In light of the damage wrought by Tropical Storm Harvey, the Astros have released a statement about their plans for the coming week. The team, after playing the Angels in California this weekend, is currently scheduled to host the Rangers in Houston on Tuesday. However, the team now plans to fly to Dallas, and will provide an update on their schedule on Monday. It seems reasonable to speculate that the upcoming series will be moved to Arlington. “At this point, our focus is on the safety of our fans, our players and their families and our front office staff and their families,” says Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan. “As we continue to monitor the conditions, we have been in communication with Major League Baseball and the Texas Rangers and will provide an update on Monday.” Obviously, these potential changes to the baseball calendar pale in importance to the continued dangers Harvey poses, and we at MLBTR send our thoughts to any readers currently dealing with the devastation of the storm.
Here’s more from the West divisions.
- A series of trades left the Rangers’ minor-league system light on starting pitching talent, so the organization has changed its priorities to accommodate their talent vacuum, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News writes. While pushing for a World Series title, the Rangers dealt Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher and Jake Thompson (in the Cole Hamels deal), Luis Ortiz (in the Jonathan Lucroy trade) and Dillon Tate (for Carlos Beltran). In the wake of those departures, the team focused on their prospects’ fastball command and slowed down the pace at which they moved through the system. The team’s remaining top pitching prospect, Yohander Mendez, has exemplified those changes, as Grant points out — last year, Mendez went all the way from Class A+ High Desert to the Majors, mostly with fine results, probably thanks in part to an excellent changeup. This year, though, he’s spent the entire season with Double-A Frisco. “I was uncomfortable at first,” Mendez says. “I was not used to pitching like that. But I was falling in love with my secondary stuff and it hurt me. If I know my mechanics and could locate the fastball, it would make my secondary pitches better.”
- The Giants’ struggles this season — culminating today in a sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks — show that the team will yet again have to upgrade its bullpen in the coming winter, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. One key recent acquisition, Mark Melancon, has missed part of the season with elbow issues, and another, Will Smith, has missed all of it. Josh Osich and Steven Okert have struggled in their attempts to replace retired lefty Javier Lopez. On the bright side, the team can hope for more from Melancon and Smith next year, and Sam Dyson has proven very helpful. And the team will have pieces it can mix and match in Cory Gearrin, Hunter Strickland, Derek Law and Kyle Crick.