Terry Francona, Joe Maddon

American League Wild Card Game: Rays-Indians lineups

4 Comments

Here are the lineups for tonight’s American League Wild Card Game between the Rays and Indians, in Cleveland:

Rays:
LF David DeJesus
RF Wil Myers
1B James Loney
3B Evan Longoria
2B Ben Zobrist
CF Desmond Jennings
DH Delmon Young
SS Yunel Escobar
C Jose Molina

SP Alex Cobb

Wil Myers only batted second 11 times all season, but did so in five of the last seven games. Desmond Jennings slides down in the lineup, with midseason pickup David DeJesus leading off. And manager Joe Maddon is going with Delmon Young at designated hitter versus Indians right-hander Danny Salazar, which is odd. For his career Young has a measly .709 OPS off righties, compared to .812 off lefties. Salazar showing a reserve platoon split as a rookie no doubt played a big part in Young getting the DH nod over Matt Joyce, Kelly Johnson, or Luke Scott (who isn’t even on the roster).

Indians:
CF Michael Bourn
1B Nick Swisher
2B Jason Kipnis
DH Carlos Santana
LF Michael Brantley
RF Ryan Raburn
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
C Yan Gomes
3B Lonnie Chisenhall

SP Danny Salazar

Michael Bourn is back in the Indians’ lineup after leaving the regular season final with a calf injury. Terry Francona went with Yan Gomes at catcher and Carlos Santana at designated hitter most of the time down the stretch and he’s sticking with that tonight, which means no Jason Giambi. Lonnie Chisenhall gets the nod at third base over Mike Aviles and Ryan Raburn starts over Drew Stubbs in the outfield. In all the Indians have seven left-handed hitters in the lineup versus Rays right-hander Alex Cobb.

Corey Dickerson has lost 25 pounds

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 25:  Corey Dickerson #10 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a photo during the Rays' photo day on February 25, 2016 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays wasn’t a super huge guy or anything, but he’s going to be smaller this year: he told reporters today that he’s lost 25 pounds. He attributes it to a new diet and a workout regimen and says it’ll help him with his running, swing and throwing.

Dickerson had a down year in 2016, so if losing 25 pounds is something he thinks will work for him he’s got nothing to lose. Of course the best way for him to improve his numbers is to convince the Rays to trade him back to Colorado, but that’s not likely.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Getty Images
3 Comments

As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!