Quick hits: Happ to start Game 3 vs. Rockies

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– Saturday’s snow-out will allow the
Phillies to go with J.A. Happ in Sunday’s Game 3 against the Rockies.
Happ was knocked out of Thursday’s Game 2 after taking a comebacker off
the right shin, but appears to be good to go. With the inclusion of
Happ, the Phillies would presumably start Cliff Lee in Game 4 and Cole
Hamels in Game 5. If things go according to plan, Jayson Stark of ESPN
reports that
the Phillies would be the first team to start five left-handers in a five-game division series. The Mariners started four (Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer and Jeff Fassero) against the Orioles in 1997.



– They’ll have to survive Saturday’s Game 3 first, but manager Tony LaRussa said Chris Carpenter will start on short rest in a probable Game 4 against the Dodgers on Sunday.
Carpenter yielded four runs over five innings in a 5-3 loss in
Wednesday’s Game 1. The Cardinals had considered John Smoltz or Kyle
Lohse for Game 4, but the early deficit has changed LaRussa’s mind. If
it happens, Carpenter, who missed large parts of two seasons following
Tommy John surgery, would be starting on three days rest for the first
time in his major league career.




– While former Nationals skipper Manny Acta acknowledged his interest in the Astros’ managerial vacancy on Friday night, it appears Jim Fregosi is also being considered for the job.
Fregosi, 67, hasn’t managed in the majors since 2000 with the Blue
Jays. He is 1,028-1,095 lifetime, making one World Series appearance
with the Phillies in 1993. Of course, current Astros general manager Ed
Wade was also the general manager of that team. While Fregosi is
highly-regarded for his handling of veteran players, it’s hardly an
inspiring choice for a team that has failed to make a postseason
appearance since losing in the World Series in 2005.




– And finally, Memories of Kevin Malone points out
that those with postseason inexperience (Randy Wolf, Cliff Lee, Adam
Wainwright, Brian Duensing and Clayton Kershaw) have outperformed those
who have been there before (Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels, C.C.
Sabathia, John Lackey, Aaron Cook, Jon Lester, Ubaldo Jimenez). This is
a small sample-size, to be sure, but it goes back to what Jim Leyland
always says: Take talent over experience.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.