Here is a look at some of the best news in Major League Baseball for the first week of August:
Red Sox Sweep The Yankees
The Boston Red Sox are starting to run away with the AL East. Over the weekend, they swept the New York Yankees and have now extended their division lead to 9.5 games. They finished the sweep in dramatic fashion on Sunday as they came back to score three runs off of Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning to tie it up. That was Chapman’s first blown save in just over 3 months. The Red Sox went on to win in the 10th inning off of an Andrew Benintendi single that scored Tony Renda. The Red Sox now hold a MLB best record of 79-34. The Yankees fell to 68-42, although they do still the first wild-card spot in the American League.
Astros Injuries Starting To Add Up
On Sunday, the Astros added to their collection of injured all-stars when outfielder George Springer left the game early. The World Series MVP hurt his thumb sliding into second base on a steal attempt. While x-rays came back negative, there is still a possibility that Springer could end up on the disabled list. If so, he would join teammates Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Brian McCann, Lance McCullers Jr. and Chris Devenski. Carlos Correa is hoping to join the team this upcoming week, though, as he is currently on a rehab assignment with Corpus Christie, the Astros’ double-A affiliate.
Roberto Osuna Reinstated
Speaking of the Astros, they reinstated reliever Roberto Osuna on Sunday. Osuna just finished a 75-game suspension for violations under the MLB Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy. He was acquired by the Astros prior to the trade deadline for Ken Giles, Hector Perez and David Paulino. The Astros have taken a lot of heat for their acquisition of Osuna and while he did not pitch on Sunday, he did hold a closed door meeting with his teammates to try to clear the air. Prior to his suspension, Osuna had been seen as one of the most dominant young relievers in the game, but it will be interesting how he fits into a clubhouse that includes Justin Verlander and Lance McCullers Jr., both of whom were outspoken about their views on domestic abuse after video surfaced of former Astros minor leaguer Danry Vasquez assaulting his girlfriend.
Relievers On The Move
A couple bullpen arms have found new homes in the last couple days. Shawn Kelley was just traded from the Nationals to the Oakland Athletics for international slot money. The Nationals will also be sending cash considerations in the deal. On the season, Kelley was 1-0 with a 3.34 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and opponents were hitting .215 against him for the Nationals. In 32.1 innings he had struck out 32 versus only 5 walks; however, he had allowed 7 home runs. The Nationals had designated Kelley for assignment after an incident where he threw his glove after giving up a home run in a game that the Nationals were winning 25-2 at the time.
Another reliever finding a new home is Greg Holland. After the St. Louis Cardinals released the struggling reliever, the Washington Nationals have reportedly agreed to a deal with the righty. The three-time all-star struggled in St. Louis, going 0 for 3 in save opportunities. In 25 innings of work, Holland had a 7.92 ERA, 2.24 WHIP and opponents were hitting a whopping .312 against him.
Judge Progressing In Rehab
After getting hit by a pitch and fracturing his right wrist on July 26, Aaron Judge has still not even swung a bat yet, let alone taken any type of live hitting. He has tested it out with some short-distance throwing, but he has not ramped up baseball activities to this point. While he will still likely be back before the end of August, the Yankees could use his bat back in the lineup. The Yankees are 4-6 since he was hit by the pitch.
Scioscia Denies Reports
After reports surfaced from Ken Rosenthal about Mike Scioscia stepping down at the end of the season, the longtime Angels skipper denied those reports on Sunday. Talking to reporters before the game, he denied the reports, calling them “poppycock.” Scioscia is in the last season of a 10-year, $50 million contract. The Angels, who have Mike Trout, arguably the best player in baseball, are currently 55-58, 16 games behind the Astros for first in the AL West.
Cardinals Claim Tyson Ross
With injuries to Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha, the St. Louis Cardinals have been in need of someone who could give their starting rotation a little depth. They may have found that piece on Sunday when they claimed Tyson Ross off of waivers from the San Diego Padres. Ross, a former all-star in 2014, is 6-9 on the season with a 4.45 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and opponents are hitting .240 against him. In 123.1 innings, he has 107 strikeouts, 52 walks and has allowed 16 home runs. Ross has struggled over the last 30 days, though, going 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA, 1.76 WHIP with opponents hitting .290 against him. He will look to get back on track with the Cardinals, while also providing a veteran presence for a battered rotation.