Brandon Allen heads to Japan

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Having failed in 41 games with the A’s in 2011 and going unclaimed on waivers this year, Brandon Allen apparently didn’t see himself getting another chance in the majors anytime soon. As a result, the 26-year-0ld allowed the Rays to sell his rights to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks on Friday.

Allen was an excellent minor league hitter, batting .283/.390/.543 with 63 homers in 1,043 at-bats in Triple-A, but he couldn’t ever really get it going in the majors. In 344 at-bats with the Diamondbacks, A’s and Rays, he hit .203/.290/.375 with 12 homers, 41 RBI and 137 strikeouts.

With youth still somewhat on his side, Allen could find his way back to the majors someday. For now, it looks like he’ll join Wily Mo Pena in the middle of the Hawks’ lineup.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”