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Inbox: What can Cards expect from Holland?

Jenifer Langosch returns to answer questions about the Cards closer, Machado trade packages and parenting
MLB.com

ST. LOUIS -- Hello, old friends. It's good to have my byline back and to start interacting with you again as we get ready for what projects to be a fascinating second half in the National League Central. Before diving into your questions, I'd be remiss not to recognize the outstanding work Joe Trezza did filling in while I was away on maternity leave. I trust that you enjoyed his content and perspective.

OK, now onto the good stuff:

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ST. LOUIS -- Hello, old friends. It's good to have my byline back and to start interacting with you again as we get ready for what projects to be a fascinating second half in the National League Central. Before diving into your questions, I'd be remiss not to recognize the outstanding work Joe Trezza did filling in while I was away on maternity leave. I trust that you enjoyed his content and perspective.

OK, now onto the good stuff:

View Full Game Coverage

Given Greg Holland's poor performance at the big league level, his very poor performance vs. Minor Leaguers in rehab stints, real blown saves, real losses and a high ERA, what has to happen to have him go the way of Jonathan Broxton and Jhonny Peralta?
-- Doug M., @BeyondTheArk

The leash can't be that much longer for Holland. Yes, releasing him midseason would require the Cardinals to eat whatever is left on his $14 million deal. But the fact that he's on a one-year contract makes that more palatable. Results aren't always paramount in a Minor League rehab assignment, but Holland's were concerning on the heels of a terrible first two months in St. Louis.

He'll get another chance -- the Cardinals plan to activate him from the disabled list this week -- but if Holland remains a liability in the 'pen, I can't imagine that chance lasting more than a few weeks. With other relievers expected off the disabled list before the All-Star break, the Cardinals are going to soon be squeezed for space anyway.

My question is about Manny Machado. It has been reported that the Cards had the most substantial package [this offseason], but backed off. What would said package look like, and is it still a possibility?
-- Pete J., @MRJTeacherMan

Acquiring Machado last winter would have cost any club more in talent than it will now, given that he's several months closer to free agency. But the hit would still hurt. The Orioles would likely zero in on acquiring standout pitching prospects in order to make such a deal, and that could make the likes of Jordan Hicks, Jack Flaherty, Luke Weaver and Dakota Hudson targets. The Cardinals prefer not to mortgage future depth for a one-year player, which makes doing so for a two-month rental even more unlikely.

What's up with Ryan Sherriff? Did he actually have Tommy John surgery? Why hasn't the club announced it? And does this injury occurring when he wasn't on the Major League roster essentially tie the club up, or could they put him on the 60-day disabled list and free up a spot on the 40-man roster?
-- Oliver B., @OliverBacus

The Cardinals did recently confirm that Sherriff will be out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. The club can move him onto the 60-day disabled list and will do so when they need to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. They just haven't had that impetus to this point. It's the same flexibility the club has with Alex Reyes, who remains on the 10-day DL even though he won't pitch again in 2018.

Is Paul DeJong expected to make a rehab appearance with Triple-A Memphis or Double-A Springfield?
-- Rich D., @richdameron

The Cardinals tend to make those decisions based on which affiliate is home at the time a player goes out on a rehab assignment, so timing will determine that. DeJong might even spend time in Class A ball if the club chooses to transfer his rehab work to Florida, where the Cardinals have extensive resources at their Spring Training facility.

Before any assignment is set, though, DeJong first has a few more hurdles to clear. He traveled with the Cardinals to Philadelphia after starting to swing a bat again. By the end of the week, he hopes to be taking batting practice. Seeing how his surgically repaired left hand responds to that test will help clarify a timeline for return.

We haven't heard much about innings limits for Jack Flaherty. Does the front office have a plan to scale back his innings as the season goes on?
-- Matt H.

You haven't heard much on the topic because there isn't a high level of concern. Unlike Reyes, who was coming off a season missed due to injury, Flaherty logged 148 2/3 innings in 2017. Right now, he's on pace to throw 193. The Cardinals won't let him get that high, but that can be managed by shifting schedules around the All-Star break or skipping a start here or there. Whatever the method, the Cardinals won't back themselves into a spot where they'll be shutting Flaherty down in September because of workload concerns.

Only baseball-related [questions]? Because I'm a soon-to-be-dad who has lots of questions about how to up my dad WAR and wRC+.
-- David J., @iPopEditor

My advice: Never shy away from handling a dirty diaper. Don't sleep through the inevitable middle-of-the-night chaos. Surprise your wife by picking up other household chores you wouldn't normally do (without being asked). Manage the inevitable influx of visitors. Read the directions when building baby furniture/gear. And never complain about being tired because, trust me, she'll be more so.

Oh, and if your wife downloads an expectant-dad app onto your phone, don't approach her in the middle of the third trimester asking if she knows your password. Unless, of course, you're OK with her knowing you never read a thing it had to say.

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

St. Louis Cardinals, Paul DeJong, Greg Holland, Ryan Sherriff

Inbox: Can Tigers stay in title race?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers fan questions
MLB.com

DETROIT -- Sorting through the inbox at a coffee shop on the road from Detroit to Cincinnati:

DETROIT -- Sorting through the inbox at a coffee shop on the road from Detroit to Cincinnati:

The Tigers have a chance to hang in the Indians' rear-view mirror. The problem will be what happens next month, as the Trade Deadline approaches and the goals of Detroit and Cleveland split off. The Indians' window to contend is now -- not just for the division, but the World Series, and one would expect them to make the deals they need to improve for the stretch run. Detroit's window is in the future, and general manager Al Avila made it clear Sunday that the club's surprising performance of late isn't going to change that.

Submit a question to the Tigers Inbox

If the right offer comes along that makes the Tigers better in the long run, they'll trade away key parts at the Deadline, whether they're close in the race or not. If not, they'll stand pat. They will not trade prospects to get veteran players and make a run at the division.

Yes, as my MLB.com colleague Jon Morosi wrote Monday, there's trade interest building in Matthew Boyd, who has quietly become one of the American League's pitching surprises this year. He's having a breakout season at an age (27) when pitchers tend to figure things out about their game. Boyd is a cost-controlled pitcher who hasn't hit arbitration eligibility yet, though that could happen this coming offseason depending on the Super Two cutoff. He has four more seasons before free agency. Plus, Boyd is versatile enough that he can slot into a team's bullpen depending on the need.

