The so-called waiver trade deadline is here (the date by which a player must be on a team's roster for that player to show up on their playoff roster). Will anything big happen today? Eh. The non-waiver trade deadline, this is not.
- It's looking increasingly likely that, not only will Roger Clemens pitch again for the Sugar Land Skeeters on September 7, but, after that, he'll probably pitch for the Houston Astros - possibly September 12 against the Cubs. Doing so will allow Clemens to say he pitched in the big leagues at age 50, and will push back his Hall of Fame clock by five years (he's currently scheduled to be voted on during the next go-around). And folks in the media aren't too happy about it. Jon Heyman rips into Clemens and the Astros, saying the Astros are losing their dignity, and suggesting in a round-about way that Clemens couldn't be making this comeback without some pharmaceutical help. Ken Rosenthal calls it "obvious" that a Clemens/Astros reunion is coming, and it's an "embarrassment for both parties involved." Clemens is just trying to reset his HOF clock and distance himself from the current steroid conversation, Rosenthal says, and the Astros are just trying to get a few more tickets sold. For me? Shrug. How could the Astros possibly be more embarrassing?
- Rafael Furcal heard a "tingling" and a "pop" in his right elbow last night, and the Cardinals are apparently expecting the worst: a torn UCL, which would end Furcal's season, and likely require Tommy John surgery. The 34-year-old shortstop hasn't been overly productive for the Cardinals this year - hitting .264/.325/.346 - but it's probably better than what the Cardinals will be able to put together from the scrap heap. Then again, it's the Cardinals with their voodoo magic, so they'll probably find a way to fill-in with a guy who puts up pro-rated MVP numbers and somehow wins the Gold Glove in just a month.
- At least the Cardinals are getting Yadier Molina back, who missed almost no time after getting trucked in the head by Josh Harrison at home plate Tuesday night.
- Chad Billingsley's season might be over with elbow problems. He's received a platelet-rich plasma injection, and the Dodgers will see how he responds before making a decision. They haven't ruled out the possibility of Tommy John surgery.
- You may have missed it, given their struggles, but the Colorado Rockies have been doing something radical for more than two months: using a four-man rotation. And, even more radically, they're already committing to doing it again in 2013, with four piggy-back relievers, one for each starter. Kudos to the Rockies for thinking differently about pitcher usage (each of the four starters typically has a hard 75-pitch cap on their starts), but we'll have to see how well it works.
- It's been a bumpy ride for Alfredo Aceves, and it got bumpier, with him likely ousted as the Red Sox's closer. Then again, without many save opportunities these days, was it really much of a demotion?
- Beyond the Boxscore looks at Adrian Beltre's underrated defensive prowess, and where it might put him in the Hall of Fame conversation down the line.