Five cuts from Monday's action:
The Rays and Yankees both have a magic number of one but lost to the Orioles and Blue Jays, respectively, while the Red Sox, the longshot competition, beat the White Sox to keep alive their season mathematically alive. The Reds were idle but could have wrapped up the NL Central had the Cardinals lost, but St. Louis rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Pirates.
While Prado received All-Star recognition for the first time this season, his triple-slash line this season (.307/.350/.459) is striking similar to his line last year (.307/.358/.464), only this year Cox has trusted him not only as an everyday, top-of-the-lineup hitter for the first time and has arguably been the team's most important player.
That production can't be replaced by Cox's third- and fourth-string third basemen, Conrad and perhaps
But what Cox should do is play Infante at third and Conrad at second. Over his career Infante has proven to be a more adept fielder at third than second. His Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games at third is 3.0, meaning he saves three runs more than the average player, while his UZR/150 at second is negative-2.4. Conrad's play at second and third is too small of a sample size for UZR, but he played 936 games in his professional career (i.e. minor and major leagues) at second base and only 113 pro games at third.
San Diego has now gone 16 consecutive innings without scoring a run, a span that includes Monday's shutout and the last seven innings of Sunday's loss to the Reds. In the first 15 of those 16 innings, the Padres' offense did not have an extra-base hit, with only three runners reaching second base and none making it to third.
The injury to
Venable has batted .477 (21-for-44) since Sept. 12, and his absence meant that Black started top pinch hitter
En route to their World Series championship in 2009, New York used only three starters (
The schedule is the same, but Pettitte is returning from a groin injury and the most likely replacement for Burnett,
Burnett will need to rebound and serve as at least the fourth starter for the Yankees. His problem is that he's not fooling hitters like he used to. On Monday the Blue Jays swung and missed at only three of his 48 pitches. Entering the start opponents were missing on only 19.8 percent of swings this season, the second-lowest percentage of his career. That rate has dropped for Burnett each year since he was ninth in the majors with 25.0 percent in 2007.
Instead, as general manager