That doesn't mean the Tigers will deal him at next month's Trade Deadline. But if they're willing to listen to interest in Michael Fulmer, they'll listen to interest in Boyd. Remember, if you count top pick Casey Mize, Detroit's top five prospects according to MLB Pipeline are starting pitchers, so this is an area of long-term depth.

Though the Tigers made a big prospect shift Monday by promoting right-hander Alex Faedo (Detroit's No. 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline) and center field Daz Cameron (No. 9) from Class A Advanced Lakeland to Double-A Erie, that doesn't necessarily make a promotion imminent for right-hander Beau Burrows (No. 4) and Christin Stewart (No. 10). While I think Burrows will pitch at Triple-A Toledo sometime this summer, I think it's more likely the Tigers will wait a little while longer, maybe until top prospect Franklin Perez returns from his lat injury. That said, Avila was in Erie on Monday to see Burrows pitch against a pretty good lineup for New Hampshire, the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate.

Stewart is on a different timetable, and Avila gave every indication Sunday the club was going to remain patient with him. He's more likely to be a late-season callup at this point, giving him more time to work in left field.

Daniel Norris is currently on a throwing progression in Lakeland, Fla., according to manager Ron Gardenhire. He still has a while to go before he pitches in games, and he'll surely make a Minor League rehab assignment when he does. The important thing for the Tigers now is to get Norris healthy and keep him healthy, giving him a chance to focus on pitching when he does come back.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers

Inbox: When will Davis return to lineup?

Beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers fans' questions
MLB.com

When will Chris Davis return to the lineup and do you think anything will change?
-- Michael A., Columbus, Ohio

Right now, it looks like Davis probably won't start on Tuesday in Washington, though it's looking like he's pretty close to getting back. If he does return for the end of the Nationals series, he'll face a tough task with Gio Gonzalez the second day and Max Scherzer in Thursday's series finale. But this is the big leagues, and there's never going to be an ideal spot to return.

When will Chris Davis return to the lineup and do you think anything will change?
-- Michael A., Columbus, Ohio

Right now, it looks like Davis probably won't start on Tuesday in Washington, though it's looking like he's pretty close to getting back. If he does return for the end of the Nationals series, he'll face a tough task with Gio Gonzalez the second day and Max Scherzer in Thursday's series finale. But this is the big leagues, and there's never going to be an ideal spot to return.

Davis -- on pace for one of the worst offensive seasons in history -- has been working early on the field with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson to try to figure things out. It's tough to say if anything will be different this time around, though this has been a pretty long layoff for Davis, who hasn't played since last Monday.

:: Submit a question to the Orioles Inbox ::

I've said it before and it bears repeating: The Orioles can't just stash Davis on the bench. One, it forces them to play short. Two, the O's have four more years committed to Davis. So if he won't go to Triple-A to work on stuff, the only reasonable option was to sit him a few days and hope he can gain confidence from some adjustments and start to improve. Will this work? I have no idea, but it was worth a shot.

Why send down a rookie like Chance Sisco in a lost season?
-- Darleen R., Columbia, Md.

It was unexpected to see Sisco demoted to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday's game, but this will give him a chance to work on some defensive parts of his game with less of a spotlight. It's not that he has fallen in the organization's eyes or that his offense wasn't great (as most of the team is slumping). It'll do the rookie some good to get some reps at Norfolk, and the Orioles should benefit from veteran Caleb Joseph rejoining the club.

Are the Orioles still planning on trading Manny Machado? What's the holdup if so?
-- Gery D., Washington, D.C.

Yes, of course they're still exploring trades for Machado. I understand the logic that he's worth more the more games he plays for another team, but this isn't really something you want to rush. Machado is one of the best players in the game right now, and the Orioles have to make sure they get the best possible package they can for him. Obviously you're going to start to see trade rumors heat up over the next few weeks. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette did say last week that nothing had gotten close enough with Machado and other teams to warrant exchanging names. But that can change quickly.

What's the plan with Andrew Cashner?
-- James T., Towson, Md.

Cashner is set to start on Wednesday in D.C. after a side session over the weekend went OK. The initial thought would be with Davis returning to the lineup that the O's would get rid of a position player for his arrival. But that's contingent on what state the pitching is in following Tuesday's game.

Is Machado the only player the Orioles are looking to deal? We're going to need more to actually rebuild.
-- Chris M., Providence, R.I. 

Yes, I agree. Machado isn't going to bring back a haul to reshape the organization. (He may have a year or two ago, but he's just a rental now with free agency pending this offseason.) To that end, the Orioles have to look at trading Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Adam Jones, who are all pending free agents. But beyond that, I think they have to make decisions on guys like Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Are they going to be part of the next great Orioles team? If the answer is no, you have to at least listen to offers. Teams that want to shorten painful rebuilds aren't afraid to make tough decisions and unpopular trades. I'm not saying you have to trade those two, but I wouldn't rule anything out as the O's try to rebuild for the future.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles

Inbox: Who has had biggest impact this season?

Beat reporter Greg Johns answers questions from Mariners fans
MLB.com

Who do you think has made the biggest impact on the Mariners' success thus far? And who has been the biggest surprise?
-- Jay A., Mililani, Hawaii

There are a lot of guys having outstanding seasons, particularly Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger. But I'm going with Edwin Diaz as the one player who has been the biggest reason for the Mariners' amazing success in one-run games, which is a huge part of why they're exceeding expectations. Diaz is on pace for 61 saves, which would be one shy of the Major League record set by Francisco Rodriguez with the Angels in 2008. No other closer has ever totaled more than 57.

Who do you think has made the biggest impact on the Mariners' success thus far? And who has been the biggest surprise?
-- Jay A., Mililani, Hawaii

There are a lot of guys having outstanding seasons, particularly Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger. But I'm going with Edwin Diaz as the one player who has been the biggest reason for the Mariners' amazing success in one-run games, which is a huge part of why they're exceeding expectations. Diaz is on pace for 61 saves, which would be one shy of the Major League record set by Francisco Rodriguez with the Angels in 2008. No other closer has ever totaled more than 57.

:: Submit a question to the Mariners Inbox ::

With 27 saves and 62 strikeouts in Seattle's first 71 games, Diaz has already become the first American League closer ever to notch 25 saves and 60 strikeouts by the All-Star break -- which is just under a month away.

The Mariners' record for saves by the Midsummer Classic is 29 by Kazuhiro Sasaki in 2001, while the MLB record is 38 by Rodriguez in his historic '08 season. And when entering a game with a one-run lead, Diaz has been money, recording 17 of 19 saves with a 0.93 ERA, 35 strikeouts and five walks while allowing just two runs in 19 1/3 innings. Seattle is 19-0 in those games.

