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  • Indians 'strongly considering' Santana for LF
    Jordan Bastian of writes that the Indians are "strongly considering" playing Carlos Santana in left field in Game 3 of the World Series against the Cubs.

    Advice: Bastian wrote this after speaking with Indians president Chris Antonetti, manager Terry Francona, and bench coach Brad Mills, so it sounds like this could actually happen. Santana worked out in left field on Thursday in preparation for the possible assignment. He's likely to be a big liability defensively, but the Indians are willing to take that hit with the designated hitter unavailable under National League rules. Santana is 0-for-6 with four strikeouts in the World Series and is hitting .143/.250/.314 during the postseason. Yesterday, 5:11 pm
  • Indians still mulling over Santana for LF
    Indians manager Terry Francona said Thursday that he's still weighing over whether to use Carlos Santana in left field.

    Advice: The Indians won't have the luxury of the designated hitter spot for Games 3, 4, and 5 under National League rules in Chicago, so they are willing to sacrifice some defense to potentially keep Santana in the lineup. The plan calls for him to take some fly balls in left field during a workout on Thursday night. Santana has played just one game in the outfield in the majors, back in 2012. Yesterday, 3:07 pm
  • Schwarber not medically cleared to play LF
    Cubs president Theo Epstein said Thursday afternoon that Kyle Schwarber is not medically cleared to play left field.

    Advice: Schwarber is coming off knee surgery and doctors feel that there's too much risk involved with rushing him back to play the field. While he served as the designated hitter for the first two games in Cleveland, he'll be limited to pinch-hitting duties for the next three games in Chicago. The Cubs were hoping for better news, but Schwarber is still capable of making an impact off the bench. Yesterday, 2:08 pm
  • Shawn Tolleson elects free agency
    Shawn Tolleson has elected to become a free agent.

    Advice: Tolleson chose to test the open market rather than accept an outright assignment to Triple-A Round Rock. The 28-year-old notched 35 saves last season, but he lost his closer gig early on this year and had a miserable 7.68 ERA over 37 appearances. He also spent some time in the minors and missed time with a back injury. He'll hope for a fresh start elsewhere. Yesterday, 2:07 pm
    L, 6-4 vs TB
  • Reds DFA injured lefty starter John Lamb
    Reds designated LHP John Lamb for assignment.

    Advice: Lamb underwent surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation earlier this week and will still be in rehab mode when the 2017 season begins. It was his second major back surgery in the last 10 months. There's still some intriguing raw ability here, however, and the 26-year-old southpaw figures to get scooped up by another team on waivers. Lamb was part of the Johnny Cueto trade package from the Royals in 2015. Yesterday, 12:32 pm
    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Bethancourt up to 97 mph in live BP sessions
    According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Christian Bethancourt was recently clocked at 97 mph while facing live hitters in Arizona.

    Advice: Bethancourt has also been developing a changeup as he prepares to work as a pitcher in the Panama Winter League. The 25-year-old made two relief appearances for the Padres in 2016 and looked pretty good, allowing just one hit over 1 2/3 shutout innings. He hasn't hit well enough to establish himself as a reliable major league catcher, so the Friars will stretch this experiment and try to catch lightning in a bottle with Bethancourt's big arm. Yesterday, 11:45 am
  • Wilson Ramos still seeking 4- or 5-year deal
    Wilson Ramos' agent Wil Polidor told the Washington Post that his client still plans to seek a four- or five-year contract this winter in free agency.

    Advice: Ramos suffered ACL and meniscus tears in his right knee on September 26 and his rehab from surgery will extend into the 2017 season, but the 29-year-old catcher is going to try to cash in anyway on a weak free agent market. Ramos acknowledged to reporters earlier this month that his best offers are likely to come from American League teams because he might have to DH some moving forward. This was the second major right knee injury of his career. Yesterday, 11:40 am
    W, 10-7 vs Mia
  • James Shields won't exercise opt-out clause
    James Shields will not exercise the opt-out clause in his contract, per SB Nation's Chris Cotillo.

    Advice: An easy decision for Shields, who is owed $21 million each of the next two seasons with a $16 million club option (or $2 million buyout) for 2019. The veteran right-hander posted brutal 6-19 record, 5.85 ERA, and 1.60 WHIP across 33 starts in 2016 while earning $21 million -- $16 million of it paid by the Padres. San Diego is still on the hook for another $22 million of the $44 million Shields is still owed. Shields will turn 35 years old in December. Yesterday, 10:39 am
  • Urrutia released from VWL team
    Henry Urrutia was released earlier this week from Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League.

