Alyson Footer, who works for the Astros as their director of social media, reports that Houston has traded 32-year-old catcher Kevin Cash to the Red Sox for shortstop Angel Sanchez.
It’s a pretty minor deal, but should work out well for both sides. The Red Sox have been scrambling for a reliable backup since Victor Martinez hit the disabled list and Jason Varitek was promoted to starting duties. The Astros, meanwhile, have been on the hunt for middle infield help since losing shortstop Tommy Manzella to a fractured left index finger.
Cash hit .207/.271/.333 with two home runs and one double in 61 plate appearances for the Astros this season. He played for the Red Sox from 2007-2008.
Sanchez, 26, failed to get a hit in his three at-bats for the Red Sox this year. He spent most of his time at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he batted .274/.348/.327 in 223 at-bats.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)