UPDATE: Well, this is going on with him.
8:23 AM: The Phillies cut Dontrelle Willis in spring training and he signed a minor league deal with the Orioles. He had been on the minor legaue disabled list with the O’s, but rather than activated when that was over, the Orioles put him on the restricted list.
What gives, Steve Melewski of MASN?
When asked if Willis is healthy enough to pitch now, a club official said, “Yes,” but would not comment on exactly why Willis is on the restricted list. I’ll make an assumption here that everything is not smooth for some reason right now between Willis and the club …
That’s a little troubling. And it can’t help but make one remember that he missed a lot of time with the Tigers over some strange, non-specific anxiety disorder that, at various times, Willis said he didn’t have but which compelled the team to put him on the DL and/or the restricted list anyway.
Is this that again? Something else? It’s nothing we’d care that much about with most any other player, but with Willis — an engaging, colorful player who went from so good to so bad so quickly — I can’t help but wonder and can’t help but be concerned.
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.