Tweet from @Mariners: .@EdiDiaz44 just isn't fair.#GoMariners pic.twitter.com/l1UCsTEKbW

As for biggest surprise? It'd be pretty hard not to pick Wade LeBlanc, given he wasn't even on the team until getting picked up in the final days of Spring Training and wasn't part of the rotation until Erasmo Ramirez got hurt. He has been outstanding, and along with Marco Gonzales, has provided far better starting pitching depth than most people expected.

I've read that the Mariners and Yankees may both be interested in J.A. Happ, but even if we got him, who gets displaced? Felix Hernandez has been the weakest starter. Would they replace him?
-- Burch W., Tumwater, Wash.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto may well add another starter before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but it's worth remembering that there are still six weeks to go before then. While Dipoto moved quickly to add Alex Colome and Denard Span to plug holes in the bullpen and outfield, he doesn't need to rush to add a starter at this point. A lot can happen in six weeks, so my guess is that Seattle will talk to a lot of teams and have some scenarios in mind, but the club will wait to pull the trigger on any major moves until it sees how things play out with Hernandez -- and all the others, for that matter -- in terms of health and how well the team is performing as we hit mid-to-late July.

With LeBlanc doing such a great job in the rotation, what will the Mariners do when Ramirez comes back?
-- Scott B., Hillsboro, Ore.

Given how well LeBlanc is pitching, it's pretty clear he has earned the right to remain in the rotation for now. But that's not even an issue at this point since Ramirez isn't anywhere close to returning. He has begun some light throwing, but he will need to build his arm back up as if he was starting Spring Training again. That means he's looking at August or beyond in the best-case scenario. And again, a lot can happen that could impact whether the Mariners need Ramirez in the rotation or not.

Video: BOS@SEA: LeBlanc strikes out 9 over 7 2/3 scoreless

I understand that Robinson Cano can't play in the postseason. I've read that a bunch of times. But what I haven't read is why. Is it just that it comes with the suspension or the amount of games missed? How does that work?
-- Jeff P., Yokosuka, Japan

In 2014, MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to toughen the penalties for players who test positive for banned substances. At that point, the penalty for a first failed test increased from 50 to 80 games, a second failed test raised from 100 to 162 games and a third violation remained a lifetime ban. The two sides also agreed at that time that any player suspended for a failed drug test would be ineligible for postseason play as well as postseason pay for that season.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners

Inbox: Who's odd man out in a healthy outfield?

Beat reporter AJ Cassavell answers questions from Padres fans
MLB.com

How do we look at the outfield problem now? Travis Jankowski, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are playing well right now. When Franchy Cordero and Wil Myers come back, who's guaranteed a spot?
-- Austin, Santee, Calif.

Before we get ahead of ourselves: We've been asking some version of this question since Spring Training, but injuries have prevented the Padres from having their full contingent of outfielders. Right now, they're probably closer than they've ever been, with both Myers (left oblique strain) and Cordero (right forearm strain) on rehab assignments. But let's pump the brakes and acknowledge this as a hypothetical.

How do we look at the outfield problem now? Travis Jankowski, Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe are playing well right now. When Franchy Cordero and Wil Myers come back, who's guaranteed a spot?
-- Austin, Santee, Calif.

Before we get ahead of ourselves: We've been asking some version of this question since Spring Training, but injuries have prevented the Padres from having their full contingent of outfielders. Right now, they're probably closer than they've ever been, with both Myers (left oblique strain) and Cordero (right forearm strain) on rehab assignments. But let's pump the brakes and acknowledge this as a hypothetical.

In any case, San Diego wants to make sure all of those guys are getting regular at-bats. Franmil Reyes is almost certain to give way, barring some sort of huge breakout over the next week. I'd also expect Matt Szczur to stay on board as a fifth-outfielder type who can serve as a pinch-runner, pinch-hitter and defensive replacement.

:: Submit a question to the Padres Inbox ::

That leaves four spots for the five guys mentioned above. If Myers is healthy, he's playing. Margot, still viewed as the center fielder of the future, probably gets regular at-bats, too. That leaves Cordero, Renfroe and Jankowski for two places. Based on merit, the top two will stick in the Majors and the other will be headed for Triple-A. But don't be shocked if the Padres explore trade possibilities for Jankowski and Renfroe at the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Does Matt Strahm get stretched out to be a starter this year?
-- Craig M., San Diego

Technically, of course, Strahm is already starting. But if you're looking for a more traditional five- or six-inning outing from Strahm, we're still a ways away from that.

Strahm has been excellent as the first pitcher on bullpen day, routinely working two or three innings before giving way to the rest of the relief corps. In those four "starts," Strahm has allowed one run in 10 innings while striking out 11. Naturally, that's led to some serious excitement about what Strahm might offer as a regular member of the rotation. In the big picture, the Padres are eager to find out. In the short term, however, they're not going to push him.

Strahm is less than a year removed from major left knee surgery, and he's still building strength in the lower half of his body. On a couple of occasions, Strahm has seen his velocity dip in the third inning of his starts. The 26-year-old left-hander could very well work his way toward a five-inning effort this season. But those deeper outings almost certainly wouldn't come on a regular basis.

We have a good idea of the trade return for Brad Hand. What would be the return for Craig Stammen and/or Kirby Yates?
-- Campbell D., Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Indeed, nothing has changed on the Hand front. The Padres will ask for a lot. As one of the game's elite left-handers, he's been likened to Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman when they were dealt at the Deadline in 2016. General manager A.J. Preller is expecting a similarly lucrative return. Once again, Hand's name is certain to grab headlines over the next month.

That said, it's just as likely that Yates and Stammen will be shopped. They've been excellent this season and could be useful pieces in a playoff-bound bullpen. The Padres, who boast one of the league's deepest crops of relievers, could probably withstand losing one or two top arms.

So what would San Diego get in return? Yates has two more seasons of arbitration after this year. Stammen has a year and a half left on a very affordable deal. Neither is a rental, meaning both could help fetch a mid-level prospect. Perhaps just as likely: The Padres could package one or both of them with Tyson Ross for a return similar to what they got last season from the Royals. In that deal, San Diego sent a pair of relievers and a veteran righty starter to Kansas City. The Padres landed Strahm and highly touted infield prospect Esteury Ruiz (currently ranked No. 10 in the system).

