With starter Matt Moore on the shelf after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament, Rays manager Joe Maddon says Cesar Ramos will move out of the bullpen to start on Sunday, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin adds that it sounds like veteran lefty Erik Bedard will be called up from Triple-A Durham.
Ramos, 29, has allowed one run in four innings to start the 2014 season. He was one of the Rays’ best relievers in 2012, but ran into some struggles last season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA in 67 1/3 innings. His strikeout rate dropped from 24 percent to 18 percent.
Bedard, 35, finished with a 4.59 ERA in 151 innings spanning 26 starts and six relief appearances last season for the Astros. The Rays signed him to a minor league deal in February, released him after he had ugly results in spring training, then re-signed him to a minor league deal at the end of March, sending him to Triple-A Durham. In his first start with the Bulls, Bedard allowed one run in four innings, striking out five and walking one.
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.