Addison Russell placed on administrative leave

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Major League Baseball a statement moments ago that, per the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy, Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has been placed on administrative leave. There is no timetable mentioned for his return, but the statement says that, in light of the post written by Russell’s estranged wife, Melissa Russell, alleging physical and mental abuse during their marriage, MLB will continuing the investigation they had left open last year when Melissa Russell’s allegations first surfaced.

The full statement:

“Major League Baseball takes all allegations of Domestic Violence seriously. When the allegations against Addison Russell became public on June 7, 2017, the Commissioner’s Office’s Department of Investigations immediately commenced an investigation. Melisa Russell declined to participate in the investigation at that time.  Our investigation of this matter has remained open and we have continued our efforts to gather information.

“With the new details revealed in today’s blog post by Ms. Russell, Mr. Russell has been placed on Administrative Leave in accordance with the Joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy.  We are hopeful that this new information will allow us to complete the investigation as promptly as possible.”

This follows the earlier report that Russell will not be with the Cubs as they travel across town to face the White Sox this afternoon.

1:02 PM: Dave Kaplan of NBC Sports reports that, in light of the allegations of spousal abuse lodged by his wife Melissa last night, the Cubs have told Russell to stay home from their game tonight against the Chicago White Sox.

As we wrote last night, it is not yet known whether Melissa Russell will cooperate with an MLB investigation into Russell — she declined to do so previously — but either way, it is incumbent upon the Cubs and Major League Baseball to attempt to investigate once again. In light of that a suspension — be it a formal one or a defacto one, such as it appears that the Cubs are doing today — would seem to be in order.

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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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.