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Player Notes

  • Corey Kluber to start Game 1 of World Series
    Indians manager Terry Francona officially announced Sunday that Corey Kulber 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. Today, 3:33 pm
  • Salazar to throw three-inning simulated game
    Danny Salazar (forearm) is scheduled to throw a three-inning simulated game on Sunday.

    Advice: If Salazar responds well to the outing, it could earn him a spot on the World Series roster and a potential start in Game 4 against the Cubs. Salazar has been sidelined since early September due to a strained right flexor muscle. Today, 3:26 pm
  • Josh Tomlin tentatively set to start Game 3
    Indians manager Terry Francona announced Sunday that Josh Tomlin will start Game 3 of the World Series against the Cubs.

    Advice: Francona did mention that Tomlin could be pushed up to Game 2 in the event that Trevor Bauer's lacerated pinky finger isn't ready to go. Tomlin owns a 2.53 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 10/3 K/BB ratio over 10 2/3 innings in his two starts this postseason (both victories). Today, 3:23 pm
  • Indians could move Trevor Bauer to Game 3
    Indians manager Terry Francona said Sunday that the team doctor's will continue to monitor Trevor Bauer's finger and could push the right-hander back to Game 3 of the World Series if he isn't ready for Game 2.

    Advice: In that instance, he would be flipped with Josh Tomlin, who is scheduled to work in Game 3. Bauer has been given additional sutures to secure his lacerated pinky finger in an effort to prevent it from bleeding. He lasted just 2/3 of an inning in his last start due to the ailment. Today, 3:19 pm
  • BoSox 'seriously' considering Buchholz option
    Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Red Sox are "seriously thinking about" picking up Clay Buchholz's $13.5 million option for 2017.

    Advice: Buchholz has been frustratingly inconsistent and has often dealt with injuries, finishing 2016 with a 4.78 ERA. However, Heyman notes that in a weak free agent pitching market it wouldn't be a surprise if Buchholz could land a multi-year contract. The Red Sox might see spending $13.5 million for one year in order to retain some solid rotation depth as a worthy move. Buchholz, who turned 32 back in August, would be owed a $500,000 buyout if the option was declined. Today, 5:35 am
  • Clayton Kershaw falls apart in Game 6 loss
    Clayton Kershaw scattered seven hits and five runs (four earned) over five lackluster innings Saturday in the Dodgers' loss to the Cubs in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: Someday there will be a plaque in Cooperstown with Kershaw’s name on it. But Saturday night at Wrigley Field, he just didn’t have it. The Cubs began the game with back-to-back hits off Kershaw and never really let up. Kershaw yielded home runs to Willson Contreras and Anthony Rizzo before getting the hook. He wasn’t fooling anyone with his slider and he couldn’t throw his curve ball for strikes. Kershaw looked gassed on Saturday and for good reason. He gave the Dodgers everything he had this postseason, logging 24 1/3 innings after missing most of the second half with a back injury. Kershaw is now 4-7 with a 4.39 ERA over 17 career postseason appearances. Yesterday, 7:56 pm
  • Kyle Hendricks pitches Cubs to NL pennant
    Kyle Hendricks allowed just two hits over 7 1/3 shutout innings Saturday in the Cubs' win over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Advice: He finished with six strikeouts. It was a masterpiece from start to finish. Hendricks was quietly one of the best pitchers in baseball this year and reminded us why Saturday by out-pitching Clayton Kershaw in the Cubs’ biggest game of the season. He retired 15 straight hitters before yielding a one-out single to Josh Reddick in the eighth inning. Before that, he hadn’t allowed a hit since the first when Andrew Toles smacked a single on the game’s first pitch. Hendricks has been lights out this postseason with a 1.65 ERA over 16 1/3 innings. The Cubs are headed back to the World Series for the first time since 1945. They’ll play the Indians in Game 1 on Tuesday night. Yesterday, 7:53 pm
  • Marco Gonzales (elbow) resumes throwing
    Marco Gonzales (elbow) has resumed throwing.

