Finally, confirmation that Phil Hughes is in The Best Shape of His Life

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We’ve had several stories about Phil Hughes’ conditioning this winter. Word that the Yankees didn’t like that he was out of shape last year. Word that he was re-dedicating himself to conditioning this offseason.

Because of the uncertainty, Kopy, our resident keeper of the BSOHL roster, has had Hughes listed in the “awaiting confirmation” category, with all of us waiting to see which New York writer was the first to get to Tampa and write “Phil Hughes looks good.”  The winner of that derby is Kevin Kernan of the New York Post:

 

I think the “buffed up” seals it.  I defer to Kopy on this one because he’s the keeper of the roster, but this has to take Hughes out of “awaiting confirmation” and into … the BSOHL.

Yasmani Grandal played himself out of NLCS Game 4

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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.