As it turns out, starting Carlos Santana in left field was only one of the controversial decisions Indians’ manager Terry Francona made this weekend. Francona announced his plan to start Trevor Bauer in Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday evening, only four days after Bauer pitched through an abbreviated start in Game 2 on Wednesday (per Cleveland.com’s Paul Hoynes).
Bauer was cleared to pitch on Wednesday after suffering an unusual finger injury during the ALCS, but faltered during the Indians’ Game 2 loss with two walks, two earned runs and two strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings and 87 pitches. It wasn’t an easy outing for the right-hander, who labored through 29 pitches in the first inning alone and exited in the fourth after giving up his sixth hit of the night, a line drive single to the Cubs’ Addison Russell. Both Bauer and Francona denied that the injury was to blame for the short start, but until Bauer tightens his command of the strike zone, the skipper will likely keep right-hander Danny Salazar at the ready.
With the series tied 1-1, Bauer’s Game 5 start could clinch a World Series win for the Indians if they take Games 3 and 4 behind Josh Tomlin and Corey Kluber, respectively. If not, they’ll be fighting to force a Game 6 and stave off the Cubs’ long-awaited title.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”