s sustained since Opening Day, according to Sports Illustrated. Even though a normal athlete would be hindered playing through an injury that would typical result in 8 weeks on the DL, he has a hit every 3 at bats, an OBP over .400 and is taking walks at a better rate than striking out, because of course a Red Sox player overcomes the odds to perform well above his means.
-It must be nice to have too much infield talent to know what to do with. Mr. Farrell is thinking of keeping Jose Iglesias around as a utility infielder when Will Middlebrooks comes back from injury, according to the Boston Herald’s Clubhouse Insider.
-Steve Peterson looks at the amazing futility of Jonny Gomes and his stride to help overcome adversity for BoSox Injection. Baseball is, at best, a distraction from the unfortunate events that sometimes are of the focus of life. As a two-time survivor of near-death experiences, Gomes does his best to provide help after the terrible events that occurred at the Boston Marathon.

Baltimore Orioles

-Jim Johnson needs to be removed as Baltimore’s closer, according to the Baltimore Sports Report. At the time of its filing, Johnson had blown his 4th of 5 save opportunities against a fortunate Blue Jays squad and sported a 21.60 ERA over his past 6 games.
-Yahoo Sports covers the events of an exciting conclusion to Friday night’s game, including a walk off home run for Chris Dickerson off of Tigers closer Jose Valverde. Any time there’s Orioles magic is a fun time, indeed.
-Randy Buchman looks into the validity of a true closer, in regards to Jim Johnson’s poor play, over at Birds Watcher. It’s an intriguing view on how managers use their relievers late into play, in which he argues that managers should use one of varying relievers to close out games based on the matchups instead of one dedicated closer. It’s not one that I agree with, as I would certainly want to use the best reliever in the highest leverage situation (including tied games in the 9th+ inning), but there is a compelling argument provided by Randy.

Weekly AL East Standings (Overall Standings)

Tampa Bay 6-1 (30-25)

Boston 4-3 (34-23)

Baltimore 4-3 (31-25)

Toronto 3-4 (23-33)

New York 1-6 (31-24)

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Topics: AL East News & Notes, Toronto Blue Jays

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