Some reporters asked Dustin Pedroia if the Red Sox have transformed from a team built to score runs into a team built to prevent runs. I’ve never been a big Pedroia fan, but his response has shot my man-crush for him to dangerously high levels:
“I don’t even buy into that stuff. We have great pitching, we have
great defense, and we have good offensive players. I don’t
even know what run prevention is. I’m a baseball player. I don’t know
how to read very good; I don’t know how to write very good. We just go
play, man. That’s it. We’ll be fine.”
Pedroia is a ballplayer. He plays ball. He has no obligation to give a very obviously hungry Boston press corps. some quotes designed to serve the “do the Red Sox have enough offense?” narrative they’ve decided will dominate this spring. You can hit and play defense at the same time, and there’s every reason to think that the Red Sox will do just that. Screw the Boston press and their false, newspaper-selling dichotomies.
(thanks to Wooden U. Lykteneau for the heads up)
The story of the Indians postseason cannot be told without talking about injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They have forced Terry Francona to lean even harder on his bullpen than he otherwise may have and have cause the Indians to press rookie Ryan Merritt into service.
But Cleveland will be getting at least one of their starters back: Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway that Danny Salazar will be part of the World Series roster.
Salazar has not pitched since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle, but according to Callaway, Salazar is ready to throw 65-70 pitches in a game. That could mean a start, probably in Game 4 after Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Merritt was a possible Game 4 starter, but he could either pair up with Salazar in a tandem start or serve in long relief.
Cubs’ left fielder Kyle Schwarber missed virtually the entire 2016 season due to torn knee ligaments, but he has been working his way back to health more quickly than initially expected. Indeed, he has been playing for the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League, serving as a DH. Many have speculated that the Cubs will activate him for the World Series.
Today, at his World Series media session, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that reports from Arizona are good on Schwarber and that the he will fly to Cleveland to join the team after tonight’s game in Arizona. Maddon says the team will make a decision on activating him once he arrives. The Cubs have until tomorrow morning to set their World Series roster.
Our guess is that Schwarber will get the call and will serve as the DH for the Cubs in Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7 in Cleveland. If so, a lost season could very quickly turn into a storybook season for the Cubs’ young slugger.