How optimistic are the Padres that Austin Hedges will improve enough as a hitter to at least become close to league average?
-- Sergio Q., Tijuana, Mexico

"League average" might be a stretch for Hedges, especially in the immediate future. In parts of four big league seasons, Hedges owns an OPS+ of 57. And while there is precedent for catchers to figure things out on offense later in their careers, right now Hedges isn't close to being league average at the dish.

The Padres are just fine with that. They aren't looking for league average from Hedges. He contributes so much defensively -- whether framing, game-calling, blocking or throwing -- that any offense is a plus. Hedges merely needs to be a serviceable No. 8 hitter in their lineup.

Last season, Hedges batted .214/.262/.398 with 18 dingers. Those numbers aren't particularly good. But if he can boost his on-base percentage just a bit, San Diego would take the rest of that line. The Padres could slot Hedges in at No. 8, where he'd offer the occasional offensive contribution. And he'd do that while anchoring the pitching staff as well as anyone in baseball. That's an acceptable yearly output in the team's eyes.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres

Inbox: Could Devers end up on trade block?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers questions from Red Sox fans
MLB.com

Is it me or is Rafael Devers starting to hit a little more? I also saw an article about the potential of a Deadline trade with Devers involved. I can't imagine the Red Sox would do that.
-- @bbcoachshawn

Devers has looked a little better of late. Since June 6, he has hit .313 with four doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. Devers is only 21 years old, and it's far too early for the Red Sox to give up on him. Even with someone like Travis Shaw, it is evident how risky it can be to trade a power hitter. I'd be stunned if Boston traded Devers.

Is it me or is Rafael Devers starting to hit a little more? I also saw an article about the potential of a Deadline trade with Devers involved. I can't imagine the Red Sox would do that.
-- @bbcoachshawn

Devers has looked a little better of late. Since June 6, he has hit .313 with four doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. Devers is only 21 years old, and it's far too early for the Red Sox to give up on him. Even with someone like Travis Shaw, it is evident how risky it can be to trade a power hitter. I'd be stunned if Boston traded Devers.

What do think about trading Devers and a couple of prospects for Manny Machado? He knows how to play third base and the Sox have some good prospects coming up who can also play third in case they cannot sign Machado. I think it would really strengthen their chances of going all the way.
-- Stephen C., Seekonk, Mass.

I don't like that idea at all. Machado is a rental at this point and Devers could be a productive player at an affordable cost for another five years after this one. I'd hang on to Devers. He has a lot of power and a bright future.

:: Submit a question to the Red Sox Inbox ::

Who do the Red Sox need to pick up before the Trade Deadline and why?
-- @Jmighill

It seems like setup relief is their biggest area of need. Joe Kelly is a top eighth-inning guy and Matt Barnes is pretty solid in the seventh, but it feels like they could still use some more depth in front of closer Craig Kimbrel. A power lefty would fit in nicely with the rest of the group.

Will Brandon Workman still be on the team when Drew Pomeranz returns?
-- @steve_blundell

If Workman is pitching well, he could stay, even with Pomeranz. Hector Velazquez is one pitcher who still has Minor League options. Justin Haley is also currently on the roster, so he can certainly be sent down. The better question is this: How will Pomeranz be used when he does return, assuming he gets healthy? I feel like Pomeranz could turn into the lefty arm in the bullpen the team needs, much like David Price did late last season. Pitching in relief, his velocity could tick back up.

Mitch Moreland, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi -- chances for the All-Star Game?
-- @abromson

At least by fan balloting, Moreland has the best chance at this point. In the most recent batch of voting, he was second behind Jose Abreu, and not trailing by that much. Benintendi belongs in the conversation. Among American League outfielders, Moreland ranks sixth in OPS -- and that includes J.D. Martinez, who has a strong chance to get voted on to the All-Star team as a designated hitter. Bogaerts has some tough competition in Machado, Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor.

What do you think of this lineup? Holt LF, Bogaerts SS, Benintendi CF, Betts RF, Martinez DH, Moreland 1B, Nunez 2B, Devers 3B, Leon/Vazquez C. This bolsters the middle of the order, keeps the lefties separated and improves the 7-8-9 spots.
-- Adam P., Apollo Beach, Fla.

Jackie Bradley Jr.'s defense is special, and I'd give him about another month to see if he can generate some momentum at the plate. I like Brock Holt much better as a bench player. He's always been more effective in that role. Manager Alex Cora isn't moving Mookie Betts out of the leadoff spot. He likes having his most dynamic player come to the plate as often as possible.

I see that Adam Lind has been signed to a Minor League contract. What are the plans for him? He could add some great depth off the bench as a September callup -- or before if three are more injuries.
-- Chris F., Portland, Maine

The plans are pretty much as you've outlined. Lind represents organizational depth. At this point, the Red Sox don't have a spot for Lind. But if something happens to Blake Swihart -- either a trade or an injury -- there could be a role for Lind, who had a pretty good 2017 season.

Dustin Pedroia is the heart and soul of the Red Sox. But how much longer can he play in the Majors with his bad knee?
-- Phil R., Dallas

The hope is that the extensive surgery Pedroia had will allow his left knee to get better, and for him to be able to play a few more years. His contract has another three seasons after this one. It's not a good sign that Pedroia suffered inflammation in the knee after just three games. But on the other hand, no position player has ever had this particular surgery, so it's a bit of an unknown how long it takes for a complete recovery. The Red Sox have pretty good depth at second right now between Eduardo Nunez and Holt, so the best course of action is for Pedroia to continue to take it slow and only come back when his knee feels completely right again.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Rafael Devers

Inbox: What trades might Phils make in July?

Beat reporter Todd Zolecki breaks down potential midseason additions
MLB.com

Who are some trade targets for the Phillies in July?
-- Al J., Philadelphia

The Phillies need to pick up their play if they want to acquire a top talent or two before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. They are 4-10 since May 26, when they moved into first place in the National League East for a day. Sixteen of their next 19 games are against teams currently with winning records.

Who are some trade targets for the Phillies in July?
-- Al J., Philadelphia

The Phillies need to pick up their play if they want to acquire a top talent or two before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. They are 4-10 since May 26, when they moved into first place in the National League East for a day. Sixteen of their next 19 games are against teams currently with winning records.

If the Phillies' slide continues, there will be no reason to speculate about Manny Machado or Cole Hamels or anybody else because it would make no sense to give up even a single top prospect for a team that is buried in the standings. But if the Phillies steady themselves and survive June, they have a very favorable schedule in July. From July 3-29, they play 20 of 23 games against teams currently with losing records.

