The Astros will not be calling up Alex Bregman to join the team in Seattle this weekend, manager A.J. Hinch said in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link). A report from last night indicated that Bregman was “expected” to be promoted right out of the gate following the All-Star break, but Hinch’s more definitive comments put that rumor to bed for the time being. The Houston skipper does note that Bregman can help his team at some point in the second half and even went so far as to specify “probably in the near future.” The 2015 No. 2 overall pick is hitting .309/.416/.603 with 19 homers between Double-A and Triple-A this season and homered five times while posting a 1.310 in eight Triple-A games following his recent promotion to the top minor league level.
A few more notes from the American League…
- The scouting community seems to like the way that righties Michael Pineda of the Yankees and Matt Shoemaker of the Angels are throwing, as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. The pair has produced results of late, and could factor into the summer trade market, though neither seems particularly likely to change hands. From my perspective, New York will likely place a high value on Pineda, who can help keep the dreams of contention alive this year and next. And that may be even more true of the Halos and Shoemaker, given that the organization has been hit hard by pitching injuries and badly needs just that sort of controllable arm.
- The Tigers announced today that outfielder Anthony Gose has served a three-game suspension for his scuffle with Triple-A skipper Lloyd McClendon. Additionally, Gose will be demoted from Triple-A to Double-A to begin the second half of the season. GM Al Avila did make clear that he expects Gose to begin moving back toward the majors with the organization.
- Indians outfielder Tyler Naquin has been a new hitter since returning to the Majors after a demotion to Triple-A earlier this year, and Fangraphs’ August Fagerstrom attempts to identify the reasons behind his improvement. As Fagerstrom notes, Naquin followed similar changes to those made by Jake Lamb prior to his breakout, going from an upright stance to a more crouched stance in the box and also dropping his hands. The result was a player that, incredibly, led all of Major League Baseball in slugging percentage on low pitches. While Naquin has still struggled some with pitches up in the zone (and above it), he’s more than tripled his walk rate and significantly cut back on his strikeouts. Fagerstrom notes that there’s no way that Naquin can sustain the astonishing level of power he’s shown — he’s hitting .313/.394/.708 since his recall — but Naquin looks like a legitimate entrant into the AL Rookie of the Year mix and dramatically lessens the Indians’ need to seek an outfield upgrade on the trade market even if his .418 BABIP is destined to come back down to earth.