Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the rebuilding Rangers are considering moving on from manager Jeff Banister. Wilson notes that the Rangers aren’t sure if Banister is the right person to lead the club when they become competitive again. Additionally, Wilson notes that there have been some communication issues with Banister, such as not telling players when they’re getting a day off and suddenly inserting players into the lineup without notification. According to Wilson, some players feel their concerns have fallen on “deaf ears” when presented to Banister.
In four years under Banister, the Rangers have gone 325-313 (.509) overall. They went to the playoffs in 2015 and ’16 but lost in the Division Series to the Blue Jays both times, 3-2 and 3-0, respectively.
GM Jon Daniels said he is pleased with the way some players, namely Ronald Guzman, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, José Leclerc, and Jurickson Profar, have developed under Banister. But it remains to be seen if that will be enough to keep Banister in town.
Banister is under contract for the 2019 season, as the Rangers exercised his option last year.
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.