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The A's are 19-23, five games back in the AL West and four games back of a Wild Card spot already. It's surprising their record is even that good, as they've been outscored by 42 runs, have just one starter pitching even adequately, and run out a lineup full of holes each night. They seem directionless at the moment, as no one could explain exactly what the sequel to Moneyball would be about if you based it on their current team. Things are not going to get easier, either, as Josh Reddick -- the team's most reliable and best position player -- is now out for four to six weeks with a fractured thumb.
Reddick was hitting .322/.394/.466 before the injury, precisely the kind of line a player hopes to put up before they hit free agency. Reddick's deal with the A's is up after this season, and while there has been talk of an extension, nothing is reportedly close: the chance exists that Reddick is dealt at the trade deadline to help give the A's some of that missing direction. Of course, if he's out until July, needs to go on a rehab assignment, and maybe doesn't come back hitting as well as he did before breaking a bone in his hand, then that could hurt both Reddick as a free agent and the A's attempts to deal him for a significant haul.
That's obviously some worst-case scenario talk there: Reddick could be back in four weeks and pick up where he left off. The A's are worse without him in the lineup, but he's also not the difference between them making the playoffs or not -- not when the appeal of Rich Hill's excellent season starting is that the A's can trade him in July, too. Both the A's and Reddick will have to hope he's back soon and that there are no lingering effects from the injury, as more than 2016 depends on it for both of them.
- Sure, Rougned Odor was suspended eight games for punching Jose Bautista in the face, but he also now gets free barbecue for life from a Forth Worth restaurant.
- Speaking of the Rangers, there are apparently plans to build them a brand new ballpark with a retractable roof, since only '90s kids will remember when their current stadium was built.
- Jayson Werth deferred $10 million in his contract, which could give the Nats a bit of wiggle room at the deadline this year.
- Brad Ausmus keeps getting all the attention, but Bless You Boys doesn't want you to forget about the role Al Avila played in building this disappointing Tigers team.
- Bench player turned starter Brock Holt has been the worst regular in the Red Sox lineup, so it's time for Rusney Castillo to get his last chance to stick.
- Five years ago, the world lost Randy Savage to a heart attack and car accident. Before he was a wrestler, the Macho Man was a baseball player in the Cardinals' and Reds' organizations, and maybe not a bad one, either.
- A look at the analytics and market of Jake Arrieta bobbleheads. No, really.
- The Dodgers are contending now thanks to the trades they didn't make the past few years.
- Daniel Murphy made Yoenis Cespedes look bad with a fake catch and throw on a liner over his head.
- Erick Aybar was scratched from the Braves' lineup because he got a chicken bone stuck in his throat. He's okay now, but baseball injuries sure do run the gamut.
- Max Scherzer played catch with a young Mets fan, and there is no way that kid cared about Scherzer playing for the Nationals in that moment.