Right-hander Jordan Lyles has been terrific for the Brewers since they acquired him from the Pirates prior to the July trade deadline, but he almost ended up elsewhere before Milwaukee grabbed him. The Astros showed “strong interest” in Lyles leading up to the deadline, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports in a subscription piece delving into his late-season turnaround. Lyles was a first-round pick (38th overall) of the Astros in 2008, but he was unsuccessful as a major leaguer in Houston from 2011-13. The Astros then traded Lyles to the Rockies in a deal for outfielder Dexter Fowler. Lyles has struggled with a few other teams since then, and it’s anyone’s guess whether he’d have thrived this summer had Houston gotten him instead of Milwaukee.
After losing out on Lyles, the Astros still made a couple starting pitching additions at the deadline, landing ace Zack Greinke and another righty in Aaron Sanchez. The Greinke pickup has gone swimmingly thus far, though Sanchez fell somewhat flat before suffering a season-ending injury that might also keep him out for some portion of 2020. Considering Sanchez’s situation, not to mention the pending free agencies of starters Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley, perhaps they’ll circle back to Lyles if he hits the open market in the offseason.
Let’s check in on a few other teams from the majors’ West divisions…
- A lower back strain has shelved Rangers designated hitter/outfielder Hunter Pence since Aug. 23, and though the club’s eliminated from postseason contention, he still hopes to play again this year, T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com relays. Regardless of if Pence makes it back, the Rangers will have an offseason decision on whether to re-sign the soon-to-be free agent. The 36-year-old Pence, who has revived his career in Texas, said last week he’d “love” to return to the club. However, manager Chris Woodward expressed some doubt over how Pence would fit on the roster going forward. GM Jon Daniels took a similar tone Friday, telling Sullivan: “He was extremely productive on the field, and he was [a] really valuable member of the clubhouse that you would love to have back. On the other hand, how many at-bats are we going to have for a corner outfielder-DH. On the surface, as we are currently constructed, not a lot. Things could change. That’s the reality.”
- Third baseman Justin Turner will slot back into the Dodgers’ starting lineup Saturday and Sunday, per Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. He won’t play a full game in either case, though, according to manager Dave Roberts. A sprained left ankle has kept Turner out dating back to Sept. 7, but he’ll now have time to tune up before the Dodgers begin a potential run to the World Series in October.
- Athletics reliever Lou Trivino hasn’t pitched since Sept. 14 because of left oblique and rib soreness. It turns out Trivino suffered the injuries when he slipped in his shower, he told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday. Trivino does expect to pitch again this season, which wasn’t going according to plan for him even before his at-home accident. While the 27-year-old largely stymied opposing hitters as a rookie in 2018, he has only managed a 5.25 ERA/4.53 FIP with 8.55 K/9 and 4.65 BB/9 in 60 innings this season.