After Dan Uggla put the Braves ahead of the Phillies in the top of the ninth this evening in Philadelphia with a grand slam off Jake Diekman, David Carpenter — not Craig Kimbrel — came out to finish off the victory. Now we know why.
Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan in Atlanta reports that Kimbrel was unavailable tonight due to right shoulder soreness. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said that the issue crept up over the weekend. For now, it doesn’t appear to be a major concern, as Kimbrel said after the game that he hopes to be good to go after “a few days.”
Perhaps this will turn out to be nothing, but a shoulder issue with the game’s best closer is obviously worth watching. The Braves will cross their fingers for now.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera didn’t play in the Tigers’ season finale against the White Sox, but he has officially clinched the AL batting title with a .338 average following Sunday’s action. It’s Cabrera’s fourth batting title in his last five seasons.
Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon entered Sunday’s season finale with a bit more pressure. He was in a tight race with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper for the NL batting title, trailing only by rounding to the fourth place, .3307 to .3306. Gordon went 3-for-4 in a loss to the Phillies while Harper went 1-for-4 in a loss to the Mets. As a result, Gordon officially won the NL batting title with a .330 average. It’s the first batting title of Gordon’s brief career. Hanley Ramirez was the Marlins’ last batting champion, doing so in 2009.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels are expected to announce Billy Eppler as their new general manager on Monday. Eppler had been serving as the assistant general manager with the Yankees.
Jerry DiPoto had been the Angels’ GM but he stepped down on July 1. DiPoto later joined the Red Sox in an advisory role, then was named the Mariners’ new GM last week.
The Angels lost to the Rangers in Sunday’s season finale, which eliminated them from contention for the second AL Wild Card spot. They finished 85-77. Most of their regulars are under contract for the 2016 season, but Eppler will have to decide whether to tender contracts to seven arbitration-eligible players while filling in the rest of the roster.