As expected Bartolo Colon is back with the A’s after spending the past two weeks on the disabled list with a groin injury. He’ll face the Tigers this afternoon in Detroit.
Colon has been fantastic for the A’s, improving on what was a shockingly good 2012 season by going 14-5 with a 2.97 ERA and league-leading three complete-game shutouts in 24 starts at age 40.
However, he was roughed up in his last two starts before going on the disabled list, failing to make it out of the fifth inning in both games while allowing a total of 10 runs in 6.2 innings. And now gets a tough return matchup against the Tigers (with winning machine Max Scherzer opposing him).
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.
It’s been a tough season for the mythology of Jonny Gomes‘ veteran clubhouse savior reputation.
First he signed with the rebuilding Braves and performed poorly while Atlanta fell apart after a surprisingly decent start. Then he was traded to the Royals, for whom he played just 12 games and hit .167. And now Kansas City has left Gomes off the ALDS roster.
It makes sense, though. Gomes’ only real use to the Royals would be as a pinch-hitter versus left-handed pitching, but manager Ned Yost rarely pinch-hits and will no doubt be more willing to use 25th man Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner in the late innings.
Beyond that, not many surprises on the Royals’ roster for their series against the Astros. They went with 11 pitchers, which means both Chris Young and Kris Medlen are on the roster. Jeremy Guthrie is not.