It seems increasingly plausible that the Athletics may not only keep second baseman Jed Lowrie for the remainder of the season, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests, but also for the 2018 campaign. It seems a foregone conclusion that the club will exercise the veteran’s $6MM club option, though he could still be traded over the winter. Assuming that Lowrie remains in Oakland when the calendar flips to September, the focus will turn to assessing the desirability of retaining him as opposed to turning the reins over to youngster Franklin Barreto. Slusser notes that, despite the team’s general youth movement, there’s a feeling that Barreto could stand to receive a fair bit more developmental time at Triple-A before he is fully exposed to MLB pitching.
Here’s more from out west:
- The Angels aren’t sure when they’ll get righty J.C. Ramirez back from an elbow injury, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register writes. Ramirez has been shut down with what has been diagnosed as a strain. “He’s in a no-throw situation as we assess his strength,” says GM Billy Eppler. Ramirez, 29, has been quite the pick-up for the Halos. Since joining the organization last year, he has provided 193 2/3 innings of 3.86 ERA pitching — a distinct turnaround from the marginal results he had produced previously.
- It’s likely that Dodgers lefty Alex Wood will skip at least one start, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times was among those to report (Twitter links). Wood showed a downtick in velocity and coughed up three home runs in his outing yesterday, though he was able to complete six innings. After the game, manager Dave Roberts said that Wood had experienced a recurrence of inflammation in his SC joint. Given the Dodgers’ place in the standings, there’s little reason to take a risk.
- Struggling Rockies closer Greg Holland says he’s just not throwing enough “quality pitches,” as Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes. Manager Bud Black suggested there’s no cause for broader concern, while Holland noted that he has “been getting beat with mistakes in the middle of the plate.” The veteran righty was carrying a 1.56 ERA entering play on August 6th, but that number has more than doubled over his last five appearances. Assuming he can figure things out, Holland figures to be a key part of the Rockies’ hopeful run to and through October — and quite an interesting free agent to watch once the season ends.