Mark Trumbo’s season ended a week early because of a stress fracture in his right foot and the Rookie of the Year runner-up’s recovery timetable has been pushed back for the second time.
Trumbo was initially hoping to be recovered by now, but in November doctors added a month to his timetable and now Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he may not be cleared for baseball activities until late February.
Not only does that put his status for the beginning of spring training in doubt, it makes a potential move to third base even more unlikely than before. Or as Trumbo put it: “I don’t think I had a complete picture of the extent of the injury when we first talked about this in late September.”
Albert Pujols’ arrival and Kendrys Morales’ potential return gives the Angels a logjam of first basemen and corner outfielders, leading to talk that Trumbo could see some action at third base. However, he’s never played even an inning at third base in the majors or minors and now he’s got a bum foot. At-bats are going to be hard to come by in the Angels’ lineup and it wouldn’t be surprising if they lessened the logjam with a trade.
One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.
NLCS Game 6
Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.
For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.
As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.