Troubled by a groin injury in recent days, Nori Aoki was placed on the disabled list by the Royals on Saturday, with Justin Maxwell getting called up to replace him.
Aoki has been quite the disappointment since coming over from the Brewers for reliever Will Smith in the offseason, though he was hitting better of late, going 7-for-19 with three doubles in his last five starts. Because of the groin injury, he didn’t play Wednesday and he was limited to a pinch-hitting appearance last night.
With Aoki out, the Royals figure to platoon Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell in the outfield, which might actually be an upgrade. Dyson, who will start in center and lead off against righties, is the superior defensive outfielder, and he’s hit .296/.346/.316 this year compared to .263/.326/.324 for Aoki. Maxwell didn’t have any success in 32 at-bats before being cut by the Royals earlier this season, but he’s a lifetime .231/.347/.411 hitter against lefties.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.