Whispers

If Astros starter really is available, in-state rivals have pitching prospects

May 25, 2010|By Phil Rogers

The Rangers are interested in Roy Oswalt (above), if the Astros really are willing to trade him. The Astros like the Rangers' stable of young pitchers, including Martin Perez, Tanner Scheppers and Alexi Ogando. The constipated state of the sale of the club could be the biggest hurdle in a possible deal. … The Angels came from a similar early hole to overtake the Rangers last season, but scouts wonder if the balance of power has shifted, thanks largely to Vladimir Guerrero. … Look for the Marlins' Hanley Ramirez to win any long-term battle with manager Fredi Gonzalez. While the benching of Ramirez was popular with baseball types, it did little to affect Gonzalez's tenuous standing with owner Jeffrey Loria, who was close to sacking him at the end of 2009. … Troy Tulowitzki's power outage is turning into a serious concern for the Rockies. He and Todd Helton entered the weekend with three homers between them. … Justin Morneau (1.165 OPS, 32 RBIs) continues to put up numbers that belie concerns about his back. His MVP candidacy depends on how he holds up. … The Braves have been jump-started by Bobby Cox's decision to bat Martin Prado leadoff and Jason Heyward No.2. Prado is having a good enough year that fans aren't longing for Kelly Johnson, who has 12 homers for Arizona.

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