Red Sox southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez was removed from Saturday’s start against the Blue Jays after spraining his right ankle in the sixth inning. With one out and no batters on, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. laced a first-pitch changeup back up the middle, where Blake Swihart bobbled the grounder and made a late throw to first base. Rodriguez didn’t have enough time to get out of Gurriel’s way, and tweaked his ankle while trying to leapfrog over the outstretched runner.
Both Gurriel and Rodriguez were attended to by trainers after the collision. Gurriel was able to remain in the game, but Rodriguez was escorted off the field and later diagnosed with a right ankle sprain. It’s not immediately clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he’s expected to undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Prior to the injury, Rodriguez was working through one of his more dominant outings of the month. He set down 5 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Blue Jays to four hits and striking out five of 19 batters. He’s 11-3 on the year with a modest 3.44 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 9.4 SO/9 through 104 2/3 innings.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.