:: Submit a question to the Phillies Inbox ::

But let's start with Machado. Sources told MLB.com on Friday that while the Phillies have genuine interest in Machado, they are highly unlikely to mortgage the future for a two-month rental.

Machado is eligible to be a free agent after the season. He will test those waters. Bet on it.

The suggestion that Machado could fall so much in love with a two-month Phillies experience that he would skip free agency and sign a contract extension before entering the market is far-fetched. Machado waited this long to become a free agent. A few more months are not going to kill him.

For that reason, it makes no sense to trade top prospects like Sixto Sanchez, Adonis Medina, Adam Haseley or whomever else the Orioles might want for two months of Machado, especially when he might only guarantee a one-game playoff in the NL Wild Card Game. But Machado's name will continue to be connected to Philadelphia because the Phillies have the prospects to trade and the money to pay his salary.

The better bet is that the Phils look elsewhere for infield help and pursue Machado hard in the offseason.

Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is hitting .267 with 13 home runs, 42 RBIs and an .812 OPS. He will be a free agent after the season, but he will not cost nearly as much as Machado. It would allow the Phillies to platoon J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery at shortstop, perhaps getting a little more production out of them.

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is a bigger name than Moustakas. He is hitting .234 with five homers, 16 RBIs and a .757 OPS in 36 games. He missed nearly a month because of a right shoulder injury, and he's currently on the disabled list with left calf tightness, but Donaldson hit .320 with a .913 OPS in his last seven games. He also will be a free agent after the season, but he also will not cost as much as Machado.

Hamels remains a popular name and he makes a ton of sense. Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ makes sense, too. No front office should make a move based on sentimentality or fan reaction, but bringing back Hamels would electrify the fan base. And with a club option for 2019, the Phillies could have him in next year's rotation, too.

Hamels is 3-6 with a 3.86 ERA in 13 starts, although he has a 5.37 FIP. Happ, who will be a free agent after the season, is 8-3 with a 3.71 ERA in 13 starts. He has a 3.43 FIP.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Josh Donaldson, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Manny Machado, Mike Moustakas

Inbox: Which Tigers are on the trading block?

Beat reporter Jason Beck answers fan questions
MLB.com

If the Tigers stick within a handful of games under .500, I would expect them to still be sellers at next month's non-waiver Trade Deadline, especially if the Indians pull away in the division race by then.

If the Tigers stick within a handful of games under .500, I would expect them to still be sellers at next month's non-waiver Trade Deadline, especially if the Indians pull away in the division race by then.

Detroit signed Francisco Liriano and Mike Fiers in part for their potential trade return if they have rebound seasons, so expect them to be available. Jose Iglesias will be available ahead of free agency this offseason. The demand for bullpen help should make Shane Greene a rumored commodity for contending teams, especially with a couple more years before free agency. The bigger question will be younger guys like Michael Fulmer and Nicholas Castellanos, and the answer probably depends on the return package they might draw.

That would make the Tigers' situation slightly more complicated. For one, Detroit would likely be playing better baseball, closer to .500 or maybe above it in that scenario. Then, the perception issue kicks in. I'd still expect the Tigers to listen to interest on Liriano and Fiers, maybe Leonys Martin as well. But with younger players like Fulmer and Castellanos, Detroit might face a discussion on whether an overachieving season changes the projected timetable on the rebuilding process.

That will not happen. The Tigers aren't in position to give up prospects.

Every indication at this point is that the Tigers intend to hold onto Victor Reyes this season, as they have to do to keep the Rule 5 Draft pick for their organization next year. After starting the season in a 3-for-31 skid, he's 6-for-15 since May 26 with a double, two triples, four RBIs and three stolen bases. Small sample size, but it at least suggests Reyes is making progress.

Jordan Zimmermann is on track to rejoin the Tigers' rotation next weekend in Chicago, which would likely bump Artie Lewicki. Liriano is scheduled to throw a simulated game Tuesday, then likely a rehab start, so there's still some time before Detroit faces that decision. Blaine Hardy has looked much better than expected as a starter, though he struggled last week in Boston, and the Tigers desperately need a left-hander like Hardy in what is currently an all-righty bullpen.

Franklin Perez is still working his way back from the lat strain he suffered in Spring Training, though he's at least throwing now. Jose King is expected to begin his season shortly with Class A Connecticut in the short-season New York-Penn League. Wilkel Hernandez has been pitching in extended spring camp in Florida, and should likely go to Connecticut or the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League this summer.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Detroit Tigers, Nicholas Castellanos, Mike Fiers, Michael Fulmer, Shane Greene, Blaine Hardy, Wilkel Hernandez, Jose Iglesias, Jose King, Artie Lewicki, Francisco Liriano, Leonys Martin, Franklin Perez, Victor Reyes, Jordan Zimmermann

Inbox: Is Escobar too valuable to move?

Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger responds to fan questions
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- After avoiding a three-game sweep at the hands of the Angels with a win on Sunday, the Twins enter Monday's off-day 5 1/2 games back of the Indians in the American League Central, with a pair of important three-game series looming in Detroit and Cleveland.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- After avoiding a three-game sweep at the hands of the Angels with a win on Sunday, the Twins enter Monday's off-day 5 1/2 games back of the Indians in the American League Central, with a pair of important three-game series looming in Detroit and Cleveland.

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The Twins have yet to really get it going this season, and they have to turn it around before next month's non-waiver Trade Deadline or else the front office could have some interesting decisions to make. They are expected to get some help soon, though, with the returns of Joe Mauer, Ervin Santana and Jorge Polanco, which brings us to the first question of this week's Inbox.

Tweet from @ngunder2: What will the infield look like when polanco is back from suspension and Mauer is healthy. You can���t take Escobar out of the everyday lineup with how well he���s hitting

Eduardo Escobar has been huge for Minnesota, hitting .288/.340/.568 with 12 homers, 39 RBIs and a Major League-leading 26 doubles in 59 games and was just named the AL Player of the Week. He's absolutely earned everyday playing time thanks to his bat.

Mauer, who has dealt with concussion-like symptoms, is getting close to returning, as he's starting a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday and could be back as soon as this weekend if all goes well. And Polanco can also officially begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday, as he's eligible to return from his 80-game suspension on July 2.

Polanco is expected to return as the club's regular shortstop because he's a better defender than Escobar and is coming off a strong second half offensively. The odd-man out could be third baseman Miguel Sano, unless he starts to pick it up offensively, because Escobar is currently a better option at third than Sano.

