The bottom half

The week ahead

Angels: The Angels’ week opens with Mark Teixeira’s first home game for his new team, on Monday against his hometown Orioles, a club that has been saving its dollars so it might bid on him in free agency. Teixeira is a career .245 hitter in Anaheim, with nine home runs in 155 at-bats. And then the Yankees come to town, with the team and its former manager in a curious position: Joe Torre and the Yankees made the playoffs in each of the past 12 seasons, but both the Yankees and Torre’s Dodgers are in jeopardy of missing the playoffs this season.

Angels vs. New York Yankees, Friday through next Sunday at Angel Stadium.

Dodgers: With a nod toward Alex Rodriguez, perhaps the two greatest right-handed hitters in the game today will meet in St. Louis this week, with the Dodgers bringing Manny Ramirez to town to face Albert Pujols and the Cardinals. Pujols is batting .333 with 303 home runs through the first 1,189 games of his career, through Friday’s games. Ramirez hit .313 with 297 home runs in the first 1,189 games of his career. And then the Dodgers fly to San Francisco, where the Giants’ fans will no doubt offer Ramirez a polite and cordial welcome to the National League.


Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals, Tuesday through Thursday at Busch Stadium, St. Louis.

Elsewhere: While the Angels focused on whether the addition of Teixeira could lift them past the Red Sox in the playoffs, the White Sox now boast the most powerful lineup in the AL. While the Red Sox subtracted Ramirez, the White Sox added Ken Griffey Jr. -- to bolster the bottom half of their batting order. The White Sox led the league in home runs even without Junior, with Carlos Quentin (28), Jermaine Dye (26), Jim Thome (21) and Joe Crede (17). Griffey arrives with 15, in time for the Red Sox to try life without Manny against the White Sox.

Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox, Friday through next Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago.

Minor leaguers of the week


Angels: Kendry Morales, 1b

If Mark Teixeira does not return to the Angels next season, Morales might finally get his chance to play first base in Anaheim. On the day the Angels traded Casey Kotchman for Teixeira last week, Morales homered and drove in four runs for triple-A Salt Lake. This is his third consecutive season there -- hitting better than .300 each season -- and he is batting .315 in 59 games, with 11 home runs and 47 runs batted in. Morales, 25, sat out five weeks because of a strained oblique muscle.

Dodgers: Michael Watt, lhp

The Dodgers selected two high school pitchers among their top three draft picks last year. The first, right-hander Chris Withrow, pitched nine innings last season and has not pitched this season because of a sore elbow. But Watt, 19, has progressed nicely in rookie ball, including a four-start run in which he went 4-0 with a 1.23 ERA. He’s 4-3 overall at Ogden, with a 3.46 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 39 innings. He graduated last year from Capistrano Valley High.