They’re not worried about his bat or his glove or his chi or anything like that. Just his health, as he has taken a lot of foul tips to the cabeza lately:
“He’s taken more than I’ve ever seen,” said manager Bruce Bochy, a catcher himself during his playing days with the Astros, Mets and Padres. “He’s getting enough shots that are hitting him pretty good that I’ve got concern.”
So what to do about that concern? One thing Bochy is suggesting is maybe Posey using a different mask, though it’s unclear whether the hockey mask he uses now is any worse than the traditional catcher’s mask when it comes to foul tip protection.
How about a position switch? Andrew Baggarly says in the article that that’s not so easy, what with Pablo Sandoval at third, Aubrey Huff at first and Brandon Belt waiting in the wings to take first base over when Huff is gone.
Maybe I’m just being dense here, but Belt has played in 29 games at AAA since being sent down and he has played the outfield in at least 24 of them. Think maybe that Buster Posey could handle first base then? Or, given how strong his arm is and the fact that he once was an infielder and is a pretty good overall athlete that he could maybe handle right field?
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.