Wood out 6-8 weeks, Perez to close for Indians

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wood throwing.JPGUPDATE: Wood told the Associated Press that he expects to return to action sooner than the six-to-eight week timetable given to him by team trainers.

SATURDAY, 3:13pm: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Kerry Wood has been diagnosed with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle and has been given a six-to-eight week recovery timetable.

The strain was revealed underneath Wood’s right shoulder when he had an MRI on Thursday.

Chris Perez, who was picked up last year from the Cardinals in a deal for Mark DeRosa, will serve as the Indians’ closer for at least the month of April.  If he pitches well enough, perhaps he’ll even be allowed to retain the role.  The 24-year-old Perez had a 1.19 WHIP and a 68/27 K/BB ratio in 57 innings last season between Cleveland and St. Louis.  Wood, meanwhile, posted a 4.25 ERA and a 63/28 K/BB ratio in 55 frames for the Tribe.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.