No, Yovani Gallardo still isn’t an option for Game 6 of the NLCS on Sunday

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Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before last night’s game that Yovani Gallardo wasn’t an option to start Game 6 on Sunday and he isn’t wavering now that his club is facing elimination.

According to Tom Haudricourt and Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Roenicke confirmed that Shaun Marcum will indeed make the start as scheduled, thus saving Yovani Gallardo for a potential Game 7 on Monday.

“Yes,” Roenicke said when asked if Marcum would make the start Sunday at Miller Park. “I’m not going to bring Yovani (Gallardo) back (on short rest).”

Marcum’s struggles date back to the final month of the regular season, but he has allowed 12 runs on 14 hits in 8 2/3 innings over his first two postseason starts. While Roenicke has mostly chalked his poor performance up to some bad luck, one thing we do know is that Marcum isn’t throwing his changeup nearly as often as he did during the regular season. He threw the pitch 8.9 percent of the time in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks and 15.2 percent of the time in Game 2 against the Cardinals on Monday. Widely regarded as the best pitch in his arsenal, he threw the pitch 24.8 percent of the time during the regular season.

As I noted yesterday, this will likely be an all-hands-on-deck situation if Marcum gets into any early trouble. Chris Narveson only faced one batter on Friday, so he would likely be the first arm out of the bullpen if they need multiple innings.

Yoenis Cespedes: “I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland”

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Yoenis Cespedes told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he wants to finish his career with the Athletics, according to an exclusive interview released on Friday. The Mets’ 31-year-old outfielder praised Oakland manager Bob Melvin, telling Slusser, “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin” and adding that while he didn’t know if a return to Oakland would be possible, his love for the city had not faded.

Melvin, for his part, said he wasn’t surprised that the slugger wants another go-round with his first major league club, even if only as a final hurrah. Cespedes hit well over two and a half seasons with the A’s, compiling a cumulative .262/.318/.470 batting line from 2012 to 2014 and enjoying two postseason runs with the club before he was traded for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes in 2014.

There’s been relatively little for Cespedes to complain about since his departure from Oakland, of course: he turned in a career-best performance in 2015, slashing .291/.328/.542 with 35 home runs and 6.7 fWAR in back-to-back gigs with the Tigers and Mets, and netted a whopping three-year, $75 million contract prior to the 2016 season. Still, there’s something special about the A’s, as the slugger relayed to teammate Jerry Blevins:

I told Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.

Whether or not Cespedes gets his wish, it’s unlikely he’ll pursue any kind of deal with the A’s for the time being. He’s still owed $23.75 million in 2017 and 2018 and isn’t scheduled to hit free agency until 2019.

Brewers sell Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes

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The Brewers offloaded outfielder Michael Choice’s contract to the Nexen Heroes of the Korea Baseball Organization, per a team announcement on Friday. Choice signed a minor league deal with the Brewers in early May, but did not earn a major league stint in 11 weeks with the team.

It’s been two full years since the 27-year-old outfielder snagged a big league opportunity of any kind. He last appeared with the Rangers in 2015 and played in just one game, striking out in his only at-bat. His production rate sagged through three consecutive minor league assignments with the Indians, Orioles and Brewers and peaked in 2016 after slashing .246/.304/.456 with 14 home runs for the Indians’ Triple-A Columbus. He was off to a decent start this season for the Brewers’ Double-A Biloxi, working a .272/.349/.503 batting line with nine home runs and an .852 OPS through his first 195 PA.

Choice is poised to join several other ex-major leaguers on the Heroes’ roster, including left-hander Andy Van Hekken, right-hander Jake Brigham and infielder/outfielder Danny Dorn.

6:43 PM: Danny Dorn no longer plays for the Nexen Heroes, as he was released to clear roster space for Choice.