Here are a few odds and ends regarding three contenders out of MLB's West divisions …
- The Athletics, only a half-game behind the Rays and Orioles for one of two wild card berths, are one of baseball's most surprising teams, prompting Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle to examine how they've done it. "It isn't blind one luck," said one Major League executive. "There is thought behind it."
- Similarly, the Dodgers are a much deeper and balanced team after a string of unheralded but important moves, writes Christina Kahrl of ESPN's SweetSpot blog. The recent additions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton prove that GM Ned Colletti "never made the mistake of settling."
- The Rangers may soon promote prized shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar to the Major Leagues, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Profar, 19, is currently hitting .285/.363/.470 in 111 games with Double-A Frisco and would become the youngest position player in the Majors. Texas is currently playing with a three-man bench on its current road swing but will revert back to a four-man bench when it opens a homestand Monday. Recall that the Rangers "balked" at including Profar in any pre-deadline trades.