Quick hits: Peavy's debut

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– We’ve seen plenty of stops and starts, but the time has finally come. Jake Peavy is moments away from making his White Sox debut against the Royals.
Too bad the start doesn’t mean anything, as the White Sox have lost
three in a row, unable to take advantage of the Tigers’ recent
struggles. Of course, the White Sox acquired Peavy from the Padres in
exchange for a boatload of prospects at the deadline. While general manager Ken Williams made quite a splash with the trade, this isn’t a rental. The White
Sox owe Peavy $52 million through 2012.

– There’s a distinct possibility
that Chad Billingsley just isn’t very good. Either that, or he is hiding an
injury. Billingsley pitched in relief for the first time this season on
Friday night against the Giants and
the results weren’t very encouraging.
He allowed two runs on four hits, including a home run, while walking
two and failing to strike out a batter. Joe Torre came with the hook
after he loaded the bases. It looks like Billingsley is still on track
to start against the Nationals next Wednesday, but his recent collapse
is nothing short of alarming. He is 3-6 with a 5.49 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and
.302 BAA in 12 appearances (11 starts) since the All-Star break.

– The Athletics recalled a few reinforcements on Saturday, including outfielder Travis Buck, but top-prospect Chris Carter was not one of them.
Nope, it looks like the Athletics will go with Daric Barton at first
base the rest of the way. Carter has surprised by hitting
.337/.435/.576 with 24 HR and 101 RBI for Double-A Midland this season.
Acquired from Arizona in the Dan Haren trade, Carter was ranked as the
No. 6 prospect in the Athletics organization by Baseball America. Don’t
be surprised to see him jump that list after his strong showing in 2009.

MLB cancels its Dominican showcase after players protest an international draft

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - MARCH 13:  A fan flies the Dominican Republic flag during the game against Cuba during Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic on March 13, 2006 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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Ben Badler of Baseball America Reports that Major League Baseball has cancelled its Dominican national showcase, which was scheduled for today and tomorrow. Why? Because, Badler reports, trainers and players in the Dominican Republic planned to  skip the showcase in protest over Major League Baseball’s push to implement an international draft.

The kicker: Major League Baseball explored bringing in lesser prospects to serve as replacement players for the showcase. MLB, you might recall, has a poor track record of getting replacement workers to fill in for picketing players.

As Badler noted recently, the international draft proposed by Major League Baseball is, despite whatever MLB says, all about paying international players less money. From the Players Union’s perspective, it’s all about selling out amateur players to the supposed benefit of current union members. The allegedly altruistic justifications for the draft simply don’t hold water.

They certainly don’t fool the Dominican players who, even if they are ultimately powerless to stop MLB from stripping them of their bargaining power, will not give it up quietly.

World Series Reset: Cubs vs. Indians Game 2

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 24:  Trevor Bauer #47 of the Cleveland Indians throws during Media Day workouts for the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 24, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
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The Game: Chicago Cubs @ Cleveland Indians, World Series Game 2
The Time: 7:00 PM EDT
The Place: Progressive Field, Cleveland
The Channel: FOX
The Starters: Jake Arrieta (Cubs) vs. Trevor Bauer (Indians)

The Upshot:

We get going an hour earlier tonight due to the threat of rain. As of now, that still looks like it will be the difference between getting this one in or not, as the chance of rain looks to be a lot higher after a 7pm game would reasonably end:


Still, it’s going to be dicey and the conditions will be less than ideal. It will be especially less-than-idea for Cleveland if the game is delayed early and they have to go to their bullpen earlier than expected tonight. Andrew Miller escaped some jams last night and did his job, but he used a lot of pitches to do it — 46 — and may be pretty limited tonight, if he’s available at all. That puts a lot on Trevor Bauer’s shoulders. Or, actually, his fingers, including the pinky finger on his pitching hand which is full of stitches. Those stitches not holding cost him his ALCS start. Terry Francona is hoping to get a lot more out of his starter tonight. Given how little he has pitched in the playoffs he should have the energy as long as his finger holds up.

As for the Cubs, teams that have lost Game 1 of the World Series are 40-70 and, in recent years, have a worse winning percentage than that, losing it all in 12 of the past 13 years. Eh, not too impressed with that stat as it doesn’t actually deal with the series at hand. At hand, the Cubs have superior starters set to go in each of the next two games, starting tonight with Jake Arrieta. He’s not been fantastic in the playoffs this year, but he’s capable of dominating a game any time out.

The Cubs figure to have a better night at the plate now that Corey Kluber is out of the way. Particularly a lefty like Anthony Rizzo, who is probably happy to see Bauer. Jason Heyward will likely be back in the lineup as well. They had better have a better night. Being down 1-0 is not a death sentence in the World Series, even if it has looked like one recently. Being down 2-0 is not something Chicago wants to chance.