Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the Indians are one of nine teams who have expressed interest in free agent Casey Blake.
Blake was limited to just 63 games this season in the final year of a three-year, $17.5 million contract. The 38-year-old batted .252/.342/.371 with four homers, 26 RBI and a .713 OPS over 239 plate appearances before undergoing season-ending surgery on his neck in early September.
Blake previously played with the Indians from 2003 until July of 2008 when he was swapped to the Dodgers in the trade that brought Carlos Santana to Cleveland. Sorry to bring that one up again, Dodgers fans.
While Blake is a major question mark health-wise, Hoynes writes that the Indians view him as a potential backup at the corner infield and outfield positions and also believe he could help balance out their lefty-heavy lineup. He’ll likely have to settle for a one-year, incentive-laden deal.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.