We now have Championship Series rotations for three of the four involved teams. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel refused to name Roy Halladay as his Game 1 starter Monday, but that should change by Thursday morning.
The Yankees’ ALCS rotation is HERE. And the Rangers’ can be found HERE.
The Giants, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, announced their NLCS pitchers late Wednesday evening.
Tim Lincecum is the no-brainer pick for Game 1 at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. He delivered one of the most dominant postseason performances of all time in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Braves, striking out 14 batters while allowing only two hits over a complete-game shutout. The 26-year-old didn’t have the greatest regular season, but he’s capable of handling any lineup on any night in any ballpark.
Jonathan Sanchez will take on the Phillies in Game 2. The 27-year-old took a no-hitter into the sixth inning during his lone NLDS start against Atlanta and was brilliant throughout the regular season. Matt Cain drew the Game 2 start last series but Sanchez has missed more bats this year and is the better fit for the tiny confines in Philadelphia.
Cain will go in Game 3, and might be followed in Game 4 by 21-year-old Madison Bumgarner.
The Giants easily have the weakest lineup of the four teams remaining, but their starting rotation is as dangerous as any. The Phillies weren’t exactly explosive at the plate in the first round.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.