Aaron Heilman was spotted shaking hands with teammates and cleaning out his locker following yesterday’s game, which jibes with the report from Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona that the Diamondbacks will release the veteran right-hander.
Heilman re-signed with the Diamondbacks for a one-year, $2 million deal in the hopes of snagging a rotation spot after years of relieving, but instead he’s been exclusively a reliever again while posting a 6.88 ERA in 35 innings.
Serving up eight homers in 32 appearances has played a big role in Heilman’s struggles and his velocity is also down this season, but his 33/11 K/BB ratio suggests he can still be effective in a low-leverage role. He may have to work his way back to the majors with a minor-league deal at age 32.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.