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Player Notes

  • Max Fried will start NLCS Game 5 against Dodgers
    Max Fried will start Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday night against the Dodgers.

    Advice: Fried draws the starting assignment with the Braves holding a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Dodgers and looking to punch their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 1999. The 27-year-old left-hander yielded two runs over six innings in a no-decision in Game 1 of the NLCS last weekend. The Dodgers will counter with a bullpen game. Yesterday, 9:07 pm
  • Justin Turner (hamstring) done for 2021 postseason
    Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said late Wednesday that Justin Turner has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

    Advice: Roberts added that Turner is most likely done for the remainder of the postseason, even if the Dodgers manage to advance to the World Series. The 36-year-old veteran third baseman sustained the injury running out a ground ball in the seventh inning of the Dodgers' Game 4 loss to the Braves. He finishes the postseason hitting just .200 (4-for-34) across 10 games. Yesterday, 9:05 pm
  • Smyly goes 3 2/3 to pick up win in Game 4 vs. LAD
    Drew Smyly gave up two runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief to pick up a win on Wednesday in Game 4 of the NLCS over the Dodgers. 

    Advice: Jesse Chavez opened this game after Huascar Ynoa was scratched, and Smyly was effective enough to essentially be a bulk arm on Wednesday. He walked one while striking out two, and outside of a two-run single by AJ Pollock, he was able to keep the Dodgers from doing damage. Smyly could be a bullpen option if the series gets to Atlanta, but isn't likely to be available in Game 5 on Thursday. Yesterday, 8:40 pm
  • Urias struggles, gives up five in loss to Braves
    Julio Urias gave up five runs in five innings in a loss to the Braves on Wednesday in Game 4 of the NLCS. 

    Advice: Urias clearly didn't have his best stuff, but with the Dodgers committed to a bullpen game on Thursday, Los Angeles was essentially pot-committed to the southpaw going five innings. He allowed three homers in the contest -- all solo -- and he struck out three with two walks. A 20-game winner in 2021, this very well could be Urias's last start of the 2021 season. Despite his struggles on Wednesday, it'd be hard to call this anything but a success, and the 25-year-old is likely to be one of the first starters off the board in drafts come 2022. Yesterday, 8:39 pm
  • Duvall homers as Braves take 3-1 lead in NLCS
    Adam Duvall homered and plated two runs in a Game 4 win in the NLCS on Wednesday over the Dodgers. 

    Advice: Duvall continues to show off his impressive power with a solo shot off Julio Urias in the second to double the Atlanta lead to 2-0. He later would drive in a run with a sac fly, and he's plated four runs in this NLCS. A victory for Atlanta on Thursday would place Duvall and the Braves in the World Series. Yesterday, 8:39 pm
  • Freeman homers, drives in two in Game 4 rout
    Freddie Freeman homered, doubled and drove in two runs to help the Braves to a Game 4 victory in the NLCS over the Dodgers on Wednesday. 

    Advice: Remember when Freeman was struggling? That was short. Freeman blasted a solo shot off Julio Urias in the third, and he doubled in a run in the ninth to extend the Atlanta lead to 6-2. The 32-year-old has Atlanta just a win away from a trip to the Fall Classic. Yesterday, 8:37 pm
  • Rosario homers twice as Braves take 3-1 advantage
    Eddie Rosario homered twice, tripled and drove in four runs while going 4-for-5 in a 9-2 victory for the Braves on Wednesday over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS. 

    Advice: Rosario came just a double away from hitting the cycle, but he probably wouldn't trade his second homer for it. The 30-year-old has been blistering the baseball in the postseason, and he hit one of three homers off an ineffective Julio Urias in the second inning. The second roundtripper was a three-run shot that turned a 6-2 game into a blowout at 9-2. For the second straight year, the Braves have a 3-1 lead in the NLCS over the Dodgers, and can clinch their first trip to the World Series since 1999 with a win on Thursday. Yesterday, 8:36 pm
  • Nathan Eovaldi to pitch in ALCS Game 6 vs. Astros
    Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Wednesday that Nathan Eovaldi will pitch on Friday night in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Astros.

    Advice: Eovaldi hasn't been officially named the Red Sox' Game 6 starter yet, but he seems likely to draw the starting assignment with Boston facing elimination in the best-of-seven series after a demoralizing blowout loss on Wednesday night at Fenway Park. The hard-throwing 31-year-old righty threw 24 pitches in relief during Tuesday's Game 4 loss, but appears good to go to make his fourth start of the 2021 postseason on Friday night at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Yesterday, 6:15 pm
  • Baker: Astros undecided on ALCS Game 6 starter
    Astros manager Dusty Baker said Wednesday that he's "still deciding" on who will start Game 6 of the ALCS on Friday night against the Red Sox.

    Advice: Luis Garcia, who made an early exit from Saturday's Game 2 loss with right knee discomfort, seems like the most likely candidate to take the mound with an opportunity to send the Astros to the World Series after a pair of lopsided victories at Fenway Park. However, a herculean effort from lefty Framber Valdez spared the Astros' bullpen from some additional work and gives them some additional options for the remainder of the series. Stay tuned. Yesterday, 6:03 pm
  • Gurriel plates three, Astros crush Red Sox
    Yuli Gurriel went 3-for-5 with three RBI on Wednesday in a Game 5 victory over the Red Sox in the ALCS. 

