Ryan Braun was the Brewers’ regular left fielder from 2008-2013 before making the move to right field two years ago. The decision was made in order to give regular playing time to slugger Khris Davis, who didn’t have a strong enough arm to play right. That’s not an issue now that Davis has been traded to the Athletics, so Brewers general manager David Stearns told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the club is considering whether to move Braun back to left while installing Domingo Santana in right field.
“That could be a possibility,” general manager David Stearns said Monday. “We’re still discussing our various options.”
Santana primarily played center field after being acquired from the Astros in the Carlos Gomez deal last July, but he’s best-suited for a corner spot. This is a very different situation than what the Brewers had with Davis, as Santana has the arm (and then some) for right field. Braun is coming off back surgery, so the thought is that a move back to left field could take less of a toll on his body. Stearns and manager Craig Counsell are expected to talk over the situation with Braun before an official decision is made, but it sounds like a win-win.
The real drama in the Brewers’ outfield revolves around who will end up playing center. Rymer Liriano, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Keon Broxton, and Eric Young, Jr. are among the names in the mix as spring training approaches.
This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.
Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.
Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.
The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Yankees guaranteed their place in the postseason with a 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. Sonny Gray led the charge against their division rivals, clinching his 10th win of the season with six innings of four-hit, one-run, four-strikeout ball.
Gray worked into a little trouble in the first inning, putting runners in scoring position after Josh Donaldson drew a four-pitch walk and Justin Smoak advanced him with a single. The Yankees’ ace induced two quick outs to end the threat, but was overpowered by a Teoscar Hernandez home run in the third inning, the rookie’s fourth blast of the season:
Thankfully for the Yankees, that was the only run that slipped through the cracks. Gray finished the remainder of his outing with two hits and two walks and was backed by another three scoreless innings from the bullpen. Greg Bird supplied the go-ahead run with a three-RBI shot in the fifth inning, plating Chase Headley and Starlin Castro to give the Yankees their first lead of the night.
Todd Frazier tacked on another solo homer in the eighth, while Starlin Castro returned in the ninth to cap the win with an RBI single. Aroldis Chapman did the rest, wielding just 10 pitches to get three straight outs from Kendrys Morales, Kevin Pillar and Rob Refsnyder.
Following Saturday’s win, the Yankees have at least secured one wild card berth, though they’re not out of the division race just yet. They still sit a full four games back of first place in the AL East, with eight games left to play.