In some serious need of outfield depth with Jason Heyward possibly facing a DL stint because of a sore right shoulder, the Braves have turned to former All-Star Ryan Klesko.
To pitch batting practice.
Klesko, who retired in 2007 after eight seasons with the Braves, seven with the Padres and one with the Giants, threw BP to Braves hitters prior to Wednesday’s game against the Nationals.
He said he’s been throwing BP for high school and college teams and that he’s done so for the Giants in spring training in the past. Klesko never pitched in the majors, but he was a big-time pitching prospect in high school before hurting his arm.
“I can throw breaking balls, curveballs and cutters and game simulation if they need me on occasion,” he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.