UPDATE: According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, X-rays on Chamberlain’s elbow came back negative. The Yankees are calling it a right elbow contusion for now and he’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow.
11:28 PM ET: Joba Chamberlain was forced to exit Game 4 of the ALDS against the Orioles in the top of the 12th inning tonight after he was hit in the right elbow by a piece of a broken bat.
Matt Wieters broke his bat when he punched a leadoff single into shallow left field. The head of the bat flew in the direction of Chamberlain, who was caught off guard. He threw a few warm-up pitches in attempt to stay in the game, but the Yankees decided to play things safe and bring him out. David Phelps replaced him and is trying to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Of course, Chamberlain didn’t make his season debut this year until August 1 following Tommy John surgery and an ankle dislocation. This just hasn’t been his year.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Nationals will ask to speak with Astros’ bench coach Alex Cora after the American League Championship Series concludes on Saturday. This comes on the heels of the news that club manager Dusty Baker will not be returning to the team in 2018.
Cora, 42, has some experience in the Nationals’ organization. He played for the Nats during his last big league stint in 2011, batting .224/.287/.276 through 91 games before announcing his retirement in the spring of 2012. Per Cafardo, he was also offered a player development gig with the club, but has not appeared in any kind of official role with them since his days as a major league infielder. While he’s been lauded for his leadership skills and strong clubhouse presence, he hasn’t acquired any managerial experience since his retirement, save for a handful of games with the Astros where he filled in for A.J. Hinch.
Despite the appeal of having a familiar face in the dugout, the Nationals aren’t the only ones eyeing Cora. The Astros’ coach has already interviewed with the Tigers, Mets and Red Sox this month. Boston appears to be the current favorite to land him and according to at least one source, may even announce his hiring in advance of the World Series next Tuesday.