Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Jackie Bradley Jr. was named MVP of the 2018 ALCS.

Bradley Jr. is a deserving winner, hitting a pair of homers -- including a grand slam in Game 3 -- in the series and also drawing four walks. His average is just .200 in this postseason, but his .400 on-base percentage and .667 slugging mark -- along with his excellent defense in center -- is more indicative of how good he's been in October.
Oct 19 - 12:06 AM

Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo homer in a 4-1 loss to the Red Sox on Thursday in Game 5 of the ALCS.

The Houston lineup did absolutely nothing against David Price and the Boston bullpen outside of the homer, but the solo blast from Gonzalez prevented the shutout. Gonzalez had a mediocre 2018 season, and will hit free agency in the 2019 campaign. His versatility and ability to hit for power should see him secure a decent contract with someone, but it's possible his strikeout in the ninth inning was the last plate appearance Gonzalez will see as a member of the Astros.
Oct 18 - 11:56 PM

J.D. Martinez hit a solo homer and went 2-for-3 in a Game 5 win over the Astros on Thursday in the ALCS.

Martinez walloped a homer off of Justin Verlander to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in the third. The slugger also drew a walk, and it was a continuation of what Martinez did all of 2018: Get on base and hit for power. He'll be the designated hitter for the Red Sox in Game 1 and 2 of the World Series, and then likely start in the outfield when the series transitions to the National League.
Oct 18 - 11:52 PM

Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer in a 4-1 victory over the Astros on Thursday in Game 5 in the ALCS.

The homer was a big one, as it came with the Red Sox holding just a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning off of Justin Verlander to extend the Boston lead to 4-0. It was an excellent series for the soon-to-be 22-year-old with a .385/.467/.615 line over the five games. Don't be surprised if he gets starts at third in the World Series even if Eduardo Nunez is healthy enough to play.
Oct 18 - 11:49 PM

Craig Kimbrel pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in a save of Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday against the Astros.

This was much, much better than the effort we saw from Kimbrel on Wednesday. He did walk Yuli Gurriel, but outside of that he was able to locate his fastball and slider, and he had plenty of velocity despite throwing 34 pitches over two innings in the Game 4 effort. Kimbrel will now get a chance to save World Series games against either the Dodgers or Brewers.
Oct 18 - 11:47 PM

Justin Verlander allowed four runs over six innings in a loss to the Red Sox on Thursday in Game 5 of the ALCS.

All four runs allowed by Verlander came on homers; a solo shot by J.D. Martinez and a three-run homer by Rafael Devers that probably doesn’t leave many -- or any -- other parks. Outside of those blasts he was mostly solid, but the Astros needed their ace to be perfect to stave off elimination on Thursday night. He wasn’t. While it ends in disappointment, it was another strong year for the 35-year-old with a 2.52 ERA and 290 strikeouts over 214 innings for the Astros while winning 16 regular season games and two more in the postseason. He’ll be back with Houston in 2019, and we saw nothing in 2018 that suggests he won’t be among the best starters in baseball again next season.
Oct 18 - 11:45 PM

David Price hurled six shutout innings while allowing just three hits and striking out nine in a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox in Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday.

Narratives were made to be broken. After two shaky postseason starts -- and many more efforts that haven’t accurately reflected Price’s talent -- Price was absolutely brilliant on Thursday. His change-up was an out pitch, and for the overwhelming majority of the game, the former Cy Young winner was able to get ahead of the Houston lineup while limiting hard contact. This was a wonderful reminder of how dominant Price has been in his career at times. If Boston gets this version of Price in the World Series, the Dodgers or Brewers are in trouble. He’ll likely start Game 2 of the Fall Classic in Fenway Park.
Oct 18 - 11:44 PM

Bob Elliott of CBC Sports reports that the Blue Jays interviewed Athletics Coordinator of Instruction Ed Sprague for the open managerial position.

