Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer turned in a terrific performance Thursday in a win over the Tigers, striking out 10 and yielding three earned runs on five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings. Despite Bauer’s importance to the playoff-contending Indians, his name has been frequently bandied about in trade rumors this summer. As a result, Thursday could’ve been one of his last starts as a member of the Tribe. Asked after the game if the rumors have been on his mind, Bauer told Mandy Bell of MLB.com and other reporters: “Nope. Don’t think about it.” Notably, though, Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti did address the team regarding the deadline “to make sure no one was blindsided by any discussions, especially Bauer,” Bell writes.
- The Tigers’ Nicholas Castellanos is likely a more realistic trade candidate than Bauer, but the right fielder suggested Thursday he’s not fully convinced a deal will come together before the deadline. Castellanos said (via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News) that “I wouldn’t be shocked if I don’t get traded. Everybody thought I’d get traded last trade deadline. Everybody thought I’d get traded this offseason. There were people who thought I’d get traded in spring training.” With an extension between the non-contending Tigers and Castellanos appearing to be out of the question, it’s highly probable the team will part with him this month unless there’s no interest from elsewhere. Regardless, Castellanos indicated to McCosky that he has made peace with whatever happens and is more focused on what happens on the field, where he has been on an offensive tear of late.
- Angels first baseman Albert Pujols exited the team’s game Thursday with left hamstring tightness, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register was among those to report (Twitter links). It doesn’t seem like an issue that’s going to lead to an IL stint, though, as manager Brad Ausmus said afterward Pujols will miss a small amount of time or none at all. The Hall of Fame-bound 39-year-old has appeared in 76 games this season and hit .243/.306/.439 (96 wRC+) with 14 home runs in 314 plate appearances.
- Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the Orioles-Dodgers blockbuster that sent former O’s franchise player Manny Machado to Los Angeles. Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun revisits the swap in a piece focusing on outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, the headlining part of the Orioles’ five-player return. Diaz didn’t log great production with Baltimore’s Double-A affiliate after the trade last year, and he told Meoli via an interpreter he felt “a lot of pressure” trying to make good on the trade. That pressure has died down, though, and Diaz is now having a better season than last as a member of the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate. The 22-year-old has progressed with the help of Double-A hitting coach Keith Bodie, as Meoli details in his piece.