On July 6 ,
a 53-35 Milwaukee Brewers team had the best record in the National League and a
2.5-game lead in the NL Central. Since then, they've gone 8-11 with a minus-five
run differential and seen that lead in the standings turn into a half-game
deficit.If anyone needs to make a splash at the deadline, it's the Brew
Crew.While they've already added reinforcement to the bullpen with the addition
of Joakim Soria and a power bat to the lineup with Mike Moustakas, they still
need starting pitching help.Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Brewers have
been in talks with the Minnesota Twins regarding infielder Brian Dozier, and a
large deal could materialize to also include Kyle Gibson.Dozier no longer looks
like a potential target with Travis Shaw shifting over to second base following
the addition of Moustakas, but Gibson would still be a great fit.The 30-year-old
is enjoying a breakout season with a 3.42 ERA (3.78 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP in 129
innings for 2.7 WAR鈥?3th among AL starters.While he's more than just a rental
with team control through next season, Milwaukee should be able to get a deal
done without giving up top prospects Keston Hiura or Corbin Burnes.It's not the
sexiest name out there, but he'd be a stabilizing addition to the starting staff
as the team gears up for the stretch run.Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Jose
Leclerc and Jake Diekman4 of 4Jake DiekmanG Fiume/Getty ImagesThe Los Angeles
Dodgers are not finished adding to their roster, even after swinging a
blockbuster deal to acquire Manny Machado.According to Bob Nightengale ofUSA
Today, the team is now pursuing "a reliever to help out closer Kenley
Jansen Clayton
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," and they're casting a wide net in their
search.Last summer, the Dodgers added one of the top rental relievers on the
market (Tony Watson) and a controllable bullpen arm (Tony Cingrani), and a
similar approach could be employed this time around.The Texas Rangers provide an
opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Think the Washington Nationals
acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Oakland Athletics last year,
only on a slightly smaller scale.Closer Keone Kela might be the Rangers' most
attractive trade chip, but he's far from the only useful arm they have readily
available in trade talks.A package of Jake Diekman and Jose Leclerc would give
the Dodgers two quality arms鈥攐ne rental (Diekman) and one controllable
(Leclerc)鈥攁nd the two together would likely come at a smaller acquisition price
than Kela.Diekman:46 G, 14 HLD, 3.79 ERA, 10.9 K/9Leclerc:39 G, 13 HLD, 2.39
12.7K/9Would that be enough for the Dodgers to feel comfortable with the bullpen
down the stretch?With Brad Hand, Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia, Joakim Soria and
Seunghwan Oh already off the market, the crop of quality relievers is rapidly
dwindling. The Dodgers would be wise to move quickly, and the Rangers look like
the perfect trade partner. All stats courtesy ofBaseball ReferenceandFanGraphs,
unless otherwise noted. ATLANTA — Julio Teheran has made five consecutive starts
on Opening Day for the Atlanta Braves and has two All-Star Games on his resume,
but where the right-hander might fall in a postseason rotation remains in
doubt.At least Teheran is a solid starting candidate now after appearing to be
on the outside looking in during the first four months of what was shaping up as
a very disappointing season.The victim of too many walks and home runs much of
the season, the 27-year-old from Colombia is on the upswing as he faces the
Washington Nationals on Saturday in the middle game of a weekend series at
SunTrust Park.Article continues below ...Teheran (9-7, 3.95 ERA) has quality
starts in five of his past six outings and has posted a 2.33 ERA with a 34-to-12
strikeout-to-walk ratio and just two homers allowed in that span.The Braves
(83-64) kept their lead over the Philadelphia Phillies at 7 1/2 games while
reducing their magic number to nine with a 10-5 victory over the Nationals on
Friday night.The victory was the sixth straight for the Braves and left the
Nationals (74-74) facing near elimination at 9 1/2 games back. Atlanta’s magic
number against Washington is down to six.Two-time defending National League Cy
Young Award winner Max Scherzer couldn’t hold down the Braves in the series
opener and now the Nationals turn to right-hander Jeremy Hellickson
(5-3 Sandy
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, 3.57 ERA), who just came off the disabled list.
Teheran hasn’t shown the velocity he once had, but his command and off-speed
pitches have been much better of late. “My last four starts I’ve been feeling
really good,” Teheran said. “I’ve been feeling that I have all of my pitches,
and I think that’s been the difference.”Teheran was at his worst in a home start
against the Nationals in early April, giving up three homers and five runs in 2
1/3 shaky innings that included six hits and three walks.Ryan Zimmerman and
Bryce Harper took him deep in that game, as did former Nationals pitcher A.J.
Cole, although Teheran escaped with a no-decision. Homers made for a rough debut
season at SunTrust Park for Teheran last season. This season, walks at home and
away have been the bigger issue.Opponents are batting just .198 against Teheran,
but he has surrendered 73 walks in 159 1/3 innings.“I know every time that I
walk (a batter) ,
they score a run,” he said. “I try to put that to the side and try to make
pitches.”Despite his rough outing against the Nationals, Teheran is 4-2 with a
3.81 ERA and 11 homers allowed in 15 home starts compared to 5-5 with a 4.13 ERA
and 13 homers in 13 road starts.Teheran took a loss at Washington in mid-April
but worked six solid innings. He is 6-5 with a 4.12 ERA in 20 career starts
against the Nationals.Harper has feasted on Teheran, batting .450 (18-for-40)
with eight home runs.Hellickson, sidelined by a right wrist sprain, made his
last appearance for Washington on Aug. 15 and has been limited to 18 starts this
season because of two stints on the disabled list.Neither injury was caused
making a pitch. He had to leave a start against the Braves on June 3 after two
batters when he strained his right hamstring covering first base, then suffered
the sprained wrist when he tumbled covering home plate.Hellickson is 2-0 with a
3.18 ERA in six career starts against the Braves.
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