St. Louis placed starting second baseman Skip Schumaker on the disabled list with a strained right biceps that he suffered Friday and Nick Punto was activated to take his spot on the roster after being sidelined since late February following hernia surgery.
Schumaker’s injury likely pushed up the timetable on Punto’s return a bit, as he comes off the DL without going on a minor-league rehab assignment or seeing any action during spring training.
He was signed to be a utility man after spending the past seven seasons as Ron Gardehire’s favorite toy in Minnesota, but Punto could easily sneak his way into the lineup over other fill-in options Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene if manager Tony La Russa falls in love with his defense or just really, really loves when someone slides head-first into first base.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.