The Padres will be without third baseman Chase Headley and outfielder Carlos Quentin for Friday night’s contest against the Dodgers. Jordan Littman of U-T San Diego reports that Headley is having his back examined (he received an epidural), and Quentin is suffering soreness in his left knee. Alexi Amarista gets the start at third base and will bat seventh, and Seth Smith is starting in left field, batting third.
Headley, 30, was on the disabled list between late April and mid-May with a strained left calf. He suffered from back soreness in each of the last two seasons. A free agent after the season, Headley is having a forgettable season, slashing .200/.283/.333 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 219 plate appearances.
Quentin, 31, first experienced soreness in his left knee late in spring training and began the season on the disabled list. He did not make his season debut until May 13. Quentin had surgery to remove loose bodies in his right knee last July. He, too, is having a poor year offensively, slashing .192/.302/.342 with three home runs and eight RBI in 86 plate appearances.
CC Sabathia‘s contract with the Yankees expires after the 2017 season but the lefty feels that he has enough left in the tank to pitch in 2018 and beyond, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Sabathia said, “I just know myself. I know I feel like it’s not my time yet. Barring any crazy injuries I know I can pitch past next year. I feel like this is just the beginning of what I’m trying to do. I feel like there’s a lot more still to learn and a lot better to get. It’s exciting.”
The 36-year-old lefty currently holds a 4.02 ERA and a 144/63 K/BB ratio in 172 1/3 innings. It’s his best and healthiest season since 2012. He battled a knee injury last season and checked into rehab for alcohol addiction last October. Sabathia said that being treated for his addiction put him “in a good spot.”
Sabathia is owed $25 million through a vesting option for the 2017 season.
The Red Sox can thank the Orioles for not having to fight to clinch the division on Thursday or later. The Orioles came from behind to defeat the Blue Jays 3-2 on Wednesday evening, clinching the AL East for the Red Sox.
A few minutes after that game went final, the Red Sox squandered a 3-0 lead taken in the eighth inning, culminating in a walk-off grand slam by Mark Teixeira in the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Craig Kimbrel started the ninth, but didn’t have control over any of his pitches. He allowed a leadoff single followed by three consecutive walks to force in a run. Joe Kelly relieved Kimbrel and seemed to be close to wriggling out of the jam, getting Starlin Castro to strike out looking and Didi Gregorius to pop up. But after starting Teixeira with a first-pitch curve ball for a strike, Teixera clobbered a 99 MPH fastball, sending it over the fence in right-center to end the game.
For the Yankees, the come-from-behind victory was crucial as it staved off Wild Card elimination for one more day.
This is the first time the Red Sox have clinched the AL East since 2013, also the last year they won the World Series.