Jeff Francis looks good in first start since 2008

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Jeff Francis rejoined Colorado’s rotation Sunday nearly 15 months after shoulder surgery and started for the first time since September of 2008, holding Washington to one run over seven innings in a no-decision.
Francis allowed six singles and one double, striking out six and walking one while tossing 67 of 106 pitches for strikes in a very encouraging outing that ended in a standing ovation from the Coors Field crowd.
Francis was a big part of the Rockies’ run to the World Series in 2007, going 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA in the regular season and 2-1 in the postseason, but logged 232 innings after previously never topping 200 and went 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 2008 before shutting things down. However, in addition to Sunday’s impressive performance he hurled seven shutout innings in his final rehab start at Double-A, so the early results are promising for one of just four pitchers in Rockies history with 50 wins.

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.