Sano has All-Star talent but has looked lost at the plate this season, striking out in a career-worst and Major League-high 40.6 percent of his plate appearances. It's important to note that Polanco is still three weeks away, and things can change for a variety of reasons such as injury, but at this point, it's not Escobar who should be worrying about playing time once Polanco returns.

Tweet from @DsrdDoescher: Will Trevor May be in the bullpen or in the starting rotation if he makes it back to the Twins. Who���s place would he take in the rotation, or do you start him in the bullpen as the long reliever?

Right-hander Trevor May has completed his Tommy John rehab at Triple-A Rochester, but now he needs to prove he has the command to return to the Majors. He's been pitching in relief at Rochester, posting a 6.48 ERA with 16 strikeouts and 12 walks in 16 2/3 innings. May walked three batters in 1 2/3 innings on Saturday, so it's clear he needs better control before the Twins bring him up.

Tweet from @Pengy65: Is the lack of offense as simple as Buxton, Sano & Polanco being out of the lineup so much or is there a missing intangible ingredient? Sometimes it seem Rosario & Escobar are the only 2 enjoying playing. Which comes first winning > playing loose or playing loose > winning?

The offense has not lived up to expectations this year, as Minnesota ranks 22nd in runs scored with 265 while averaging 4.27 runs per game. The Twins scored 5.03 runs per game last season.

Injuries to Bryon Buxton, Sano and Mauer have played a role as well as Polanco's suspension, but others such as Logan Morrison and Brian Dozier haven't matched expectations. Eddie Rosario and Escobar have mostly carried the offense, and they need the rest of the lineup to join them. I don't think it's because of a lack of looseness among the club, but it's obviously easier to appear loose when things are going well.

Tweet from @geoff_kim: Are you getting a sense of All-Star candidacy for Escobar and Rosario from other teams, whether it's players, management, scouts, writers, and/or broadcasters? Thanks, Rhett!

Rosario and Escobar are the club's best two candidates to be All-Stars, but things can always change with about a month to go until the All-Star Game at Nationals Park on July 17. Rosario has really emerged as an offensive threat and he's hard to pitch around, as he leads the Majors in both hits and homers on pitches out of the zone, per Statcast™. And Escobar has that sneaky power for his stature. They're both fun to watch, and it'll be interesting to see if either is an All-Star for the first time.

Tweet from @Ewalz85: I'm not optimistic at all. Over 10 games out in the WC and I can't see a realistic way of passing Cle in the long run. Do you see any chance of a complete overhaul with guys like: Rodney, Reed, Lynn, Odorizzi, Dozier, Escobar, Duke, and Morrison all getting flipped for prospects?

It's too early to say if the Twins will buy or sell at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but if they do sell, they have several players in the last year of their contract they could decide to move, such as Lance Lynn, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Dozier, Escobar and Morrison. Addison Reed and Jake Odorizzi are both under contract through next year, so they'd be unlikely to get traded, while Mauer has a full no-trade clause. If Minnesota is out of it, it would make sense to try to cash in its assets to help the club compete next season and beyond, but there's still a lot of baseball until the Deadline.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Brian Dozier, Zach Duke, Eduardo Escobar, Lance Lynn, Joe Mauer, Trevor May, Logan Morrison, Jorge Polanco, Fernando Rodney, Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Ervin Santana

Inbox: How will Reds' outfield glut shake out?

Beat reporter Mark Sheldon answers fans' questions
MLB.com

What is the endgame for the Reds' four-man outfield? All four are having trouble with consistency, as they are not playing every day. Are we just waiting for one of the four to get hurt?
-- Jeff S., Sparks, Nev.

The idea, initially, was that everyone would be kept fresh by getting a break once or twice a week. Then it was figured that one person might be weeded out via performance while the other three succeeded. The idea that there's been inconsistency from not playing every day doesn't have as much merit because all four have roughly the same total of plate appearances.

What is the endgame for the Reds' four-man outfield? All four are having trouble with consistency, as they are not playing every day. Are we just waiting for one of the four to get hurt?
-- Jeff S., Sparks, Nev.

The idea, initially, was that everyone would be kept fresh by getting a break once or twice a week. Then it was figured that one person might be weeded out via performance while the other three succeeded. The idea that there's been inconsistency from not playing every day doesn't have as much merit because all four have roughly the same total of plate appearances.

But other than Scott Schebler lately, all of the Reds' outfielders have struggled to hit, and that has made this rotation not work well. Jesse Winker had some clutch hits last week, but he hasn't hit lefties well and has struggled a lot defensively. Adam Duvall can hit homers, but his average is way down. And with the exception of Sunday's win over the Cardinals, Billy Hamilton really hasn't gotten going at all. He keeps himself in the lineup because he makes plays in center field that no one else on the team can. Put that all together, and the endgame you seek is murky.

Are the Reds going to seriously look at spending on starting pitching?
-- Guy Barry Drew, via Facebook

It's a tough area for Cincinnati. First, the Reds would probably have to overspend to lure a free agent to a smaller-market team that hasn't been winning. Second, Great American Ball Park isn't exactly a pitcher-friendly park, so that's not much of an enticement. They should try to sign or trade for starter, but they will have to be smart about it.

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Giving a nine-figure contract to a veteran who doesn't perform (because of injury or otherwise) can be crippling, as we've seen before in Cincinnati. The hope was that the young pitchers who have been drafted, acquired and cultivated over the past few years would come around. It just hasn't happened yet.

Will we see any more shake-ups in the starting rotation? The Reds did a good job of assembling a solid bullpen this year. Michael Lorenzen and Amir Garrett have looked great. Do you think either will get a chance to start, as Sal Romano and Tyler Mahle continue to struggle?
-- Andy Kuenning, via Facebook

It should be looked at. But Lorenzen and Garrett -- especially Garrett -- have been so good in the bullpen that it'd be tough to move them. Also, they'd have to go down to the Minors for a few games to get stretched out. Also, Garrett has been strong the first time through the order but not as much the second and third times around. Perhaps the bullpen is his best place.

At Triple-A Louisville, Brandon Finnegan has made some decent starts and wants to get back. Robert Stephenson's last start for the Bats wasn't good, but he's been mostly solid of late. I could see both get opportunities at some point.

