Casey Blake expected to begin season on the disabled list

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Casey Blake went for an MRI exam on his injured back last week and the Dodgers said they expected him to miss minimal time, but today manager Don Mattingly indicated to Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com that the veteran third baseman is likely to begin the season on the disabled list.

Blake didn’t get many at-bats before the injury and only has 10 days left to see some game action now, although he hasn’t been cleared to return to the lineup yet anyway.

Juan Uribe is slated to start at second base after signing a three-year, $21 million deal this offseason, but he’ll likely slide over to third base until Blake returns and utility man Jamey Carroll will take his place at second base.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. named ALCS MVP

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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series after his club punched its ticket to the World Series on Thursday night against the Astros.

Coincidentally, the Astros’ Game 5 starter Justin Verlander was ALCS MVP last year en route to a championship.

Bradley went 0-for-3 with a walk in Thursday’s Game 5, but he hit a three-run double in Game 2, a grand slam in Game 3, and a go-ahead two-run home run in Game 4. That’s nine RBI and three extra-base hits across five games. He also drew four walks.

Though Bradley had a solid regular season, he was not near the top of the list most people would’ve expected to win ALCS MVP heading into the series. During the season, he hit .234/.314/.403 with 13 home runs, 59 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 17 stolen bases in 535 plate appearances.