Some items from around the AL East…
- When selling and acquiring notable players in trades over the years, the Rays have done well in acquiring low-level minor leaguers in these deals and developing them into valuable pieces, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Impressive young players and prospects like Daniel Robertson, Jake Bauers, Willy Adames, Lucius Fox, and Patrick Leonard weren’t the headline pieces in recent trades but they’re all big parts of the Rays’ future (and Robertson part of the present, hitting well in a utility role for Tampa this season). “There is less certainty with them, and their potential impact is further away,” president of baseball operations Matt Silverman said. “But if we do our homework well and they continue to develop, these players can be a big part of our long-term success. It’s where our patience and our long-term focus can really benefit us.”
- Joe Biagini pitched well in his first MLB start today, moving from the Blue Jays bullpen to the rotation to throw four innings of two-hit ball with only one unearned run allowed in Toronto’s 2-1 win over the Rays. The performance will earn Biagini another start, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith writes, as the Jays continue to look for rotation help with J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez still on the DL. Sanchez could be ready to return on Sunday, Nicholson-Smith writes, and Mike Bolsinger could be in line for a spot start sometime this week.
- Do the Yankees have a better bullpen now than they did last year with Andrew Miller in the fold? George A. King III of the New York Post observes that with Adam Warren, Jonathan Holder and Tyler Clippard all pitching well, the Yankees have more depth in the pen to better bridge leads to Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman. The only “weak link” is Tommy Layne, King writes, who has a 9.45 ERA through his first 10 appearances (6 2/3 IP) of the season. If Layne continues to struggle, I would think the Yankees would target left-handed relief help at the deadline, since Chasen Shreve is the only other situational lefty available.