Ryan Sweeney is the latest Red Sox outfielder to hit the disabled list, joining Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Cody Ross, and Jason Repko on the shelf after initially playing through a foot injury.
Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Sweeney has an “irritation in the sesamoid bone in his left foot” and rather than letting him continue to play at less than full strength the Red Sox shut him down and recalled Ryan Kalish from Triple-A.
Bobby Valentine called Sweeney “a trooper” and credited him for a willingness to play hurt in an outfield decimated by injuries, but he recently needed a cortisone shot and was in the midst of a 5-for-31 (.161) slump.
Acquired from the A’s in the Andrew Bailey-for-Josh Reddick swap, Sweeney hit .292 with zero homers, 17 doubles, and a .733 OPS in 52 games and lately had been filling in as a center fielder.
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.