As promised last week, the weekly top 10 will take a life of its own for the remainder of the season. With the non-waiver deadline behind us, teams will have to look internally to augment their roster if their needs cannot be met on the wire or by those that have cleared. Henry Owens, Luis Severino and Richie Shaffer -- Nos. 1, 2 and 3 on last week's list -- were each called up to make their debuts. All three came through looking like major leaguers.
Owens made his debut Tuesday in a losing effort against the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium. He was back on the bump Sunday, besting Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers as he earned his first big league victory. Flashing a filthy changeup, he was able to keep hitters off-balance, allowing just five hits in 10 innings; however, his control wavered with five walks. The Boston Red Sox have turned the page to 2016. But it would be wise to get a long look at the long lefty who could occupy a rotation spot next season.
Just a day later in the same stadium, Severino took the mound for the home team opposite the Red Sox. Severino was impressive, featuring a mid-90s fastball, a nifty cutter and a mid-80s changeup. He was the hard-luck loser, but struck out seven while walking none in five innings. The Yankees are reeling after a weekend sweep at the hands of the hard-charging Toronto Blue Jays. When they next take the field it will be behind Severino, who at the moment may give them their best chance of winning.
Falling in between the American League East-leading Yankees and the cellar-dwelling Sox are the Tampa Bay Rays. At .500, the Rays remain within a handful of games of the second wild-card spot. Known for strong pitching and defense, Tampa Bay's offense has come to life recently, and former 2012 first-round pick Richie Shaffer, is wasting no time joining in. The former Clemson Tiger belted hit two home runs -- including his first hit -- and scored five runs in four games. He played first base, third base and served as designated hitter. Tampa Bay has given plenty of at-bats to players like Jake Elmore and Joey Butler. It should not be hard to find time for the slugging Shaffer.
Owens, Severino and Shaffer successfully made the leap from the list. Let us see who may be joining them soon.
1. Jose Berrios, RHP Minnesota Twins
Current level: Triple-A (Rochester) 2015 Stats: Triple-A: 3-1, 3.02 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 12 BB, 43 K, 44 2/3 IP (7 GS); Double-A: 8-3, 3.08 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 24 BB, 92 K, 90 2/3 IP (15 GS) Last Week: (6)
Progress report: After controlling a wild-card spot, the Twins find themselves a game under .500 and behind several teams they once led in the race. Since last Monday, Twins pitchers have allowed 60 (!) runs. Meanwhile, Berrios is finding his stride in Triple-A. It took a few turns to get going, but the right-hander is feeling it now. He has gone seven innings in four of his last five starts; a stretch that has seen him allow just six runs in 34 innings. He struck out nine and walked one in his most recent outing, which concluded with seven shutout frames. Minnesota will need another starter this weekend. It should be Berrios.