Red Sox land outfielder Hermida in deal with Marlins

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hermida.jpgThe Red Sox acquired disappointing outfielder Jeremy Hermida in a three-player deal with the Marlins on Thursday, surrendering left-handers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez in the bargain.
Hermida was hardly an obvious fit for the Red Sox, given his left-handedness and the presence of J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury ahead of him in the outfield. Still, GM Theo Epstein’s philosophy is to keep bringing in talent and to worry about making it work later. Hermida hit a modest .259/.348/.392 in his age-25 season, and it was clear that the Marlins were done with him. The Red Sox, though, saw a former elite prospect with very good plate discipline who is only now reaching his prime years and snapped him up.
At the moment, Hermida tops Boston’s depth chart in left field, in the event that Jason Bay leaves as a free agent. He’ll most likely enter the year as a part-timer, and we wouldn’t rule out the possibility of him being traded elsewhere later.
The price was modest. Jones, 25, is a fringe reliever who gave up 13 runs in 12 2/3 innings in the majors this season. He has impressed enough against lefties in the minors to give some reason for optimism that he’ll be useful in a limited role. Alvarez is just 20, and he managed a 1.52 ERA in 12 starts and two relief appearances in the short-season New York-Penn League last season. However, that was after he failed as a starter in the Sally League in 2008. Neither lefty ranked among Boston’s 10-best pitching prospects.

Report: Kyle Schwarber will return to the Arizona Fall League on Saturday

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 16:  Injured player Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs is seen in the dugout before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field on August 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.

While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.

Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.

Playoff Reset: Cubs vs. Dodgers NLCS Game 6

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 16:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers stands on the pitcher's mound during game two of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 16, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Game: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago Cubs NLCS Game 6
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Wrigley Field, Chicago
The Channel: FS1
The Starters: Kyle Hendricks (Cubs) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers)

The Upshot:

We’re pulling out the big guns for this one. The Cubs took Los Angeles by storm again in Game 5, closing out their road trip with an eight-run spread over the Dodgers, and tonight they’ll try to clinch the NLCS on home turf in Game 6.

Pitching-wise, it’s a rematch of Game 2 with Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69 ERA) on the mound. Kershaw took the first set against the Cubs, going seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts in Game 2 while Hendricks held the Dodgers to a single run over 5 1/3 innings. Adrian Gonzalez was the only Dodger to capitalize on Hendricks’ cutter, going yard in his first at-bat to generate a 1-0 lead.

The Cubs’ biggest strength so far this series has been an electric offense, something the Dodgers have struggled to replicate against left-hander Jon Lester and Joe Maddon’s airtight bullpen. While they’ve already beaten Hendricks at Wrigley Field once this October, they’ll need Kershaw to go the distance in another playoff gem if they intend to keep the Cubs’ championship hopes at bay with a 3.4-run average. Should Kershaw and his crew knot the series again, the tiebreaker will fall to Rich Hill and Jake Arrieta in Game 7.