Mike Trout is probably fine.
Let's start there. Despite leaving Sunday's game against the Mariners due to right calf tightness, Trout is probably fine. The Angels are spreading that message, that although he's set to undergo an MRI on Monday, it's precautionary, because he's probably fine.
“I don't think it's that serious,” Trout said after the game. “I think they're just being cautious. Calves are tough. You want it to be one or two days and not six weeks."
Trout said he felt tightness in the calf while playing defense during Sunday's first inning. He told Angels manager Brad Ausmus, and the decision was made to remove him to start the third inning.
In fact, Ausmus said Trout didn't even want to leave the contest.
“We don't think it's a long-term thing, but we'll know more tomorrow,” Ausmus said. “He was lobbying to stay in the game."
Even a few days without Trout might be uncomfortable for the Halos. Kole Calhoun, not a center fielder in the traditional sense of the word, shifted to center in Trout's absence Sunday, and with Tommy La Stella already out, the Angels' positional flexibility would be tested. With Trout sidelined, the versatile David Fletcher would probably slide to a corner outfield spot opposite Justin Upton, with Matt Thaiss manning third and Luis Rengifo at second.
And that would just be defensively. It doesn't need to be noted that the offense would sorely miss the best player in baseball, especially since Trout has performed like it at the plate this year. Through Sunday's game, the 27-year-old is hitting .305/.455/.666 with 30 homers, 75 RBI, 74 runs scored and eight steals on the year.
Which is all to say, he's probably fine. The Angels are certainly hoping so.
The A's joined the Homer movement Sunday.
The Athletics acquired Homer Bailey from the Royals for prospect Kevin Merrell, a Double-A infielder who was a competitive balance pick in the 2017 draft. Merrell was assigned to the Royals' Double-A affiliate.
Bailey, meanwhile, joins an A's club that has, predictably, punched above its weight this year. The right-hander will join a staff that has a collective 4.01 ERA, seventh-best in the league, for the 53-41 club that's currently in line to receive the American League's second Wild Card berth.
“Our starting depth has taken a hit,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “We checked around for some starting pitching. I had let Kansas City know a few days ago that Homer might be someone we were interested in, and it came together kind of quickly this morning.”
The depth Forst is referring to certainly starts with Frankie Montas, who will miss most of the rest of the season after he received an 80-game suspension for testing positive for PEDs. The team has also been without free agent addition Marco Estrada since mid-April because of a lumbar strain in his back, and top prospect Jesus Luzardo has yet to make an impact at the major league level due to left shoulder troubles.
That Bailey fetched anything in a trade, let alone a former first-round pick, would have been inconceivable a few months ago, but the 33-year-old resurrected his career with a usable first half for the Royals. Bailey went 7-6 with a 4.80 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 81 strikeouts in 90 innings of work, and in his last six starts before the All-Star break he posted a 2.83 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.
“Homer did a tremendous job fitting in and doing what he needed to do to be more consistent,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “He’s been terrific for us, He was outstanding. I couldn’t be more pleased with what he accomplished and what we were able to obtain today. It’s a good baseball deal for everybody.”
In Merrell, the Royals add what they've seemed to covet most in recent years -- speed. The 33rd overall pick in 2017, Merrell is a burner who, like some other Royals projects, has struggled at the plate -- at Double-A this year, the 23-year-old is hitting .246/.292/.339. An interesting profile, and a decent return for a flier such as Bailey, but right now it's just a name to store away as potentially interesting in a year or two.
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For a team leading the AL West by six games, the Astros are in trouble.
Or at least they are in the near term after Brad Peacock was sent back to Houston for treatment on his right shoulder following his feeling "unexpected soreness" after a bullpen session late last week. Astros manager A.J. Hinch described it as "intermittent soreness" and said he "(doesn't) know what we're going to do" in Peacock's absence.
“You don’t know when the soreness is going to go away,” Hinch said.
What it means in the short term is that Framber Valdez, who has pitched well in the minors and at points in the majors but who was rocked in a spot start Thursday, will get at least one more turn in the Astros rotation in the coming days. That turn could come Monday against the Angels. A bullpen game is also a possibility in the coming days.
Peacock hasn't pitched since June 27 and had struggled for most of the month of June after a terrific first few months of the season. In total, the 31-year-old has a 4.13 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 89/25 K/BB ratio across 85 innings of work this year.
