Madison Bumgarner will start Game 4 “no matter what”

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Bruce Bochy ended any speculation about the Giants making rotation changes by saying yesterday that Madison Bumgarner will start Game 4 of the NLCS “no matter what.”

Bochy has always been pretty clear about Bumgarner getting the Game 4 nod, but that didn’t stop some people from predicting that he’d use Tim Lincecum on short rest if the Giants were down in the series.

Regardless of how tonight’s Matt Cain-Cole Hamels matchup goes, Bumgarner will get the call in Game 4 followed by Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez, and Cain in the final three games of the series.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel hasn’t been quite as adamant about Joe Blanton taking the mound in Game 4, leaving the door open for Roy Halladay to come back on short rest to make the start against Bumgarner.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.