The Cardinals announced on Tuesday that starter Carlos Martinez and catcher Yadier Molina have both been activated from the 10-day disabled list. To make room for them on the 25-man roster, the club optioned catcher Carson Kelly and pitcher Mike Mayers to Triple-A Memphis.
Molina, 35, suffered a traumatic hematoma when he took a foul tip between his legs last month. He underwent emergency surgery and missed nearly a month. Molina returns batting .272/.292/.456 with six home runs and 17 RBI in 120 plate appearances.
Martinez, 26, strained his right lat muscle. He had been pitching excellently up to that point, boasting a 1.62 ERA with a 47/22 K/BB ratio in 50 innings across eight starts. He’ll take the mound on Tuesday night against the Marlins.
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.