    Advice: "I've been throwing for a couple of weeks now," he said. "I’m really happy with the progress and I know everyone that I’ve been working with down here is happy with it too." The left-hander is about six months removed from Tommy John surgery. Gonzalez has been throwing from 60 feet three times a week and will advance to 90 feet next week. If all goes well, he'll begin mound work in December. He should be ready to help the Cardinals' bullpen at some point in 2017. Yesterday, 3:49 pm
  • Phillies could make Vincent Velasquez available's Todd Zolecki said he would not be surprised if the Phillies looked to trade Vincent Velasquez this offseason.

    Advice: The Phillies entertained offers for Velasquez around the trade deadline but never pulled the trigger. Velasquez got off to a solid start this year but ran out of gas in the second half (5.33 ERA after the All-Star break). Velasquez arrived in Philly last offseason in a trade that sent star closer Ken Giles to Houston. The rebuilding Phillies could probably land a nice haul of prospects for Velasquez, who turned 24 in June. Yesterday, 3:38 pm
  • Rich Hill could earn 3-year, $45 million contract
    Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe suggests Rich Hill could be in line for a three-year, $45 million deal in free agency.

    Advice: It would be a hefty raise for Hill, who earned $6 million this past season. He's certainly earned it. The 36-year-old pitched to a marvelous 2.12 ERA in 20 starts for the Dodgers and A's this year, though blister issues and a minor groin injury limited him to just 20 starts. It's possible the Dodgers could extend a one-year, $17.2 million qualifying offer to Hill, though Cafardo believes he would reject it given the dearth of starting pitching available this offseason. Yesterday, 2:13 pm
  • Vargas will pitch in Mexican Winter League
    The Padres announced Saturday that Cesar Vargas (elbow) will pitch in the Mexican Winter League.

    Advice: The right-hander missed the final four months of the regular season due to a flexor strain in his pitching elbow. He posted a 5.03 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and 28/15 K/BB ratio across 34 innings before the injury struck. Yesterday, 10:29 am
    60-Day DL
  • Cosart undergoes successful elbow surgery
    The Padres announced Saturday that Jarred Cosart underwent successful surgery to remove loose bodies from his pitching elbow.

    Advice: The bone spur in his elbow caused Cosart to miss his final two starts of the regular season. He'll be sidelined for the next six weeks before he's able to resume throwing. The club believes that he'll be fully recovered and ready to go for the start of spring training. Yesterday, 10:25 am
  • Padres remain hopeful Rea can avoid surgery
    According to AJ Cassavell of, the Padres remain hopeful that Colin Rea will be able to avoid Tommy John surgery.

    Advice: He's trying the path of rest, rehab and platelet-rich plasma injections instead of opting for surgery and everything appears to be progressing nicely. Cassavell notes that he's about three weeks away from facing live hitters. The Padres are mulling their potential options for Rea, which could include sending him to the Arizona Fall League or winter ball to get some work in. Yesterday, 7:01 am
  • Maeda allows one run in brief start vs. CHC
    Kenta Maeda allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings Thursday in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Cubs.

    Advice: Oddly, Maeda was pulled with two on and two out in the fourth with opposing pitcher Jon Lester coming to the plate. Josh Fields got Lester to fly out to left field to officially close the book on Maeda. The outing could have been much worse, as Maeda needed 26 pitches to get through the first inning. After giving up an RBI double to Anthony Rizzo and walking Ben Zobrist, he struck out Javier Baez and Jason Heyward to avoid further damage. Maeda struck out six batters in all and was pulled at 76 pitches. His bullpen went on to allow seven runs. Thursday, 9:31 pm
  • Blanton gives up go-ahead homer in loss
    Joe Blanton gave up a go-ahead two-run homer to Addison Russell in the sixth inning in Thursday’s Game 5 loss to the Cubs.

