Justin Masterson tests strained oblique by playing catch

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Justin Masterson hasn’t pitched since September 2 due to a strained left oblique. While this type of injury often costs players a month or more, he hopes to be the exception as the Indians attempt to close ground for a Wild Card spot.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Masterson tested his oblique earlier today by playing catch from a distance of 90 feet. He’ll try it again tomorrow before the next step is decided.

“I still don’t know what the exact timetable is,” said Masterson, “but we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve got a baseball in our hand.”

Masterson, 28, is 14-10 with a 3.52 ERA and 188/75 K/BB ratio in 189 1/3 innings over 29 starts this season. The Indians will have to hope that they are still alive by the time he makes it back.

Dodgers announce World Series rotation order

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We know Clayton Kershaw will oppose Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the World Series. We now know the rest of the Dodgers’ rotation order, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. After Kershaw, it’ll be Rich Hill, then Yu Darvish, followed by Alex Wood.

No surprise, that’s the same order the Dodgers used in the NLCS against the Cubs. Dodger starters combined to post a 2.67 ERA with 31 strikeouts and four walks across 27 innings in the NLCS.

The Astros haven’t yet announced their rotation order, but we can safely assume Justin Verlander will follow Keuchel in Game 2.