Josh Willingham repeatedly said that he planned to avoid the disabled list after aggravating an Achilles’ tendon injury Friday, but he hasn’t played since and now the A’s have put him on the shelf.
Willingham hasn’t hit well in his first season with the A’s, batting just .231 with 10 homers and a .718 OPS after posting an OPS above .800 in each of the previous five seasons.
Chris Carter has been called up from Triple-A and the 24-year-old prospect’s numbers at Triple-A suggest he’s capable of replacing Willingham’s production and more, but a lingering injury would make it tough for the A’s to get decent value out of Willingham before the July 31 trading deadline.
Willingham was acquired from the Nationals in December for reliever Henry Rodriguez and outfield prospect Corey Brown, but he’s been a huge disappointment while earning $6 million.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Indians manager Terry Francona has set his starting rotation for the first three games of the World Series against the Cubs. Corey Kluber will start Game One, followed by Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin for Games Two and Three, respectively.
Kluber, the ace of the staff, has had a terrific postseason. He’s made three starts with a 0.98 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. The Indians won two of his starts — Game Two of the ALDS and Game 1 of the ALCS.
Bauer was unable to make it out of the first inning of his ALCS Game 3 start against the Blue Jays after the stitches on his pinky opened up and caused blood to pour out. He suffered the injury repairing one of his drones, which he builds as a hobby. Bauer insists he’ll be good to go in Game Two, though he also insisted that the injury wouldn’t be an impediment against the Jays.
Tomlin has made two solid starts for the Indians, allowing a total of three runs over 10 2/3 innings. The Indians won both games he started, Game 3 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the ALCS. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian notes that if Bauer can’t go in Game Two, Tomlin will be moved up to start in his place.