A minor programming note to pass along, as Major League Baseball has announced that every World Series game between the Rangers and Cardinals will begin at 8:05 p.m. ET.
This is welcome news in that the scheduling for the World Series last year was mostly hit or miss. We had one 8:20 p.m start due to NFL coverage on FOX, three 7:57 p.m. starts and one 6:57 p.m start.
This still isn’t a perfect set-up, as an afternoon game on a Saturday would be fantastic for fans, but as long as it isn’t 9 p.m. in the second inning, I’ll take it. Though with the way the starting pitching has fared for both teams recently, that might happen, anyway.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.