Week Ahead: Familiar faces in new places

Week Ahead: Familiar faces in new places

The Blue Jays will see if David was obtained for the right Price. The Astros will look to Mike to keep their postseason Fiers burning brightly. The Dodgers will hand the ball to Alex and try to keep putting the Wood to the Giants.

And so goes the Week Ahead, which is not only full of questionable puns but of thrilling pennant-race baseball, which is beginning to kick into serious overdrive now that last week's non-waiver Trade Deadline is behind us and October keeps getting closer.

The first fruits of that frenzied, fantastic Deadline are coming to bear for plenty of buyers this week, and fans will look to their favorite fields and see shiny new acquisitions in shiny new uniforms. Meanwhile, the current architecture of the standings could be radically altered, and Monday will offer our first look at the results of some of these expensive remodels.

The Blue Jays will see what they have in Price right away, although they've seen plenty of it since the majority of his career was spent with Toronto's American League East-rival Rays and the rest with the Tigers, whom the Jays run into from time to time on the 162-game schedule. Price is scheduled to get the ball to begin a four-game series at home against the Wild Card-contending Twins and Ervin Santana, and after the Jays' dramatic series against the AL Central-leading Royals over the weekend, the emotions are already running high.

"You can feel the excitement when we were in the dugout. I felt it in the locker room," Price said. "This is a group of guys who want to win, and this is a management and front office that wants to win."

Price isn't the only new big-name Jay. Toronto also added shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to an already ferocious offense, as well as outfielder Ben Revere, and relievers Mark Lowe and LaTroy Hawkins are recent additions. All figure to be huge this week, when the Blue Jays try to rough up the Twins before what could be a pivotal weekend series in New York against the AL East-leading Yankees.

And then there's the AL West.

The Astros had already announced how serious they are about winning their division -- they enter Monday with a four-game lead over the Angels, who have lost six in a row -- when they traded for lefty Scott Kazmir. Then they pushed in even more chips -- and prospects -- by landing outfielder Carlos Gomez and hard-throwing righty starter Mike Fiers from Milwaukee.

Fiers is slated to make his first start as an Astro on Tuesday, and he'll try to keep some very good vibes going in Arlington against the Rangers, who beefed up at the Deadline themselves by nabbing lefty Cole Hamels from the Phillies. Hamels won't pitch against Fiers, but righty Yovani Gallardo will as the Rangers try to get closer to .500 and the Wild Card race.

"This is an opportunity for me to really show Houston what I can do and that I can do it in a race to make the playoffs," Fiers said. "I'm just so excited for the opportunity. [I'm] ready to pitch on Tuesday and give everything I got to this organization."

Similar sentiments were uttered by a pair of other pitchers who will ply their trade, post-trade, for the first time this week.

Lefty Alex Wood, one of the prizes of the Dodgers' recent flurry of moves, has been penciled in for Tuesday night's series opener against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

Wood will have to wait a bit to pitch at home, but new Pirates lefty J.A. Happ won't. The veteran, acquired by Pittsburgh in a Deadline deal with the Mariners to help assuage the loss of the injured A.J. Burnett, is the probable starter for Tuesday's game at PNC Park against the Cubs in what could be the most exciting series between contenders in all of the big leagues this week.

"He's looking for a new opportunity," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "This is an opportunity for him to be the best J.A. Happ he's ever been."

The Cubs will hope that Dan Haren is the best Dan Haren he can be, too. Chicago landed the righty from Miami and plan to start him against the Pirates on Wednesday.

But this week won't only be about established pitchers in different places. It will be about new faces, too.

The Yankees didn't acquire a front-line starter or star position player at the Deadline, opting instead to plug a small hole by landing infielder-outfielder Dustin Ackley in a trade with the Mariners. One reason is that they're happy with their position as AL East leader and in holding on to their top prospects. Another? Luis Severino.

Severino, the 21-year-old righty who ranks No. 1 on the Yankees' prospect list, according to MLB.com, is being promoted for a ballyhooed Major League debut on Wednesday right in the thick of the race and right after the Deadline and the injury to righty Michael Pineda. Severino is expected to face the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and will test the stuff that brought him a 7-0 record and 1.91 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

"There are no guarantees, but I saw his personality in Spring Training and the way he handled himself, and his professionalism," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I didn't think that he had fear, and he wasn't overwhelmed in Spring Training like I've seen some of the pitchers. He didn't have any of that, so that makes you think that he'll be able to handle it."

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.