San Francisco made no changes to its roster for the World Series, but Texas made a minor switch in the bullpen by dropping left-hander Clay Rapada and replacing him with right-hander Mark Lowe.
Rapada was added to the ALCS roster to help combat the Yankees’ left-handed hitters, and particularly Robinson Cano, but he failed to do the job particularly well. Beyond that the Giants’ lineup is heavy on right-handed bats, with Aubrey Huff the only left-handed hitter likely to see significant action.
Lowe was acquired from the Mariners as a sort of throw-in to the Cliff Lee trade and spent his first two months as Rangers property on the disabled list following back surgery. However, prior to going under the knife he had a 3.95 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 175 innings for the Mariners and when healthy has a mid-90s fastball.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.