One day after getting Travis Hafner back from the disabled list, the Indians will now have to get by without another one of their regulars.
The Indians announced this afternoon that Matt LaPorta was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle.
LaPorta injured the ankle in a rundown between second and third base in the third inning of last night’s game against the Pirates. Indians manager Manny Acta told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com this afternoon that LaPorta suffered a “mild high ankle sprain” and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.
Travis Buck, who was sent down to Triple-A Columbus when Hafner was activated yesterday, will replace LaPorta on the active roster. He is expected to share playing time at first base with Carlos Santana and possibly Jack Hannahan moving forward. Nick Johnson is currently playing with Triple-A Columbus, but Acta said Saturday that he needs more at-bats. Santana will get the start at first base tonight.
LaPorta, 26, is batting .242/.309/.424 with eight home runs and 31 RBI over his first 220 plate appearances this season.
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.