MICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY AUGUST 6, 2018, ASTROS, A’S, MARINERS, ANGELS, RANGERS

THE MICHAEL BARI SHOW

August 6, 2018

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Depending on the medical results of George Springer‘s injured left thumb, the Astros may have to rely on a makeshift outfield for a while. If the results on his left thumb doesn’t come back favorably, the question will then be raised if the front office should push to acquire outside help. Well, there is one name that is sure to catch everyone’s attention: Andrew McCutchen of the Giants.

To be frank, McCutchen isn’t the same player that he was back in his heyday with the Pirates. During his three-season peak by slugging percentage and OPS+ (2012-14), McCutchen averaged a .534 slugging percentage along with a 162 OPS+. Counting this year, McCutchen has seen his average slugging percentage drop to .449 and a 113 OPS+ since the start of the 2016 season. Unlike the acquisition last August for Justin Verlander, I’d doubt that McCutchen would bring the same kind of high-level impact. This is assuming that the Giants do make the former NL MVP available. Continue reading by  Cody Poage

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The Oakland A’s acquired starting pitcher Mike Fiers from the Tigers on Monday, the team announced. They had previously been linked to Fiers on July 31, just hours before the trade deadline, but did not come to a deal at that time. Now it has finally happened, in exchange for two players to be named later or cash. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, lefty reliever Jeremy Bleich was designated for assignment. Continue reading by  

Photo: chicagotribune.com

Suspended Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano will begin his rehabilitation assignment on Monday night with Triple-A Tacoma at Cheney Stadium in a 7:05 p.m. PT game against Colorado Springs. Cano is serving an 80-game suspension for violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program on May 15 and is eligible to return to Seattle on Aug. 14.

How long is seven years in baseball? MLB’s 2011 leaders in games played (Prince Fielder), at-bats (Ichiro Suzuki), Wins Above Replacement (Cliff Lee), hits (Adrian Gonzalez and Michael Young) and stolen bases (Michael Bourn) are all out of baseball. Your top home-run hitter was Jose Bautista; your best position player by WAR (Baseball-Reference) was Jacoby Ellsbury. It was a long time ago. Seven years is a lifetime.

MLB teams are always obsessed with team control over players, about having them wrapped up and secured on their club for as long as possible. But here’s a fun factoid: Of the top 30 hitters by WAR (FanGraphs) in 2011, only eight are still with the same team now as they were then. (And two of those, Matt Kemp and Jose Reyes, played for other teams in between then and now before returning to the Dodgers and Mets, respectively.) Among the top 30 pitchers, there are only four. Continuity is, in many ways, an illusion. Continue reading by Will Leitch

Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels looks on in the third inning during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on August 2, 2018 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia is expected to step down at the end of this season, according to a report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Scioscia has managed the Angels since 2000 and is the longest-tenured manager in the majors. Only five managers in baseball history have managed one team for more consecutive seasons than these 19 by Scioscia: Connie Mack (50 years, Philadelphia Athletics); John McGraw (31 years, New York Giants); Walter Alston (23 years, Brooklyn and LA Dodgers); Bobby Cox (21 years, Atlanta Braves); Tommy Lasorda (21 years, LA Dodgers). The 59-year-old Scioscia led the Angels to a World Series title in 2002. Continue reading by Shahan Ahmed

ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 5: Drew Hutchison #48 of the Texas Rangers delivers against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 5, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

One thought resonated throughout Globe Life Park after right-hander Drew Hutchison auditioned for the Rangers with a start Sunday.

Pacific Coast League hitters must not be what they once were.

Hutchison, pitching one day after signing as a free agent, gave up six runs during three ragged innings in a 9-6 loss to lowly Baltimore. He did not meet the expectations fanned by finishing his stay in the Triple-A PCL with 23 consecutive scoreless innings.

“We’ve seen better stuff,” manager Jeff Banister said. “This is not indicative of what we’ve seen in the past.”

Banister would not commit to what is next for Hutchison.

The Rangers are using a six-man rotation for one turn to give the others an extra day of rest. With three off days in the final 17 days of August, it would be unwieldy for the Rangers to stay in a six-man rotation beyond this cycle.

Who goes?

Hutchison is likely to get more chances. The Rangers signed Hutchison with the idea of giving him an extended look as a candidate for next season’s rotation.

The ideal solution is to have right-hander Bartolo Colon get the victory he needs to pass Dennis Martinez as the all-time leading winner among pitchers from Latin America. After that, Colon could work out of the bullpen or ride off into the sunset to the salutes that he deserves.

“We’ll evaluate where we’re at and make those decisions,” Banister said.

This capped an unusual week for Hutchison.

On Tuesday, he opted out of his minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Oklahoma City affiliate and took free agency. While waiting for a job, he went home to Lakeland, Fla., and tried as best he could to stay with the usual starter’s routine.

“I’m not going to blame anything on the week,” Hutchison said. “It comes down to me.”

Hutchison is a finesse pitcher, with a top velocity that touches 90 mph. He lacked the command needed to get by with that stuff.

In the PCL, Hutchison allowed two walks in 12 innings in his final two starts. He allowed two walks in the span of three hitters during the second inning. Both scored when No. 9 hitter Austin Wynns hammered a fastball into the left-field seats.

In the PCL, Hutchison had 40 strikeouts in 42 innings. He did not miss a bat this time, facing 17 hitters without a strikeout. Baltimore hitters were 4 for 7 with one walk for eight plate appearances with two strikes in the count. That included the first of a pair of two-run homers by Mark Trumbo.

Hutchison also twice gave up the lead an inning after receiving it. That is a cardinal offense.

“Disappointing day,” Hutchison said. “Didn’t pitch very well at all. … Too many balls up in the zone. When you do things like that, those are the results you’re going to have.”

For the Rangers, the final weeks of this season will be devoted to more pitching reclamation projects, a process that started in spring training with Doug Fister and Matt More. The next candidate is right-hander Chris Tillman, Baltimore’s former No. 1 starter. He is set to go into the rotation at Triple-A Round Rock.

The Rangers need to find a retread like Trevor Cahill and Edwin Jackson with Oakland. The Athletics are 14-7 in their starts.

The Rangers could use a journeyman like Wade LeBlanc. Seattle is 11-6 in games started by LeBlanc, who will face the Rangers on Monday.

That type of pitcher is out there. The Rangers have to keep looking.

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