National League Quick Hits: ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Padres "have placed a very high price tag" on closer Kirby Yates. Olney also notes that Padres general manager A.J. Preller "doesn't deviate in trade conversations," so this probably isn't some bluff. The Padres are within striking distance of a Wild Card spot -- along with several other teams -- and losing Yates would be a big blow to their otherwise shaky bullpen. The 32-year-old right-hander is under control through 2020, so there's no real rush to flip him this summer. Yates boasts a 1.10 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 64/9 K/BB ratio through 41 innings and currently leads all MLB relievers in saves with 30. ... Willson Contreras told reporters that he is dealing with some soreness in his right foot. The discomfort is in the arch of his foot, and it explains his absence from the Cubs' starting lineup Sunday against the Pirates. Consider him day-to-day for now. ... Jay Bruce (heels) was back in the Phillies' starting lineup Sunday against the Nationals. Bruce sat out of Saturday's game due to mild soreness in both of his Achilles tendons. ... Christian Yelich went 2-for-4 with his major league-leading 32nd home run of the season in the Brewers' loss to the Giants on Sunday. Yelich took Giants starter Tyler Beede deep with a game-tying blast to right-center field in the seventh inning. He also singled in the first inning to record his 34th multi-hit effort in 85 games this season. We've simply run out of superlatives to describe the 27-year-old sluggers other-worldly exploits. He owns a surreal .330/.430/.708 triple-slash line with 68 runs scored, 68 RBI and 21 stolen bases in 379 plate appearances. He has a realistic shot at a 50-homer, 30-steal campaign. Unreal. ... Mike Soroka pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out nine, in Sunday's win over the Padres. Soroka has been nothing short of tremendous in his rookie campaign, posting a 2.24 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 82/22 K/BB ratio over 96 1/3 innings of work thus far. The first-time All-Star is also shaping up to be a leading Rookie of the Year Award candidate. ... Adam Wainwright tossed seven scoreless innings and the Cardinals held on for a 5-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday. The veteran right-hander flashed some vintage form on this day, keeping the Diamondbacks to just four hits, all singles, and walking one while striking out seven. The stellar turn got Wainwright's ERA down to 3.99 through 17 starts, better numbers than some were expecting from the 37-year-old as he nears the end of his career.
American League Quick Hits: Byron Buxton (face, chest) was out of the Twins' starting lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Indians. There's still no word as to the exact nature of Buxton's injury, or injuries. He got banged up while making a diving catch in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday. ... Luis Severino (lat) has been cleared to begin a new throwing program on Monday. Severino had a checkup exam with a doctor on Saturday, and it apparently went well. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that the 25-year-old right-hander will likely need "six or more" weeks to get properly stretched out for live MLB competition, so we probably won't see him in pinstripes before late August. Severino has been out all season due to lat and shoulder issues. ... Eddie Rosario (ankle) could return to the Twins' active roster on Tuesday. Rosario went through a full range of drills (running, hitting, outfield work) before Sunday's series finale against the Indians, and if he responds well, he should be ready for Tuesday's series opener against the Mets. The 27-year-old outfielder has been sidelined since June 28 with a left ankle sprain. He's sitting on an .841 OPS with 20 home runs, 60 RBI, three stolen bases, and 51 runs scored through 75 games played. ... Ryan Yarbrough and opener Ryne Stanek nearly delivered the first combined perfect game in MLB history, but the O's hit back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the ninth inning to break up the bid. So close. ... Tim Anderson (ankle) fielded grounders on Sunday afternoon, but manager Rick Renteria cautioned after the workout that Anderson is not close to returning to Chicago's active roster. "He’s still not pushing off that leg as well as we’d like," Renteria told reporters, "but he’s healing." The star shortstop has been sidelined since June 26 because of a high right ankle sprain and probably won't be ready for major league action until early August. ... Ken Giles (arm) remained unavailable Sunday versus the Yankees. Giles was also unavailable to pitch on Friday and Saturday after coming down with nerve inflammation in his right arm over the All-Star break. The standing hope is that Giles, an important trade chip for Toronto, will be ready to rock for Monday night's series opener in Boston. ... Tyler Glasnow will undergo a follow-up MRI on his right arm Monday. If the examination shows significant enough healing, Glasnow should be cleared to begin a throwing program. The 25-year-old right-hander originally landed on the injured list back on May 11 with a mild right forearm strain and then suffered a setback in late June. He could potentially return to the Rays' rotation in mid-to-late August, but there are many hurdles for him to clear first. ... Jonathan Lucroy will undergo a closed reduction of his nasal fracture on Tuesday. Lucroy will be in a facial cast for 3-7 days following the procedure and then expects to resume baseball activities, assuming he no longer has any concussion symptoms. The veteran catcher suffered a concussion and the nasal fracture when he got bulldozed at home plate by Jake Marisnick on July 7. Lucroy will probably be sidelined through at least the early part of August. ... Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 with a grand slam and three runs scored as the Astros routed the Rangers 12-4 on Sunday. Nobody in the land is as hot as Altuve out of the break, as he's got eight hits -- including a pair of homers, six RBI and seven runs scored -- in 20 at-bats in the first few days of the second half. His grand slam in the seventh inning pushed the Astros' lead to eight, effectively ending the competition. It was his 12th home run of the season, giving him 31 RBI and 37 runs scored in 59 games. He entered the break hitting .262/.328/.453, but he's up to .274/.333/.483 after the good few games.