The last week in MLB was about a manager in the American League receiving a contract extension, a club in the AL makes a move to acquire an impact bat, and a first baseman undergoes season-ending surgery.
Houston Astros Sign Manager A.J. Hinch to Four-Year Extension
The Houston Astros are the defending World Series champions and are the current leaders in the American League West division.
The organization has decided to reward manager A.J. Hinch for his tremendous work in guiding the club with a four-year contract extension, per Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Astros extend AJ Hinch contract by four years, through 2022.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) August 30, 2018
The Astros have an active nucleus of young players on their roster, and it’s a significant reason why they’ve been one of the best teams in the AL in 2018.
The Astros will face an uphill battle in trying to defend their title as there are several teams in the AL capable of dethroning them once the postseason begins.
A big challenge for Hinch will be determining the roles for the bullpen in October. The glaring weakness for the Astros over the course of the season has been the performance of the bullpen.
If the Astros can fix this area of concern in the last month of the regular season, they will be in good shape.
Cleveland Indians Acquire Third Baseman Josh Donaldson
The Cleveland Indians acquired an impact player a couple days ago, by trading for Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Sources: Josh Donaldson has been told he’s been traded to the Cleveland Indians.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 1, 2018
The Blue Jays are also sending $2.7 million to the Indians as part of the deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 1, 2018
Donaldson has spent most of this season on the disabled list due to a bothersome right shoulder. The third baseman has posted a .234 batting average and .757 OPS in 36 games with 11 doubles, five home runs, and 16 RBIs.
Donaldson will be a free agent at the end of the season and this final month with the Indians will be very important for him.
It’s a way he can show other teams that he’s healthy and is someone that can make a difference in a lineup.
The addition of Donaldson is a solid move for the Indians as they have another deadly bat in the lineup, providing the third baseman is healthy.
Los Angeles Angels First Baseman Albert Pujols Out for 2018 Season After Undergoing Knee Surgery
Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols underwent arthroscopic debridement earlier this week, per an announcement by the team.
Albert Pujols underwent successful arthroscopic debridement of his left knee earlier today. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. A general timetable to return to playing following this procedure is 6-8 weeks. Updates will be provided when appropriate.
— Angels (@Angels) August 30, 2018
This type of surgery has a six to eight-week recovery period, which will end the 2018 season for the slugger.
The Angels won’t be contending for a spot in the postseason and Pujols can focus on getting healthy for the 2019 season.
The veteran isn’t quite the player he was with the Cardinals but has put up decent numbers with the Angels.
He has totaled at least 100 RBIs in four of the six years with the Angels. In 2018, Pujols accumulated a .245 average and .700 OPS in 117 games with 20 doubles, 19 home runs, and 64 RBIs.
One thing the Angels should consider for 2019 is to make Pujols their everyday designated hitter. He played 70 games at first base and another 47 games as the DH in 2018.
- Chris is a 29-year old New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.