Could Joe Thatcher soon find himself in a Rays jersey? (Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE)

AL East Notes: Rays, Red Sox, Orioles

I’ve mentioned it before, but the best division in baseball has to come down to the American League East or National League East. With that being said, here are your AL East notes and rumors:

  • The Tampa Bay Rays may be scouting left handed pitching. Tom Krasovic of Inside the Padresnoted that Bob

    Cluck, a scout for the Rays attended a recent Padres verse Giants game. Krasovic speculated that Cluck may have been scouting Joe Thatcher.”Bob Cluck, a Tampa Bay Rays scout, worked the recent Padres-Giants series. I don’t know if Cluck was scouting the Padres, Giants or both for trade purposes, but Tampa Bay, like several other teams in playoff contention, could have a need for right-handed power and left-handed relief.”

    Joe Thatcher would bolster a Rays bullpen that could use some lefty help. Thatcher is 0-1 with a 2.35 ERA. He is striking out 9.4 batters per nine innings of work. At 30 years old and under team control until 2015, Thatcher may be another viable trade candidate coming from San Diego. Carlos Quentin is obviously the top candidate.

  • Daisuke Matsuzaka is slated to make his first start this season on Saturday. Peter Abraham of reported yesterday that the Red Sox are planning to activate Matsuzaka off the disabled list.  The Red Sox pitcher has not pitched in over a year. He under went Tommy John elbow surgery on his pitching arm last season. Since then, he has been recovering and rehabbing. With Daniel Bard‘s demotion to Triple-A, Matsuzaka will fill the void.
  • The Baltimore Orioles activated Zach Britton from the 60-day disabled list yesterday and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk.  Britton will continue pitching for Norfolk after making three previous rehab starts in hopes of returning to full health.  If he does, Rueters is reporting the Orioles will look to recall him to the Major league squad.Britton was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three rehab starts.  Last year, Briton was 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 28 starts for the Orioles.  It was his first Major League season.  His Major League debut was April 3, 2011.

Tags: Baltimore Oriole Boston Red Sox Carlos Quentin Daisuke Matsuzaka Joe Thatcher San Diego Padres Tampa Bay Rays Zach Britton

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