The Sox are also without pitching coach Don Cooper, who is out of the hospital battling diverticulitis, with bullpen coach Bobby Thigpen filling in.
The Reds also return home for Monday through Wednesday night games vs. the Philllies before hosting the Marlins this weekend. Lefty reliever Sean Marshall is now on the 15-day disabled list, complicating bullpen issues for the second-place Reds.
The Cubs, with new closer Kyuji Fujikawa, watched him blow his first save Friday to the Giants before Chicago rallied to win. Saturday he went on the15-day disabled list and manager Dale Sveum says he’ll use several closers but not Carlos Mormol in that role.
The Cubs go from world champion SF to hosting AL West powerhouse Texas for games Tuesday through Thursday before hitting the road for a weekend series at Milwaukee. We can only hope no more goat’s heads arrive by mail at Wrigley Field this week.
And Starlin Castro’s consecutive game played streak has passed 200 games, so you’ve been warned, Cal!
The first-place Tigers saw Prince Fielder get hot with mammoth home runs last week vs. the Blue Jays and A’s. Detroit’s Western road trip will continue Tuesday through Thursday with three in Seattle against Eric Wedge’s Mariners before Friday through Sunday games in Anaheim with the Angels.
The Tribe continues to lead the league in suspensions. Poor Carlos Carrasco now must serve an eight-game suspension if and when he gets back from Class AAA Columbus. He was briefly up with the Tribe, long enough to complete a five-game suspension from a year ago and long enough to hit Kevin Youkilis of the Yankees, even though he insists he didn’t mean to. Tribe management believes him, but he may be pitching for a while in Columbus.
If only Cleveland could clone Justin Masterson. He’s 3-0, coming off a complete game shutout Friday of the White Sox. But the search for No. 2, 3, 4and 5 starters continues in Cleveland.
Maybe hosting the Red Sox at home Tuesday through Thursday (giving manager Terry Francona a chance to see his old team) before taking a weekend road trip to Houston for three games will find some answers.
This week in baseball history: Today and Tuesday (for those teams who are off today), all MLB players will wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947. Mariano Rivera had the number 42 before baseball retired it in Robinson’s honor, and this is Rivera’s last season, and the classy veteran is being saluted all around baseball too, for all he has done during his impressive career.