NLCS, Game 6: Dodgers-Cardinals lineup

4 Comments

Dodgers:
LF Carl Crawford
2B Mark Ellis
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Yasiel Puig
CF Andre Ethier
3B Juan Uribe
C A.J. Ellis
SS Nick Punto
SP Clayton Kershaw

Hanley Ramirez has tried to play through a cracked rib, but was in obvious pain and is now out of the Dodgers’ lineup. Nick Punto is starting at shortstop and batting eighth, with Yasiel Puig moving up in the batting order to take Ramirez’s usual cleanup spot.

Cardinals:
2B Matt Carpenter
RF Carlos Beltran
LF Matt Holliday
C Yadier Molina
3B David Freese
1B Matt Adams
CF Shane Robinson
SS Pete Kozma
SP Michael Wacha

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has made a bunch of changes, including benching lefty-hitting Jon Jay in favor of righty-hitting Shane Robinson in center field. Jay has been awful defensively in this series and Robinson delivered a Game 4 homer, so he gets the nod versus left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Matheny has also shifted lefty bat Matt Adams down in the order, with Yadier Molina cleaning up and David Freese batting fifth.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

Getty Images
2 Comments

Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

Getty Images
1 Comment

David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.