East Notes: Escobar, Phillies, Valdespin, Wheeler

Let's have a look around MLB's eastern divisions…

  • Yunel Escobar has helped stabilize the Rays' defense, manager Joe Maddon says in an article by Sam Strong of MLB.com. Escobar is on track to break the Rays' team record for fielding percentage by a shortstop.
  • The Phillies clinched their first losing season since 2002 with Friday's loss to the Mets, The Philadelphia Inquirer's Marc Narducci notes. Though young players have gotten valuable experience this season, the Phils must address a number of question marks in their starting rotation as they reload for 2014, Narducci says.
  • The Mets have no plans to release Jordany Valdespin as he finishes up his Biogenesis suspension, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, as cited by MetsBlog. However, there's no guarantee that he'll suit up for the Mets after being reinstated. "It merely means they intend to carry him into the offseason while they have an available 40-man roster spot,” Rubin says.
  • The Mets have shut down Zack Wheeler for the season, Rubin reports in a separate article, after he felt stiffness in his pitching shoulder during a start on Tuesday. However, Wheeler says he won't require an MRI or doctor's exam. The righty has a 3.42 ERA in 100 innings across 17 starts this season.
  • While the 2013 season will be his last at the helm of the Nationals, Davey Johnson says it may not be his last as a manager. "I'll be managing probably somewhere, if somebody wants me," Johnson said. "I never worry about that. I'm not going to be looking for a job." The baseball lifer discussed his career and what's next for him in a wide-ranging interview with MLB.com.

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