UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that an MRI on Pearce’s abdominal showed no tears. He’s considered day-to-day.
10:36 a.m. ET: Steve Pearce was forced to exit last night’s game against the Twins with a right abdominal strain and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that he was scheduled to undergo an MRI this morning.
Pearce initially felt the discomfort Thursday and it lingered into his first at-bat last night. While he’s confident that it’s nothing serious, he didn’t want make things worse and put himself at risk for missing the rest of the season.
“I’m not all that concerned,” Pearce said after the game. “It’s not affecting me during anything else. I’m not in pain doing [anything], even when I swing. I just feel something there, and so I just want to get ahead of it. Hopefully, I can get back and get back pretty soon.”
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Pearce, who has been the Orioles’ most productive hitter recently. After hitting a bit of a rough patch, he’s hitting .326 (15-for-46) with five home runs and five doubles over his last 12 games. The 31-year-old owns a surprising .289/.354/.532 batting line with 16 home runs and 37 RBI over 85 games this season.
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.