Derrick Goold reports that the Cardinals have issued number 32 to a player for the first time since 2007. The player who has it: catcher Rob Johnson. The last player to wear it: Josh Hancock, who was killed in an auto accident in April of that year.
Hancock, you’ll recall, was intoxicated, texting and driving 68 miles per hour when he smashed his SUV into the back of a parked flatbed tow truck. The Cardinals had not retired his number or anything, but they hadn’t issued it. It had been available to other players if they wanted it before Johnson took it, but no one did, making it for something of an awkward memorial.
As Goold notes, though, the Cardinals have so many numbers either retired or currently not in circulation because they may be retired one day, it was inevitable that someone was going to wear 32 again.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.