Here’s the Rangers’ lineup for Game 1 of the World Series tonight against Tim Lincecum:
1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Michael Young, 3B
3. Josh Hamilton, CF
4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
5. Nelson Cruz, LF
6. Ian Kinsler, 2B
7. Bengie Molina, C
8. Mitch Moreland, 1B
9. Cliff Lee, P
Playing under NL rules means no designated hitter to hide Guerrero’s bad knees, so he’s playing the outfield for the first time this postseason and just the second time since September 1. Of course, he started 16 games in the outfield overall this year and has logged a total of nearly 14,000 career innings in right field, so Guerrero having to play defense isn’t such a big deal beyond his poor range.
David Murphy is the odd man out despite a) being a left-handed hitter, b) having a higher OPS against right-handed pitching than Guerrero this year, and c) being a vastly superior defender. Of course, Ron Washington won’t even move Guerrero out of the cleanup spot, so whether or not you think it would have been the correct decision there was zero chance of the Rangers’ manager actually benching him.
The Rays have acquired shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from the Marlins, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. The Marlins will receive minor league outfielder Braxton Lee and pitcher Ethan Clark. The Rays are expected to assume the remainder of Hechavarria’s $4.35 million salary for the 2017 season.
Hechavarria, 28, has only played in 20 games this season due to an oblique injury. He has mustered a meager .277/.288/.385 triple-slash line with four extra-base hits and six RBI across 67 plate appearances. He still plays decent defense, though, so that may be enough for him to take the everyday shortstop job in Tampa.
Lee, 23, was selected by the Rays in the 12th round of the 2014 draft. This season with Double-A Montgomery, his second stint there, Lee hit .318/.387/.391 over 296 PA.
Clark, 22, was taken in the 15th round of the 2015 draft by the Rays. In his first stint at Single-A in Bowling Green, Clark has a 3.11 ERA with a 50/18 K/BB ratio in 55 innings of work.
Tom Boswell of the Washington Post does frequent Q&As with readers and today he had quite the A to one of their Qs.
The question was about the Nats’ bullpen, which is obviously a glaring weakness on an otherwise excellent team. Following a long answer talking about the approach to bullpen construction, he dropped this:
On Friday, yet ANOTHER National simply walked up to me and said, “When the hell are they going to get this done? What are they waiting for? Waiting is just doing more damage.”
He didn’t even have to say what subject he was talking about or whom “they” were but it’s the bullpen and the Lerners.
A team has a problem when all a reporter has to do is say, “How’s it going?” and an established part of the team blasts the owners for not understanding what’s happening in their own dugout/clubhouse.
The Nats have a bit of a history venting to the Post’s reporters in ways a lot of players don’t vent, but that’s usually when things are going bad overall. These days, things are going pretty good for the Nats, the bum bullpen notwithstanding. I guess one weakness on an otherwise good team is annoying as hell.
But I guess now that they’re getting K-Rod, all of that will end.