Giants designate infielder Matt Downs for assignment

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The Giants cleared a spot on their 25-man roster early this morning by designating infielder Matt Downs for assignment, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.  That will allow outfielder Cody Ross, who was picked up for cash considerations in a waiver deal Sunday, to join the big league team.

As Baggarly himself pointed out this weekend, the Giants only meant to claim Ross off waivers in order to block him from the Padres, who San Francisco is chasing in the National League West.  But the Fish jumped at the chance to unload the 29-year-old’s contract and now the outfield in San Fran is quite crowded.

Ross will join a shuffle that already includes Andres Torres, Pat Burrell, Jose Guillen, Aaron Rowand and Nate Schierholtz.  Needless to say, there won’t be much playing time available.

Downs, 26, is likely to pass through waivers with ease and head back to Triple-A Fresno.  He batted .244/.318/.372 with a home run and seven RBI in 78 at-bats this season for the big-league Giants.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”