    Advice: Urrutia batted .264 with three doubles and seven RBI in 15 games with Caracas -- not terrible results. Often there are other things at play behind the decisions made by these winter league clubs. Urrutia, a native of Cuba, is traveling back to the United States to begin a period of offseason rest and rehab. He figures to open the 2017 campaign at Double-A Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk. Yesterday, 9:21 am
    Not Active
    W, 5-2 @NYY
  • Joe Maddon won't rule out Schwarber for field
    Cubs manager Joe Maddon would not rule out the possibility of Kyle Schwarber playing left field as the World Series shifts to Wrigley Field.

    Advice: This isn't Maddon's call, though. Schwarber will receive a medical exam on Thursday to determine whether his surgically-repaired left knee is sound enough for play in the field. Even if he isn't available beyond pinch-hitting duties in Games 3-5 at Wrigley, the slugger has already made his mark on this World Series. In Game 2 on Wednesday, he hit a pair of RBI singles and drew a walk to help the Cubs knot their series with the Indians at 1-1. Maddon relayed that he saw no physical issues with Schwarber during the first two games in Cleveland. Wednesday, 8:40 pm
  • Ben Zobrist picks up RBI triple in win
    Ben Zobrist went 2-for-4 with an RBI triple and a run scored in Wednesday's win over the Indians in Game 2 of the World Series.

    Advice: Zobrist's fifth-inning RBI triple opened the scoring in what would evolve into a three-run frame by the road team. The veteran infielder now has three multi-hit efforts this postseason. In two World Series games, he is 5-for-8 with a double and a triple. Wednesday, 8:20 pm
    Player Note
    Ben Zobrist ChC - 2B,OF
    W, 7-4 @Cin
  • Zach McAllister ineffective in 2/3 innings
    Zach McAllister surrendered an RBI triple to Ben Zobrist in the fifth inning of Wednesday's loss to the Cubs in Game 2 of the World Series.

    Advice: McAllister came on for Trevor Bauer with two outs in the fourth inning and proceeded to strike out Dexter Fowler to close out that frame. He would open the fifth with a strikeout of Kris Bryant, but after allowing walking Anthony Rizzo following a 10-pitch battle, he proceeded to allow an RBI triple to Zobrist. At which point, McAllister was relieved of duty. Zobrist would score on an RBI single by Kyle Schwarber after the 28-year-old right-hander exited stage left. McAllister has made two appearances this postseason, allowing three runs over 1 1/3 frames. Wednesday, 8:18 pm
  • Kipnis breaks up Arrieta no-no with double
    Jason Kipnis put an end to Jake Arrieta's no-hitter bid in Wednesday's loss to the Cubs in Game 2 of the World Series, notching a one-out double in the sixth inning.

    Advice: Kipnis capitalized on an Arrieta breaker that did not truly break, swatting it up the middle and immediately pushing for extra bases. His aggressiveness paid off in the form of a double and he would ultimately come around to score on a wild pitch one out later. That two-bagger turned out to be the Indians' only extra-base hit of the evening. For his part, Kipnis is now 6-for-36 (.166) with a homer and four RBI this postseason. Wednesday, 8:17 pm
  • Rangers right-hander Harrell outrighted
    Rangers sent RHP Lucas Harrell outright to Triple-A Round Rock.

    Advice: Harrell's season came to an abbreviated end due to a right groin strain suffered in mid-August. Prior to being waylaid by injury, the 31-year-old reliever held a 4.21 ERA and 36/25 K/BB ratio in 47 innings between the Braves and Rangers. Wednesday, 2:24 pm
    L, 6-4 vs TB
  • Shawn Tolleson outrighted to Triple-A
    Rangers sent RHP Shawn Tolleson outright to Triple-A Round Rock.

    Advice: The less said about Tolleson's showing this past season, the better. He pitched to a dreadful 7.68 ERA and 1.73 WHIP over 36 1/3 innings, losing his closer's job in the process and eventually ending the season on the 60-day disabled list due to a back injury. Wednesday, 2:19 pm
    L, 6-4 vs TB
  • Hector Rondon not dealing with health concern
    Cubs manager Joe Maddon said that Hector Rondon's struggles this postseason are not due to an injury.

