The Rockies are shutting it down.
Eliminated from playoff contention this week, manager Jim Tracy and Co. decided to leave outfielder Carlos Gonzalez out of Thursday’s lineup against the Cardinals. According to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, the plan is to rest him during Sunday’s season finale as well.
Gonzalez, 24, has burst onto the scene this season with an obscene .338/.378/.602 batting line, 34 homers and 117 RBI in 583 at-bats. He’s also swiped 25 bases and scored 111 runs. But the Rockies want to give him a slight head-start on the offseason.
Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who has 15 homers and 40 RBI in the month of September, is also expected to see time off this weekend.
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)