July 31, 2011
There's a reason teams aren't excited about their players participating in the Home Run Derby. Entering the weekend, the eight hitters who participated in this month's All-Star Game event had batted .266 in the second half, with terrible power numbers (six homers in 368 at-bats). Robinson Cano, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista and Matt Holliday hadn't homered in a combined 187 at-bats. … Look out for the Angels. Their starting pitching has kicked in, carrying them on a 24-10 roll entering the weekend. They're not just a threat to the Rangers but potentially to the Yankees, who would be fighting for their wild-card lives without a 17-6 record behind CC Sabathia. … Executives with other teams are puzzled by the Reds' unwillingness to deal catcher Ramon Hernandez, who has been at the top of the Giants' wish list since the Carlos Beltran trade. He's a free agent after the season and prospect Devin Mesoraco is ready to replace him in a tandem with backup Ryan Hanigan, who also has been the subject of some trade inquiries. … The Rays haven't started a pitcher in his 30s since Jae Seo on May 24, 2007, which was his 30th birthday. It's the longest such streak in history, replacing one of 704 games by the 1913-17 Senators. … As impressive as the Phillies' Vance Worley has been during Roy Oswalt's absence, he has been discussed in trades. He entered this season having gone 20-21 with a 4.00 ERA in 67 minor-league starts after being selected in the third round.
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