The Astros are 5-16 against the Athletics, Mariners and Rangers this season, but are 7-3 against the Angels following their four-game sweep of the Halos in Anaheim. After last night's defeat, Angels manager Mike Scioscia held a closed-door team meeting and told reporters (including Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times) that "it seems like these four games, a switch flipped off" for his club. "A series like this certainly can bring the frustration back into the team. We can't let that happen," Scioscia said.
Here's the latest from around the division...
- The Angels are likely to be buyers or inactive at the trade deadline, MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez opines. Gonzalez would "be shocked" to see the Halos start selling significant talent at the deadline since he doesn't believe they would give up on the 2014 season as well, plus, "the Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton contracts don’t really let you go into rebuild mode."
- The Mariners have no need to pursue an extension with Kendrys Morales now since they'll have leverage on him in free agency this winter, Dave Cameron of the U.S.S. Mariner blog writes. If the M's make Morales a qualifying offer after the season, Cameron thinks Morales' market will be very thin since no team was willing to sacrifice a first-round pick as compensation for such a limited player; Adam LaRoche's free agency from last offseason is cited as a comparable. I profiled Morales as a possible trade candidate back in April, but he is hitting well enough (.299/.364/.491 entering today's play) that Seattle may see him as a long-term answer in their lineup if he keeps it up for the rest of the season.
- Many Mariners fans are calling for manager Eric Wedge and/or GM Jack Zduriencik to be fired, but Larry Stone of the Seattle Times argues that club president Chuck Armstrong or CEO Howard Lincoln could be ultimately responsible for the Mariners' struggles. "Under the Armstrong/Lincoln regime, this organization has pretty much been run into the ground over the past decade — except for their ability to turn a profit, which the M’s have done almost every season, good, bad, or worse," Stone writes.
- Jeff Baker tells MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan that the Rangers and Yankees the "main two" suitors for his services last offseason, though "a lot of teams knocked on the door." Baker signed with Texas in January, before the Yankees' need for corner infield help became so dire.
- Cavan Biggio is projected to be picked late in the first round or early in the second of Thursday's draft but his famous father isn't putting any pressure on the Astros to pick his son with the 40th overall selection. "I just didn't want the organization to feel they had to take my son because he's my son. I didn't want my son to feel the Astros took him because he's my son," Craig Biggio tells MLB.com's Brian McTaggart and Chris Abshire. "I stayed away from it, and Jeff [Luhnow] and I have an excellent relationship. We haven't discussed it all, but he knows my feelings where I'm at." The elder Biggio works as a special assistant to Astros GM Luhnow.