Wilson Betemit has been a useful cog in the bottom half of the Baltimore order this year, but the Orioles will have to do without him for the foreseeable future after he was diagnosed with torn cartilage and a bone bruise in his right wrist.
He was placed on the DL retroactive to Aug. 12 and replaced by first baseman Joe Mahoney on the roster. Betemit was hitting .264/.327/.429 with 12 homers and 37 RBI in 329 at-bats this season. As usual, the switch-hitter was doing much better against righties (.306/.363/.510) than lefties (.143/.223/.190).
Fortunately, with Manny Machado up and off to a fantastic start, Betemit looks a little more expendable that he would have a few weeks ago. Machado had already replaced him at third base, with Betemit recently getting his starts at first base and DH. Nate McLouth figures to take a lot of Betemit’s at-bats, with Chris Davis spending more time at DH.
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.