    Advice: The hits keep coming for Gurriel. He doubled in a run in the sixth to extend the Houston lead to 4-0, and his two-run single in the ninth cemented the blowout by making it 9-1. It's nothing new for Gurriel as he's been an outstanding postseason performer, and with the three-hit night has him slashing .474/.524/.684 in these first five contests of the ALCS. Yesterday, 5:46 pm
  • Alvarez homers, brings home three in Game 5 rout
    Yordan Alvarez homered, drove in three runs and went 3-for-5 in a rout of the Red Sox on Wednesday in Game 5 of the ALCS. 

    Advice: Alvarez gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a homer off Chris Sale in the second inning. The impressive left-handed hitter then doubled home two more in the sixth off Sale in the sixth, and he added a single in between. He's driven in five runs in these first five games, and he has Houston one win away from another trip to the World Series. Yesterday, 5:45 pm
  • Devers homers for only Red Sox run in loss
    Rafael Devers went 2-for-3 with a homer in a Game 5 loss to the Astros on Wednesday in the ALCS. 

    Advice: Devers blistered a homer around the Pesky Pole off Framber Valdez for Boston's first -- and only -- run in the contest. It's the third homer of the series for the 24-year-old slugger, and he's slashed .350/.435/.800. The Red Sox are a loss from elimination, but none of that is Devers' fault. Yesterday, 5:44 pm
  • Sale pitches well, but Red Sox lose Game 5
    Chris Sale allowed four runs -- two earned -- in 5 1/3 innings in a loss to the Astros on Wednesday in Game 5 of the ALCS. 

    Advice: Sale allowed three hits, and he struck out seven with a pair of walks. He allowed a solo homer to Yordan Alvarez in the second innings, but settled down very nicely until the floodgates opened a bit in the sixth -- with very little help from his defense to close those gates. The statline isn't perfect by any means, but this was a very positive sign for Sale going forward, as he showed the stuff that made him one of the best pitchers in baseball not long ago. Unless the Red Sox win two straight games, however, his and Boston's season is over. Yesterday, 5:43 pm
  • Cubs outright Erick Castillo to Triple-A Iowa
    Cubs sent C Erick Castillo outright to Triple-A Iowa.

    Advice: Castillo appeared in nine games for the Cubs at the major-league level this season. The 28-year-old backstop will continue to serve as organizational catching depth. Yesterday, 5:43 pm
  • Valdez goes eight strong, Astros take 3-2 lead
    Framber Valdez went eight innings while allowing just a run on Wednesday to help the Astros to a 9-1 rout of the Red Sox in Game 5 of the ALCS.

    Advice: A starter going eight innings? In this economy? Valdez, 27, was outstanding; throwing six scoreless innings before allowing a solo shot to Rafael Devers in the seventh. The left-hander gave up just two other hits in the contest, and he walked just one with five strikeouts. Valdez doesn't have dominant stuff, but when he commands his sinker like he did on Wednesday, he can give lineups fits. His strong outing -- and plenty of offensive help -- have the Astros one win away from yet another trip to the Fall Classic. Yesterday, 5:43 pm
  • Cubs outright Tyler Payne to Triple-A Iowa
    Cubs sent C Tyler Payne outright to Triple-A Iowa.

    Advice: Payne made his lone big-league appearance in the Cubs' regular season finale on October 3 after spending the entire 2021 campaign at Triple-A Iowa. The 28-year-old backstop will continue to serve as organizational catching depth. Yesterday, 5:42 pm
  • Yasmani Grandal undergoes right knee surgery
    Yasmani Grandal is expected to be ready for spring training after undergoing right knee surgery.

    Advice: Grandal made the announcement on his personal Instagram after undergoing a procedure on his right knee. The 32-year-old veteran backstop underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his left knee back in July, which kept him sidelined until late August. The on-base machine slashed a robust .240/.420/.520 with 60 runs scored, 23 home runs and 62 RBI across 375 plate appearances this season. Yesterday, 4:53 pm
  • Report: Nick Castellanos expected to opt out
    Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that Nick Castellanos is expected to decline his $16 million player option and become a free agent this offseason.

    Advice: No surprise here. Castellanos is set to cash in with a substantial multi-year deal on the open market after slashing .309/.362/.576 with 95 runs scored, a career-high 34 home runs, 100 RBI and three stolen bases across 585 plate appearances. Heyman adds that the Reds are expected to attempt to retain the 29-year-old outfielder, but there should be a healthy market for his services this offseason. Yesterday, 4:42 pm
  • Evan Marshall set to undergo Tommy John surgery
    Evan Marshall will undergo Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery.

    Advice: Marshall was diagnosed with a pronator strain in his right forearm in late June, which sidelined him for the remainder of the 2021 campaign. The 31-year-old righty will likely miss the entire 2022 season. He holds a respectable 4.19 ERA, 1.49 WHIP and 180/79 K/BB ratio across 193 1/3 career innings (206 appearances) at the major-league level since 2014. Yesterday, 3:57 pm
  • Huascar Ynoa (shoulder) removed from NLCS roster
    Huascar Ynoa (shoulder) has been removed from the Braves' NLCS roster.

    Advice: Ynoa will be ineligible for the remainder of the postseason, even if the Braves advance past the Dodgers to the World Series. The flame-throwing 23-year-old righty was scratched from a scheduled Game 4 start on Wednesday night due to shoulder inflammation and made just one relief appearance in the NLDS against the Brewers. He's been replaced by rookie left-hander Dylan Lee on the Braves' NLCS roster. Yesterday, 3:17 pm
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