New York Yankees
The Yanks are still clinging to the top of the peak in the AL East, but the Orioles are rabidly nipping at the heals of their cleats, only two games below. Meanwhile, the Rays are only 3.5 games back from first.
Third baseman and everyone’s favourite, Alex Rodriguez, who fractured his left hand on July 24th, should rejoin the ‘Bombers on Monday for the series opener in Tampa. Another slugger missing from the lineup is first baseman Mark Teixeira, out with a calf strain, who is taking recovery slow in order to prevent a setback that could cause him to miss the rest of the season. Old Andy Pettitte is meanwhile making progress in his rehab from a fractured ankle.
Roster expansion for the Yankees meant catcher Francisco Cervelli, DH Eduardo Nunez, outfielder Chris Dickerson and pitchers Cory Wade, Adam Warren, and Justin Thomas made the 40-man, while infielder Ramiro Pena was designated for assignment.
For more on the Yankees, visit Second Place Is Not An Option.
Righty Jason Hammel had a successful start in his Class A Advanced rehab and should throw bullpen in Toronto. Likewise, Tommy Hunter is expected to be called up from Double-A and should also join the O’s in Toronto, and will likely have a spot in the Bird’s bullpen. Previously added to the bullpen was free-agent lefty Randy Wolf.
‘Tis the season for September call ups, and the O’s added four players already as of Saturday, including fielder Steve Tolleson, outfielder Xavier Avery, catcher Luis Exposito, as well activating Wilson Betemit.
For more on the Orioles, visit Charm City Yakyuu.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays just need to hold on and keep believing and other 80′s hair band lyrics and such, and the post-season should certainly be in the cards for them. The team has an opportunity to gain ground this week when they host the first place New York Yankees in Tampa.
Brandon Gomes was recalled from Triple-A on Sunday. On Friday, the Rays picked up outfielder Ben Francisco from the Astros, and designated Albert Suarez for assignment to make room. Additionally, Jeff Neimann joined the team from the 60-day DL, and Will Rhymes was designated for assignment.
For more on the Rays, visit Cowbell Clankers.
Boston Red Sox
Here lies the Great Divide in the AL East. While the three teams on top are practically neck-in-neck, the Red Sox and the Blue Jays are beyond 10 games behind the forerunners. The Sox are on a dreadful 6-game losing streak (including two series sweeps), and find themselves 16 games behind in the AL East, only one game ahead of the last-place Jays.
Boston made a wild trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers which sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto to the boys in blue in exchange for four prospects.
Right-handed reliever Scott Atchison should pitch a game for the Triple-A club Monday, and should probably return to the Red Sox in September.
For more on the Red Sox, visit Fenway Fatales
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have the opportunity to move out of the AL East five-hole when they face the Red Sox for a series this week… not that it will even do them much good anyways.
The Jays are expecting to use a six-man rotation to round out the season, featuring Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero, Henderson Alvarez, Carlos Villanueva, J.A. Happ, and Aaron Laffey.
Catcher J.P. Arencibia, who has been out since July 25 with a fractured hand, is expected to return to the lineup on September 10. Brett Lawrie, who strained his oblique on August 3, is taking batting practice, but there is currently no timetable for his return. Slugger Jose Bautista will have season-ending surgery on his wrist Tuesday, and will hopefully be back in action for Spring Training.
For more on the Blue Jays, visit Way Of The Jay