ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Two weeks ago, the Boston Red Sox had no urge to call up top prospect Rafael Devers. In fact, the last thing they wanted, according to president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, was to thrust a 20-year-old third baseman into the middle of a pennant race. But there was Dombrowski, standing in manager John Farrell's office after Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels?and announcing that Devers will join the team Monday in Seattle. Talk about an about-face. "Our biggest concern with him has been that if we brought him up and he struggles, like a lot of guys do, how would he handle it? And our people feel that he would handle it well at this point," Dombrowski said.
Don’t include the slumping Matt Holliday among the people who believe striking out is part of doing business at the plate. For the first time in a productive big league career, the Yankees’ DH has whiffed more than he has hit entering Tuesday night’s game against the Reds at Yankee Stadium, and it gnaws at the 37-year-old right-handed hitter. “I don’t like that stat at all,’’ Holliday said Sunday in Seattle after the Yankees copped three of four from the Mariners and moved 2 ½ games back of the AL East-leading Red Sox. The math that has Holliday annoyed is his 85:66 strikeouts-to-hits ratio, which plays into a .238 average for someone who was a career .303 hitter when he left St. Louis for The Bronx and a one-year, $13 million deal.
So many things went right for the Orioles in their four-game sweep over the Rangers to begin the week. Chris Tillman finally showed velocity on his fastball, hitting 95 on the radar gun for the first time this year, and the offense fired on all cylinders scoring 31 runs in the last three games. Coupled with strong performances from the team’s talented but frustrating young bucks, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, the starting staff showed that maybe they can show marked improvement in the second half and slow talks of the team becoming sellers this year. Then the Houston Astros came to town, and the Birds’ warts grew back to cauliflower size. The Orioles allowed a total of 23 runs, including six