Yankees, Mets, trade rumors, free agents, off-the-wall predictions and other MLB musings.
A Mets assessment, A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes
Your updated playoff standings:
AL: Boston (1) vs. Detroit (3), Texas (2) vs. Yankees (4)
NL: Philadelphia (1) vs. Milwaukee (3), San Francisco (2) vs. Atlanta (4).
Thoughts: The Giants won back sole possession of the NL West by defeating the Diamondbacks yesterday. Meanwhile, on the seeding front, the Tigers (59-51) have pulled within a game and a half of Texas (61-50) for the AL's second seed, which has homefield advantage in the first round. And in the NL, the Brewers (62-50) are within a half-game of the Giants (62-49) for the same slot.
Just a few quick hits, given the lateness of the hour:
--At the Mets' rainout, I tried to assess these 2011 Mets, with their 2010 predecessors in mind - since they both went 55-55 through the first 110 games of the season. Thanks to Richie G. for helping inspire this idea. Of, if you hate the column, blame Richie G.
--The Yankees scored 18 runs in defeating the White Sox, yet the focus understandably was on A.J. Burnett, who couldn't complete even five innings to pick up the win. Just terrible.
Should the Yankees lift Burnett from the rotation? No. Not yet, at least. Ivan Nova has minor-league options, and Burnett, prior to last night, hadn't been awful. Because the Yankees have so much invested in him, still - yeesh, he's signed through 2013 - their best call is to give Burnett the ball again and see if he can work toward being a league-average pitcher, statistically, again.
--On a similar topic, Phil Hughes will get another turn in the Yankees' rotation, after pitching well Tuesday night in Chicago. The Yankees have considered keeping Nova in the major leagues as a reliever, but given the questions surrounding all of the Yankees' starting pitchers besides CC Sabathia, it would seem to make the most sense to keep Nova on a starter's schedule. So that he's ready to step forward in case one of the other starters goes down due to injury or incompetence.
--Washington's Stephen Strasburg will make his first minor-league rehabilitation start Sunday, after undergoing Tommy John surgery late last year.
--Have a great day.