BALTIMORE (43-31): 15-3 in June and 32-16 since the start of May. The offense is trending up, still being carried by great starting and relief pitching. How long can Melvin Fitzpatrick keep his starting job at first before the team gives Seth Beer a look? Seaver Sheets continues to impress at AAA and recently promoted to AAA Ryan Dibble is giving Baltimore another option in the wings. Sleeper: Jahari Wallace…
TORONTO (42-31): June has been a bit of a struggle for Toronto going 8-11. Hard to win in a month consistently with Winston, Cutler, Stanton, and Franco all hitting .205 on the month. With the bullpen also struggling, Toronto awaits the return of Tristan Cox from the IL. Cox has been out since mid-May. While everything might not be clicking, the rotation has come together with Lincecum, GIlmartin, and Chapman a scary trio come deep in the year.
TAMPA BAY (42-31): The Rays dominance at home (24-11) has kept them in a strong position despite road struggles (18-20). Plenty of discussion from within about the back of the rotation and where this team truly stands. They want to be patient, but how difficult will Bobby Witt make it on them to maintain that desire? Keep an eye on flame throwers Connor Grammes and Ethan Reed as potential additions to the pen later this year.
BOSTON (35-38): A sweep of Seattle brought some hope back into the Red Sox season. They followed that up with series wins against both Oakland and St. Louis. Having taken game 1 of a three-game set vs. Detroit, Boston can give itself further confidence by winning this series. The issue is, they are 8th in runs scored and 12th in runs allowed. Gerrit Cole’s BABIP is up 70 points from last season and that has seen his ERA skyrocket to north of 6.50. A team decimated by injuries (Iguchi, Sale, Elson, Giles), could see the return of Sawyer Cleveland in the next two weeks. Cleveland’s return will be a big boost to the lineup.
NEW YORK (17-57): The Yankees are a mess. When not hitting homers, not much has gone right. Multiple sources have hinted that C.J. Verdell could be a steal from the 2020 draft and believe he could be a spark and something different for this team in the future. Would a team dare try and trade for Gary Sanchez or Miguel Sano
MINNESOTA (40-33): Very quietly, the Twins are still in first in the Central. This comes despite not getting great pitching from the likes of Giolito, Kirby, or Ian Anderson. Gary Copeland is having an All-Star type season, but not quite the dominance he’s provided in the past. Kaleb Cowart is starting to hit his stride, hitting .322/.382/.559 with 4 homers and 14 RBI’s this month. With Richard Edwards out for 4 months and Cowart now at first, do the Twins see Michael Antonio as the answer at third or might prospect Tate Hallock get a look sooner rather than later?
DETROIT (41-34): The Tigers keep on hitting. They lead the AL in hits, runs scored, and extra-base hits. Like the Twins though, can they get enough from the rotation? Kyle Cody, Matthew Liberatore, and James Paxton each have ERA’s above 5 in June, with Cody experiencing real control issues of late. We’ve seen Jake Venables in the bigs, might that door soon be opening for Jason Dumont? Lots of talk about the Tigers being aggressive in bringing in pieces…with a talented farm system might Detroit make a swing at either Bill Black or Chris Scalise?
KANSAS CITY (38-34): After a tough 3-5 start to the month, the Royals are 6-4 since including taking the opener in Los Angeles against the Angels last night. June has seen the return of 2021 Kris Bubic (2.66 in 20 1/3 IP). What has vanished has been the power. The Royals have hit six homers as a team in 555 at-bats. The potential return of Julio Soto soon could provide a spark from either of the struggling De Sedas or Tyler Donaldson. How long will Alex Kiriloff’s demotion last at AAA? Also at AAA, might Kevin Knaust earn a taste of the bigs in the near future?
CHICAGO (25-47): The White Sox have climbed out of last and into 4th in the Central. Don’t take too much from that news as Chicago is still 5-13 this month. What has been exciting in Chicago has been the recent big league debuts of Spencer Torkelson and Chad Rix. Wavier claim Michael Wheeloc has settled into his new home and provided some offense. On the mound all eyes are on the Bill’s. Bill Black, how long does he stay in Chicago? The return would seemingly be very high. Bill Hauck, is it time to admit defeat on the idea of him being a starting pitcher? A flat out inability to get righties out again is killing him.
CLEVELAND (23-49): A 2-15 month of June has seen the wheels fall off. A soon to be seller, the question is who gets dealt. Strasburg seems certain, could Nick Williams be another name to watch? It is widely expected that teams will be after Chris Betts, Mark McCain, and Rod Swift, could Cleveland be tempted? One thing to look forward to in Cleveland is the big league approaching arms of Grayson Rodriguez and Davis Mills, each continues to be pitch well in the minors. In the field, Jazz Chisholm appears poised to break through into an every day player in Cleveland in the near future as well.
LOS ANGELES (55-19): The Angels have lost three straight! They’ve combated recent injuries to Kevin Gausman and Blayne Enlow, but have been carried by Paul Erickson and Brady Singer. While Mike Trout and Anthony Kerr have not hit at their usual clips, Nomar Mazara and Bryan Hennessey continue to crush the ball. Buster Posey has been a steadying presence behind both, something that was lacking to start the year. Insiders suggested only one team reached out on Mike Trout earlier in the month. Ranking 7th in the AL in homers, could they look to find another bat?
SEATTLE (43-30): Seattle rallied from a 4-0 deficit on Sunday to split a four-game set against the Angels. June though has raised questions with Justin Hooper and Mark Appel each struggling. Hultzen and Hooper again rank 1 and 2 across the league in pitches per game at 109 and 108 respectively, can that hold up all season long? Tyler Green has been a nice addition the pen, but that too always will remain the million dollar question in Seattle. Fans in Seattle patiently await Matthew Thompson.
HOUSTON (42-30): June has been rough on Fernando Tatis Jr. (.183 BA), but Edgardo Arrendondo’s return to form (.393/.500/.786, 3 HR) has boosted the offense and has Houston 11-5 in the month. The bullpen trio of Creath, Lopez, and Vaughn have struck out 49, walked 8, and allowed a mere 8 earned runs in 34 1/3 innings this month. Looking ahead to July, the Astros have 13 of their 26 games against the Angels and Marniners…and 9 against Oakland. The Astros remain another team where it is only expected for them to be aggressive here through the end of july.
OAKLAND (33-40): After the disaster of May (8-21), the A’s are 10-6 in June. The young and exciting duo of Gregg Faustini and Jonathan Drew have been just that, exciting and showing the promise that many believe they have. Dylan Carlson has struggled, but that could be due to a flurry of trade rumors over the past few weeks. Miguel Cabrera and Paul Bailey are a combined 6 of 76 this month, each making it harder to continue to give a roster spot to. Shane Baz and Cole Winn continue to wait for their opportunity to gain experience in the bigs. Could anyone dare come with a big offer for closer Ken Gary? Does it make sense for a team like Oakland to move Gary as he approaches more expensive arbitration years ahead?
TEXAS (30-43): Consistency and struggles against the elite teams have cost Texas all season long, going 6-27 against ATL/DET/HOU/LAA/SEA. We have seen production of late from Javier Rodriguez and Jacob Realmuto. Come the deadline, could long time Ranger Jacob Skole be sent packing to a team that needs a power bat? Another name to watch is Jamie Widner. Having struggled since the start of 2021, is there a team out there who believes a change of scenery would drastically improve his BABIP misfortunes?