UPDATE: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com now says the Phillies’ trade for Lopez “hit a roadblock and is unlikely to happen” despite being agreed upon pending a physical exam yesterday. Sure sounds like the doctor saw something worrisome in Lopez’s elbow.
Yesterday the Phillies were reportedly on the verge of trading for Astros reliever Wilton Lopez and the 29-year-old right-hander was actually in Philadelphia taking a physical exam, but now the deal might be on hold.
Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the trade “appeared to stagnate” and speculates that perhaps the Phillies saw something they didn’t like after examining Lopez’s elbow, which sidelined him briefly this year.
There’s also been some speculation that another team or two jumped into the mix late in an effort to top the Phillies’ offer. As for where the trade stands at this point, that’s unclear, but Salisbury suggests it’s still a possibility.
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.