    Advice: Rondon missed about three weeks with a right triceps strain late in the summer, but it appears there is no injury concern here. In his most recent outing, the 28-year-old right-hander came on with two runners aboard and two outs in the seventh inning of Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. The Cubs trailed 3-0 at the time and desperately needed to hold it right there. That wouldn't happen, as Rondon proceeded to surrender a three-run home run to Roberto Perez, essentially putting any real notion of a comeback to rest. He has surrendered runs in three of his six postseason appearances. Given that there is no injury here, Rondon should be available for the remainder of the World Series, though high-leverage work might not be in the cards in the immediate future. Wednesday, 2:02 pm
  • Corey Kluber to start Game 4 of World Series
    Indians manager Terry Francona told reporters on Wednesday that Corey Kluber will start Game 4 of the World Series against the Cubs.

    Advice: Kluber threw 88 pitches over six-plus scoreless innings in Tuesday's Game 1 victory. The early hook was partially made with Game 4 in mind. Kluber has never made a start on short rest in the regular season, but he's now slated to do it for the second time this postseason. He allowed two runs over five innings on short rest against the Blue Jays in the ALCS. Wednesday, 12:54 pm
  • Carlos Santana in leadoff spot for Game 2
    Carlos Santana will hit out of the leadoff spot in Game 2 of the World Series against the Cubs on Wednesday.

    Advice: Rajai Davis hit leadoff and Santana hit fifth in Game 1 as the Indians used their standard arrangement against lefties with Jon Lester on the hill, but they are going back to their standard lineup against right-handers in Game 2. The full lineup versus Jake Arrieta: Santana DH, Jason Kipnis 2B, Francisco Lindor SS, Mike Napoli 1B, Jose Ramirez 3B, Lonnie Chisenhall RF, Coco Crisp LF, Tyler Naquin CF, Roberto Perez C. Trevor Bauer is slated to make the start for the Indians after an early exit in the ALCS due to a finger injury. Wednesday, 12:14 pm
  • Lovullo considered favorite for D-Backs mgr
    According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, "folks would be surprised" if the Diamondbacks didn't hire Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo as their next manager.

    Advice: It's a logical fit, as new Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen knows Luvullo well from his time with the Red Sox and Indians. Phil Nevin, the manager of the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate, is also a strong candidate for the job. The Diamondbacks are staying quiet on the situation, but one person who knows both men told Heyman he’d be "shocked" if Lovullo doesn’t get the job. Wednesday, 6:07 am
  • Schwarber doubles in first game since April 7
    Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-3 with a double in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.

    Advice: Schwarber looked completely overmatched in his first at-bat, but he drove a Corey Kluber pitch off the right field wall in the top of the fourth and drew an impressive walk against lefty reliever Andrew Miller in the top of the seventh. Schwarber hadn't played in a major league game since tearing both the ACL and LCL in his left knee on April 7. Cubs manager Joe Maddon can feel good about running the big man back out there as his designated hitter in Game 2. Tuesday, 8:56 pm
  • Kluber dominant over six, Indians take Game 1
    Corey Kluber delivered six-plus shutout innings Tuesday as the Indians defeated the Cubs 6-0 in Game 1 of the World Series.

    Advice: Kluber struck out eight batters over the first three innings, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to open a World Series game in such dominant fashion, and ultimately limited the dangerous Cubs offense to four hits. He was lifted at 97 pitches in the top of the seventh inning after serving up a leadoff single to Ben Zobrist. Andrew Miller came on and continued the shutout through the eighth, despite some shakier-than-usual moments. Cody Allen finished off that shutout with a scoreless ninth. There is talk of Kluber starting again in Game 4 at Wrigley Field and then possibly in Game 7 back in Cleveland. Most of his 97 pitches were stress-free in Tuesday's decisive Game 1 victory. Tuesday, 8:49 pm
  • Francona: Santana 'might' play LF at Wrigley
    Indians manager Terry Francona said Tuesday that Carlos Santana "might" play some left field when the World Series shifts to Chicago for Games 3, 4, and 5.

    Advice: There will be no DH available for the games at Wrigley Field, so Francona will probably have to sacrifice some outfield defense to keep both Santana and Mike Napoli in the starting lineup. Santana, who hasn't played the outfield in a major league game since 2012, was spotted shagging flyballs in left field during the Indians' team workout Monday at Progressive Field. He is at DH and batting fifth in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Tuesday, 2:04 pm
  • Indians: Kipnis' ALCS ankle sprain is 'fine'
    Indians bench coach Brad Mills told MLB Network on Tuesday that Jason Kipnis' left ankle is "fine."

