Cardinals manager Tony La Russa hasn’t confirmed his roster for the World Series against the Rangers quite yet, but he is expected to make two notable changes.
From Matthew Leach and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com comes word that Jake Westbrook will take the place of Kyle McCllelan in the Cardinals’ bullpen while Skip Schumaker is expected to replace Adron Chambers.
Westbrook was on the roster during the NLDS against the Phillies, but didn’t make an appearance. The 34-year-old right-hander posted a 4.66 ERA and 104/73 K/BB ratio over 183 1/3 innings during the regular season. He will likely function as a long man out of the bullpen during the World Series.
Schumaker went 6-for-10 with two doubles and three RBI during the NLDS against the Phillies, but missed the NLCS with an oblique strain. The 31-year-old utility man is capable of playing second base and all three outfield positions.
Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has undergone his second surgery of the offseason. After feeling continued discomfort in his left shoulder, he had a distal clavicle resection on Friday, for which he’ll be sidelined at least six weeks before getting cleared to resume his preseason workout regimen.
The 25-year-old corner infielder closed out his sophomore season in the majors in 2018. He batted a terrific .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs, an .864 OPS and 6.5 fWAR across 616 plate appearances, received his first career Gold Glove distinction and was a finalist for the American League MVP award as well. Despite recent complications, Chapman’s regular season performance wasn’t marred by injury — he sustained a right thumb contusion in June, but bounced back within three weeks and enjoyed a strong second half — and the A’s will undoubtedly look to him as one of their strongest performers in 2019.
Friday’s procedure was his second of the year, as he also underwent an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision in his thumb back in October. Per Lee and MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa, Chapman is expected to make a complete recovery within a two-month window, after which point he’ll likely be in fine shape to contribute during spring training.