Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Alex Rodriguez will “have his surgically-repaired right hip checked out” after hitting coach Kevin Long noticed that he had difficulty making “a lower-body adjustment to bring balance back to his swing.”
Rodriguez told Carig that the hip isn’t causing any pain or discomfort, emphasizing that “it’s certainly no excuse for any poor performance.” There’s no date scheduled for the exam.
Instead he indicated that the Yankees simply want to be “very proactive” and stay “ahead of the curve” by having Rodriguez undergo semi-regularly checkups for the hip, on which he underwent surgery in 2009.
Rodriguez got off to a great start this season, went through an extended slump that dragged his batting average down to .242 and his OPS down to .781, and then followed up a two-homer game Tuesday with four hits yesterday to snap out of the funk in a big way.
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.