There was some concern about Clay Buchholz going into his start in Game 4 of the World Series due to tightness in his right shoulder, the same one that knocked him out of commission for three months during the regular season. Nevertheless, Red Sox manager John Farrell gave his right-hander the ball.
Through two innings, Buchholz looks like he’s operating well below 100 percent. Per Brooks Baseball, his fastball averaged 91-95 MPH during the regular season, but has struggled to touch 89 MPH against the Cardinals in Game 4. To put in perspective how much worse his fastball is, he threw an 88 MPH change-up during the first at-bat against Matt Carpenter in the first inning. Buchholz, though, has made pitches when he has needed to, escaping a two-on, one-out situation in the bottom of the second inning.
Farrell hasn’t had anyone warm up in the bullpen in case Buchholz gets in trouble. He is at 30 pitches and just hit for himself in the top of the third inning, striking out.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.