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Continued: Sunday MLB Insider: Sano benched after showboating

  • Article by: LA VELLE E. NEAL III , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 28, 2013 - 8:18 AM

He’s just not the dominating force he’s been the past two years. He’s won the AL strikeout title in each of the past two seasons but is only sixth heading into the weekend.

Doesn’t sound like a problem out here. But the concern is over Verlander’s curveball, which just doesn’t have the same bite it’s had in recent seasons. Some believe the lack of a good curveball is making his fastball more hittable.

From 2011 through the 2012 season, Verlander gave up five earned runs or more a combined five times. This year, he’s done it six times.

• • •

Well, that was fast.

After 48 games as the Royals’ hitting coach, George Brett has stepped down.

“I just felt it was time for me to move on,” Brett said. “It’s been a tremendous experience for me after being gone for 20 years from the game, to have an opportunity again to put on a uniform. It was special.”

Assistant hitting coach Pedro Grifol will take over.

• • •

The White Sox could become a big player before the trade deadline if they are willing to move Alex Rios, Alexei Ramirez and Jake Peavy.

• • •

Cleveland’s credentials as a contender are starting to look shaky. The Indians’ defense is letting them down. And they have lost their past six one-run games.

Three observations …

• One thing overlooked in the Miguel Sano flap: Class AA New Britain was playing Portland the night he admired his home run. Portland is a Red Sox affiliate. The Red Sox are looking for relievers. And GM Terry Ryan JUST happened to be there.

• Congrats to the city of Chicago for approving the $500 million renovation project for Wrigley Field. It will be nice to see how they balance the past and present in the stadium.

  • related content

  • Miguel Sano’s pause after his 26th homer Tuesday got him a spot on the New Britain bench.

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Cincinnati - A. Simon 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Samardzija
St. Louis - M. Wacha 6:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 6:05 PM
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NY Mets - J. Niese
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