With three wins out of four against San Diego and 12 straight upcoming games against losers (nine against the Nationals and Pirates), the Giants can make their move. If not, someone needs to keep Hillenbrand away from the chalk. Trade tease: Looking for arms.
A bout of dehydration put Buck Showalter in the hospital Sunday, but the plucky Rangers still won series with the Jays and the ChiSox this week, and they get starter Adam Eaton back on Tuesday. The AL West is anybody's guess. Trade tease: Kevin Mench for pitching, anyone?
The NL West leaders, now 1-4 in the post-Vinny Castilla Era, are reeling again. They shored up their bullpen with a trade for the Cubs' Scott Williamson, but their rotation is shaky and the lineup, even sans Vinny, leaves a lot to be desired. Trade tease: Joe Randa, David Bell, Aaron Boone at 3B?
The pitching's there: Since June 15, LAA starters are 16-8 with a 3.24 ERA. But the team is still 10th in runs scored in the AL, 12th in slugging, 12th in on-base percentage and 12th in hitting with runners in scoring position. That explains the rumors. Trade tease: Miguel Tejada or Soriano?
The team's vice president of scouting, Mike Rizzo, may be ready to desert the desert for a big-wig post with the Nationals. Luis Gonzalez, on the other hand, isn't jumping ship yet. He's hitting .394 this month. Trade tease: Miguel Batista's tires are being kicked.
Whatever happened to the bats? The Dodgers are 1-10 since the break, scoring only 13 runs in the 10 losses. Nomar Garciaparra is hitting .227 this month. Even Jeff Weaver's beating them. Trade tease: They still need pitching, with lots of chips to deal.
The M's are 4-5 in a post-break run through the teeth of the AL East, with three more against the hot Jays to go. Not a bad 10 days or so for a team from the AL West. Carl Everett, since June 1, is hitting .172 with a .226 OBP in 38 games. Trade tease: Sleepless over Soriano.
Lance Berkman tweaked a groin muscle -- it hurts to type that -- which, if it's serious, would pretty much take the legs out of the stumbling Astros. In their five second-half losses they've scored only 10 runs. Trade tease: A bat, still, and a bullpen arm, for Willy Taveras, maybe?
Five games below .500, five back in the wild-card chase, with a struggling closer (Derrick Turnbow, four blown saves and a 34.36 ERA this month), the Brewers have to decide this week to go for it or retreat. Trade tease: Keep Carlos Lee or deal him while you can?
Both Chipper and Andruw Jones are hobbled, but the Braves won't die. A trade for Bob Wickman gives them a closer (sort of), so now they're thinking wild card. With another arm in the bullpen, and some mending by the Joneses, who knows? Trade tease: Quiet but desperate.