Phil Rogers' baseball whispers: Who's Nick Markakis?

The Orioles' Nick Markakis remains one of the best hitters no one notices. He entered the weekend with 43 doubles, making him only the third player in history to have four consecutive seasons of at least 43 doubles. The other two were Joe Medwick and Tris Speaker. … The Rays hold a tiebreaker edge over the Yankees, which means they will go into the playoffs as the East champs if the teams wind up tied. Both would much rather host the Rangers in the first round than visit the Twins. … The Astros are giving serious consideration to moving Carlos Lee to first base to open up an outfield spot for Brian Bogusevic, who was drafted as a pitcher. Lee at first could mean the much traveled Brett Wallace (hitting .208 in 46 games) is on the move again. … The Diamondbacks made a great hire in landing Kevin Towers to replace Josh Byrnes as GM. He says his first priority is building a strong bullpen, and he already has made it known that he will deal some of his strikeout-prone hitters (Mark Reynolds, Adam LaRoche, Chris Young and Kelly Johnson) for arms, saying that he likes "contact hitters." … Ubaldo Jimenez has run out of gas, which seems to have put the Rockies down for the count. Is his 4.29 ERA in the second half related to throwing 120-plus pitches five times before the break? … Commissioner Bud Selig says he never would approve a system for the playoffs (like expanded use of replay) that he wouldn't use in the regular season. … Are those who push Felix Hernandez for the AL Cy Young overlooking David Price? The Rays' ace has 18 victories, only two fewer than frontrunner CC Sabathia, and a 2.84 ERA. … The Twins don't expect Joe Mauer to be limited by his jammed left knee in the playoffs. Ron Gardenhire's toughest playoff roster call is expected to be between Kevin Slowey and Scott Baker for the long relief role behind Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad