Where Things Stand: MLB Edition Part 2
Written by Sean Fitzgerald on August 3, 2019
And here we are in part two of the Where Things Stand Series for MLB.
We are now in August. All trades have been completed, with some teams bolstered, others stripped down or retooled, and others standing pat as we head into the home stretch.
Along with the humor, snark and analysis, we’ll be discussing the trades that went down too, or at least the big ones.
The standings and records for each team in part 2 are from all games completed prior to August 1. Also listed before them are the records from part 1.
Without further ado, time to get started.
NY Yankees: 37-19 | Part 2: 68-39
Tampa Bay: 35-20 | Part 2: 62-48
Boston: 29-28 | Part 2: 59-50
Toronto: 21-36 | Part 2: 43-67
Baltimore: 18-39 | Part 2: 36-71
State of the AL East:
-I gotta say, I was very surprised the Yankees didn’t make a move. Then again, the Arizona Diamondbacks put a huge price on Robbie Ray and asked for a number of top prospects in return. They didn’t make any move to upgrade their rotation, but at least they got a little healthier right?
Overall, the team is still one of the best in baseball. They’re so good they could option Clint Frazier to the minors and not be any worse.
-The Red Sox stood pat too, aside from adding Andrew Cashner, but given their surge since the early-season struggles, I kind of give them a pass.
-Tampa Bay went Bargain hunting, getting Jesus Aguilar, but sent out an intriguing pitcher in Jake Faria to the Brewers. Both needed a fresh start.
However, they’ve wilted, and now face four weeks without ace Blake Snell. Maybe they’re not real or distracted? But then again, when you’re team is being considered to split time between Tampa and Montreal, especially with the lack of fan support, why wouldn’t that linger a little?
-For the Blue Jays, Baby Vlad is all I got to say, especially after his epic home run derby!! More on Marcus Stroman later
-And I didn’t forget about you, Baltimore!! The Orioles were contenders a few years ago, but that feels like eons ago now.
What do they get a mention for? Their absolutely terrible team, giving up home runs at a record pace and just not even looking like a pro team. The silver lining is the front office currently looks to be competent and will hopefully steer the team in the right direction, which starts with their investment in the Latin American market.
Minnesota: 38-18 | Part 2: 66-41
Cleveland: 28-29 | Part 2: 63-44
CHI White Sox: 28-29 | Part 2: 46-59
Kansas City: 19-38 | Part 2: 40-70
Detroit: 22-32 | Part 2: 32-72
State of the AL Central:
Ok, this is as good of a time as any to mention how drastically this whole entire article has changed from a week or two ago. I mean… wow.
-The Twins are no joke, but they have some flaws. They got Sam Dyson from the Giants, but not a ton of major moves perse.
-Anyway, I am glad the Indians FINALLY got their act together heading into the All-Star break, and sit 3 games back from the Twins.
However, when trying to win a pennant on a budget, sacrifices must be made. And that sacrifice was trading Trevor Bauer to Cincinnati in a three-team deal involving the Padres.
The return, Yasiel Puig, 5 years of Franmil Reyes (he is a monster!!), Top 100 Prospect LHP Logan Allen, and prospects Scott Moss and Victor Nova.
It hurts a little to lose Bauer (and before I forget, Cincy was involved in the deal that originally brought him to Cleveland), but this lineup can now compete in October, though not without a wrench thrown into some things via Houston. However, even getting a decent Corey Kluber back and solid production from Danny Salazar could compensate for the loss of Bauer.
Also, I do want to say this now, that in no way shape or form should Carlos Carrasco play this year. Not unless he can fully be here and at 100-percent. Leukemia is no joke, and I want him to beat it to a pulp and then focus that energy on the mound whenever he can make it back.
I remember seeing him in the modified Jersey at Progressive Field during the Home Run Derby with his teammates’ names on the back of his jersey and everyone roaring like crazy. I want that to be the same reception he gets going forward every night he takes the mound, but again, don’t have him pitch unless he’s fully ready.
Houston: 38-20 | Part 2: 69-40
Oakland: 29-28 | Part 2: 61-48
LA Angels: 27-30 | Part 2: 56-54
Texas: 28-27 | Part 2: 54-54
Seattle: 25-35 | Part 2: 47-64
State of the AL West:
-I’m declaring this division for the Astros already. They just have too much talent to not win this division. Unfortunately for them, a huge chunk of their rotation is headed to free agency, namely Gerritt Cole, barring an extension.
And that’s what I was going to say, but Jeff Lunhow pulled off a blockbuster and acquired Zack Grienke from the Diamondbacks for four prospects (and they still held onto Kyle Tucker AND Forrest Whitely!!! HOW?!?!?).
This softens the blow if they lose Cole in the winter, but the payroll is looking very bloated moving forward.
-And right now, there’s something we do need to mention, and that is the passing of Angel’s Pitcher Tyler Skaggs. He was still young, had a wife, and so much still going for him. Shortly after his passing, the Angels threw a no-hitter, and the team is surging.
However, even with that small bright spot, you can’t obscure what happened. Story after story and several tears flowed out, and all of baseball mourned. He was taken too early, and he won’t be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Tyler.
