Dugout Digest – the race for the bottom

The Astros have the number one pick pretty close to locked down. The Marlins are pretty solidly locked in to the second pick at this point. From there on out, it's a crap shoot. The Chicago teams are picking third and fourth. The Brewers are picking fifth. and they've done very well with top ten picks over the last decade. The Twins are sixth, the Giants are seventh, and the Blue Jays have both the eighth and 11th picks, with the latter coming as a compensation pick for not signing Phil Bickford with the tenth pick last year. The Angels and Mets currently round out the top ten. The Phillies are outside of the top ten, meaning that if Ruben Amaro goes crazy and signs a free agent who received a qualifying offer, they'll lose their first round pick. Toronto is in an exceptional position with two very high picks that are both protected, meaning that if they signed an eligible free agent, they'd just lose a second round pick. Then, there's the Angels. Their last top ten pick came in 2000, when they drafted Joe Torres (who didn't play an inning in the majors) tenth overall. The team didn't have a first round pick in each of the last two years, either. You want to contend? A top ten pick is a good way to start.


Yasiel Puig delves into a new career (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Game of the Night: Astros 10, White Sox 8. The Astros smashed Andre Rienzo early, plating six early runs and launching three homers off of the Brazilian rookie in the first five innings. A monstrous blast from Chris Carter in the fifth topped off the scoring against Rienzo. But down 6-1, Chicago fought back. They scored a pair in the fifth after a Jeff Keppinger solo homer and an LJ Hoes error that allowed Alejandro de Aza to score. The Astros tacked another run on the board against Rienzo in the sixth after Brandon Barnes scored on a wild pitch, but as usual, the four run lead didn't last. Adam Dunn kicked off the scoring in the sixth against Brett Oberholtzer with a two-run homer to cut the lead to a pair. A Josh Phegley single made it a 7-6 game, and David Martinez balked in Dayan Viciedo to tie the game. De Aza singled in Phegley, and Houston all of a sudden led 8-7. The lead didn't even last an inning thanks to an RBI single from Carter that tied the game at eight. In the ninth, Matt Dominguez and Carter hit solo homers off of Addison Reed to give the Astros a two run lead. Houston needed to use three relievers in the ninth, but starter Jordan Lyles was the final one, striking out Avisail Garcia to grab his first career save.

Pitching Lines of the Night: Cliff Lee dominated the Mets in a 2-1 Phillies win, allowing one run on five hits in eight innings, striking out seven and walking one. Zack Greinke nearly shut out the Cubs in LA's 6-2 win, giving up two runs on five hits in 8 2/3 innings, walking a pair and striking out nine. Juan Nicasio pitched well for the Rockies as they topped the Giants 6-1, giving up four hits over six shutout innings, striking out nine and walking two. Brandon McCarthy had a good start for the Diamondbacks, who beat the Padres 6-1, allowing one unearned run on five hits in seven innings, striking out five without a walk.

Hitting Lines of the Night: Chris Carter played great for the Astros in their win in Chicago, going 3/4 with three runs, four RBI, a walk, and a pair of homers. In the Royals' 11-1 win over the Rays, Billy Butler went 3/3 with three runs, three RBI, two walks, and a homer. Allen Craig pushed the Cardinals to an 8-6 win over the Reds, going 3/4 with a double and a grand slam. Coco Crisp had a good game for the A's, who edged the Tigers 8-6, going 3/6 with two runs, two RBI, a double, and a homer. In the loss, Victor Martinez went 4/5 with a solo homer.

Other Games: The Blue Jays beat the Yankees 5-2. The Rangers thumped the Mariners 8-3.

What You Missed: Matt Harvey has a partially torn UCL. Tommy John on line one, Matt. Denard Span's mom gave him hitting advice. Jeffrey Loria is sticking his nose in the Marlins player personnel decisions again. The Angels are crumbling from within.

Today's Games: Justin Verlander and the Tigers host the A's. Kyle Lohse and the Brewers take on Jeff Locke and the Pirates. Danny Salazar starts for the Indians in Atlanta against Alex Wood. Wei-Yin Chen starts for the Orioles in Boston against Felix Doubront. CJ Wilson gets the nod for the Angels in Tampa. Mat Latos starts for the Reds in St Louis. James Shields takes the hill for the Royals in Minnesota. Derek Holland and Hisashi Iwakuma will face off in Seattle. Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers host Travis Wood and the Cubs.

National TV: Reds-Cardinals (8 PM, MLB Network), Giants-Rockies (8:30 PM, MLB Network)

MLB.tv Free Game: Padres-Diamondbacks (9:40 PM)

Pitching Matchup of the Day: Travis Wood vs Clayton Kershaw (Cubs vs Dodgers, 10 PM)

Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.