It’s a little quiet tonight, don’t you think? A little too quiet…
Yeah, there isn’t much happening with Carl Crawford right now, but multiple Red Sox sources have confirmed to Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com that the club is still interested in signing the free-agent outfielder, even after the recent acquisition of Adrian Gonzalez.
However, one source wonders how many years it will take to sign him, especially after Jayson Werth turned the market on its head by signing a seven-year, $126 million contract with the Nationals on Sunday. Perhaps that explains the general lack of chatter in regards to Crawford this week?
Meanwhile, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein was more of the “never-say-never” opinion when asked directly by Edes.
“It’s the same answer I gave yesterday. Obviously we’re in a new situation now after we’ve made a major acquisition, but like I said, anything is possible, right?”
While the Red Sox can’t be ruled out on Crawford, Epstein confirmed that he is exploring alternatives. With that in mind, Edes reports that the club has expressed interest in Josh Willingham of the Nationals and free agent outfielder Matt Diaz, both of whom hit from the right side of the plate. Aaron wrote this morning that the team also has interest in Magglio Ordonez.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.