Continuing the Collective Efforts kick this morning with another track that I've been bumping lately entitled "Until My Life Is Gone":
● In his latest MLB.com mailbag, T.R. Sullivan speculates that Major League Baseball has made it a condition of the sale of the Astros to Jim Crane that they move over to the AL West, and drops some miscellaneous trade speculation, including word that the Orioles have declared right-hander Jim Johnson unavailable for trade, but are willing to part ways with Koji Uehara or Kevin Gregg, and have expressed interest in Chris Davis; there's also a reference to the Royals possibly being willing to trade Joakim Soria, with Engel Beltre being an object of interest to the Kansas City front office.
● Anthony Andro says that Josh Hamilton is the lone Ranger positioned to be voted into the All-Star Game, and talks about some of the Rangers' other candidates for selection. Of particular note here is his conclusion that (a) Michael Young will make the All-Star team by way of the players' vote, but Ian Kinsler won't, and (b) Ron Washington being "emphatic" before the four-run meltdown on Wednesday night that Neftali Feliz was having an All-Star-caliber year.
I think you have to be careful about strict reliance upon metrics like fielding-independent ERA and the like when you're assessing how much a particular pitcher deserves an All-Star selection, or post-season hardware ... but even with superficially decent 3.21 ERA, there's something about the 19 strikeouts, 15 walks, and four homers allowed in 28 innings that doesn't exactly scream "All-Star closer."
● Also via Andro, we have this updated pitcher rehab schedule: Tommy Hunter's slated to go 3-4 innings for Triple-A Round Rock tonight, as is Darren O'Day (minus the 3-4 innings bit), and Scott Feldman and Eric Hurley will start for Round Rock on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Brandon Webb will start for Double-A Frisco down in Corpus Christi later today.
● Randy Galloway holds forth on the state of the Rangers in a piece that ... well, I'm really not sure what it is, beyond an amalgamation of quotes various members of the organization carping about the need to summon reinforcements from the outside. He also thinks the primary problem with this year's team has been a "lack of timely hitting" (?!), and believes that the Rangers need to expedite matters on the trade market and go out and get some help right now despite the heightened price tag.
● My latest Mariners-focused AL West column has dropped over at Baseball Prospectus this morning. Jamey's latest hypothetical 25-man roster column is up, and it concerns Engel Beltre. Jason's soliciting questions over at Texas Farm Review for his next Q&A. Dirk is out throwing the first pitch for tonight's series opener against the Mets. Martin Perez and Jurickson Profar have been selected to play in the XM All-Star Futures Game on July 10th.