Astros reliever Ryan Pressly was lifted from Saturday’s ALCS game after executing just one pitch in the third inning. The righty was brought in during a tough moment — two outs, bases loaded with the go-ahead run on first — and managed to get the Astros out of the jam with an inning-ending, first-pitch groundout to Didi Gregorius.
The ball didn’t leave the infield; Pressly caught it as it bounced toward first base and was several feet away from the bag when he came up limping with what appeared to be a right leg injury. Between innings, he headed back to the clubhouse with a team trainer and was replaced by José Urquidy (Houston’s fourth pitcher of the night) at the top of the fourth inning.
For now, the Astros are classifying the injury as “knee discomfort,” a diagnosis that feels significantly more alarming given the surgery Pressly underwent on his right knee earlier this year. Losing him for any amount of time would be a definite blow to the team, especially at such a critical point in the playoffs. The veteran right-hander pitched to an All Star-worthy 2.32 ERA and 2.66 FIP during the regular season and has delivered mostly-solid results in five postseason outings so far.
At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.
Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.
The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.
At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).