Yesterday was not a great day for the Mets’ infield. In addition to Jose Reyes aggravating his recent hamstring injury, Daniel Murphy was spiked on his left leg on a slide into second base by Braves’ outfielder Jose Constanza.
While it’s not yet clear if Reyes will require another stint on the disabled list, the early word on Murphy isn’t good. According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Murphy will miss the rest of the season with a torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Surgery will not be necessary, but the injury will require a four-month recovery time.
Ironically, Murphy sprained the MCL in his right knee last June on a takeout slide while playing second base with Triple-A Buffalo. He missed the rest of the season, but was able to rehab the injury and play winter ball in the Dominican Republic.
Murphy entered this season without a clear role, but emerged as a key contributor as the Mets dealt with extended absences from David Wright and Ike Davis. The 26-year-old batted .320/.362/.448 with six homers, 49 RBI and an .809 OPS over 423 plate appearances. While he did his part offensively, he also made his fair share of mental errors in the field, doing little to squash the notion that he is a man without a position.
Terry Collins was so shorthanded yesterday that he was forced to use Wright at shortstop for the first time in his career, so the Mets are expected to recall Ruben Tejada from the minors in advance of tonight’s game against the Padres. They would likely add another infielder if Reyes needs to miss some time.
With Game 6 of the NLCS just hours away, the Dodgers will opt for a lefty-heavy lineup against right-hander Kyle Hendricks. Batting leadoff is rookie outfielder Andrew Toles, who made one appearance at the top of the lineup during the 2016 season. The Cubs, meanwhile, will bench Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.. This will be Almora’s first start of the playoffs, and while he has yet to face Kershaw in October, his right-handed bat could play well against the lefty at the bottom of the lineup.
Game time is scheduled for 8 PM EDT; lineups are below.
1. Andrew Toles (L) LF
6. Wilson Contreras (R) C
8. Albert Almora Jr. (R) RF
9. Kyle Hendricks (R) RHP
UPDATE, 5:08 PM EDT: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon will not rule out a World Series appearance for Kyle Schwarber if the Cubs advance. MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports that Schwarber could play through a simulated game on Sunday, during which the Cubs’ medical and baseball staff would evaluate his chances for a late season return. If he does play, it will likely be in a pinch-hitting or DH role and not on the field.
Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber will return to the playing field on Saturday, per a report by the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales. The club’s prized left fielder suffered a season-ending injury when he collided with Dexter Fowler back in April, tearing both his ACL and LCL and undergoing intensive knee surgery later that month.
While no nerve damage was discovered during the surgery, the Cubs have kept a close eye on Schwarber during his recovery and put a kibosh on any part-time or full-time role with the team until the spring of 2017. Getting a few reps in during the Arizona Fall League appears to be the last step in the 23-year-old’s rehab process. He will be part of the Mesa Solar Sox’ ‘taxi squad,’ making him eligible for games on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Schwarber batted .246/.355/.487 with 16 in 69 games with the Cubs during his debut season in 2015. He will be added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in advance of their set against the Salt River Rafters on Saturday evening.