Cleveland picked up outfielder Chris Dickerson from Pittsburgh to help fill in for injured center fielder Michael Bourn and to make room for him on the roster the Indians designated catcher George Kottaras for assignment.
Kottaras has bounced around a ton over the years and the Indians signed the 31-year-old after he was released by the Cubs during spring training.
When given an extended opportunity for playing time he’s generally produced well for a catcher thanks to good power and plate discipline, posting a .741 OPS in 305 career games, but Kottaras’ batting averages are usually ugly and he always struggles to throw out a decent percentage of steal attempts.
Yan Gomes started 71 of the Indians’ first 87 games behind the plate, including 31 of the past 36 games, and it’s possible the Indians feel comfortable using Carlos Santana at catcher again if needed.
Freddie Freeman‘s elbow began barking in the second half of the season and he was a shadow of himself in the month of September. The Braves rested him for half a minute in the season’s final week but he still played 158 games in 2019. They said he was good to go for the NLDS but he was clearly limited, going 4-for-22 in the Braves’ series loss to the Cardinals.
Today the Braves announced that Freeman underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow on Wednesday. The team said today that the procedure involved the removal of three fragmented loose bodies and the cleaning up of multiple bone spur formations.
It’s not clear if more rest down the stretch would’ve made a difference for him — and it’s not clear that the Braves had options at first base for the postseason that were substantially better than even a limited Freeman — but it’s clear that not having Freeman feeling like himself in the heart of the order was a problem.
Freeman is expected to be good-to-go for spring training.