The Dodgers were threatening to take the lead in the top of the tenth inning against Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal, in for his second inning of work in Game 1 of the NLCS. After Carl Crawford flied out, Mark Ellis smoked a line drive to right-center, which center fielder Jon Jay read very poorly. He dove after the ball but it got past him, rolling to the wall, allowing Ellis to slide in safely at third for a triple.
Manager Mike Matheny put up the four fingers, ordering Rosenthal to intentionally walk Hanley Ramirez to bring up Michael Young with runners on first and third with one out, obviously setting up for a ground ball double play. Young instead hit a fly ball to shallow right-center. Jay gave way to Beltran, who lined up under the ball and sent his momentum towards home plate for the throw. It was right on the money to catcher Yadier Molina, who corralled the ball and applied the tag to Ellis for the third out of the inning, preserving the 2-2 tie.
Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario replaced Brian Wilson for the bottom half of the inning, retiring the bottom-third of the Cardinal lineup in order, sending the game into the 11th inning.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.