Bruce Bochy used nine pitchers in three innings last night

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I mentioned this in the recaps, but it’s worth a standalone mention: Bruce Bochy went sorta nuts with his bullpen last night.

He used ten pitchers in all, even though he got six innings from starter Jake Peavy. After that Cory Gearrin, Josh Osich, Hunter Strickland, Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez, Michael Broadway, George Kontos, Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla all made appearances. Only Osich threw as many as 20 pitches. Only Romo and Kontos otherwise threw double-digit pitches. Five of the nine relievers faced just one batter. Affeldt threw two pitches. Lopez came in only to issue an intentional walk.

The scary part? Bochy has 14 relievers at his disposal right now, so he could’ve been even crazier with it.

Perhaps this is all a function of the Giants being in a close game they had to win (though they didn’t win it). But it doesn’t go crazy like this without September’s expanded rosters. Without them, Bochy and the Giants would have made different decisions and would’ve had to rise or fall based on a regular-looking baseball team, just like they did from April through August. We should want teams still nominally in a playoff race to have to play regular baseball, not this sort of musical chairs nonsense.

As I and many others have suggested on a number of occasions, baseball needs to change the expanded roster rules. If teams must be allowed to look at 15 more players in September than they do all year, only allow them to use a couple of them in any given game. Expand the rosters to 40, sure, but make sure that, say, only 27 can used in any given contest. Or 30. I don’t know. I’d prefer just 25, but I’ll allow for some leeway here.

Just don’t make fans have to sit through nine pitching changes in a nine inning game. That’s just awful.

Aaron Hicks would like to avoid Tommy John surgery

Aaron Hicks
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The Yankees’ 2019 run ended in heartbreak on Saturday night when, despite a stunning ninth-inning comeback, they fell 6-4 to the Astros and officially lost their bid for the AL pennant. Now, facing a long offseason, there are a few decisions to be made.

One of those falls on the shoulders of outfielder Aaron Hicks, who told reporters that he “thinks he can continue playing without Tommy John surgery.” It’s unclear whose recommendation he’s basing that decision on, however, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that Tommy John surgery was recommended during the slugger’s most recent meeting with Dr. Neal ELAttrache.

Hicks originally sustained a season-ending right flexor strain in early August and held several consultations with ElAttrache and the Yankees’ physician in the months that followed. He spent two and a half months on the 60-day injured list and finally returned to the Yankees’ roster during the ALCS, in which he went 2-for-13 with a base hit and a Game 5 three-run homer against the Astros.

Of course, a handful of strong performances doesn’t definitively prove that the outfielder is fully healed — or that he’ll be able to avoid aggravating the injury with further activity. Granted, Tommy John surgery isn’t a minor procedure; it’s one that requires up to a year of rest and rehabilitation before most players are cleared to throw again. Should Hicks wait to reverse his decision until he reports for spring training in 2020, though, it could push his return date out by another six months or so.