– Jay Bruce fractured his right wrist
attempting to make a sliding catch in the first inning of Saturday’s
game against the Mets. He is scheduled to return to Cincinnati for an
MRI on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder is batting just .207 this
season, but he does have 18 homers and 41 RBI. Chris Dickerson figures
to get most of the playing time in his absence, however the Reds will
likely call up former-first round pick Drew Stubbs to take his place on
the roster. Stubbs is batting .279/.374/.371 with two homers, 25 RBI
and 33 stolen bases for Triple-A Louisville. And with 358 at-bats under
his belt at the Triple-A level, he’s more ready than the hot-hitting
– Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times
thinks the Dodgers should go full-tilt after Roy Halladay. He
recommends including native Canadian Russell Martin in the deal, as
well as prospects Devaris Gordon (son of Tom Gordon) and Josh Lindblom.
While the proposed trade seems far-fetched, know that the Dodgers sent two scouts
to see Halladay pitch on Thursday night in Tampa Bay. The Blue Jays
would probably want one of either Chad Billingsley or Clayton Kershaw
in a possible deal.
– Jonathon Broxton, still bothered by a sore big toe on his right foot, will skip the All-Star game.
In his first full-season as closer, Broxton has compiled a 3.10 ERA,
0.93 WHIP and .149 BAA. He is 20-for-22 in save opportunities. As for a
replacement, Mark Bowman of MLB.com thinks it should be Rafael Soriano.
– John Smoltz notched his first win since last April 17 as
the Red Sox topped the Royals 15-9 on Saturday night. The 42-year-old
allowed just one run on four hits over five innings, striking out seven
and walking one. David Ortiz had his 1000th hit as a member of the Red
Sox — a fourth-inning two-run home run. Note that 10 of Ortiz’s 12
homers have come at Fenway Park.
– Matt Cain left Saturday’s start against the Padres after getting hit in the elbow by a line drive in the second inning. X-Rays showed a contusion, but no break. At 10-2 with a 2.38 ERA, Cain earned his first All-Star nod, but he is now doubtful for the game.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Indians manager Terry Francona has set his starting rotation for the first three games of the World Series against the Cubs. Corey Kluber will start Game One, followed by Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin for Games Two and Three, respectively.
Kluber, the ace of the staff, has had a terrific postseason. He’s made three starts with a 0.98 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. The Indians won two of his starts — Game Two of the ALDS and Game 1 of the ALCS.
Bauer was unable to make it out of the first inning of his ALCS Game 3 start against the Blue Jays after the stitches on his pinky opened up and caused blood to pour out. He suffered the injury repairing one of his drones, which he builds as a hobby. Bauer insists he’ll be good to go in Game Two, though he also insisted that the injury wouldn’t be an impediment against the Jays.
Tomlin has made two solid starts for the Indians, allowing a total of three runs over 10 2/3 innings. The Indians won both games he started, Game 3 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the ALCS. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian notes that if Bauer can’t go in Game Two, Tomlin will be moved up to start in his place.
It isn’t difficult to see the fingerprints left by Cubs’ president Tom Ricketts and general manager Theo Epstein on the club’s remarkable 2016 season. In a piece for FOXSports.com, former Yankee Alex Rodriguez highlighted the duo’s effectiveness in liberating the Cubs from a five-year losing streak and six-year postseason drought, citing both the unrelenting work ethic and passion that Ricketts and Epstein brought to the club as major factors in their success.
Rodriguez’s first brush with sabermetric savant and all-around baseball wizard Theo Epstein came in 2003, when the then- 27-year-old All-Star was eyeing a deal with the Red Sox. The Major League Baseball Players Association eventually nixed the trade, and the Rangers’ young shortstop was sent to the Yankees shortly thereafter, but not before Rodriguez glimpsed the inner workings of Epstein’s mind.
What I remember best about that time was watching Theo furiously scribbling out the Red Sox lineup for the upcoming season on a room-service napkin. That’s when I saw Theo’s baseball mind at work. I saw he had a passion for the game, a depth of knowledge, and a thirst to be great. Theo’s passion was contagious. We were three 20-somethings convinced we were about to turn baseball upside down together. Though I never got a chance to work with Theo, I knew then that he was going to be a force.
A-Rod also referenced Ricketts’ thorough approach to rebuilding the organization. Ricketts, who purchased the franchise for $875 million in 2009, first made it his mission to transform Wrigley Field into a comfortable and enticing playing environment, then targeted top-tier management to run the show behind the scenes. With Ricketts fully backing Epstein’s transformative approaches — including an overhaul of the Cubs’ farm system, investments in international player development, and a comprehensive understanding and practical application of sabermetric advances — the Cubs’ path to a 97-win season in 2015 seemed a natural consequence of the pair’s hard work.
This year, the attention has been even more intensely focused on the Cubs’ elusive third World Series title. Rodriguez, however, believes that winning a championship is secondary to the strides Ricketts and Epstein have taken with the club.
Together, Ricketts and Epstein have built one of the greatest franchises in baseball and transformed 1060 W. Addison St. It’s a task that no one could quite get right for a hundred years. While four more wins would put a giant exclamation point on five years of focused work and determination, I won’t worry if this team doesn’t win the World Series in the next nine days.