Bum wheel hurting Giles in fight for bench job

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After just one week of spring training Brian Giles told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick that his oft-injured right knee hasn’t responded as well he’d like:

Not as much as I’d like at this point. It’s just okay. Obviously, I’ll give it a few more days. It’s not where I want it to be. I’ll see if it gets better with more conditioning and how that changes it.

As a general rule of thumb 39-year-old players with chronic injuries that are still hurting after an offseason to rest tend not to get a whole lot healthier with “a few more days.”
Giles was already competing with 36-year-old Doug Mientkiewicz to be a left-handed bench bat for the Dodgers and now 38-year-old Garret Anderson has joined the elderly mix after signing a minor-league deal yesterday. Giles and Anderson are obviously bigger names than Mientkiewicz (although not literally, because few are literally bigger names than “Mienkiewicz”), but at this point they’re also no sure thing to be any better offensively and offer significantly less defensive ability or versatility.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.

Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.

Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.

Indians strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.

Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.