Yankees, Phillies tweak rosters for World Series

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With the World Series now just hours away the Yankees and Phillies have both made some minor roster changes.
Philadelphia has swapped utility man Miguel Cairo for a 12th pitcher, adding Brett Myers to the bullpen after leaving him off the NLCS roster. Cairo, who played for the Yankees for three seasons, appeared in two games and batted a total of five times through the first two rounds.
Myers made one poor appearance in the NLDS before being dropped for the NLCS and has allowed five runs in 7.2 innings since returning from hip surgery, but the Phillies hope that the time off will help after spending three months on the sidelines. When healthy Myers has shown that he’s capable of being a shutdown reliever, but he’s unlikely to be used in high-leverage spots if manager Charlie Manuel can help it.
New York has reversed the ALCS switch by adding Eric Hinske back to the roster in place of Freddy Guzman, and have also added a 12th pitcher in Brian Bruney at the expense of third catcher Francisco Cervelli. Bruney will give Joe Girardi a chance to be even more manic with his bullpen management and playing under NL rules in Philadelphia makes pinch-hitting Hinske for a pitcher more valuable than pinch-running Guzman.
Cervelli got just one plate appearance through two rounds, but subtracting him from the roster could mean Jorge Posada starting every game behind the plate instead of giving way to Jose Molina when A.J. Burnett is on the mound. There’s also speculation that adding Bruney makes it more likely that the Yankees will use a four-man rotation including Chad Gaudin, who had been a reliever against the Twins and Angels.

Dustin Pedroia leaves game with a sprained left wrist

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Bad news for the Red Sox today. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was involved in a collision at first base with Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Pedroia stayed in the game at the time but was replaced by Josh Rutledge in the second.

The injury: sprained left wrist. Which, no, is not good, but there was some initial concern that he may have aggravated the knee which has been bothering him of late. They’ll no doubt provide an update after the game. As of now, the Sox lead the Sox 1-0 in the bottom of the third.

 

Brad Ausmus is not a fan of the Tigers’ schedule

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Everyone in baseball has a tough schedule. The season is a grind. Some teams, however, due to weather and happenstance, have stretches which are a tougher grind than others. The Tigers are in one of those right now.

Detroit played the Astros on Thursday night, and lost in a three-hour and thirty minute contest. It was a getaway day, er, night, and they didn’t get to Chicago to face the White Sox until the wee wee hours of the morning on Friday. Waiting for them: a double header which was to start at 4pm. The first game of it was rained out, though, so they woke up after a short “night’s sleep for nothing. Then the nightcap was delayed over an hour, giving them another late bedtime. On Saturday it was another double header, so it was another early wakeup and another long day at the park. And, of course, another day game on Sunday, before a flight to Kansas City.

This stretch has made Brad Ausmus grumpy. Here he was after Friday night’s late finish:

“Give some credit to the White Sox pitchers, give some credit to the schedule we have. We’ll try to get about 5 hours of sleep and come back tomorrow and play two more.”

He was particularly miffed at the scheduling of two doubleheaders in a row:

“You can’t control the weather but I think it would have been prudent to play the second game tomorrow in August,” he said. “That would have made a lot more sense to me.”

Ausmus did note, however, that it’s not the White Sox’ job to make a schedule that is convenient for their division rivals.

You can look at this in a few different ways. One one level, Ausmus is understandably upset about a particularly arduous stretch of games. On another level he’s probably trying to protect his players, who have looked flat, by changing the subject from their play to the schedule. On a different level, you could say that he’s making excuses for a team that is underachieving. And, of course, those three things are not mutually exclusive.

The thing is, though, that the Tigers have lost seven of ten, are five out of first place, four games under .500 and could conceivably leave their series with the Royals this week in dead last in the Central. Ultimately, extenuating circumstances like the weather and an unfortunate schedule don’t save a manager whose talented and highly-paid team struggles like the Tigers have. If they don’t turn it around soon, Ausmus could be hitting the bricks and the Tigers could be fixing to sell off and rebuild.