Here’s the Giants’ lineup for Game 1 of the World Series tonight against Cliff Lee:
1. Andres Torres, CF
2. Freddy Sanchez, 2B
3. Buster Posey, C
4. Pat Burrell, LF
5. Cody Ross, RF
6. Aubrey Huff, 1B
7. Juan Uribe, 3B
8. Edgar Renteria, SS
9. Tim Lincecum, P
Tonight is just the second time this postseason that the Giants have faced a left-handed starting pitcher. They beat Cole Hamels in Game 3 of the NLCS and as he did then manager Bruce Bochy has moved Posey from the cleanup spot to No. 3 in the lineup. Burrell and Ross also move up one spot apiece from their usual places, with the left-handed-hitting Huff dropping from third to sixth.
Torres is healthy enough to start after injuring his hip and groin diving into first base in Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday. He’ll lead off, with Aaron Rowand on the bench. Pablo Sandoval is also on the bench in favor of Uribe at third base.
During the regular season San Francisco ranked 11th among NL teams with a .716 OPS against left-handers and the Giants have had a total of just 52 at-bats versus lefties in 10 playoff games.
With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.
For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.
Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.
Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.
Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.
The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.