There were four teams interested, but Wily Mo Pena couldn’t get a major league deal after the Diamondbacks decided to part ways with him. Instead, he signed with the Mariners on Wednesday, agreeing to a deal that would allow him to head back out into free agency if he isn’t called up in September.
Pena hit five homers in 46 at-bats before being let go by Arizona earlier this month. Unfortunately, that came with just four singles and a 19/0 K/BB ratio, leaving him with an incredible .196/.196/.522 line. Prior to that, he hit .363/.439/.726 with 21 homers in 237 at-bats for Triple-A Reno.
If Pena gets off to a good start for Tacoma, he might be called on to replace Jack Cust in Seattle. Cust struck out three more times today and is hitting .213 with just three homers in 225 at-bats. He’s fanned 87 times.
The story of the Indians postseason cannot be told without talking about injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They have forced Terry Francona to lean even harder on his bullpen than he otherwise may have and have cause the Indians to press rookie Ryan Merritt into service.
But Cleveland will be getting at least one of their starters back: Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway that Danny Salazar will be part of the World Series roster.
Salazar has not pitched since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle, but according to Callaway, Salazar is ready to throw 65-70 pitches in a game. That could mean a start, probably in Game 4 after Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Merritt was a possible Game 4 starter, but he could either pair up with Salazar in a tandem start or serve in long relief.
Cubs’ left fielder Kyle Schwarber missed virtually the entire 2016 season due to torn knee ligaments, but he has been working his way back to health more quickly than initially expected. Indeed, he has been playing for the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League, serving as a DH. Many have speculated that the Cubs will activate him for the World Series.
Today, at his World Series media session, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that reports from Arizona are good on Schwarber and that the he will fly to Cleveland to join the team after tonight’s game in Arizona. Maddon says the team will make a decision on activating him once he arrives. The Cubs have until tomorrow morning to set their World Series roster.
Our guess is that Schwarber will get the call and will serve as the DH for the Cubs in Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7 in Cleveland. If so, a lost season could very quickly turn into a storybook season for the Cubs’ young slugger.