White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has been a tough out all year long, but particularly lately as the Cuban slugger hasn’t been retired since the ninth inning on July 30. Since then, Abreu has reached in all five plate appearances two days in a row.
On July 31 in Detroit against the Tigers, Abreu walked, was hit by a pitch, and singled three times with an RBI. Yesterday, at home against the Twins, Abreu singled, doubled twice, and was intentionally walked twice in the seventh and eighth innings. He’s currently on a 21-game hitting streak.
If Abreu is going to keep both streaks going, he’ll have to do it tonight against Twins right-hander Yohan Pino. Abreu will enter the game with a 1.003 OPS along with a league-leading 31 home runs and 84 RBI, all of which puts him in the conversation for American League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
The story of the Indians postseason cannot be told without talking about injuries to starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. They have forced Terry Francona to lean even harder on his bullpen than he otherwise may have and have cause the Indians to press rookie Ryan Merritt into service.
But Cleveland will be getting at least one of their starters back: Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway that Danny Salazar will be part of the World Series roster.
Salazar has not pitched since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle, but according to Callaway, Salazar is ready to throw 65-70 pitches in a game. That could mean a start, probably in Game 4 after Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Merritt was a possible Game 4 starter, but he could either pair up with Salazar in a tandem start or serve in long relief.
Cubs’ left fielder Kyle Schwarber missed virtually the entire 2016 season due to torn knee ligaments, but he has been working his way back to health more quickly than initially expected. Indeed, he has been playing for the Cubs in the Arizona Fall League, serving as a DH. Many have speculated that the Cubs will activate him for the World Series.
Today, at his World Series media session, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that reports from Arizona are good on Schwarber and that the he will fly to Cleveland to join the team after tonight’s game in Arizona. Maddon says the team will make a decision on activating him once he arrives. The Cubs have until tomorrow morning to set their World Series roster.
Our guess is that Schwarber will get the call and will serve as the DH for the Cubs in Games 1, 2 and, if necessary, 6 and 7 in Cleveland. If so, a lost season could very quickly turn into a storybook season for the Cubs’ young slugger.