MLB Week in Review (July 29-August 4)

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It is reaching a point in the MLB season where decisions are becoming so much more important to the team’s ability to win or for them to forget about the postseason.

There is just about two months to go in the season and two months for teams to make a real run at October baseball.

This past week the trade deadline passed as teams got one of their biggest chances to make a change that could put them over the top.

There were plenty of moves on the day as teams went after some big names in order to get that extra boost they needed.

The trades were big moves but they are far from the only big decisions to be made down the stretch.

One of the big decisions in this new era of the MLB is how to treat young pitchers.

It has become a massive debate over the past few years with concern over young arms growing as the occurrences of Tommy John Surgery.

For the last few years, it always seems like at least one team has a great young pitcher playing great baseball down the stretch.

It would be a good thing if not for the fact that teams now put limitations on innings for their young pitchers and as they head down the stretch those innings get closer and closer.

Then the debate begins as teams need to decide to stick with their innings limit and take their young starter out despite the fact that he is one of their top pitchers.

They can also throw out the innings limit and let their young pitcher finish the season while risking his arm and the future of his career to win right now.

It has happened with great pitchers time and time again over recent years and this year it is happening again.

This time, it is Toronto where the debate is reaching a fever point as they look to make up their mind on Aaron Sanchez.

He has been one of their top prospects for years but he has yet to pitch a full season as a starter.

Last year he lost out on the final rotation spot in spring training and spent most of his time in the bullpen as one of their better bullpen pitchers.

This year he won a starting spot and so far has been their most consistent pitcher and their best.

He currently leads the AL in ERA with 2.71 but for the Jays the plan was always to move him to the bullpen and preserve his arm.baseball-sidebar

While in the bullpen they can decide to pitch him or not and limit the wear on his arm to ensure he remains one of the best Blue Jays’ pitchers for the future.

The problem is that the Jays are in the midst of a division race that is far from over and removing Sanchez means a massive gap in the pitching staff.

The Jays tried to correct this at the trade deadline when they traded with the Pirates for Francisco Liriano.

Supposedly Liriano was to take Sanchez’s spot while Sanchez moved to the bullpen for the rest of the season.

At the end of the week, though, after Sanchez earned yet another solid win, the Jays began backtracking as Toronto GM Ross Atkins said that for now, Sanchez will stay in the rotation while Liriano fills in a sixth spot.

The Jays are looking to avoid risking the arm of Sanchez but also not willing to remove his arm from the rotation.

The debate is more about the future first the right now as keeping Sanchez in the rotation is better for the postseason race right now while taking him out is better for his future on the team.

The decision has yet to truly be made as it seems like the Blue Jays are in a wait and see mode with any issue for Sanchez likely forming a reason to move him to the bullpen and move back to a five-man rotation.

With players and fans both on the side of keeping him in the rotation there is a clear want to win right now because next season this team might not be in this same position with big free agents.

One way or another the decision will be made and it could mean the difference in the season for the Jays much like it has been in the past for plenty of other teams.

Extra Innings
(More on this week in baseball)

Return to the Olympics
Just before the latest Olympic Summer Games begin the IOC voted on the 2020 version of the Game in Japan where the organisation decided that baseball and softball along with three other sports will be included in the Olympic program

Puig Drama Continues
Yasiel Puig has been a controversial figure in Los Angeles since he arrived and that continued this week as the Dodgers told him that he would be traded or demoted and without a trade partner one of the most talented players in baseball is now in the minors

A-Rod on the way out
The rumours are swirling around another controversial player as Alex Rodriguez might be released by the Yankees after inconsistent play this year but most just want a decision to be made rather than continuing the talk

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Key Series:
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Baltimore Orioles
– It was the battle for first place in the east as the Orioles came into the series in first place but quickly lost ground to the Jays who took the first two games as the O’s took the final game and stayed on top

Washington Nationals 2-2 San Francisco Giants
– Two teams that might very well face-off in the postseason as the Nationals and the Giants are leading the way in the east and the west for the NL and their battle behind the Cubs for the top three continues with two even teams

New York Yankees 2-2 New York Mets
– The Subway Series got underway again this week as the Mets and the Yankees faced off with the Mets as the better team in New York and trying to prove it but neither could get the upper hand as they split the series

Detroit Tigers 2-1 Chicago White Sox
– The Tigers and the White Sox have always fought it out for the central and now they are just fighting for a chance at a playoff spot as the central is that much tougher and the Tigers took the advantage with two games

Upcoming Series:
Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros [Aug. 5-7]
– The Battle of Texas is once again an important rivalry with the Rangers and the Astros fighting for the west division as the Astros try to close the gap on their rivals and move closer to a division title

Boston Red Sox vs. Los Angeles Dodgers [Aug. 5-7]
– The Red Sox went from the division leaders to fighting for a spot in the postseason and they will continue to fight for that spot against the Dodgers who themselves are in a fight for the west division

San Francisco Giants vs. Miami Marlins [Aug. 8-10]
– The Marlins have quietly found their way into the postseason race as they have been moving up their division and now they get a real test to see if they can compete with the best as they take on the Giants

Cleveland Indians vs. Washington Nationals [Aug. 9-10]
– The Indians rode a hot end to the second half to the top of the AL Central and now they hope to continue that run at the top of the division while they take on the Nationals who are trying to stay on top of their division

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