The big news out of the American League today comes from the Royals, who announced Hall of Famer George Brett will take over as interim hitting coach in place of Jack Maloof, while Pedro Grifol will take the major league special assignment coach role from Andre David. Brett has worked with the club since retiring in '93, but this marks his first in-season coaching job. He'll have his work cut out for him, as the Royals rank 12th in the AL with 3.98 runs scored per game, tenth with a .314 on-base percentage, and 14th with a .375 slugging percentage. The team's entire infield has failed to hit, right fielder Jeff Francoeur has been terrible as well, and even Billy Butler is slugging just .404. Losers of their last eight, the Royals still have a 6.3% shot at the playoffs, according to Clay Davenport's calculations.
Elsewhere around the American League...
- Hideki Matsui will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Yankees on July 28th to announce his official retirement that day as a Yankee, according to a team press release. After playing ten seasons with the Yomiuri Giants, Matsui compiled a .292/.370/.482 line with 140 home runs in seven seasons with the Yankees.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post revisits the Yankees' failed attempt to acquire Cliff Lee from the Mariners in 2010, noting that the players GM Brian Cashman refused to include aren't looking so great these days for the most part.
- As the Angels' best player, Mike Trout merits the respect of someone with four or five years of big league service, argues Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who feels Trout should stay in his preferred center field even when Peter Bourjos returns from the disabled list. Rosenthal notes that Trout "never once complained about playing left." I should point out that Trout's agent Craig Landis did bring up that "disappointment" in his March statement expressing displeasure with Trout's contract renewal.