Indians: The fans are wondering how the departure of coach Mickey Callaway is affecting the pitching staff. The departures they should worry about are relievers Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith to free agency because the bullpen is not what it used to be. Even lefthander Andrew Miller has struggled, giving up four earned runs over his past three innings.
Royals: Kansas City has lost twice for every game it has won this season. The Royals’ rotation is among the worst in baseball. It’s hard to maintain a positive attitude. “It’s something you’ve got to work at; it doesn’t come natural,” manager Ned Yost said. “You’ve got to sit yourself down, and I’ve had to do it in the middle of a game: Sit myself down and tell me to shut the hell up.”
Tigers: Outfielder JaCoby Jones is day to day because of a hip contusion suffered while running the bases on Wednesday. It’s a minor issue for Jones, but the Tigers could use him in the lineup. After batting .170 last season, Jones is focusing on swinging at more strikes and entered Thursday batting .252. His three home runs already match last year’s total.
White Sox: First base coach Daryl Boston never has learned to whistle. So he blows into a whistle to get the attention of his outfielders to position them. But the league has told Boston that he no longer can blow a whistle in the dugout. Hey Daryl, try giving your outfielders cards to keep in their pockets.
The 3-2 pitch
Three observations …
• Robinson Cano’s Hall of Fame candidacy took a big blow last week when it was learned he tested positive for a diuretic that’s used as a PED masking agent. Voters have come down hard on players who have failed drug tests since the policy was strengthened in 2006.
• Manager Dave Roberts is not the problem with the Dodgers. They have not done an adequate job of building a deep enough roster, so they have been unable to recover from injuries.
• I’m not sold on the Angels as a contender. The bullpen needs upgrades. They need production at the top of the batting order … and maybe one more thumper in the middle of the order.
... and two predictions
• The Cardinals will finish in fourth place in a stacked NL Central.
• The Twins will not trade for a starting catcher. They might look to stash someone at Class AAA Rochester as insurance against another injury.