Back in December the Rangers signed 42 year-old Jose Contereas to a minor league deal. After a lackluster spring trianing they have informed him, however, that he will not make the Opening Day roster.
This could very well be the end of the line for Contreras, who pitched only five innings for the Pirates in 2013 after coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery. He was somewhat effective in the minors while rehabbing, but that’s probably because the guy has more veteran guile and smarts in his little finger than all of the Triple-A hitters have collectively. It’s questionable whether, at his age, he can still get it done in the majors.
Which, however inevitable this is, is sad. Contreras is so fun to watch. One hopes that, if his big league career is over, he pitches until he’s, like, 55 in various independent or foreign leagues.
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.