Fredi Gonzalez, high on Cubs general manager Jim Hendry's list of managerial candidates, remains the front-runner to replace the Braves' Bobby Cox. … Tony La Russa and Colby Rasmus (above) have a strained relationship, but it's hard to see the Cardinals trading Rasmus if they re-sign La Russa. The interest in him would be huge. … Don't look for the Rays to pass the Yankees, who have been in first place after Labor Day in 41 seasons and failed to hang on to first only twice, in 1906 and 1944. … Rays manager Joe Maddon loves his pinch hitters. He used six in an inning Monday in Boston and once used five in consecutive at-bats in an interleague game. … The Brewers hope they have caught lightning in a bottle in right-handed reliever Brandon Kintzler, who pitched great this year in the high minors after being signed out of the independent leagues a year ago. … The Angels are sending Mark Trumbo to Venezuela to work on his outfield play. The 22-year-old prospect led the Pacific Coast League with 36 homers and 122 RBIs, but Kendry Morales blocks him at first base. It's amazing he didn't get a call while Morales was out with a broken leg. … Royals third base prospect Mike Moustakas, the Sporting News' Minor League Hitter of the Year, leads the team the U.S. will send to Puerto Rico for the Pan American Games in October. … The Marlins' bullpen has blown leads for Josh Johnson seven times — two more than any other starter.