Another big blow for Ian Stewart.
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the talented 26-year-old third baseman pulled a hamstring Wednesday while playing for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He’s likely to be sidelined for the next two weeks, and maybe longer.
Stewart has been demoted to the minors twice this season because of his ongoing struggle to produce at the major league level. In 52 big league plate appearances this season, he has managed just two singles, one double, 18 strikeouts and five walks. With zero home runs. That all rings out to an ugly .064/.154/.085 batting line.
The hamstring injury isn’t going to help Stewart’s mission to return quickly to Denver.
Major League Baseball has announced the umpiring crew for the World Series. John Hirschbeck is the crew chief. It’s his fifth World Series assignment, third as a crew chief.
A surprising name on the crew is Joe West. It’ll be his sixth World Series overall, but first since 2012. There had been chatter for several years that Major League Baseball was making a more concerted effort to get its best umpires into the World Series more often while minimizing the appearances of its weakest umpires. Most assumed West’s absence from the Fall Classic in recent years, despite his seniority, was a function of that. Maybe they’re still making merit a priority and maybe West has just improved? I’ll leave that for you to judge.
Anyway, here is the lineup of umps for Game 1. They will rotate after that, of course. If the series goes six games, Cowboy Joe will be calling the balls and strikes:
Home plate: Larry Vanover
1B: Chris Guccione
2B: John Hirschbeck
3B: Marvin Hudson
LF: Tony Randazzo
RF: Joe West
Replay Official for Games 1-2: Sam Holbrook (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)
Replay Official for Games 3-7: Larry Vanover (with assistance from Todd Tichenor)