Quick Hits: Berkman, Nationals, Royals, Pagan

The Orioles drew first blood in their big four-game series with the Yankees, slugging six homers en route to a 10-6 victory.  Mark Reynolds hit two home runs, and has now enjoyed three multi-homer games against New York within the span of a week.  Baltimore is now tied with the Yankees atop the AL East.

Here's some news from around baseball…

  • If Lance Berkman retires, he tells Mark Berman of FOX 26 Sports Houston that he intends to finish his degree at Rice and be an assistant coach for the school's baseball team.  Berkman said he is still leaning towards retirement but is focused on the Cardinals right now and will save a final decision under the offseason.
  • Between Bryce Harper's play in center field and new leadoff hitter Jayson Werth's performance (a 1.014 OPS in 14 games as the leadoff man entering tonight's action), Amanda Comak of the Washington Times wonders if the Nationals may not need to focus on these long-time problems areas this offseason. 
  • The Royals should re-sign Jeremy Guthrie to a two-year, $15MM contract and non-tender Luke Hochevar, opines Rany Jazayerli of Rany On The Royals.  Jazayerli believes Guthrie would pitch well in the AL Central while Hochevar hasn't been able to translate his decent advanced metrics into on-the-field success.
  • Fangraphs' Dave Cameron cites Angel Pagan as "the most underrated player in baseball."  Pagan has a .284/.336/.430 line with eight homers, 78 runs scored and 23 steals for the Giants this season.  He is also a free agent this winter, and compares well with bigger-name free agent center fielders like Michael Bourn or B.J. Upton.
  • Players and owners aren't close to a decision about limiting September roster sizes, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  We heard earlier this week that MLB was looking to change the rules for next season, but Rosenthal reports that since different teams deal with the September rosters in different ways, some clubs aren't willing to commit to the players' demands for minimum number of active roster spots for each game.

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