Jacoby Ellsbury finished the first half by swiping his 40th base
yesterday, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker as the only players in
Red Sox history to steal at least 40 bases in back-to-back seasons.
Ellsbury is also just 15 steals away from breaking the Red Sox’s
single-season record of 54 steals, which was set by Tommy Harper in
Ellsbury is on pace for 73 steals, which would make him just the
third player this decade to top the 70 mark along with Jose Reyes in
2007 and Scott Podsednik in 2003. Of course, with 44 steals already
Carl Crawford may join the club before Ellsbury. The last time two
players stole at least 70 bases in the same season was way back in
1991, when Marquis Grissom swiped 76 and Otis Nixon swiped 71.
Before that Rickey Henderson and Vince Coleman both topped 70 in
1988 and Henderson, Coleman, Tim Raines, and Eric Davis all did it in
1986. In fact, with Henderson, Coleman, and Raines all in their primes
at least two players stole 70 bases in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984,
1985, 1986, and 1988. Incidentally, Ellsbury was born in 1983 and
Crawford was born in 1981.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.