Whispers: Angels, Rangers could go down to wire


Can the Angels catch the Rangers? They went 19-4 in the first 23 games outfielder Mike Trout started, including a 10-1 record in starts since he rejoined the roster in August. Trout was just named Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. … The Rangers went 12-11 in a stretch playing 23 games against teams with winning records. They believe that's when they would have collapsed if they were going to but aren't taking a playoff spot for granted, not with a season-ending series in Anaheim. … Nyjer Morgan is having a blast in Milwaukee with his "Tony Plush" persona, but he's not likely to have staying power if he continues to call out guys like Albert Pujols. "He's not going to be there next year if he's not careful,'' said SiriusXM's Morgan Ensberg. "There's always somebody available to take your job.'' Morgan's act already would have gotten old if the Brewers weren't on such a fun ride. … One reason the Tigers are so tough — Miguel Cabrera is hitting an AL-best .402 with men in scoring position. … The Indians continue to disintegrate. They won't have Carlos Carrasco in 2012 because he is going to need elbow surgery. He has been inconsistent but was their best starter in some stretches this season. … The Twins are excited about Joe Benson, who was promoted in September after delivering 48 extra-base hits, including 16 homers, in Double A. The trade of Delmon Young created an outfield opening for Benson in 2012.

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