Bad Edinson Volquez shows up; Reds in trouble


Edinson Volquez was pulled from Game 1 of the NLDS in the second inning with the Reds trailing the Phillies 4-0, leaving Cincinnati in a major hole against an obviously sharp Roy Halladay.
Reds manager Dusty Baker took a big risk in going with the volatile Volquez in Game 1. Volquez earned consideration for the assignment by reeling off four straight quality starts last month. Volquez, though, had four starts in which he had more earned runs allowed than innings pitched in 12 outings since returning from Tommy John surgery.
The safe play for Baker would have been Bronson Arroyo, who won 17 games this year. Arroyo, though, struggles against lefties and is 1-5 with a 5.54 ERA lifetime against the Phillies. He’ll go in Game 2 anyway.
The gutsy call would have been Travis Wood. Wood finished the year with a 3.51 ERA, and he pitched a one-hit shutout in his start against the Phillies back on July 10. Wood, however, was left out of the original rotation. He’s working in relief now trying to keep the Reds in the game, and if he’s successful, one has to figure he’ll be penciled in to start Game 4 should the series get that far.

Miguel Cabrera, Dee Gordon win AL and NL batting titles, respectively

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Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.

Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.

Report: Angels to announce Billy Eppler as new GM on Monday

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Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.

Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.

The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.