Per Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Royals manager Ned Yost announced this afternoon that Jeremy Guthrie will start against the Orioles when the ALCS shifts to Kansas City for Game 3 on Monday.
Like Miguel Gonzalez with the Orioles, Guthrie wasn’t needed during the ALDS, so he hasn’t pitched since September 26. The 35-year-old right-hander compiled a 4.13 ERA and 124/39 K/BB ratio over 202 2/3 innings this season. Monday will be his first career postseason appearance. And he’ll be doing it against a team he spent five seasons with from 2007-2011.
Yost wouldn’t go as far to confirm his Game 4 starter quite yet, but he said that Jason Vargas will “probably” get the assignment. This means that Danny Duffy, who had a 2.53 ERA during the regular season, will remain in the bullpen. McCullough writes that the main reason he’s pitching in relief is because he struggled to throw strikes out of the stretch during his final two starts.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.
Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.
While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.