Now that I showed you the NL, you get to see the AL
Garret Anderson, limited to one at-bat over the previous three games because of a groin strain, also sat out Monday night's game and is expected to miss at least a couple more ... Aaron Sele has struggled with his command and lost velocity on his fastball. The team will be watching his next starts closely.
Manager Lee Mazzilli is losing patience with Luis Matos, Larry Bigbie and Brian Roberts, young players who have had disappointing seasons. If they don't perform, they will be benched ... David Newhan was acquired to be a utilityman, but he has become much more valuable that that. Newhan, a lefthanded hitter, also has the patience to hit lefthanders. He can slap the ball to all fields and has occasional power. Newhan doesn't have a true position and is prone to making errors, but he has the talent to stick in the big leagues.
Boston Red Sox
Manager Terry Francona said Gabe Kapler will spend most of the time in right field while Trot Nixon is on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps. Kapler could make a decent short-term option in AL-only leagues.
Chicago White Sox
Paul Konerko hit a homer against the Twins on Monday. He is batting .370 with four homers and eight RBIs in his last seven games. Konerko's power numbers make him an outstanding starting first baseman in many mixed leagues ... To make the playoffs, a third starter must step up behind Freddy Garcia and Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland is fighting inconsistency, Scott Schoeneweis is battling back from an elbow injury and Esteban Loaiza's ERA is almost two runs higher than last season's.
Jody Gerut's struggles at the plate forced the club to call up Grady Sizemore, a contact hitter with a smooth stroke. The book on Sizemore is he lacks power, but three of his first four big-league hits went for extra bases, and he has a good build (6-2, 200) ... Matt Lawton went 0-for-3 against the Tigers on Monday and is batting .231 in his last 26 games. Between nagging injuries and a sinking average, Lawton's value might have peaked. Although he should still score plenty of runs, it's probably would be a bad idea to sell high. (I think he means it wouldn't be a bad idea)
Marcus Thames finally is catching up with big-league fastballs. He still can be overpowered by hard throwers but isn't fooled by junk pitches. Thames doesn't posess the range or instincts to start every day in the outfield ... Alex Sanchez (right hamstring strain) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab with Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday. He's been on the DL since July 8. Manager Alan Trammell said the quickest scenario would have Sanchez back with the Tigers by Thursday.
Kansas City Royals
Ryan Bukvich has increased his velocity, hitting up to 96 mph. He could be the closer if LHP Jeremy Affeldt's return from the DL is delayed ... Angel Berroa's average has improved every month (.216 in April, .224 in May, .277 in June, .288 through July 25th), and increased contact will eventually lead to more balls going over the fence. He's also stealing more often of late, swiping eight bases combined in June and July after picking up just a single steal prior to June 1.
Doug Mientkiewicz has returned from the DL, but he could struggle to find playing time. The club likes young Justin Morneau's power from the cleanup slot too much to sit him or send him to the minors. Morneau, who homered in five of his first 17 games, could be the DH with Shannon Stewart returning to left, but Lew Ford, who entered the week hitting .305, also deserves to play ... The team has struggled finding a consistent fifth starter, but the answer could come from within the organization. Scott Baker, a 2003 second-round pick, has reached Class AAA after making all-star teams at Class A and AA. He's a strikeout pitcher who has impressed the big-league club.
New York Yankees
Jon Lieber has given up far more hits than he has innings pitched, but he has been able to offset that problem by not walking more than one batter in any start. In his first 15 starts (94 2/3 innings), Lieber allowed 120 hits but issued just seven walks ... Mike Mussina, who hasn't thrown off a mound in a week and a half, won't do so until Thursday. Mussina did not have a scheduled bullpen session on Sunday because of soreness from playing catch on Saturday.
There has been talk of using Tim Hudson, expected to return from the DL this week, out of the bullpen. But with Mark Redman and Barry Zito struggling, the team needs Hudson in the rotation ... Though Mark Ellis joined the team in Seattle last week and played catch for the first time since tearing his labrum and dislocating his shoulder in spring training, he isn't likely to play this year.
Joel Pineiro will be placed on the disabled list this week with a strained right elbow, an injury that's not as severe as the club thought Sunday night. Doctors determined Pineiro won't need surgery now, and the Mariners are hopeful he will return this season after initially fearing the 25-year-old right-hander had a season-ending injury. Pineiro complained of soreness after throwing a changeup in the eighth inning of his start Sunday, then he threw two more pitches before leaving the game on schedule, having thrown 114 pitches. The Mariners are likely to call up Gil Meche from Triple-A Tacoma to take Pineiro's spot in the rotation, meaning Meche would start Friday in Anaheim.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
The team still is deciding where to play top prospect B.J. Upton when he is called up. He could play shortstop, moving Julio Lugo to second, or third base, moving Aubrey Huff to DH ... Joey Gathright, a lefthanded hitter with tremendous speed, struggles against lefthanders but is a dangerous bunter. He can slap the ball past fielders when he sees the infield drawn in and is an aggressive baserunner. He will bat ninth to set the table for Carl Crawford.
Gerald Laird's return from the DL (thumb) should be a boost to what could be the best season of Rod Barajas' career. Barajas is slowing down at what arguably is the toughest position to play in the Texas heat ... The Rangers activated Herbert Perry from the DL on Monday. Sidelined since July 6 because of a strained right calf, he has played in only 40 games, hitting .239 with five homers and 17 RBIs. He could have some AL-only value if he starts in place of the injured Brad Fullmer at first base.
Toronto Blue Jays
Roy Halladay's shoulder injury should keep him out most of August. There is nothing structurally wrong with the joint--doctors analyzed it as "fatigued" and prescribed rest. If all goes well, Halladay could return at the beginning of September ... Alexis Rios went 2-for-4 with a run against the Yankees on Monday. He is hitting .390 in his last 11 games. With all the Blue Jays' injured outfielders back and Rios still in the lineup, the question about his playing time seems to have been answered. AL-only owners should strongly consider him, but mixed leaguers should wait until he contributes in more categories.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.