Good news for the Indians as they attempt to secure a Wild Card spot this weekend.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Michael Bourn is back in the starting lineup this afternoon against the Twins. The speedy center fielder hasn’t played since he sprained his left wrist on a slide into second base during Tuesday’s game. The hot-hitting Michael Brantley has batted leadoff during Bourn’s absence, but he’ll slide back to the No. 5 spot today.
Bourn is batting .260/.314/.355 with six home runs, 48 RBI, and 23 stolen bases over 128 games this season. The Indians open play today tied with the Rays for the top Wild Card spot while the Rangers are just one game back.
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.