I'll start out with a brief housekeeping note. I'm leaving for a mini-vacation tomorrow morning and won't be back until Friday night. Toz may or may not post something (he doesn't have anything recent in the queue), but I'm assuming that with the All-Star Break in front of us things will be light this week.
Tonight, I thought I'd look at bad rotations in the American League and the odds that someone will be replaced. In my next post on Friday (or possibly Saturday), I'll take a look at the National League.
Most of the moves the Orioles could have made have been made already. Kevin Millwood is on the D.L. and may not have a spot in the rotation when he gets back. Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, and Brian Matusz are all in the rotation and will probably hold their spots unless they're incredibly bad or until they hit a possible team-imposed innings limit. Jeremy Guthrie could get traded, but the O's still have a lot of control of Guthrie's cost and years and would probably want a lot for him.
Name to Know: Zach Britton. Score one for John Sickels here. Britton was not the most highly regarded prospect in the world and was often lost in the shuffle behind Arrieta, Tillman, and Matusz, but Britton has had a great 2010 and there's a chance he winds up getting a look in September. He's a ground ball machine, and while the strikeout rate makes me think that Britton's upside might be limited, I could still him being pretty good if everything broke right.
Kansas City Royals
The big news here - or lack thereof - is going to be Zack Greinke's "shoulder discomfort." If he's healthy, then no biggie, but there's no reason for the moribund Royals not to play it completely safe. Otherwise, there aren't that many dramas here. Gil Meche could be back soon, but it's likely he's on a reserve list. Brian Bannister's like Guthrie: a possible trade target, but given the control of cost and years, the Royals will probably ask for far too much.
Name to Know: Bryan Bullington. I doubt the Royals are going to turn to Aaron Crow (who has struggled mightily in AA so far), so Bullington is the most logical candidate. He's done well at AAA, and while I have absolutely no faith in any kind of success - sustained or otherwise - from Bullington if he does get the tap, he's the most likely candidate to fill in...and Bruce Chen and Andrew Lerew aren't exactly stalwarts.
The Tigers are buyers, so it's possible they'll bring a starting pitcher in via trade. They've been linked to Ted Lilly and Dan Haren in rumors, with Lilly being the far more realistic/cheaper target. They really need help. After Justin Verlander, the rotation is a mess, and they can't keep running Andy Oliver out there to get pounded.
Name to Know: Rick Porcello. Speaking of rumors, word has it that Porcello could be available in a trade, so it's possible that Porcello will be up for another team and not the Tigers. If the Tigers do keep him, though, he's obviously the guy likely to make the biggest impact if he returns to the Majors. His K/BB don't make me optimistic, but the arms with him in AAA inspire even less confidence.
Like the Orioles, it's unlikely the Indians do much of anything. Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona have been bandied about in trades, but those rumors are old and stale and if I had to guess I'd say both stay in Cleveland. Mitch Talbot is due to slip, but we've been hearing that tired refrain for two months now. Justin Masterson probably stays. Aaron Laffey is the most likely pitcher to get replaced, but the pickings on the farm are slim.
Name to Know: Carlos Carrasco. His performance makes him unlikely to get the call, but he's the best of a weak bunch. Hector Rondon has been on the DL since May with what was supposed to be a minor injury. Jeanmar Gomez and Yohan Pino are struggling as well. The one guy here who has had success is Josh Tomlin, but he wasn't considered much of a prospect entering the year.