    Advice: Kipnis suffered a low ankle sprain while celebrating the final out of the ALCS, but he participated in a normal team workout on Monday and looked spry during pregame drills on Tuesday evening at Progressive Field. Kipnis is starting at second base and batting second in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester. Tuesday, 1:49 pm
  • Kyle Schwarber to serve as DH in Game 1
    Cubs manager Joe Maddon said during a radio appearance on Monday that Kyle Schwarber will serve as the designated hitter in Game 1 of the World Series against the Indians on Tuesday.

    Advice: Maddon said he has one other lineup surprise, though he's not ready to officially announce it. Speculation is that Jason Heyward could be benched for Game 1. Schwarber has been out since early April due to a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee, but the Cubs think he has shown enough progress to be thrown into the fire against Corey Kluber in Game 1. It's an amazing story and a big gamble. Tuesday, 10:31 am
  • Schwarber officially on World Series roster
    Kyle Schwarber has officially been added to the Cubs' roster for the World Series.

    Advice: Schwarber's brief stint in the Arizona Fall League over the weekend was enough to convince the Cubs that he's ready to return. It's a remarkable recovery for the young slugger, who underwent surgery in April to repair a torn ACL and LCL in his left knee. He's expected to DH in Cleveland, but will be limited to pinch-hitting duties back in Chicago. The Cubs are going with 11 pitchers and 14 position players for the World Series. Schwarber took Rob Zastryzny's spot on the roster. Tuesday, 7:05 am
  • D'Backs hire Amiel Sawdaye as assistant GM
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Diamondbacks have hired Amiel Sawdaye as their new assistant general manager.

    Advice: Sawdaye is following new GM Mike Hazen from Boston, where he had been the Red Sox' vice president of amateur and international scouting. It looks like a good hire, as Sawdaye has been instrumental in building up the Red Sox' young big league talent and farm system. Monday, 7:26 pm
  • Corey Kluber could start Games 1, 4 and 7
    ESPN's Buster Olney reports that an idea "under strong consideration" by the Indians is to start Corey Kluber in Games 1, 4 and 7 of the World Series.

    Advice: He would only be guaranteed the first two starts, of course, depending on how the series lasts. Manager Terry Francona surely isn't going to commit to anything at this point, but trying to squeeze three starts out of easily their best (healthy) starter might be worth a shot. The Indians currently have Kluber listed for Game 1, Trevor Bauer for Game 2 and Josh Tomlin for Game 3. Danny Salazar is a possibility for Game 4, although Tito hasn't committed to using him as a starter. Monday, 4:36 pm
  • 'All signs point' to Schwarber on WS roster
    FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that "all signs point" to Kyle Schwarber (knee) being a part of the Cubs' World Series roster.

    Advice: The club won't make an official decision until Schwarber meets them in Cleveland on Tuesday, but he appears to have passed all tests in his Arizona Fall League action. Rosenthal does note that one concern would be the Cubs not being able to replace Schwarber on the roster if he aggravates a pre-existing condition. However, they might be willing to risk it in order to get his bat back. Schwarber wouldn't be used in the field but could DH in Cleveland and be a pinch-hitter in Chicago. Monday, 3:34 pm
  • Carlos Santana takes flies in LF on Monday
    Carlos Santana shagged some flyballs in left field during the Indians' workout on Monday.

    Advice: Santana has played just one game in the outfield in the majors and that was back in 2012, but the Indians could stick him in left field for the World Series games played in Chicago with the designated hitter not available. It would obviously be quite a hit to their defense, but they might be willing to deal with it to keep his bat in the lineup. Monday, 3:21 pm
  • Kyle Schwarber (knee) doubles in AFL game
    Kyle Schwarber (knee) went 1-for-3 with a walk, double and a run scored for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League on Monday.

    Advice: Schwarber slid into second base on his double and appeared to have no issues with his surgically-repaired left knee. He will now fly to Cleveland to join the Cubs and could be a part of their World Series roster when it's announced Tuesday morning. Schwarber would serve as the Cubs' designated hitter for games in Cleveland and be a bat off the bench for games in Chicago. Monday, 3:16 pm
  • Lamb has back surgery, will start 2017 on DL
    John Lamb will begin next season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery to repair a lumbar disc herniation.

    Advice: It will be the second straight season where Lamb has gotten a late start while rehabbing from back surgery. That's in addition to the left-hander seeing this past season end prematurely due to a flexor mass strain. Lamb also posted a 6.43 ERA across 14 starts for the Reds in 2016, so it's been a rough stretch for him. Monday, 1:33 pm
    L, 7-4 vs ChC
  • Maddon: No decision on Schwarber (knee) yet
    Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Monday that the club won't make a decision on whether Kyle Schwarber (knee) will make the World Series roster until he meets the team in Cleveland on Tuesday.

