While Detroit Tigers' fans make their yearly wish list in advance of the trade deadline, they've already received the best gift a team could hope for in a much healthier looking Victor Martinez. And now another weak point is getting a pure injection of hardball. Bruce Rondon was recalled on Wednesday to join the Tigers' bullpen, while Buck Farmer was optioned back to Toledo after his disappointing start on Wednesday.
Rondon struggled to find the plate during his rehab assignment, but has been far more effective since being optioned to Toledo. In his last outing he struck out the side in an inning of work. If he brings his command with him, the Tigers' will have a lot less to worry about from their relief corps.
'Stuff is still good,' so Tigers aren't worried about Soria - The Detroit News, Chris McCosky
Joakim Soria has caught the home-run bug in his last several outings. The Tigers' expect it to be a blip on the radar.
Let’s Revisit JD Martinez - New English D, Neil Weinberg
J.D. Martinez is making a strong case to back up his breakout season in 2014.
Little League, Big Trouble: Jackie Robinson West whistleblower Chris Janes pays the price - SB Nation, David Mendell
An in-depth piece on the coach who called attention to Jackie Robinson West's rule-breaking, which resulted in the stripping of their Little League World Series title and a lot of nastiness infecting the kid's game. A pretty bracing look at the way adult ambition corrupts the sport in what should be its purest form.
Will the Astros' offensive formula work in postseason? - The Crawfish Boxes, Dave Spradley
SBNation's Houston Astros blog does a little self-evaluation of the Astros all or nothing offense. So far they've thrived by the long ball despite the strikeouts. But how does that type of offense play in October?
Max Scherzer's run has been historic and charged with emotion - Beyond the Box Score, Eric Garcia McKinley
And in-depth look at just how good Mad Max has been in his past few starts. Yes it hurts, but Scherzer is a good guy and really appears to have hit on a pure vein of brilliance at the moment.
Stanton smashes liner to center for 27th HR - MLB.com, Joe Frisaro
No one crushes the baseball with the ferocity of Giancarlo Stanton. Less majestic than some of his tape measure shots, this one is a terrifying screamer.
Russell, McKinney keep Cubs big winners one year later - Minor League Ball, Wayne Cavadi
A year ago Billy Beane doubled down on an Athletics' club that looked to be a juggernaut already, only to see the whole thing come unraveled down the stretch. Meanwhile, the Cubs are young, hungry, and poised to make a run of their own.
How Badly Do the Royals Really Need a Starting Pitcher? - FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan
The Royals rotation has not been all that impressive, despite a good first half. Can they expect things to come around, or are they going to join an already crowded market for starting pitching at the trade deadline.
Albert Pujols Is Back … But for How Long? - Grantland, Jonah Keri
That other greatest hitter of this generation is having a banner year that hearkens back to his glory days with the St. Louis Cardinals. Is it a mirage, or is Pujols really back to his classic form?