Sprague, you might remember, was a member of the Blue Jays during their 1992-93 World Series' wins, and also played for the Mariners. He was the head coach at the University of Pacific before joining the Athletics. Brandon Hyde, Rocco Baldelli, David Bell and Joe Espada are other known candidates to take over for John Gibbons in Toronto.
Oct 18 - 6:47 PM

Chris Sale was able to throw off flat ground, and should be able to start Game 6 against the Astros on Saturday if necessary.

Sale was hospitalized with a stomach ailment earlier in the week, and while he was considered too weak to pitch Thursday's Game 5, it sounds like he'll be able to go in either a Game 6 or Game 1 of the World Series.
Oct 18 - 5:39 PM

Astros manager A.J. Hinch told reporters before Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday that Jose Altuve (knee) wouldn't be playing if it was the regular season.

"He’s hurt," Hinch said in the pregame comments. "If it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be playing. His teammates revere him." Altuve is back in the lineup as the designated hitter, and likely will do so for the remainder of the series. The question is whether or not Altuve would be able to play in the World Series in National League parks, but the Astros need to win three more games before we find out the answer.
Oct 18 - 4:41 PM

Mitch Moreland is back in the lineup at first base and hitting fifth on Thursday against the Astros in Game 5 of the ALCS.

Moreland gets the start at first base against right-hander Justin Verlander, with Steve Pearce heading to the bench. It's his first start in 11 days after dealing with a hamstring injury. Ian Kinsler takes over at second for Brock Holt. The rest of the lineup stays the same against the Astros, as the Red Sox look to clinch a trip to the World Series, and is as follows: Mookie Betts RF, Andrew Benintendi LF, J.D. Martinez DH, Xander Bogaerts SS, Moreland 1B, Kinsler 2B, Rafael Devers 3B, Christian Vazquez C, Jackie Bradley CF, and David Price on the mound.
Oct 18 - 4:12 PM

Jake Marisnick is starting in center field and hitting ninth on Thursday for Game 5 of the ALCS against the Red Sox.

Marisnick will get the start in center, with George Springer moving over to right and Tony Kemp handling left. Josh Reddick will start off on the bench, but likely will likely get a plate appearance if/when Boston turns to a right-hander and removes David Price. The Astros are also moving Carlos Correa to the cleanup spot as they look to avoid elimination. The full lineup goes: Alex Bregman 3B, Springer, RF, Jose Altuve DH, Carlos Correa SS, Yuli Gurriel 1B, Marwin Gonzalez 2B, Kemp LF, Martin Maldonado C, Marisnick CF and Justin Verlander as the starting pitcher.
Oct 18 - 4:07 PM

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told reporters Thursday that Austin Barnes will start at catcher in Game 6 of the NLCS on Friday.

No real surprise at this point given Yasmani Grandal's ongoing struggles offensively and defensively. Barnes hit a game-tying RBI single in the Dodgers' NLCS Game 5 win over the Brewers on Wednesday and he went 1-for-4 with a walk in Game 4 on Tuesday.
Oct 18 - 3:41 PM

Matt Chapman underwent surgery on his left thumb Thursday.

Per the Athletics' press release: "Dr. Steven Shin performed an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision along the left thumb at the Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. Dr. Shin was pleased with the outcome of the surgery and anticipates Matt to make a full recovery prior to the start of spring training." Chapman battled thumb and wrist issues at various points this season, twice receiving cortisone injections, but the 25-year-old budding star still managed a strong .864 OPS with 24 home runs and 42 doubles in 145 games while also playing elite-level defense at third base.
Oct 18 - 12:10 PM

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said Wednesday that Jacoby Ellsbury is "supposed to be fully recovered" from his left hip surgery by the start of the 2019 season.

Ellsbury needed the hip procedure in early August. He also struggled with back, foot, and oblique issues throughout the 2018 campaign and didn't appear in a game at any level. The 35-year-old outfielder will be a $21.14 million bench player for the Yankees next season, and he's also due another $21.14 million in 2020 with a $5 million buyout on his option for 2021.
Oct 18 - 11:29 AM



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