Angels bring back veteran infielder Quinlan

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The Angels have agreed to a new deal with free agent Robb Quinlan, writes MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer.
Quinlan was widely expected to depart, probably for the National League, after a third straight season in which he contributed little to the Angels’ cause. The seven-year veteran has spent his entire career in Anaheim, and he was an outstanding bench player in 2006, when he hit .321/.344/.491 in 234 at-bats. However, in the three years since, he’s posted OPSs of 652, 637 and 614.
The thinking was that Quinlan would be more useful to an NL team, but no one offered him a guaranteed deal. Instead, he’s settling for a minor league pact and a chance to battle for a spot on the Angels. Barring more additions, it looks like Terry Evans, Reggie Willits, Quinlan, Freddy Sandoval, Chris Pettit and Bobby Wilson will compete for two bench jobs. Evans and Wilson will have the advantage of being out of options.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.