Here’s how everyone found out for sure that the Dodgers are starting Ricky Nolasco tonight: Zack Greinke walked into the media interview room and a reporter asked him if he’s pitching tonight, to which Greinke replied: “Nah, I don’t think so.”
And so unlike in Game 4 of the NLDS, when the Dodgers bumped Nolasco at the last minute to start Clayton Kershaw on short rest, they’ll stick with Nolasco in Game 4 against the Cardinals and go with Greinke in Game 5 on full rest.
Reading between the lines, it seems like Greinke would have started tonight had the Dodgers gone down 3-0, but instead it’s 2-1 and manager Don Mattingly knows he can turn to Greinke to stave off elimination anyway if needed.
Nolasco hasn’t pitched since September 29 and hasn’t started since September 25, when he gave up six runs in 5.2 innings versus the Giants.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.