The Rangers and Cardinals are hoping their starting pitchers can rise to the occasion tonight, but it will be all hands on deck if either gets into early trouble.
According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, C.J. Wilson will likely be the first arm out of the bullpen if Matt Harrison needs relief. Wilson has a 6.08 ERA and 24/19 K/BB ratio over 26 2/3 innings this postseason, including a 3.27 ERA and a 7/11 K/BB ratio over two starts during the World Series.
Derek Holland, who allowed one run (a solo homer by Allen Craig) over two innings in Game 6 last night, will also be available, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Meanwhile, on the Cardinals’ side, Tony La Russa announced that Jake Westbrook will get the call if Chris Carpenter can’t go deep into the game. Westbrook has made just two appearances this postseason, but earned the win last night by keeping the Rangers off the board in the 11th inning.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”