AL West Recap: the Red Sox - who start a series in Houston tonight - got an unsolicited Brazilian wax at the hands of the Angels, who will never lose again, in a double-header yesterday; the Rangers and Mariners both lost, and the A's joined the Astros in taking the day off. This puts the Astros 2.0 back of the Angels, with a 30.7% chance of winning the division and a 60.5% chance of making the postseason. The latter is 4th-highest in the AL and best among non-division-leading teams.
*Vince Velasquez is back and will be on the mound to face the Red Sox tonight. Among the things he worked on in his bullpen sessions with Doug Brocail in Corpus: Pitching lower in the zone, and pitching more quickly:
Castro told me after one of the innings (in Cleveland) to try to keep the pace of the game, and you'll probably get more calls. And everybody is more into the game instead of standing around just because I'm slow with my delivery and my whole pace of play.
*Of note from that previous link: the front office has instructed pitchers (and pitching coaches) to keep their delivery time to 1.2 seconds or faster.
*Jon Singleton used the opposite side of the field for the first time on Sunday, something the Astros wanted him to work on in Fresno. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal notes that the Astros are open to dealing Singleton in a trade, and have scouted Carlos Gomez and Gerardo Parra. Rosenthal also notes that the Astros' priority for offensive help is "way on the backburner."
*Jim Crane said yesterday that he is open to increasing payroll if the right deal comes along.
If we get a deal we'd like, we'd certainly like to pull the trigger. We also don't want to sacrifice the future.
*The Dallas Morning-News' Gerry Fraley writes that the Rangers were not happy with the work of umpire Will Little on Sunday, when the Rangers hit for the Keuchel, striking out 13 times to three hits. Fraley:
There was some muted carping...about the work of umpire Will Little, who also had the plate when...Chris Sale had 14 strikeouts against them last month. The Rangers were also unhappy...Yovani Gallardo could not get any calls on the edges.
*Evan Gattis will be at the Whataburger on Hwy 146 in Baytown today from 11am-Noon. If you get a picture of Evan Gattis holding up a Whataburger bun with "Astros County" in ketchup, and send it to us either by email or on Twitter, you will receive an Astros County shirt with the logo from the banner of the site.
*The Tigers are ready to start selling.
*George Springer, who is a sweetheart, will hold a camp for kids who stutter.
*Yesterday: We combined on a Trade Deadline Roundtable and looked at Carlos Correa's first 35 games.