The Deadline Movers
With all of the movement on Trade Deadline day it is Must-See TV to watch the impact players in new laundry. I am not a fashionista, but I do like seeing players acclimate themselves to new environments and amongst unfamiliar new friends. It will take a week or two to get an accurate sense of how teams plan to alter their lineups and assign at bats and playing time to their acquisitions, but in the first few days you can experience that "new car" smell by watching on TV. That means Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy with the Texas Rangers, Josh Reddick with the Dodgers, Matt Kemp with the Atlanta Braves and Eduardo Nunez with the Giants more than most of the other acquisitions. Players like Brandon Guyer in Cleveland and Steven Pearce in Baltimore are situational, strategic offensive contributors that will make a difference over the last two months because they elevate the quality of their new teams benches and the depth throughout their starting lineup, but I struggle to call them "Must See" TV any given night.
Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez) @Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel)
The Cubs are going to run away with the Central and they solidified their biggest hole acquiring Aroldis Chapman, but they aren't a perfect team. Facing an ace like Fernandez could be a preview of a potential opponent and it also could give followers a glimpse of what to expect from a Cubs offense that ranks seventh in strikeouts when they face better pitching in the playoffs. This one has the makings of a gem of a game.
Dylan Bundy vs. Texas Rangers (Yu Darvish)
Bundy's entire minor league career has been scarred with significant injuries and because the Orioles cannot demote him to the minors without subjecting him to waivers (which he would be unlikely to clear safely) they were forced to use him in relief while they eased him into the rotation which is where he is now. I find it difficult to believe a player that has had Tommy John surgery as well as a multiple of other significant injuries can handle a full time starters workload, but the Orioles are giving it a go to see.
Bundy has started three games with mixed results. 14 innings pitched, seven earned runs, four walks, 14 hits, and 17 strikeouts. He faces a revamped Rangers lineup that just added Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran, both I expect to be in the box faces Bundy's best tonight. Those match ups are ones I want to see.
Anibal Sanchez, SP Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox, SP James Shields
Sanchez has not pitched well this season, including 19 earned runs in his previous four starts. The Tigers don't have many alternatives and they were unable to add a starter at the deadline, so they are stuck sending him out there with the hope that he can turn things around and tonight is as good a night as any to see if he can do it.
The White Sox didn't add at the deadline, but they also didn't commit to selling their big chips or James Shields, who I would have thought was an obvious dump that some team would take a chance on. And, Shields has pitched better lately, not allowing more than three earned runs in any of his previous seven starts and pitching six or more innings in his last six. Shields can still be traded if he clears waivers and with his expensive contract probably the reason why he wasn't traded yesterday, its reasonable to think he could clear waiver and be pitching elsewhere soon. He is a guy too watch too.
Dan Straily, SP Cincinnati Reds vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright)
Wainwright will be important to the Cardinals chances of winning the Wild Card but thats nothing new; what is is Straily's recent performance. He has pitched six innings or more in five straight starts and hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of those outings. He has a season ERA of 3.84 with an impressive 1.15 Whip in 122 innings pitched. He isn't an ace and I am not suggesting that he is developing in to one, but he has been an under the radar guy that can be a middle of the rotation fixture to solidify the Reds pitching future.
Brandon McCarthy, SP Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray)
McCarthy has never been able to stay healthy and on the bump, but he is back from the disabled list, at least for now. The Dodgers desperately need quality, healthy innings from anyone they can find. I would try to avoid Coors for these fragile starters, but its the draw they get for McCarthy. If he can pitch to his potential he could be the boost the Dodgers need to remain a Wild Card contender.
Alex Bregman, 3B Houston Astros vs. Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey)
He was the most highly touted prospect of this years potential promotions after Nomar Mazara and he has been the worst of them all since arriving in Houston. He is 1-28 with two walks. The kid can play and while his power plays at any position, it isn't at the high end of the spectrum at third base while it would be at shortstop. Carlos Correa should be the player to move, but at least for 2016, its Bregman. Its painful to watch Bregman right now, but knuckleballers can throw batters into a slump with the change of pace and the floatey funk of the pitch, so maybe when a guy is already "funked," it can get Bregman turned around and headed in the right direction. The guy is 1 for 28 - I am trying here ladies and gents.
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