Scooter Gennett is a good, young second baseman. Why would the Reds even consider trading him?
-- Ross H., Lynchburg, Ohio

It comes down to finances. Gennett can be a free agent after the 2019 season. While he's said that he's open to a longer-term contract, his trade value could be high now because of his performance and the fact that he'd be a short-term fit for a club while not making too much money. The Reds have held onto players too long in the past -- like Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman -- and that prevented them from getting great returns.

Hey Mark! Keep up the good work, read daily. When will the Reds bring up Nick Senzel and what do you expect the starting eight to look like in the second half?
-- Adam @ARFoskey, via Twitter

First, thanks very much for the kind words. Cincinnati's top prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, Senzel probably saw his timeline disrupted by the vertigo symptoms that kept him out nearly a month. But the numbers have been good, and so are the reports out of Triple-A Louisville. On Saturday while batting leadoff for the first time, Senzel went 4-for-6. The issue, of course, is where Senzel would play. He's been at second base for Louisville, and the Reds already have Gennett there. If the club moved Gennett to a different spot -- say, left field -- it would open a place for Senzel. It would also likely spell the end of the aforementioned outfield rotation.

Any news on Rookie Davis?
-- Nicholas C. Lawson, via Facebook

Davis, a right-handed pitcher who had offseason right hip surgery to repair his labrum, is throwing and working out at the team's complex in Goodyear, Ariz. If all continues without setbacks, he could be back pitching in games by the end of July.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Cincinnati Reds

Inbox: What is Profar worth in trade talks?

Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan takes questions from fans
MLB.com

Before the season, Jurickson Profar's trade value was basically nil. How much do you think he has raised that with his better play the last month? What would the Rangers be looking to get if they decided to trade Profar?
-- Jeff B., Dallas

The Rangers need young, controllable pitching, and they are not going to get that for Profar. First of all, Profar is not a top young prospect anymore. He is going to have four-plus years of service time when the season is over, so it's unlikely that a rebuilding team will trade for him to be its long-term shortstop of the future. As far as a contending team, Profar is not viewed as a significant upgrade, so a trade is unlikely there unless a club has a significant injury or needs utility depth.

Before the season, Jurickson Profar's trade value was basically nil. How much do you think he has raised that with his better play the last month? What would the Rangers be looking to get if they decided to trade Profar?
-- Jeff B., Dallas

The Rangers need young, controllable pitching, and they are not going to get that for Profar. First of all, Profar is not a top young prospect anymore. He is going to have four-plus years of service time when the season is over, so it's unlikely that a rebuilding team will trade for him to be its long-term shortstop of the future. As far as a contending team, Profar is not viewed as a significant upgrade, so a trade is unlikely there unless a club has a significant injury or needs utility depth.

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Profar may be more valuable to the Rangers knowing that Adrian Beltre and/or Elvis Andrus could be free agents in the offseason. He could also end up being like Jed Lowrie. That's an interesting comparison. Lowrie was a top infield prospect for the Red Sox before having his own misfortune that set him back early in his career and really didn't start having his best years until being traded to Oakland at the age of 29. Profar still has a bright future, but his present trade value still isn't high.

Was the timing of Jon Daniels' extension so soon after the Draft concluded a coincidence? In other words, since teams don't start thinking about trades until it's concluded, does this give him more leverage to make larger and more controversial trades?
-- Alex W., Austin, Texas

The extension was talked about last offseason and in Spring Training. There was never any urgency in getting anything done, nor was there any doubt it would get done. Owners have busy agendas, especially when building new ballparks and taking care of their other businesses. It's doubtful that Daniels is looking to do larger and controversial trades, but there is no doubt he has the green light to trade Cole Hamels and/or Beltre if he feels it is the right thing to do. Daniels will do what he always has done, and that's judge each trade opportunity on its own merits.

Video: HOU@TEX: Guzman stretches to haul in Profar's throw

If Ronald Guzman is able to stay up in the Major Leagues, any chance he will be a strong candidate for a Gold Glove?
-- John S., Dallas

Yes. Guzman needs to hit to play regularly at the big league level. But just watching him for the past few months, he definitely has the defensive skills -- athleticism, hands, agility and arm strength -- to be a Gold Glove contender. Experience will be big, but the wing span and ability to stretch is cool to watch.

How much more time do the Rangers give Matt Moore in the rotation?
-- Bobby W., Fort Worth

The clock would be running out if the Rangers had a good young prospect ready to step in that spot. They don't. Yohander Mendez is 0-6 with a 5.26 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Round Rock. Right now, it would seem Texas' best alternative is to switch Moore with long reliever Jesse Chavez, but the Rangers haven't been inclined to do that.

Video: TEX@LAA: Hamels grabs strikeout No. 2,300 of career

If Hamels were to be traded, would the Rangers have enough available starting pitching with the injuries to fill his spot in the rotation?
-- Jo-Anna S., Anna, Texas

Obviously, the Rangers would like to get a young pitcher in return who could potentially step into that spot. Otherwise, if Hamels is traded in July -- a highly likely proposition -- Texas is hoping that Martin Perez would be ready to return from the disabled list. The Rangers also have Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Yovani Gallardo at Round Rock.

Do you see a chance that Isiah Kiner-Falefa can take over as the backup catcher, or should he go back down to work on his catching?
-- Doug H., Orange, Texas

Kiner-Falefa has been an outstanding third baseman, but there are those in the organization who feel he could be the catcher of the future. When the Rangers do get all their infielders healthy, it would be interesting of Texas to entertain the idea of Kiner-Falefa getting back to catching either here or at Round Rock.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Ronald Guzman, Cole Hamels, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Matt Moore, Jurickson Profar

Inbox: Does Moose's move to 1st increase trade value?

Beat reporter Jeffrey Flanagan fields Kansas City fans' questions
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore said repeatedly during the Winter Meetings and Spring Training that the main focus this season was to restock the farm system.

Kansas City accelerated that process last week courtesy of the MLB Draft and the trade of outfielder Jon Jay to Arizona, which netted two prospects -- including their now-No. 27 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, 18-year-old right-hander Elvis Luciano.

KANSAS CITY -- Royals general manager Dayton Moore said repeatedly during the Winter Meetings and Spring Training that the main focus this season was to restock the farm system.

Kansas City accelerated that process last week courtesy of the MLB Draft and the trade of outfielder Jon Jay to Arizona, which netted two prospects -- including their now-No. 27 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, 18-year-old right-hander Elvis Luciano.

And there is much more work to be done between now and the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31.

