With the first month of this major league baseball season nearly finished, reality is beginning to set in for both, teams and players.
For those off to hot starts out of the gates, it is business as usual, but those who are struggling need to make adjustments ASAP. Even teams that are playing well may need to address injury concerns.
There truly is no rest for the team looking to win it all in October, or even in April and May.
Whether it is dealing with early-season injuries or roster moves, teams are already rumored to be making moves to stay in the playoff hunt—or to at least push themselves into the conversation for postseason contention.
Here is the latest round of rumors from around the league.
All statistics via ESPN.
Boston Red Sox righty reliever Daniel Bard pitched Saturday’s eighth inning against the Houston Astros and looked far from sharp.
Bard threw nine pitches—eight of which were balls—and walked both runners he faced. Manager John Farrell pulled Bard before he could face another batter, and following his appearance, the reliever’s earned-run average had ballooned to a bloated 9.00.
Lauber noted the Red Sox had a five-run lead when Bard was yanked—hardly a high-pressure situation—and that several relievers are coming off the DL so Bard’s time in the bigs may be numbered.
The Washington Nationals lost, 3-2, to the Atlanta Braves on Monday, but the Braves may have worse news concerning ace pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Strasburg pitched six innings and allowed two earned runs, but during the game “was shaking his arm more than usual” and “looked uncomfortable on the mound,” according to Comak.
However, Strasburg emphatically said following the loss that he would not miss his next start.
Might Godzilla end his baseball career in Yankee pinstripes where he started?
It sure seems so.
George A. King III of the New York Post reports that “plans are in the works” for the former Yankees outfielder to sign a one-day contract with the team he spent seven seasons with as a fan favorite.
Matsui retired from baseball in December after bouncing around the league the past three seasons, most recently appearing for the Tampa Bay Rays last year.
It's worth noting that New York has a Hideki Matsui bobblehead giveaway scheduled for July 28 this season.
The Milwaukee Brewers may be looking to boost their performance on the field and at the plate in one fell swoop.
According to John Morosi of Fox Sports, the Brew Crew would “love” to add a veteran outfielder who could play at the corner outfield and infield positions in the same vein as Mark Kotsay.
Kotsay played 104 games for Milwaukee in 2011, hitting .270 and scoring 63 runs. Perhaps more important, the veteran played all three outfield positions and third base for the Brewers over the course of the season.
Milwaukee could use his help at the plate as well. The team ranks 14th in the league in runs and batting average and 23rd in on-base percentage.
Outfielder Wil Myers may be the Tampa Bay Ray’s top-rated prospect, but fans may have to wait a little while longer before they see him in action in the big leagues.
Myers is playing well for the Triple-A Durham (N.C.) Bulls, batting .291 with two home runs and 16 RBI in 22 games, but the Rays are apparently being very cautious with the youngster.
Bill Chastain of MLB.com said he’s not sure that “the Rays feel like he’s polished enough to join the club just yet.”
While there is “perceived pressure” in Tampa Bay to bring Myers up as the team is struggling on offense—the Rays rank 18th in the league in runs scored and 23rd in batting average—Chastain said he doesn’t believe the team feels that same pressure.
For that reason, Chastain argued the Rays will not call Myers up until they are sure he is ready for MLB action.