    Advice: Maddon did say that the "reports are good" on Schwarber, who did sliding drills in Arizona on Monday before serving as the designated hitter in an AFL game. Schwarber will then fly to Cleveland and the feeling seems to be that he'll be added to the Cubs' World Series roster as long as he tells the club he feels fine. If that happens, he'll serve as the Cubs' DH for games in Cleveland and as a pinch-hitter for games in Chicago. Monday, 1:21 pm
  • Kipnis (ankle) expected to be fine for Game 1
    Indians manager Terry Francona announced Sunday that Jason Kipnis (ankle) is expected to be fine for Game 1 of the World Series.

    Advice: Kipnis is dealing with a minor low ankle sprain, but it doesn't sound serious enough to keep him out of the Tribe's lineup in the World Series. He admitted to suffering the injury while jumping around with teammate Francisco Lindor to celebrate the club's pennant-clinching victory over the Blue Jays in Game 5 of the ALCS. Kipnis slashed just .053/.100/.211 with one homer and one RBI in 20 plate appearances in the ALCS. Sunday, 3:37 pm
  • Corey Kluber to start Game 1 of World Series
    Indians manager Terry Francona officially announced Sunday that Corey Kluber will start Game 1 of the World Series against the Cubs.

    Advice: There's little surprise here, as the star right-hander is the ace of the Tribe's staff and the Indians have had the luxury of several days off to arrange their rotation as they see fit. Trevor Bauer is tentatively scheduled to pitch in Game 2 (provided his injured finger obliges), with Josh Tomlin taking the ball in Game 3. Sunday, 3:33 pm
  • Kyle Schwarber (knee) 0-for-3 in AFL debut
    Kyle Schwarber (knee) went 0-for-3 with a walk in his first Arizona Fall League game on Saturday.

    Advice: Most importantly, Schwarber said that his surgically-repaired left knee felt fine. "It was overall a really great day for me," Schwarber said. "The first two (at-bats) I chased a little bit. Today was about the at-bats. Running was not a factor." The Cubs aren't ruling out using Schwarber as their designated hitter and pinch-hitter in the World Series, as the 23-year-old has progressed more quickly than expected. Sunday, 6:01 am
  • Kyle Schwarber activated from 60-day DL
    Cubs activated OF Kyle Schwarber from the 60-day disabled list.

    Advice: Giovanni Soto was designated for assignment in the corresponding roster move. Schwarber is scheduled to play in a simulated game on Sunday and is hoping to be ready for the World Series, should the Cubs advance. If Schwarber does return, he would likely serve as the designated hitter when the Cubs are in Cleveland. Saturday, 3:43 pm
  • Santana cracks solo homer off Estrada
    Carlos Santana rocked a solo home run off Marco Estrada in Wednesday's 3-0 win over the Blue Jays in Game 5 of the ALCS.

    Advice: Santana connected for a solo shot in the third inning to boost the Indians to a 2-0 advantage. Coco Crisp would rap a solo homer of his own one frame later to supply the final run in the 3-0 pennant-clincher. For his part, Santana is now 5-for-29 (.169) in the postseason. He homered twice in the ALCS, also bopping a solo home run in Game 2. Wednesday, 3:55 pm
  • Kipnis goes 0-for-4 with two Ks in Game 4
    Jason Kipnis finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Tuesday's ALCS Game 4 loss to the Blue Jays.

    Advice: Kipnis hit a big go-ahead homer in Monday night's Game 3 win, but he was held in check Tuesday by Aaron Sanchez and the Toronto bullpen. That solo homer remains his only hit in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series. Kipnis is batting .192 overall in these playoffs. Tuesday, 4:15 pm
  • Kluber allows two runs in Game 4 loss
    Corey Kluber surrendered two earned runs over five innings Tuesday as the Indians fell to the Blue Jays in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

    Advice: Starting on short rest for the first time in his career, Kluber gave up a solo homer to Josh Donaldson in the bottom of the third inning and an RBI single to Ezequiel Carrera in the bottom of the fourth. Kluber struck out seven but yielded four hits and two walks before exiting the game at 89 pitches. He'll be called on again for Game 7 of the ALCS if the Blue Jays can force the best-of-seven series to go that far. Tuesday, 4:11 pm
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