Cliff Lee returns, and it is good. Mostly.


Cliff Lee windup.jpgYeah, I think Cliff Lee is all better.

Lee handcuffed the Rangers for seven innings last night, allowing only three hits, not walking anyone and striking out eight. He threw 98 pitches, 73 of which were strikes. He was up around 93 m.p.h. with his fastball.  It was like the guy from Game 1 of last year’s World Series in a different uniform. When he departed Mark Lowe and David Aardsma each threw a shutout inning of their own.

That was the good news for Seattle. The bad news: Colby Lewis was even better.  The Rangers starter went nine, shutting out the Mariners in regulation and striking out 10, and keeping it 0-0 after nine.  It was one of the tougher no-decisions of the season. Elvis Andrus scored from third on a wild pitch by Brandon League in the top of the 12th inning and Julio Borbon hit an RBI groundout to make it 2-0, and thus Cliff
Lee’s night was spoiled.

But it’s just one loss, and having Cliff Lee back at 100% makes it a bit easier to stomach.

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,’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.