    Advice: Blanton is one of the reasons the Dodgers have managed to make it this far this season, as he posted a 2.48 ERA and 80/26 K/BB ratio over 80 innings during the regular season. He also pitched well (and often) during the NLDS against the Nationals. But he might be running on fumes at this point. The veteran right-hander has allowed seven runs on seven hits (including three homers and a double) and two walks in three innings so far during the NLCS. Thursday, 9:30 pm
    Player Note
    Joe Blanton LAD - SP,RP
  • Lester goes seven IP as Cubs win NLCS Gm 5
    Jon Lester fired seven innings of one-run ball as the Cubs topped the Dodgers 8-4 in Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday.

    Advice: The Cubs are now just one win away from their first trip to the World Series since 1945. The Dodgers were determined to try to get in Lester’s head, but it just didn’t happen. The lone run scored on a ground out in the fourth inning. The veteran left-hander allowed just five hits in all while walking just one batter and striking out six. He has compiled a 0.86 ERA and 14/2 K/BB ratio in 21 innings over three starts this postseason. Thursday, 9:27 pm
  • Strasburg expected to have normal winter
    According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, agent Scott Boras said Thursday that Stephen Strasburg (elbow) is expected to have a normal throwing schedule this offseason and be ready for spring training.

    Advice: Strasburg suffered a partial tear of the pronator tendon in his elbow on September 7. He threw a couple of bullpen sessions this month, but was unable to make it back for the NLDS. The expectation is that he'll be fine after the long offseason, but this situation will obviously be worth monitoring in the spring. Strasburg, 28, posted a 3.60 ERA and 183/44 K/BB over 147 2/3 innings this season. Thursday, 5:01 pm
  • Lackey surrenders two in Game 4 of NLCS
    John Lackey pitched well in Wednesday's 10-2 win over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS, surrendering three hits over four-plus innings of two-run ball.

    Advice: Lackey was visibly upset when manager Joe Maddon came out to relieve him with nobody out in the fifth inning. The veteran right-hander had walked the first two batters of the frame prior to Maddon's trot to the mound. Both of those runners would come around to score after he exited the contest. For the evening as a whole, Lackey struck out three and walked three while throwing 72 pitches (41 strikes). In two postseason starts, he has allowed five runs on 10 hits over eight innings. Wednesday, 9:12 pm
  • Four-run fourth dooms Urias in NLCS Gm. 4
    Jose Urias was hit hard in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 10-2 loss to the Cubs in Game 4 of the NLCS, surrendering four runs in the frame.

    Advice: Urias held the Cubs scoreless over three innings before they finally broke out of their recent offensive slump. In the fourth, the young southpaw surrendered an RBI single to Willson Contreras and an RBI groundout to Jason Heyward to put the Dodgers down 2-0. Addison Russell subsequently came through with a two-run homer to boost the road team to a 4-0 advantage. Urias struck out four and walked two on the evening, scattering four hits along the way. With the series now knotted at two games apiece, Jon Lester and Kenta Maeda will square off in Game 5 before the series shifts back to Chicago. Wednesday, 9:10 pm
  • Jays eliminated as Estrada coughs up two HR
    Marco Estrada was victimized by several mistakes in Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Indians in Game 5 of the ALCS, coughing up two home runs and three total runs over six innings.

    Advice: Estrada pitched well enough, striking out seven and scattering five hits over his six innings of work. Unfortunately for the Jays, "well enough" wasn't enough to keep the season alive. Mike Napoli burned him for a deep RBI double in the first inning to open the scoring. The two other runs to come home on the veteran right-hander's watch both scored via solo home runs, with Carlos Santana and Coco Crisp whacking solo shots in the third and fourth innings, respectively. In three postseason starts, Estrada pitched to a strong 1.85 ERA with a 19/1 K/BB ratio over 24 1/3 innings. Wednesday, 3:50 pm
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