Minnesota’s chances of getting something for Matt Capps at the trade deadline took a hit yesterday, as the Twins announced that the closer is headed for the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Capps stayed on the active roster for more than a week while hurt and then looked terrible in one appearance, at which point the Twins finally decided to shut him down.
Left-hander Glen Perkins is the obvious choice to step into the closer role, but yesterday manager Ron Gardenhire turned to right-hander Jared Burton to close out a 4-3 game against a right-handed heavy portion of the Reds’ lineup.
Gardenhire has always preferred a set closer, so it’ll be interesting to see if he continues to use a closer-by-committee approach based on matchups while Capps is out. It’s tough to go wrong with Perkins or Burton considering how well they’ve both pitched in setup roles.
I broke down the Twins’ bullpen situation much further on yesterday’s “Gleeman and The Geek” show.
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.