Week In Review
Last Friday, the Orioles and Blue Jays were tied for first place. The Blue Jays helped the Orioles out by going 1-5 since then, allowing the 4-2 Orioles to open up a three-game lead in the AL East. To be fair to the Blue Jays, they had to travel to the west coast and they played some tough teams. They were swept by the A's and lost two of three to the Angels before finally getting an off day yesterday. The Orioles had a cake schedule compared to that, taking two of three from both the Red Sox and the Nationals.
Right now the Yankees look like a team without a lot of immediate upside, but they did post a winning week at 4-3. It helped that they played the dredges of the A.L. Central; in back-to-back four-game series with the Twins and Indians they split both.
The Red Sox and Rays remain too far back for anyone to concern themselves with, though the Red Sox did win three out of four from the White Sox after they lost their series to the Orioles. The Rays managed to win three straight over the Tigers last weekend, but then lost a series with the Royals to make up for it.
All teams have just one more three-game series before the All-Star Break. The Orioles and Yankees face off at Camden Yards, the Blue Jays travel to St. Pete to take on the Rays, and the Red Sox travel to Houston for three against the Astros.
News and Injuries
Bud Norris' return from the disabled list was anything but triumphant. He was knocked around by the Nats and has been optioned to AA Bowie to get a start during the All Star break. Dylan Bundy continues to make rehab starts for the Frederick Keys.
The O's are sending Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones to the All Star Game, both as starters. Jones will participate in the Home Run Derby.
The Jays have been hit hard with injuries. They had to place both Edwin Encarnacion (quad strain) and Adam Lind (broken foot) on the disabled list. Encarnacion could return before the start of August, but Lind is out indefinitely. They are still playing without Brett Lawrie (broken finger), who won't be back until at least next month.
The Blue Jays had three players selected for the All Star Game: Jose Bautista (who was voted in), Edwin Encarnacion, and Mark Buehrle. Encarnacion won't be going, obviously.
The Yankees got devastating news over the week, when starting phenom Masahiro Tanaka had to be placed on the DL with elbow soreness. He has a partially torn UCL and will try to rehab it, but you gotta think TJ surgery is in his future. They'e also lost CC Sabathia for the season after a set back rehabbing his knee, and they had to put Carlos Beltran on the 7-day concussion DL.
Derek Jeter and Dellin Betances will represent the Yankees at the All Star Game. Tanaka was also selected. Expect much drooling over Jeter if you decide to tune in.
The Red Sox are 2-0 since DFA'ing A.J. Pierzynski. Coincidence? Their only rep at the All Star Game will be Jon Lester.
Shortstop Yunel Escobar has been on a rehab assignment for his sore shoulder since early this week, and is expected to return tonight for the series against the Blue Jays. Wil Myers (stress fracture in wrist) and David DeJesus (broken hand) are still out indefinitely.
David Price will represent the Rays in this year's All Star Game.