The Athletics have officially announced their roster for their series against the Tigers in the ALDS, which will begin tonight in Detroit. No big surprises in here, but Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com passes along word that Brett Anderson is indeed on the roster after straining his oblique during a start in Detroit on September 19.
Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone will start the first two games of the series, but Anderson is currently lined up to start Game 3 on Tuesday in Oakland. A.J. Griffin is the probable starter for Game 4.
Anderson spent most of this year rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, so he didn’t make his season debut with the A’s until August 21. The 24-year-old southpaw had a 2.57 ERA and 25/7 K/BB ratio in 35 innings across six starts prior to the oblique injury.
The A’s have 12 pitchers and 13 position players on their roster. Athletics manager Bob Melvin has elected to carry left-handers Travis Blackley, Jerry Blevins and Pedro Figueroa in his bullpen. Blackley will function as a long-man, but Figueroa offers a second lefty for possible matchups against Prince Fielder and Alex Avila. As Aaron mentioned yesterday, right-hander Pat Neshek is active after his son died less than 24 hours after being born earlier this week.
The Cubs wrapped up a four-game series against the Reds at Wrigley Field on Thursday afternoon, suffering a 13-10 loss to split the set. They’ll match up again against the Reds next week for a three-game series in Cincinnati. That’s good news for Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, because that means he’ll get to see Reds first baseman Joey Votto some more.
As CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports, Bryant has grown quite fond of Votto. Bryant has already won a World Series ring, a Rookie of the Year Award, and an MVP Award, but he still looks up to Votto. According to Bryant, Votto is “the best player ever.” He added, ““He’s my favorite player. I love watching him. I love talking to him, just picking his brain. He gets a lot of (heat) about his walks and working at-bats and some people want him to swing at more pitches. But, gosh, I mean, he does an unbelievable job. You know that he’s going to give you a great at-bat every time he goes up there. It’s definitely a guy that I look up to and I can learn from.”
Bryant said that Votto is “a future Hall of Famer, that’s for sure.”
Bryant also explained how his approach changed by watching Votto. He said that in his rookie season, he was “swinging at everything.” Votto, however, is “aggressive, but he’s not going to swing at a pitch until he wants it.”
Indeed, in Bryant’s rookie season, he struck out in nearly 31 percent of his 650 plate appearances. This season, he has struck out in only 19 percent of his PA. His walk rate has also increased by more than 2.5 percent since his rookie campaign. Compared to last year, Bryant is down in HR and RBI, but his average is the same, his on-base percentage is markedly better, and his slugging percentage is only down by a minute amount.
Diamondbacks second baseman Daniel Descalso hit his team’s third inside-the-park home run of the season during Thursday’s 4-0 win over the Astros. In the top of the fourth inning, with the score 1-0 and the bases empty, Descalso ripped a 1-0, 83 MPH change-up to right-center field. The ball caromed off the wall, heading towards left field, which sent center Jake Marisnick on the chase. Marisnick tried to pick up the ball with his glove, but dropped it, which sealed Descalso’s destiny for an inside-the-parker.
It had only been five days since the Diamondbacks’ last inside-the-park home run. David Peralta hit one against the Cubs on August 12. Ketel Marte legged out his club’s first ITPHR on July 26 against the Braves.
As ESPN Stats & Info notes, the Diamondbacks have three as a team, which is amazing because the other 29 teams have hit seven combined.