• It was a bad week for umpires around baseball, or at the very least, their reputation. There was the inexcusable missed call by Angel Hernandez on Wednesday on Adam Rosales’ game-tying home run for the Oakland Athletics that was incorrectly ruled a double even after video replay was used, and that led to a 4-3 Indians win. MLB is again scrambling after a few umpires in Houston incorrectly applied a rule involving how teams can change pitchers. In the seventh inning of a game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Houston Astros, Astros reliever Wesley Wright ran onto the mound and threw a few warmup pitches. Before he was finished, manager Bo Porter ran to the mound and then called for Hector Ambriz to come in. By rule, Wright should have had to face at least one batter unless he sustained an injury. The Angels protested and later scored three runs in the eighth winning to win 6-5. It was the second time in 48 hours MLB conceded that its umpires had missed a call.
• According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, the top three teams in the AL Central standings also happened to make the three best offseason acquisitions. The top spot went to Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez, who is 3-3 with a 1.97 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 45⅔ innings pitched. Sanchez wasn’t technically a new “acquisition” this winter, but the Tigers did lock him up for five years and $88 million. That distinction also exists for the No. 2 player on the list, Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, who was traded for last July and re-signed for three years and $25 million. Guthie is 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA. Indians designated hitter Mark Reynolds (one-year, $6 million) is in third place with his league-leading 11 home runs entering the weekend. All three have played key roles early on.
• The first of the big-name Yankees who have missed the first part of the season could return next week. The Yankees were atop the AL East entering the weekend with a 20-13 record despite being without four high-profile players Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson. Granderson, recovering from a forearm injury after he was hit with a pitch in spring training, should return this week. It’s unlikely he’ll play in Monday’s doubleheader in Cleveland.
— Ryan Lewis