Hot-hitting Paredes had long journey to Orioles (with other MLB notes)

Jimmy Paredes' eight-year journey to the Orioles, as well as a spot among the American League's batting leaders, has a Houston Astros connection to it. The New York Yankees signed Paredes in 2004, and when the Yankees needed an experienced bat for their 2010 stretch run to the American League East title, they traded Paredes to the Astros in a deal that brought then designated ... read more

NL East review: It took a while, but Washington has returned to top spot

Nothing has changed in the National League East: The Nationals are the best team in the division and they're playing that way. After falling as many as eight games behind the Mets in the NL East with a 7-13 start, the Nationals have returned to first place, where they are expected to stay. And they are in first place even though three of their best ... read more

AL East review: Surprises and disappointments in season's first two months

The first two months of the season are in the books, and the one certainty is that every team in the American League East has flaws. The defending champion Orioles have been inconsistent. The Yankees have slowed after a hot start. The Red Sox have had rotation problems and can't score runs. The Blue Jays don't have as much pitching as they thought, but they ... read more

Major league roundup: Surging Astros haven't relied on confusing offense

Quick hits on the latest baseball news: * The Houston Astros have a comfortable lead in the American League West, and they are doing it with a strong bullpen, two excellent starting pitchers and an all-or-nothing lineup that leads the league with 57 home runs. But they are certainly not doing it with a pesky offense that drives opponents crazy: They have a .302 on-base ... read more

Quicker pace: Speed-up rules working with minor adjustments

For six weeks, baseball's new pick-up-the-pace rules have been in place, and while the average time of game has been cut by nine minutes, the real question is this: Has anyone really noticed the quicker pace? "We don't want our players thinking about it,'' Nationals manager Matt Williams said. "But, there haven't been any issues.'' Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista agreed: "There's been no adjustments.'' And ... read more

Focused Ramos ready to shed tag as injury-prone catcher

Catcher Wilson Ramos came to Washington in a 2010 trade with the Minnesota Twins. Since then, his career has been defined by a kidnapping incident in Venezuela, as well as injuries that put him on the disabled list for three consecutive seasons. But this season, that could all change. Ramos, 27, has a new lease on life. He's one of the Nationals' most consistent hitters. ... read more

With Roenicke out in Milwaukee, which managers remain on the hot seat?

And now, some comments about baseball's top news stories: * The Milwaukee Brewers fired manager Ron Roenicke even though the team seemed to be getting healthy and digging out from its April slump. The Brewers had won three of four when general manager Doug Melvin made the announcement Sunday night, but long-term the Brewers had been fading. They led the National Central by 6½ games ... read more

As season's first month nears end, answers to some pressing questions

You have questions, we have the answers: Q: Are the Mets for real in the National League East or is this an April mirage? A: The Mets' start is a sign of their all-new can-do attitude. They won 79 games last season and came to spring training convinced they were a contender. And then, after they won two of three in their first series in ... read more