Stating the obvious here, the Toronto Blue Jays season is over… It has been over since July. If you want to be really cynical (my kind of fan!), it has been over since the season started. For 60% of the AL East, the season ended September 30th. All that’s left are the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays and Boston is on the verge of sweeping Tampa Bay out of the playoffs. That being said, there isn’t much recapping or baseball roster moves at this point in the season. So I decided to do something a little different for you special people that religiously read this article every week. LET’S DO THIS!
Boston Red Sox: (RECAP) The Sox are still playing and at the rate they’re going, they may be playing for a while. Boston has been on some kind of roll in September and carried that into October. Even with the layoff from the Wild Card Play-in game (Rays-Rangers), the Wild Card Playoff game (Rays-Indians), and the off day in between, the Sox have handily pounded the Rays 12-2 and 7-4 in Boston. Now they send Clay Buchholz to the mound Monday against Alex Cobb in what should be an incredible pitching match-up. Both pitchers, prior to getting injured, were in the AL Cy Young debate. If there’s one game a baseball should watch, it’s Red Sox-Rays on October 7th.
(NEWS & NOTES) The whispers have yet to begin in Boston due to the season still being alive for the Sox. Players left off the ALDS Roster: LF Jackie Bradley Jr, RHP Rubby De La Rosa, RP Drake Britton, SS John McDonald, C Ryan Lavarnway.
Tampa Bay Rays: (RECAP) Tampa Bay and Texas both almost had a September collapse, only to rebound just enough to tie for a play-in game. David Price was masterful and the Rays won giving up only 2 runs while going the distance. Then Alex Cobb shutout the Cleveland Indians, 4-0, earning them the Rays the right to play Boston. As read above, it hasn’t been very good since. Matt Moore got lit up in Game 1 and the Rays bats could do little against Sox starter Jon Lester. Game 2, the Rays bats came alive, but as you can see in the picture above, David Price got shelled. He gave up 7 ER in 7 IP.
Baltimore Orioles: (NEWS) Minority Orioles Owner and Top Selling Novelist Tom Clancy died this week. Looking back on the Orioles season, the biggest problem the Orioles faced was starting pitching before the season began. After the season, Margaret Hooper breaks it down here. SP Chris Tillman took a huge step forward in his 16-7 season. After that, the Orioles rotation is much less consistent. Scott Feldman was better by the end of the year, but his track record is like a box of chocolates. Bud Norris, if healthy and with some offense behind him, could be a better pitcher now that he’s in a more favourable ballpark in Camden Yards. Jason Hammel took a huge step back this season and his durability is a huge question mark. Owner Peter Angelos has also never been one to spend money on starting pitching. Combine that with a bullpen that was good yet again, but not as good as last season and the gaping holes at 2B and LF, GM Dan Duquette has some shopping to do. OR Duquette has to determine whether or not 2B Jonathon Schoop and OF Henry Urrutia are his men. The Baltimore Sun produced a good article trying to solve the five questions the Orioles face this offseason.
New York Yankees: (NEWS) The Yankees look like they may not just be losing future Hall of Fame pitchers Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte. Both pitchers have declared they’re going to retire, but the more concerning issue is the question “Will Joe Girardi be back?” The Yankees want the Peoria, Illinois native, but so do the Chicago Cubs, who recently have an opening after the firing of manager Dale Sveum. The Washington Nationals are also believed to be interested in Girardi after the retirement of manager Davey Johnson, but they’re probably on the outside looking in for his services. Other questions being laid out for GM Brian Cashman this offseason is how are they going to re-sign 2B Robinson Cano? How is anybody for that matter as Cano is asking for $300 million. While I’m speculating here, expect that number to come down a lot. If the Los Angeles Dodgers are saying “hell no!” chances are nobody is going to. The Yankees, after experiencing the drama they’ve faced with Alex Rodriguez, more than likely won’t budge on anything much higher than the money Red Sox former MVP 2B Dustin Pedroia was given in his latest deal signed back in July for 8 years, $100 million. That’s been much of the focus, but I’m sure once that issue is settled, the Yankees will start answering questions of how they’re going to revamp their rotation, since after C.C. Sabathia, Ivan Nova, and MAYBE Michael Pineda, it’s anybody’s guess. Dellin Betances? Manny Banuelos? The former doesn’t look ready and the latter just started to pitch simulated games September 16th after Tommy John surgery.