Pedro Alvarez

Pirates send former top prospect Pedro Alvarez to Triple-A

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Pedro Alvarez has recovered from the quad injury that placed him on the disabled list back on May 21, but rather than bring him back as their third baseman, the Pirates chose to option him to Triple-A on Saturday.

Alvarez, the second overall pick in the 2008 draft, hit just .208/.283/.304 with two homers and 10 RBI in 125 at-bats before getting hurt.  He had hit .235/.386/.382 with one homer in 12 games on his rehab assignment.

“Pedro remains a big part of our future,” GM Neal Huntington said in an email, “But we believe making this move is the best way to get him back on track offensively and defensively so he can help us win games at the major league level.”

In the meantime, the Pirates are left with Josh Harrison getting most of the starts at third base.  Chase d’Arnaud is needed at shortstop with Ronny Cedeno out, and Brandon Wood will serve as a backup at both positions.

All in all, Pirates third basemen have hit .230/.287/.331 with six homers and 35 RBI this season.  Alvarez’s OPS at third is .596, Harrison’s is .672 and Wood’s is .592.

Shawn Tolleson becomes a free agent

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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 strongly considering starting Carlos Santana in left field sans DH

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Carlos Santana #41 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against Marco Estrada #25 of the Toronto Blue Jays during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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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,’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.