As the Blue Jays battle to stay alive in the ALCS, they’ll finally be able to turn to lefty Aaron Loup if the need arises. He’s been sporadically absent over the post-season, creating challenges for the team’s pen, but it turns out that much more important matters have arisen. His wife went into labor much earlier than expected, giving birth to a premature baby boy on Wednesday, as Jays play-by-play man Mike Wilner tweeted earlier this evening. Fortunately, Loup’s son is in stable condition. MLBTR extends its congratulations and very best wishes to Loup’s young family.
Here are some notes from the American League:
- There was some important news yesterday regarding the Rays‘ efforts to land a new stadium, as Charlie Frago and Tony Marrero of the Tampa Bay Times reported. After long and tough negotiations, the St. Petersburg City Council approved a deal to let the club seek new stadium sites in surrounding counties. Tampa Bay would still be required to pay significant break-up fees to get out of its lease at Tropicana Field, with some saying the cost will be too high for the Rays to participate, so the path to keeping the team in the area remains to be cleared.
- The Tigers face some tough questions with righty Shane Greene, who was an important trade acquisition last winter. As Chris Iott of MLive.com writes, the team expects to give him a shot to earn a spot with the club, but it’s not yet clear whether he’ll make the rotation. Greene had surgery on his shoulder, though it was for an “arterial issue” rather than some structural concern, and is set to be ready for the spring. But it was his rough season before that which leads to concern over his long-term outlook. “I can tell you right now that [Greene] is a starting pitcher,” said GM Al Avila. “But we feel that he can also go into the bullpen if we needed him to or because we think it’s the best thing for him and organization.” Something of the opposite is true of Alex Wilson, who Avila says will remain in the pen despite a history of starting in the minors.
- Chad Jennings of the LoHud Yankees Blog takes a close look at the Yankees‘ options with Dustin Ackley, writing that the deadline acquisition could take the bulk of the time at second base — being spelled frequently or occasionally against left-handed pitching — or end up in more of a super-utility role. Jennings also discusses the idea of replacing Ackley with a better version of himself — presumably, Ben Zobrist — while also utilizing youngsters Rob Refsnyder and Jose Pirela more heavily.