Ok, moving off of that somber note, how about we go to the National League. And oh boy, I am really going to have fun ripping into a few teams here.
Atlanta: 30-27 | Part 2: 64-45
Washington: 24-33 | Part 2: 57-51
Philadelphia: 33-24 | Part 2: 56-51
NY Mets: 28-29 | Part 2: 52-55
Miami: 19-36 | Part 2: 41-65
State of the NL East:
-The Braves needed starting pitching. While they improved on the margins with additions to the bullpen like Shane Greene, will it be enough to push further ahead?
-And the Nats aren’t making me look that dumb anymore. However, with Max Scherzer having back and shoulder injuries flaring up, will the team crumble or keep in the hunt? (Also, sidenote, I forgot Stephen Strausburg has an opt-out clause this winter. Things could get dicey in D.C. But hey! They got some relievers!)
-Remember when I said this would be a fun race between Atlanta and Philly last time? Me Neither.
-In regards to Miami… I mean, they’re not as terrible? But the team is still bad. Gosh, I actually want them to do some good.
-And then, here come the Mets. Don’t think I forgot you guys!! You cornered the pitching market by acquiring Marcus Stroman from Toronto and while you didn’t flip Stroman (a free agent after next year), you didn’t cash in Thor or Wheeler to help retool and rebuild. Maybe that seven game win streak had a hand in that.
However, the Mets are directionless, and they are a laughingstock way too often, having fallen off a cliff following their loss in the 2015 World Series to the Royals. The fans deserve better. The Wilpon’s need to do better. We’ll see what happens.
CHI Cubs: 31-24 | Part 2: 57-50
St. Louis: 28-28 | Part 2: 57-50
Milwaukee: 32-26 | Part 2: 57-52
Cincinnati: 27-30 | Part 2: 50-56
Pittsburgh: 28-28 | Part 2: 47-61
State of the NL Central:
-Chicago got Nicholas Castellanos. So, yeah. Not as bad as the beginning of the year, but I’m still underwhelmed.
-The Cardinals are finally doing something and are no longer a “boring” group. They’re in the thick of it, and I’m intrigued, but I doubt they have a deep run in them.
-I’m still wanting the Brew Crew and Yelich to pull this one out. But will their lack of aggressiveness in landing a starter keep them home in October? I hope not. Do not let two potential MVPs to stay home in each league this year!
-Pittsburgh has seen the bottom fall out, and they definitely have some buyer’s remorse for Chris Archer now. However, Josh Bell’s breakout season has been a big bright spot on this team. Though if we want to talk lowlights…
-Cincinnati and Pittsburgh threw down July 30, and Yasiel Puig, the new Indians outfielder, was involved in the skirmish, and several folks were suspended (including David Bell, the manager of the Reds, for six games). While they aren’t going anywhere this year, they did get Trevor Bauer.
Honestly though, if we look forward a year, a rotation of Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray and Bauer could be amazing, and you have Joey Votto, Nick Senzel, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Co. This could be a good group.
LA Dodgers: 39-19 | Part 2: 71-39
San Francisco: 22-34 | Part 2: 55-53
Arizona: 28-30 | Part 2: 54-55
San Diego: 30-27 | Part 2: 50-57
Colorado: 29-27 | Part 2: 50-59
State of the NL West:
-Right now, the Dodgers are the best team in baseball with all the prospects, depth and cash available. Also, is it just me, or is there a Patriots vibe to this team? To put it simply, they do well every year, sans the rings (for now).
-Ok… The Giants actually were buyers. Wait, what?!?! How?!?! Why!?!? Well, they held onto MadBum (Madison Bumgarner), and now I feel they are going to doom themselves to the fate of the Phillies.
The glory days are long past to me. You guys missed the window to retool and restock. Admittedly, I don’t know how this will finish for the Giants, but I’m doubting it will end with a ring. It’s 2019, and it’s not an even year. They never make the playoffs in an even year.
-Ok Diamondbacks, you finally acquired Mike Leake after having this nixed a month ago. You also bought a few other pieces, and then sold Grienke for the cash relief?? Yeah ok! You’re middle ground team, and I’m salty Grienke ended up in Houston and the AL in general!
-While the Padres may have fallen off after a hot start (a Fernando Tatis injury and inconsistent pitching will do that), if I were to look at the future’s market, this is a team I’d be buying stock in before the price jumps too high (and no, not in the actual team, just metaphorically).
-It turns out Colorado will NOT be one of the teams fulfilling my “knock the big markets out” quota. I mean, they have had a ton of fun offensive series at Coors Field.
That especially goes for fantasy owners of Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story, David Dahl, Nolan Arenado, etc.
Being a bit more serious here though, this is a wash for them this year, but I still see potential for the next few years if they don’t blow it up, a la Wade Davis… Who am I kidding? I’m just waiting for the Tulo Jersey retirement ceremony after Troy Tulowitzki retired from baseball this past week!
See you all again in Part 3!
Sean Fitzgerald is a member of the Black Squirrel Radio Sports Department and a Sports Coordinator. Follow him on Twitter @fitzonsportsbsr for insights and occasional livestreams.