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The Royals will not say this publicly, but yes, showing other teams that Mike Moustakas can play first base as well as third base will add to his appeal at the Trade Deadline. Moustakas certainly has the hands and the skill set to handle first base. He just needs more reps.

Kelvin Herrera is Kansas City's top trade asset at this point. (The thinking here is that Salvador Perez is untouchable.) The way playoff baseball is managed now -- thanks to the 2014-15 Royals -- teams need as many shutdown relievers as they can get. And Herrera is having the best year of his career so far -- 0.73 ERA and no walks through 24 2/3 innings. It's too early to determine what teams will seek Herrera, but a simple look at the standings will provide hints. Moustakas already has been rumored to be on the Braves' and Brewers' radar.

Absolutely they could. But I'm not sure a rebuilding team such as the Royals would go that direction. Some money will come off the payroll this year, and Moose's offseason market might collapse again like it did in 2017, but the feeling here is it still wouldn't line up for a long-term deal for Moustakas.

Royals officials believe their top pick, right-hander Brady Singer out of Florida, likely is the closest to the big leagues. In fact, he could take a similar path to that of left-hander Brandon Finnegan, their top pick from 2014 who was drafted in June and was pitching in the big leagues by September (1.29 ERA in seven games) and then in the postseason. Singer is a polished pitcher, commanding three pitches, and he has a fiery nature.

At the Winter Meetings and a couple of other times since then, I talked with Moore about trading Perez and received the same answer: The Royals don't believe they'd ever get the return for Perez they desire. Virtually everyone in the organization believes Perez will be a Hall of Famer someday if he stays healthy, and perhaps theu want Perez to follow the same career path as George Brett -- as right from Kansas City to Cooperstown. And hey, Drew Butera could be a trade chip as well -- solid backup catcher in the last year of his deal -- and he could be attractive for a possible contender.

This is a popular question and somewhat of a raging debate among Royals fans who are frustrated that Adalberto Mondesi isn't up here yet. But Mondesi, whose tools are off the charts, was hurt yet again to start the season (unfortunately a common theme) and has only played in 25 games at Triple-A. He's hitting better lately (11-for-41), but Kansas City wants to see if he can play a long stretch without getting hurt before it promotes him. If Mondesi stays healthy between now and July 31, he could be up come in August. The Royals also are very high on middle infielder Nicky Lopez, who is hitting .323 at Double-A. Lopez fits their profile, a solid defender who is an "action" player offensively. Kansas City's 25-man roster will look a lot different come August 1, and the names you want to see could be up here.

Lucas Duda is getting close to a rehab assignment, perhaps even this week. He has been taking grounders and hitting in the cage.

Owner David Glass is a smart guy. He knows Moore took one of the worst franchises in all of sports -- a team with no direction, a losing culture, limited Minor League prospects, no international scouting presence -- and brought it to the mountaintop. Glass will give Moore a chance to repeat that success over the next several years. It is a very long leash.

Manager Ned Yost has told me several times he's not interested in retiring yet. He guided the Royals' young players through the team's last rebuild, and he is determined to help through this one as well. I'm not saying that Yost will be around for the culmination of this rebuild, but he will be back next year and maybe the year after.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Kelvin Herrera, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez

Inbox: Should Angels trade for proven closer?

MLB.com

Any chance that the Angels will try to acquire a closer or are they "all in" on Blake Parker?
-- @kevin3841

Parker has done an impressive job of turning it around after a rough start to the season, but I think the Angels will ultimately explore the trade market for relief help this summer. The Halos' bullpen has logged a solid 3.70 ERA this season, but its 12 blown saves are tied for the most in the Majors. Losing Keynan Middleton and Blake Wood to season-ending Tommy John surgeries were significant blows, so I think it would make sense for the Angels to fortify their back-end corps.

Any chance that the Angels will try to acquire a closer or are they "all in" on Blake Parker?
-- @kevin3841

Parker has done an impressive job of turning it around after a rough start to the season, but I think the Angels will ultimately explore the trade market for relief help this summer. The Halos' bullpen has logged a solid 3.70 ERA this season, but its 12 blown saves are tied for the most in the Majors. Losing Keynan Middleton and Blake Wood to season-ending Tommy John surgeries were significant blows, so I think it would make sense for the Angels to fortify their back-end corps.

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Several "established closers" are expected to be made available on the trade market, including the Royals' Kelvin Herrera, the Orioles' Zach Britton and the Padres' Brad Hand, so they could be potential targets if the Angels are looking to upgrade.

Any chance we get a shot to trade for Blake Snell?
-- @cura_MLB

The Rays were already involved in the first major trade of the year, as they sent closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Mariners for two pitching prospects last month, but I think it would take a massive haul for Tampa Bay to even consider parting with the 25-year-old Snell, who is enjoying a breakout season and is under control through the 2022 season. I don't see the Halos dipping into their farm system to that degree, especially since their rotation has been one of their strengths this season. Since May 1, Angels starters have logged a 2.61 ERA, the lowest mark in the American League.

Snell is an enticing talent, but the Angels already have an impressive stable of young, controllable arms in Andrew Heaney, Tyler Skaggs, Shohei Ohtani, Jaime Barria and Nick Tropeano, all of whom are 27 and under and could be fixtures in Anaheim for the near future.

I know why the Angels are calling up and then sending down Barria, is there a cap on how many times they can do that throughout the year? 
-- @hoekedonphoto

Players on a 40-man roster are given three Minor League options, and a player loses an option when he is sent to the Minors for a span of more than 20 days. An option applies to an entire season, so Barria can be sent to the Minors and recalled to the Majors any number of times over the course of a season while only losing one option.

The Angels have optioned Barria four times this season, though he's often returned to pitch in the Majors after spending the minimum 10 days at Triple-A Salt Lake. During those stretches, Barria will usually make an abbreviated Minor League appearance to keep himself sharp. He allowed one run over three innings for Salt Lake on Thursday and will be eligible to rejoin the Angels on Tuesday in Seattle.

How long will it take for Ohtani to get better against left-handed pitchers? What does he have to do to get better?
-- @MerriCao

Ohtani has posted a 1.057 OPS against right-handers and a .451 OPS against left-handers this year, but I don't think he nor the Angels are too concerned about those splits. Ohtani's numbers are probably skewed by a small sample size, as only 33 of his 129 plate appearances this season have come against lefties.

Ohtani posted even splits in Japan, so he has a track record of hitting lefties well. His numbers could start to even out in time, as he familiarizes himself with the pitchers around the league and continues to adjust to the higher level of competition.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Blake Parker